ISRAEL WORLD'S 8TH HAPPIEST COUNTRY
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
On the plight of Christian Arabs in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, "Justus Reid Weiner, an international human rights lawyer, warns that the present Christian Arab leadership is not telling the truth about the real conditions in these areas, and who is really responsible for perpetuating the anguish of Arab Christians. The “patriarchs and archbishops of Christian Arab denominations,' he says, 'who are currently deceiving the international community, are self-interested people. They collaborate with the Muslim perpetrators of intimidation and violence. Against all evidence they claim that the Christians Arabs are living comfortable and prosperous lives. In fact the present situation is growing worse by the day.'"
Many Church Leaders Remain Silent about the deception.
Same applies to many in the media.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
A call to boycott Israeli-made Ahava products in a Maryland beauty supply store backfired last week when pro- Israel activists countered by purchasing the shop’s entire Ahava inventory - Pro-Israel shoppers defy Ahava products boycott call
The idiots involved in these moves to boycott Israel are wasting their time and, in many cases, their money.
I heard this week of a church group which decided to divest itself of its shares in an Israeli company but their timing was bad because the company's shares have skyrocketted since the divestment costing the boycotting group millions.
Of course, the boycotts aren't hurting Israel whose recent gas finds have added billions to the country's many assets which makes the whole boycott enterprise nothing less than an irritating pimple on the country's backside.
Meanwhile, I highly recommend Ahava products and will buy them whenever I see a stall in a shopping centre. Looking forward to more boom sales in the future.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The Age has been caught out by the Australian in today's Cut and Paste:
Britain's The Daily Telegraph on July 5:
NETANYAHU will come under fierce pressure from Obama to extend a 10-month freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Spot the difference. The Age reprints the story on July 7 with two extra adjectives:
NETANYAHU, was last night expected to come under pressure from Obama to extend a 10-month freeze on the building of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Bloomberg reports: NETANYAHU, whose Likud party supports Jewish settlement in the West Bank ...
The Age version on July 10:
MR Netanyahu, whose Likud party supports illegal Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank ...
The latter effort on the part of the Age is an outright lie as it suggests that Netanyahu supports illegal settlements. He does not support illegal settlements because he does not consider them to be illegal. Irrespective, I wonder if the authors from elsewhere are happy about an apparent arbitrary change before publishing their work?
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Strange that the organisers of the protest are relying on "freedom of speech" when many Palestinians stcuk in Gaza don't have that right.
The Painting Blue Skies Over Gaza exhibition opened at the council-run Prahran venue in May.
Australians for Palestine organised the art show, which had Gaza-related paintings by Parkville artist Dora McPhee and works by Palestinian children.
A number of flyers, some describing Israel as an apartheid state with accusations of ethnic cleansing and racist policies, were left about the venue during the show.
A resident who complained to Stonnington Council, Leah, said “many, many individuals” had been concerned by the flyers.
The exhibition was “just a disguise for distributing propaganda,” she said. “It is a publicly-funded place and here we are funding propaganda for Hamas. We were just dumbfounded.”
Monday, July 26, 2010
When the iconic 1970s disco group Boney M rocked Ramallah this week, the local music festival prevented the band from performing one of its biggest hits.
Lead singer Maizie Williams said Palestinian concert organizers told her not to sing "Rivers of Babylon." The song's chorus quotes from the Book of Psalms, referring to the exiled Jewish people's yearning to return to the biblical land of Israel.
Palestinians often question the Jewish historical connection to the Holy Land. Organizers said they asked for the song to be skipped, deeming it "inappropriate."
They have absolutely no shame whatsoever.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Bren Carlill looks back ten years after Yasser Arafat turned his back on Israel's peace offer without makiung a counter offer - Broken dreams in the promised land.
Instead, Arafat gave his people another ten years of misery by unleashing his violent intifada against Israel and the Jews.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
EYE FOR AN EYE? TERRORIST SHOT COP AFTER ISRAEL CARED FOR DAUGHTER:
Police and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) agents have tracked down and arrested members of a Hamas terrorist cell responsible for a June shooting attack that killed police officer Shuki Sofer, who was engaged to be married. Two other officers were wounded in the attack. One of the terrorists, two weeks before the murder, had received humanitarian aid at Israel’s Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, where he had accompanied his six-year-old daughter for surgery that removed a tumor removed from her eye. The operation had been paid for in full by an Israeli charity foundation.
Friday, July 23, 2010
In Turkey, life expectancy is 72.23 and infant mortality is 24.84 per 1,000 births.
In Gaza, life expectancy is 73.68 and infant mortality is 17.71 per 1,000 births.
Turkey has a literacy rate of 88.7% while in Gaza it is 91.9%. (It is much lower in Egypt and other Arab countries where Israel did not establish colleges and universities in the 1970s and 1980s.)
Gaza’s GDP is almost as high as Turkey’s and much, much higher than most of Africa that gets 1,000th of the aid per capita that Gaza gets from the West.
This conclusion is a doozy and probably explains why Western journalists have developed a love affair with Palestinians and in particular the Gazans:
Meanwhile Western governments, misled by Western media, continue to pour more and more money into Gaza for people that don’t need it, while allowing black Africans to starve to death.
As the correspondent for one of Japan’s biggest newspapers said to me last week, “Gaza and the West Bank are the only places in the world where I have seen refugees drive Mercedes.”
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Left wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed the following a week ago but Al Age still follows the company line and continues to look after its flotilla groupie reporters whose heads remain firmly buried in the sand -
French judge: I knew Turkish group behind Gaza flotilla had terror ties in 1996.
It boggles the mind that any self-respecting person who travelled on the Mavi Marmara can't apologise and say that he/she was wrong. Yet in the face of the overwhelming body of evidence that they were duped, the passengers in the suicide flotilla remain in denial. Not one has admitted that they've been conned.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The Age might not have noticed but the two leaders have also remained loyal to the United States and Britain and to themselves despite the killings going on in Afghanistan.
What readers of the Age might not have noticed is that Islamic Terror is responsible on a daily basis for killings everywhere and that Israel is on the front line of the war against Islamic terror groups. Al Age is doing a good job in downplaying the role of these jihadi groups such as Hizb Ut-Tahrir and its controversial leaders who recently shocked the rest of Australia with their forthright comments about the nature of their cause.
Al Age has gone all the way in its pathetic whitewash job on the role of the IHH in the deaths of the nine who were killed when members of this terrorist group attacked Israeli commandos boarding the Mavi Marmara which sought to break Israel's blockade of Gaza, ruled by the fascists in Hamas.
To come out with commentary stating that "[B]oth Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her predecessor Kevin Rudd have been rusted-on supporters of Israel," is indicative of the sheer arrrogance and blind hatred this newspaper has of Israel.
Yet, in spite of the thousands of deaths inflicted by Islamic terror in dozens of locations across the face of the earth, Al Age has devoted reams of its space to condemn Israel for the deaths of nine suicide terrorists and to poo hoo documented evidence including statements from the parents of one of the dead that the IHH were on a suicide mission when they joined the so-called "Free Gaza" flotilla in late May.
Is there any other way to describe this but "loyalty"?
Monday, July 19, 2010
Monty Python could not have scripted this trial of activists who damaged an arms factory because it manufactured arms sold to Israel. The judge appointed (out of retirement) to hear the trial summed up the case to the jury in a manner that can only be described as "bizarre". If this decision is allowed to stand then, as far as British justice is concerned, the law is truly an asshole.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
According to the Jerusalem Post, the Turkish group IHH which was the key organiser of the ill-fated Gaza suicide flotilla, is about to be declared a terrorist group by the United States - US may list Turkish IHH as terror group
Was it only yesterday that these thugs had at least one journo convinced that they were simply choir boys with a handful of troublemakers thrown in for good measure?
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Bronner isn't just telling yet another heart tugging sympathy piece about the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza that places all of the blame on Israel and its policies and, in this respect, the Age may well have (albeit unwittingly) provided a small service to its readers reminding them of the harsh reality of this conflict.
Thanks to Bronner and his collaborators (named in the original NY Times version but not by the Age), we learn of how heavy the hand of Hamas on its populace, of the infighting between Hamas and Fatah, of the hatred and mistrust of the various factions and of how this affects the people's lives. Through all of this, we get a taste of the corrupt nature of the sub-state under which the Palestinians are living in Gaza.
The bottom line is that, essentially, the Gazans are living under the fascist boot heel of Hamas. This should not come as a surprise to those who know that Hamas had its roots in the Moslem Brotherhood which, in this region, aligned itself with Hitler in World War 2. If the extreme left which glorifies movements such as Hamas, Hizbullah and the Turkish IHH which commandeered the recent Free Gaza flotilla, only knew or cared?
There is a paradox in Gaza: While Hamas has no competition for power, it also has a surprisingly small following.
Bronner doesn’t hide the racism of the general population towards the "Jews" (and not the "Zionist entity"). Many of the men are portrayed badly as lazy, drug-taking, dysfunctional and useless. Clearly, this is one piece where the blame is not all put at Israel's feet and we get a true feel of what’s happening in the Hamas thugocracy. We also understand that much of the theatrics about starvation and depradation are untrue and that the real problem of Gaza is much deeper.
In fact, talk about food, and people here get angry because it implies that their struggle is over subsistence rather than quality of life. The issue is not hunger. It is idleness, uncertainty and despair.
It is the idleness, uncertainty and despair for which the Palestinian leadership, the Arab world, the international community and the media all bear responsibility for allowing the situation of these people to continue without attention for more than six decades after five Arab states with the support of the local Arab population entered the region bent on a "momentous massacre" of the Jewish population in a bid to destroy the nascent State of Israel.
The Palestinans of Gaza are truly trapped but not by the Israelis and the Egyptians.
The writer’s interviews with Gazans don’t hide the racism of the population to its neighbours.
He does like the fact that, as he put it, Hamas ''refuses to kneel down to the Jews'', but like most Gazans, he is worried about Palestinian
disunity and blames both factions.
People here seem unable to imagine a political solution to their ills.
Ask Gazans how to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict - two states? One state? - and the answer is mostly a reflexive call to drive Israel out.
"Hamas and Fatah are two sides of the same coin," Ramzi, a public school teacher from the city of Rafah, said in a widely expressed sentiment.
"All the land is ours. We should turn the Jews into refugees and then let the international community take care of them."
That's from a school teacher mind you. No wonder Bronner thinks there's no way out.
Of course, there is a way out. It involves the Gazans joining the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and work on developing their own civil society rather than destroying someone else’s. This seems to be happening in the West Bank. Why can't the true peace lovers on the face of this earth form a flotilla to sail into Gaza with that message instead of the usueless provisions and the gangsters that the Mavi Marmara carried at the end of May?
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Despite well-documented evidence that seven of the nine Turks killed in the violent confrontation aboard the Mavi Marmara had previously declared their desire to become martyr (shaheeds), Fairfax insists that those involved were nothing more than "troublemakers".
The Zionist Council of Victoria tears this argument to shreds on its website but it really doesn't go far enough in its expose of the antics of flotilla participant McGeough who stupidly passes off his flotilla mates as harmless little fleas.
"There are a lot of ominous dots to join there. But a critical one is missing - if these friends of al-Qaeda who became a lynch mob had control of the ship and were so bent on violent confrontation with Israeli forces, why were they so poorly armed?"
The obvious answer is that had they been armed it would have destroyed the sole purpose of their expedition which was to embed themselves among unwitting peaceniks and make Israel look like an out of control aggressor which is how McGeough has been painting it for the past month. As it was, the Israeli commandos boarding the Marvi Marmara weren't exactly struck at by feather dusters but the Fairfax reporter slyly writes this all off as the work of "troublemakers".
In his hast to excoriate Israel and Israel alone, McGeough fails to understand the political implications of the flotilla and the role of the Turkish government.
Naturally, he ignores the real evidence - Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
1. An analysis of the names of the Turks killed in the violent confrontation with the IDF aboard the Mavi Marmara shows that almost all of them (eight of the nine) belonged to IHH or to Islamist Turkish factions or groups affiliated with IHH.
2. The one exception was a 19-year old named Furkan Dogan who had dual Turkish-American citizenship and whose involvement in the confrontation was unclear. In effect, according to an article in Radikal, a small intellectual Turkish newspaper which offers varied points of view, before the confrontation with the IDF Dogan wrote a diary entry attesting to his desire to become a shaheed.
3. The article in Radikal criticized the Turkish government's policy of referring to those killed as shaheeds because their activity was civilian and not religious. According to the paper, it was enough to quote the diary of high school student Furkan Dogan, who wrote the following on the morning before the confrontation: “I think there is not much time left for that moment of martyrdom. Is there anything more honorable? If there is, it should be my mother. I am not sure of that either. Which one’s better? My mother’s compassion or dying for a noble cause?" (radikal.com.tr, June 16, 2010). The same quote appears on another website, which notes that they were his last words (sailanmuslim.com).1 (Note: The above quotation was taken from the Sailanmuslim website.)
4. In addition, a report in the Turkish paper Zaman (quoted by the Israeli media) stated that before Furkan boarded the Mavi Marmara he asked for his parents' blessing. His brother Mustafa said that "we did not expect him to return to us like this. But we are not sorry he was killed as a shaheed." His father said that the family believed Furkan died an honorable death and was blessed in paradise (Haaretz.co.il, June 3; Ynet.co.il, June 4, 2010).
By what measure are such people mere "troublemakers"?
Yes, it's come to this. A Turkish Newspaper and even Al Jazeera can be better relied upon to tell the truth than can this pathetic broadsheet with a political agenda.
What an embarrassment?
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
There is a lot that one could say about Antony Loewenstein but he really says it all by himself.
He recently published the above illustration on his blog and then issued a pithy apology for any offence he might have caused. As JF Beck points out in Irony undetected he's not smart enough to see the irony in his own trivialisation of anti-semitism.
So here's how an idiot issues an apology for causing offence over an issue as serious and as devastating to the Jewish people as Hitler's holocaust:
However, it expressed the sort of extreme views that are widely shared and growing worldwide but on reflection I realise that they should be not be given further oxygen and publicity.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Despite the fact that the man is an out and out fraude, there are some Israelis who would lick his toes and kiss his feet - A peace crime.
Pathetic, isn't it?
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Reaction to my tweet was immediate, overwhelming and a provides a good lesson on why 140 characters should not be used to comment on controversial or sensitive issues, especially those dealing with the Middle East.
It was an error of judgment for me to write such a simplistic comment and I'm sorry because it conveyed that I supported Fadlallah's life's work. That's not the case at all . . . .
Revered across borders yet designated a terrorist. Not the kind of life to be commenting about in a brief tweet. It's something I deeply regret.
Of course, she regrets it. Parisa Khosravi, the senior vice president for CNN International Newsgathering, said in an internal memorandum that "we have decided that she will be leaving the company." and wrote in the memorandum, "At this point, we believe that her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised going forward."
What a pity others in the media haven't latched on that their journalists have long ago compromised their credibility with their own brand of fawning over and protecting terrorist groups from proper scrutiny.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Israel is a Western democracy and a normal country. Nonetheless, Israel has faced abnormal circumstances since its inception. In fact, Israel is the only Western democracy whose existence has been questioned by force, and whose legitimacy is still being questioned independently of its actions.
The recent flotilla crisis in the Mediterranean provided yet another occasion for Israel's detractors to renew their frenzied campaign. It was so even before the facts of that tragic incident had come to light. Eyes were blind to the reasons why Israel had to respond to the Gaza flotilla's clear provocation.
Because we believe Israel is subjected to unfair treatment, and are convinced that defending Israel means defending the values that made and sustain our Western civilization, we have decided to launch the Friends of Israel Initiative. Our goal is to bring reason and decency back to the discussion about Israel. We are an eclectic group, coming from different countries and holding different opinions on a range of issues. It goes without saying that we do not speak for the State of Israel and we do not defend every course of action that it decides upon. We are united, however, by the following beliefs, principles and aims:
First, Israel is a normal, Western democracy and should be treated as such. Its parliamentary system, legal traditions, education and scientific research facilities, and cultural achievements are as fundamental to it as to any other Western society. Indeed, in some of these areas, Israel is a world leader.
Second, attempts to question Israel's basic legitimacy as a Jewish state in the Middle East are unacceptable to people who support liberal democratic values. The State of Israel was founded in the wake of United Nations Resolution 181, passed in 1947. It also arose out of an unbroken Jewish connection to the land that stretches back thousands of years. Israel does not derive its legitimacy, as some claim, from sympathy over the Holocaust. Instead, it derives legitimacy from international law and from the same right to self-determination claimed by all nations.
Third, as a fully legitimate member of the international community, Israel's basic right to self-defense should not be questioned. Nor should it be forgotten that Israel faces unique security threats—from terror groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and from an Iran seeking nuclear weapons.
United Nations condemnations of Israel arising from last year's Goldstone Report on the recent war in Gaza, for example, ignore the security challenges that Israel faces. All democracies should oppose such campaigns, which ultimately undermine the legitimacy not merely of Israel but of the U.N. itself.
Fourth, we must never forget that Israel is on our side in the battle against Islamism and terror. Israel stands on the front line of that fight as a bulwark of Judeo-Christian values. The belief that the democratic world can sacrifice Israel in order to placate Islamism is profoundly wrong and dangerous. Appeasement failed in the 1930s and it will fail today.
Fifth, attempts by people of good faith to facilitate peace between Israel and the Palestinians are always to be supported. But outsiders should beware of attempting to impose their own solutions. Israelis and Palestinians should know how to build a viable peace on their own. We can help them, but we cannot force them.
Sixth, we must be alive to the dangers that the campaign against Israel poses in reawakening anti-Semitism. Hostility to the Jews has been a stain on the Western world's honor for centuries. It is a matter of basic self-respect that we actively confront and oppose new manifestations of an old and ugly problem.
The Friends of Israel Initiative has come together to encourage men and women of goodwill to reconsider their attitudes toward the Jewish state, and to relocate those attitudes inside the best of Western traditions rather than the worst. We urge them to recognize that it is in our own best interests that an increasingly jaded relationship between Israel and many of the world's other liberal democracies is rescued and reinvigorated before it is too late for us all.
Mr. Aznar is a former prime minister of Spain. Mr. Trimble is a former first minister of Northern Ireland. Mr. Bolton is a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Mr. Toledo is a former president of Peru. Mr. Pera is a former president of the Italian Senate. Mr. Roberts is a British historian. Ms. Nirenstein is vice-president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Italian Chamber of Deputies. Mr. Weigel is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Mr. Agostinelli is managing director of the Rhône Group. Mr. Bustelo is a former minister of industry in Spain.
Friday, July 09, 2010
Turkey was the most prominent country in the recent flotilla, but according to a number of indicators, the humanitarian situation in Turkey is worse than it is in Gaza.
Infant mortality in Gaza is 17.7 per thousand; in Turkey it is 24.8. Life expectancy in Gaza is 73.7, whereas in Turkey it is 72.2.
Most of the world's inhabitants are - according to objective data - in a worse situation than the residents of Gaza. This includes those who live in Turkey under Erdogan's rule.
Even by other indicators, such as personal computer use or Internet access, the situation of the residents of Gaza is much better than most of the world's inhabitants.
Two years ago, a British politician claimed that life expectancy in Glasgow East was much lower than in Gaza. The claim caused an uproar. Britain's Channel 4 carried out a scrupulous check and found the claim to be true.
Thus, it is a little strange that humanitarian aid comes from people whose situation is worse. It is Turkey that needs the help.
American aid per capita to Gaza is 7.5 times higher than aid per capita to Haiti, though by any possible indicator, the residents of Gaza are incomparably better off than the residents of Haiti.
What is true is that, thanks to the "brutal" occupation, the Palestinians in Gaza are better off than most of their brethren in neighboring countries.
In other words, next time you read about a flotilla of faux peaceniks mixed together with a bunch of cut throats and cheerleaders from the media, it might be worth suggesting that it turns around and goes back where the aid is really needed.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
It's also clear that those in the media who fawned over the Free Gaza flotilla would be well aware that everything that was done by that movement was done to strengthen the hand of Hamas in Gaza. Most are still too blind to realise it and to this day they continue to spread the lies necessary to substantiate the theatrics even though most fair minded people have seen through them.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
There's one news outlet that remains reticent about this despicable group. Guess which one?
Here are some clues, quoted from the articles above and written elsewhere by reputable journalists:
It also calls on Muslims to fight Jews everywhere, and engages in vicious anti-Jew invective. Last month, HT in Bangladesh issued a press release to advertise a demonstration about the Gaza flotilla which said: "O Muslim armies! Teach the Jews a lesson after which they will need no further lessons. March forth to fight them, eradicate their entity and purify the earth of their filth."
HT explicitly rejects the use of violence in its quest for an Islamic state. But it supports militant campaigns against Western forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and opposes the existence of Israel, which it calls an "illegitimate" state that "must be removed".
Get the picture?
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Except when the mastermind planned the abduction and murder of Jews. Then he's just a "guerilla leader".
May he rot in hell.
Monday, July 05, 2010
Plumbing new depths - CNN's Cheerleader for Hezbollah
This, from CNN's Senior Editor of Middle East Affairs, beggars belief although one can now understand why certain aspects of Hizbullah's conduct seems to get edited out of existence in CNN's reporting.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
So has there been outrage and an outpouring of hatred against the Russian government in the British media? Has the Russian Ambassador been summonsed to meet the Foreign Minister? A call to expel Russian diplomats, break off diplomatic relations, obliterate Russia from the globe?
Not even a yawn.
[Passports are no more holy in this country where nobody seems to care how 36 blank Australian passports managed to come into a known crime family of Lebanese background this week.]
Suddenly, fake passports have become passe.
Saturday, July 03, 2010
The first item was a dull piece on mining taxes but my attention was taken by a report on the arrest of a teenager of Lebanese descent and the scenes outside the Melbourne Magistrates Court as his distressed mother paid out at detectives who gave evidence sobbing, ''You f----ing dogs, you lie in the witness box,'' and who then threw her shoe at a cameraman.
I wondered how the media might cover this story. Would it be dealt with by crime writers or would they recognise the wider implications?
The Melbourne Age surprised me by going with your common garden variety crime tale about a police raid on a family home (Chaouk laid claim to guns, court told) which uncovered weapons and ammunition as well as 36 blank passports believed to be among 100 stolen in 1996. It was clear that this was a story that went far beyond merely allegations of criminality. Surely, we had before us a tale full of political intrigue with international overtones deserving of coverage from a brave journalist prepared to dig deep to uncover and reveal the truth?
I imagined that it might be something like this story (names, places and faces altered to protect the innocent):
Eye witness Report: Suddenly, smoke and the mirrors exploded
PAUL FGEOUGH, MELBOURNE July 04, 2010
[The photographs that got away ... Police enter the Chagluck family compound under the cover of darkness. Photo: Kate Gelachter]
THE police attack was timed for dawn prayers - when a large number of the men of the Chagluck family household were praying in the back yard of the Brooklyn Road family residence and the womenfolk scurried about carrying out an inventory of their household goods stored neatly in a woodpile.
Mother Fatwa was lovingly polishing a pump-action shotgun before returning it to its special place in a wall cavity as the call to prayer could be heard all across the neighbourhood. The streetscape was a peaceful, loving scene of serenity as I cruised past the family compound in my rented four wheel drive with photographer Kate Gelachter seated beside me longingly stroking her thighs. The excitement was building.
It was a front-row seat for the opening to a police operation that was about to go horribly wrong for the Chagluck family, for the people of Australia and for humanity as a whole.
In the blackness before the rising of a burnt-orange moon, all that could be seen of the police around us were pin-points of light, as their shiny police issue paint ball guns glistened under the pink-toned lights of neighbourhood lampposts that dimly lit the streets outside the peace-loving, law-abiding Chagluck family abode.
Then, the tightening noose. Sneaking up and around the house, there were bullet-shaped police cars that soon became impossible to hide as the moonlight and those lampposts made them look a shade of fluorescent pink. First one, then two and maybe four could be seen sneaking in from the rear.
They hunted like hyenas - moving up and ahead on the flanks; pushing in, then peeling away; and finally, lagging before lunging. But as they moved alongside the house the dozen or so helmeted policemen copped the full force of the Chagluck's sprinkler system.
Suddenly, smoke bombs were exploding and I swear I could hear one of the police officers disrespectfully breaking wind in the back yard where prayers were held five times a day.
The following unbiased and totally objective account of what happened in the Chagluck family compound is based on interviews with family and close friends while my news crew were held in custody for three days after our vehicle was intercepted by other police officers who alleged it was unroadworthy.
The police raid was ferocious. They battered every member of the household until they were all black and blue. Many of them were rendered unconscious by heavy blows from police batons. One of cops scared the living suitcases out of Fatwa who became hysterical and has still not recovered to this very day. Another is alleged to have stolen an upper set of dentures belonging to her husband Meshuganeh, the family patriarch, who was still dazed, glassy eyed and frothing from the mouth three days later. No blood was found at the scene because, according to one family member who refused to be identified, a special team of police cleaners arrived to remove all evidence of the struggle.
At week's end, son Omargod, aged 18, 162cm tall and 125kg appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court charged with multiple offences, including dealing with firearms. The prosecution painted him as a thug and a gangster in the making but relatives disagree. They say Omargod only recently returned from a vacation where he visited his parents' birthplace in Lebanon's peaceful Bekaa Valley and then stopped over to spend time doing voluntary lifeguard work at Gaza's new Olympic sized pool, followed by a stint at a youth camp before it was burnt down by Hamas activists. Mother Fatwa had been delighted to notice on his return that, despite the deprivation all around the open air prison that is Gaza; her son came home in good spirits having gained 10kgs on account of numerous visits to the local marketplaces and restaurants. She scoffs at the charges against Omargod relating to 36 blank passports believed to be from 100 missing since 1996 and says her son is being framed.
"I tell you this is the work of the Mossad. Everyone knows the Jews forge passports all of the time. They do this to pees us off... and besides, it was 14 years ago and Omargod was only four years old when cousin Hanif stole them."
Omargod's uncle Faroukh was even more forthcoming. He said the police raid was a cover up operation ordered by people in high places and he has good reason to believe.
"The world knows the Zionist pigs and monkeys control everything. I read about that red-haired woman and her boyfriend who works for the Jews. They run everything with their lobbies. I tell my sister Fatwa to throw her shoe at the cameraman as an act of defiance because this is not about any crime committed by Omargod. I swear he didn't beat up all those neighbours like the police say. He's a good boy and needs weapons to protect his family. Besides, this is all about the siege and the occupation."
Omargod will spend the weekend in custody awaiting a magistrate's decision on whether he should be bailed but, given the hysteria whipped up by the Zionist controlled media in this country, is there any likelihood that he and his saintly and long-suffering family will ever receive the justice they long for so badly?
■ FGeough and Gelachter were yesterday released after being detained in the Melbourne Remand Centre for three days.
■ Management and staff of this newspaper wish to disclose that reporter Paul FGeough is a partner of Bulvan Chagluck, sister of Omargod Chagluck. Kate Gelachter is peesed off.
Friday, July 02, 2010
You know the Age is really struggling when it asks its Middle East correspondent Jason Koutsoukis to provide "analysis" on matters pertaining to the region he is supposed to cover. I use the word "supposed" because I can't bring myself to believe he covers all of the Middle East anyway. Gaza and the West Bank are particular areas in relation to which we only receive part of the news i.e. the part that doesn't cover many of the excesses of Hamas and the PA including calls to genocide, murder, mysogyny, corruption and fraud. You know, the stuff about which readers of the Age would most likely have no interest in knowing about.
Koutsoukis is a reasonably competent reporter but as an analyst, he is chopped liver. You can see that from his last effort which concerns the judicial inquiry investigating Israel's raid on the Gaza aid flotilla last month - Israeli Gaza probe omits key evidence. The inquiry is charged with investigating the legality under international law of the Gaza blockade and of actions taken to enforce the blockade.
The probe has barely started but Koutsoukis has already determined that it "omits key evidence". I find that strange because surely he's not privy at this stage to all of the evidence planned to be called at the hearing? We know that soldiers and military personnel involved might not be called in open hearings for security reasons but does this mean their evidence will not be produced to the inquiry? Does it mean that the number of relevant issues to be dealt with during the course of the hearing will not be adequately covered?
Koutsoukis calls into question some of the claims made by Israeli officials about what happened when its naval commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara and states that "passengers were alleged to have al-Qaeda ties, were planning terrorist acts and were trying to lynch commandos: the evidence of this needs to be properly investigated."
He throws in the line that another "claim that passengers fired at the commandos has since been shown to be untrue," and that really interests me because he doesn't tell his readers which committee of inquiry "properly investigated" that one and found it to be untrue. The way I see it, he's telling us that Israel needs a committee of inquiry to show that something's true or untrue but anyone else can simply make the point and the case is closed.
Koutsoukis concludes that Israel's refusal to accede to an open inquiry (Goldstein anyone?) only suggests it has something to hide. The reality is that Israel, as a sovereign state is entitled to investigate the matter as it sees proper without outside interference and bias. As an aside, I'm still searching for an analysis in the Age accusing North Korea of having something to hide after it killed 50 South Korean sailors recently. Is there an international committee looking into recent deaths in rioting in Thailand, the genocides in Darfur and the Congo, the every day bombing murders in Irak, Afghanistan and Pakistan?
Only Israel and Israel alone is held up to a totally different standard even when only Israel is conducting an investigation in the presence of independent observers and everyone else does nada. Israel has nothing to hide but I suspect that much of the rest of the world is in hiding when the brutality of Darfur and the Congo are shrugged off as nothing but the deaths of activists who violently attack commandos with iron bars, slingshots and knives demand high level scrutiny.
Perhaps, Koutsoukis and the Age also have something to hide? They certainly have a major problem with the violence of many who travelled on the Mavi Marmara. The Fairfax Middle East correspondent has his name attached to a report in the Age which accepted Israeli claims that some of the passengers were in fact trying to lynch commandos. It was a grudgingly concession of the veracity of the Israeli version of the events that the bloodshed occurred as a result of the actions of provocateurs who prepared an ambush for the boarding party:
"Among the scores of people wounded on Monday were several Israeli soldiers whom the military said had been beaten with sticks and stabbed as soon as they landed on the deck. Video footage released by Israel appeared to back up its claim."
Then Paul McGeough who travelled with the so-called "peace activists" rode into town with some dirty allegations against the Israelis but no evidence to back up his claims. His supposed "eyewitness" accounts from the flotilla carried zero credibility because they flew totally in the face of visual evidence. It was bad enough for McGeough's case that his eyewitness fables were contradicted by IDF footage. What made it worse for him was that photographs taken by the IHH terrorists who organised and financed the flotilla and then attacked the Israelis when they boarded the Mavi Marmara were published in the Turkish press along with boasts about their exploits (the joke is that a month later these thugs are fabricating allegations of torture against the Israelis). McGeough was left with little room to move but you have to give him credit. To this very day, he continues to try to wriggle out of his dilemma.
Ironically, the photographs (see one above) published by the IHH and which the Age dares not mention demonstrably tell us that the Israeli commandos were not dealing with your usual "peace activists" at all when they boarded the Mavi Marmara. Along with a substantial body of material left behind by the provocateurs, they may well prove to be among the most compelling pieces of evidence put to the Terkel inquiry.
And in the meantime, the continuing saga of the blank pages leaves open the question of what Fairfax is hiding by airbrushing Palestinian terrorist excesses out of its newspapers.
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Reporter Paul McGeogh who recently produced some venomous anti-Israel propaganda in the Age over what was clearly a flawed and fraudulent so-called "Free Gaza" flotilla has a Palestinian girlfriend*.
Does the Age believe this might be an issue when he exercises his judgement over what to report when he's covering Israel/Palestine issues?
And is somebody at Fairfax going to look into the liaisons of other staffers who report and provide analysis or have anything to do with decisions on what to report and what not to report in respect of the same conflict?
* The following is an excerpt from Crikey’s "Tips and Rumours" section, from the 18-Sep-2009 edition:
"Fairfax’s veteran war reporter Paul McGeough may be entering a whole new type of conflict after leaving his wife, Walkley Award-winning business journalist Pamela Williams, for a Palestinian woman many years his junior. McGeough, 55, went to Washington earlier this year to promote his book about Hamas and became captivated by the long, dark tresses of the youthful Nadia, whose family live in Ramallah on the West Bank.
"McGeough has been lobbying to replace Jason Koutsoukis as the Fairfax Middle-East correspondent for some time and the word is that although the SMH (his Fairfax tribal home) is willing, The Age has still not agreed. The issue for Age editor Paul Ramadge, apart from McGeough’s legendary expense claims, is how to deal with questions of objectivity and balance when one’s correspondent is in bed with one side of the conflict (so to speak)."
Personally, I don't endorse Crikey and I'm not interested in who McGeough or Koutsoukis for that matter, sleep with but I think the Age deserves to be questioned on these matters now that it opened up the Pandora's Box and made a front page issue of Ross Burns' mudslinging.