The Right capture the Left’s deep-seated hatred of all things Jewish
 06 Jul 2010

Here’s the proof we need; the Huffington Post is infused with anti-Semitism by placing devil horns above the head of Benjamin Netanyahu.


America shows its card and Israel likes the deck
 06 Jul 2010

The supposedly anticipated meeting between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu was a nice piece of theatre. Everybody said nice things about the other and the prospect of peace was on the cards.
As if.
What we’re left with in the liberal Zionist community in the US are campaigns like this:
How we are helping Islamists
 06 Jul 2010

Dissenting British historian Mark Curtis has a record of skewering the realities of his country’s foreign policy. We don’t just work with the “enemy”; we’ve become the enemy.
His latest:

When the London bombers struck five years ago, many people blamed the invasion of Iraq for inspiring them. But the connection between 7/7 and British foreign policy goes much deeper. The terrorist threat to Britain is partly “blowback”, resulting from a web of British covert operations with militant Islamist groups stretching back decades. And while terrorism is held up as the country’s biggest security challenge, Whitehall’s collusion with radical Islam is continuing.
Two of the four London bombers were trained in Pakistani camps run by the Harkat ul-Mujahideen (HUM) terrorist group, which has long been sponsored by Pakistan to fight Indian forces in Kashmir. Britain not only arms and trains Pakistan but in the past provided covert aid benefiting the HUM. There are credible suggestions that Britain facilitated the dispatch of HUM volunteers to fight in Yugoslavia and Kosovo in the 90s. Earlier, MI6′s covert war in Afghanistan involved the military training of various Islamist groups to counter the Soviet occupation of the country. Many HUM militants were instructed by an insurgent faction that Britain was covertly training and arming with anti-aircraft missiles.
One of that faction’s warlords was Jalalludin Haqqani, who is now the Taliban’s overall military commander fighting the British; his past is not something the Ministry of Defence relates to the young soldiers deployed to Helmand province. Another old friend is the Afghan commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, known as a ruthless killer, who was given covert aid and training in the 1980s and was even received by officials in Whitehall. It was Hekmatyar who Britain backed to conduct secret operations inside the Muslim republics of the Soviet Union.
The further twist is that Britain is now reliant on doing a deal with these forces to secure something more than a humiliating exit from the increasingly brutal war in Afghanistan. The stakes are exceedingly high – General Sir David Richards, the head of the British army, has said that the “UK’s authority and reputation in the world” are on the line in Afghanistan. He also remarked last week that talks should be held with the Taliban “pretty soon”.
In fact, Whitehall has been desperately trying to do a deal with the Taliban since at least 2004, when it is claimed that Maulana Fazlur Rahman, a radical pro-Taliban cleric in Pakistan, was invited to visit the Foreign Office. Rahman told the Pakistani media that “Britain is holding indirect talks with the Taliban militia to seek an honourable American exit from Afghanistan”.


New York Times discovers how colonies are formed
 06 Jul 2010

Welcome, New York Times, to the reality of US groups funding illegal settlements in the West Bank. Better late than never:

Twice a year, American evangelicals show up at a winery in this Jewish settlement in the hills of ancient Samaria to play a direct role in biblical prophecy, picking grapes and pruning vines.
Believing that Christian help for Jewish winemakers here in the occupied West Bank foretells Christ’s second coming, they are recruited by a Tennessee-based charity called HaYovel that invites volunteers “to labor side by side with the people of Israel” and “to share with them a passion for the soon coming jubilee in Yeshua, messiah.”
But during their visit in February the volunteers found themselves in the middle of the fight for land that defines daily life here. When the evangelicals headed into the vineyards, they were pelted with rocks by Palestinians who say the settlers have planted creeping grape vines on their land to claim it as their own. Two volunteers were hurt. In the ensuing scuffle, a settler guard shot a 17-year-old Palestinian shepherd in the leg.
“These people are filled with ideas that this is the Promised Land and their duty is to help the Jews,” said Izdat Said Qadoos of the neighboring Palestinian village. “It is not the Promised Land. It is our land.”
HaYovel is one of many groups in the United States using tax-exempt donations to help Jews establish permanence in the Israeli-occupied territories — effectively obstructing the creation of a Palestinian state, widely seen as a necessary condition for Middle East peace.


Documentary on Sydney Finkelstein premiere
 06 Jul 2010

Independent Australian Jewish Voices and Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine recently organised the Australian premiere of American Radical, on the life and times of Jewish dissenter Norman Finkelstein.
Australian writer and journalist Reuben Brand made a short documentary of the evening’s proceedings:
Nothing to see here, Gaza blockade continues
 05 Jul 2010

Israel’s supposed easing of the siege on Gaza is simply an attempt to get Washington off its back.
The Strip remains essentially sealed.
Palestinian legislative council member Dr Mustafa Barghouti is right:

I think the blockade is illegal, it’s against international law, it’s an act of collective punishment, and it should be removed immediately and completely.
What we see here is what they call an easing of the blockade. It’s nothing but modifying the collective punishment to which people are subjected.


Gillard remains in the gutter over asylum seekers (and she feels fine)
 05 Jul 2010

Australia’s new refugee policy is truly a “he-man” competition. Who can seem toughest on those evil people smugglers? Who can maximise political capital over the handful of desperate souls from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Iraq keen to make a better life?
Opening a regional processing centre in East Timor smacks of a typical Western colonial mentality; bribe a poor neighbour to take our mess (and close the door on the way out):

It’s not the Pacific Solution — it’s the Timor Sea Solution.
Julia Gillard’s decision to ask East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta to allow a regional processing centre on his island sounds familar — as familiar as John Howard setting up just such a camp on Nauru.
Turning the boats back, she says, is a shallow slogan that amounts to nonsense. And so it is. She makes no bones about Tony Abbott’s claim that this is what he would do. The asylum seekers would simply sabotage their boats and Australian authorities would have to rescue them, she says. Shades of children overboard.
Gillard’s whole approach is to stop the boats, however. The message she wants sent is that asylum seekers shouldn’t get in boats in the first place.
And how is that message to be delivered? Get in a boat for Australia and you’ll find yourself delivered to East Timor quick smart.
No matter how Gillard tried to couch her words, she is in John Howard territory.

Dom Knight has it about right:

Let’s be more humane to these poor asylum seekers, as we ship them off to a place that’s less pleasant than Indonesia. I’m in awe, JG. Awe.


What the lessons of the Holocaust should teach us
05 Jul 2010

We reported last week about the spraying of graffiti about Palestine in Warsaw.
Now, some more details:

A group of Israeli left-wing activists and pro-Palestinian demonstrators last week sprayed graffiti on remnants of the Warsaw Ghetto, calling for all ghettos to be liberated, including Gaza.
One of the activists was conscientious objector Yonatan Shapira, an Israel Air Force pilot who authored the Pilot’s Letter – a 2003 statement signed by 27 Israeli pilots who publicly refused to fly missions over the Palestinian territories. Shapira was subsequently ousted from reserve duty and also lost his job as a commercial pilot.
Last week Shapira joined a group of Israeli, Palestinian and Polish activists at a demonstration near the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto, where they sprayed graffiti on one of the walls saying “Liberate all ghettos” in Hebrew and “Free Gaza and Palestine” in English.
The activists’ rally took place near the last fragment of the perimeter wall of the Ghetto. They also hung Palestinian flags from the wall.
Shapira on Monday defended his actions, saying, “The Holocaust cannot be appropriated only by Bibi [Benjamin Netanyahu], [Avigdor] Lieberman or anyone else in the Israeli government.
“My action is not controversial,” Shapira told Army Radio on Monday. “I am not saying there is a comparison with the monstrosity of Nazi death camps, but I am saying we must talk about the silence in Israel and the world when people are confined in a ghetto-like place.”
Shapira went on to call the Israeli public indifferent and said “we will do everything to wake it up, even spray graffiti on an abandoned ghetto wall.”
During last week’s protest, Shapira said, “Most of my family came from Poland and many of my relatives were killed in the death camps during the Holocaust. When I walk in what was left from the Warsaw Ghetto, I can’t stop thinking about the people of Gaza who are not only locked in an open air prison but are also being bombarded by fighter jets, attack helicopters and drones, flown by people whom I used to serve with before my refusal in 2003.”
He continued, “I am also thinking about the delegations of young Israelis that are coming to see the history of our people but also are subjected to militaristic and nationalistic brainwashing on a daily basis. Maybe if they see what we wrote here today they will remember that oppression is oppression, occupation is occupation and crimes against humanity are crimes against humanity, whether they have been committed here in Warsaw or in Gaza.”
Shapira said he feels it is important to express these views as Israelis and Jews and as offspring of Holocaust survivors.


Just what is Washington getting from Israel?
 05 Jul 2010

Thaddeus Russell, The Daily Beast:

The history of Israel and its relationship with the U.S. is infinitely complex, but there’s one damning fact that’s ignored as often as The Question: There was not a single act of Arab terrorism against Americans before 1968, when the U.S. became the chief supplier of military equipment and economic aid to Israel. In light of this fact, it’s difficult to credibly sustain the argument that Arab terrorism is spawned by Islam’s alleged promotion of violence and antipathy toward American culture or by a “natural” Arab anti-Semitism. It also suggests that no matter what policies Israel enacts to protect itself—even a withdrawal from the occupied territories or a two-state “solution”—it must be a perpetual wartime state.


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