Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Obama is Jazzed about the New Egypt

Mike L.

{Cross-posted at Israel Thrives and Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers.}

Jonathan Tobin has a piece up at Commentary entitled, Why Is Obama Bragging About Egypt?

I, for one, think that is an excellent question.  Discussing Obama and Clinton's recent 60 Minutes joint interview, he writes:
The real headline out of the interview ought to center on the following remark by the president in response to a rather soft question about his “lead from behind” strategy in the Middle East:
President Obama: Well, Muammar Qaddafi probably does not agree with that assessment, or at least if he was around, he wouldn’t agree with that assessment. Obviously, you know, we helped to put together and lay the groundwork for liberating Libya. You know, when it comes to Egypt, I think, had it not been for the leadership we showed, you might have seen a different outcome there.
Let me get this straight. President Obama is not merely bragging about a conflict in Libya that led to chaos not only in that country that produced the murders of four Americans including our ambassador. He is also saying that he thinks he positively impacted the outcome of the power struggle in Egypt over the last two years and actually thinks his “leadership” helped create a situation about which we are happy. So what he’s telling us is that he’s not merely pleased with what he did or didn’t do, but that he thinks the current situation in Cairo in which the most populous Arab country is now run by a Muslim Brotherhood government led by a raving anti-Semite is a good thing about which he can brag on national TV.
It's dumbfounding, really.

Barack Obama is so detached from reality that he is willing to actually take credit for the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.  I hardly know what to say, it's so ridiculous.  Ever since the Brotherhood came into power Obama's Jewish-Left supporters kept telling us that the administration really had little to do with their success in Egypt and, besides, they came to power through electoral means, so what can anyone do?

But now we have Obama, himself, actually taking a measure of credit for the Islamist Egyptian revolution.  The guy is happy about it.  The Muslim Brotherhood is an enemy of the United States and, yet, the American president feels satisfied that through his "leadership" they were able to come into power in the most important Arab-Muslim country in the entire region.

Y'know, it was only a few days ago that Laurie said to me, "Jeez, don't you ever get writer's block?  I've never seen you write so much."  And I told her something like, "It's got nothing to do with me.  I just read the Jewish and Israeli press and there is always, but always, something remarkably stupid going on."

So, Barack Obama has gone on national television, on 60 Minutes no less, and has taken credit for the rise of the most anti-Semitic organization on the planet in Egypt.  It's incredible and I continue to insist that Barack Obama is not nearly so intelligent as they tell us he is.  He was foolish enough to promote the so-called "Arab Spring" to begin with, but to now take credit for the Brotherhood in Egypt?

I'm telling you guys, if Obama ran stark-naked through the streets of Tel Aviv waving a Nazi flag and blasting Wagner from his iphone, Jewish "progressives" would still support the guy.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Back To The Seventies With Che


The Ape has been let loose at The Conversation.

A human rights activist at a university? Talk about going roaring  retro. There hasn't  been one of those since the seventies. The last time Che Gorilla was at a university come to think of it.

Israeli elections:

the return of the centre

Benjamin Netanyahu will remain Israel’s prime minister, but the rise of centrist parties have made his choices for coalition partners far more difficult. EPA/Oliver Weiken

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bruising victory in Israel’s election was costly.
The hawkish atmosphere over electing members of the 19th Knesset saw the highest voter turnout since 1999 and some surprise. The wind did blow to the right of politics, which is not to say that it did not deliver its host of surprises. Israel’s political representatives have ratcheted up the rhetoric.
Before voting, Netanyahu sensed danger from such contenders as Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, a grouping keen to abolish military draft exemptions for ultra-Orthodox civilians along with a host of generous subsidies.
Atid eventually came in with 19 seats, second to Netanyahu’s Likud at 31 (down from 11 seats from the previous election).
“The Likud government is in danger, go vote for us for the sake of the country’s future,” Netanyahu proclaimed on the eve of the election.
Prior to the election, Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitenu coalition was obsessed by a battle of the right wings. Habayit Hayehudi(Jewish Home), lead by Naftali Bennett, former head of the Judea and Samaria Settlement Council, was seeking to position himself as a possible “powerbroker”. As the new glamorous reactionary, he did not do quite as well as he had hoped. His influence is, however, unmistakable.
Given the nature of Israeli politics, coalitions are a frequent thing. Netanyahu will be in search of allies. They are not likely to stem from Bennett’s side, given that the software tycoon is more than happy to go the distance with reactionary politics. His position, in part, makes Netanyahu look like an enlightened progressive. For one, Bennett has decided that Israel should give up the ghost on reaching any consensus with the Palestinians. His party, as noted in The Economist, is “a brash reincarnation of the venerable but moribund National Religious Party.” Jewish settlements in the West Bank are promoted with fire brand conviction, and annexation has not been ruled out as a possibility.
yawn  read on

The Ape was moved to say this in response to another commenter.

Che Gorilla

Human Rights Activist
If you are basing your opinion on the rot that pours from Robert Fisk in Lebanon then there is absolutely no chance of any correlation between it and historical accuracy or even the truth. Fisk has never been right about anything. His analysis is instinctively and violently anti-Israel and anti-American and so therefore the laws of probability would suggest he would get something right over twenty five years or more. Not Fisk. Whether it is the Israeli elections or civil society, the rise of Hezbollah, Iraq, the Arab Spring, Palestinian intransigence, Islamism, you name it, Fisk is always wrong. Its uncanny.
The Israeli election result came as a surprise only to those who get their news from the Western Israel-hostile media or who take the opinions of Israel bashing Western academics seriously. From Chomsky to Lynch none of them are worth feeding. It's about time we stopped feeding them. None of them could earn an honest living outside the universities but at least the dole or a disability allowance would be cheaper.
The roadblock to peace is not Israel. Only if you set aside history and the facts could you conclude that. A "Palestinian" state was first proposed by Israel in 1949 and has been continuously on offer since. It is quite dishonest to ignore the detailed and specific proposals including the quite extraordinary offer by Olmert in 2008.
The roadblock is Palestinian, indeed Islamic, intransigence. Since the Islamic Revolution and the rise of Islamism the problem is worse now than it has ever been before. This has been accompanied by a global blood curdling rising tide of genocidal antisemitism that threatens Jews everywhere but especially in Europe including the UK.. It is quite simply vile to ignore this or to blame Israel and the Jews for it (as Fisk does)
So is the refusal of Western academics, politicians and commentators to acknowledge or even to talk about this. It is considered rude in "polite" trendy circles to even raise the subject.

Obama Arming Genocidal Egyptian Islamists

Mike L.

{Cross-posted at Israel Thrives and Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers.}

U.S. gift of F-16 fighters headed to Egypt, despite Morsi's harsh rhetoric

Four F-16 fighter jets left the U.S. this morning, bound for Egypt as part of a foreign aid package critics say should have been scrapped when the nation elected a president who has called President Obama a liar and urged that hatred of Jews be instilled in children. 
A source who works on the Naval Air Force Base in Dallas confirmed the departure of the state-of-the-art fighter planes to Sixteen F-16s and 200 Abrams tanks are to be given to the Egyptian government before the end of the year under a foreign aid deal signed in 2010 with then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a longtime U.S. ally.
I wonder what it will take for Obama's Jewish supporters to finally yank their heads from the sand and realize just how bad this president is for the Jewish State of Israel and, thus, for the Jewish people more generally?

When Obama helped install the Muslim Brotherhood into power in Egypt it's possible that he was ignorant of the nature of the organization, believing it be of a moderate and peaceful nature.  Of course, if Obama did think so it would reveal a level of ignorance so complete as to be entirely irresponsible for any high government official.  Given the history of the Brotherhood, both recent and otherwise, it is hard to imagine that Obama thought the organization was moderate, but that doesn't mean it was not what he believed.  And it is only if Obama did think the organization moderate that we can possibly justify his helping them into power and arming them to the teeth.

Obama no longer has any such excuse.  We have Morsi on video frothing at the mouth and encouraging the education of Egyptian children into genocidal Jew hatred.  This can only mean that Obama must know that Morsi and the Brotherhood are anything but moderate and if he were to do a little reading he would learn that one of the primary ideological forebears of the Brotherhood is Nazi Germany.

Yet he still insists on sending them state-of-the-art American made weaponry.

At this point I must conclude that Obama's Jewish supporters simply do not care about the well-being of the Jewish State of Israel.  If even after this one continues to support this president it becomes very difficult to see how one can also be considered a supporters of the State of Israel.  One cannot be a supporter of Israel if one also supports a president that helps a fascist organization like the Brotherhood into power and arms that government despite the most brutal and hate-filled anti-Semitism spraying from the lips of Mohammed Morsi.

I can only conclude that it doesn't matter what Obama says or does, his Jewish supporters will support him no matter what.  If Obama were to urinate on an Israeli flag while crying out "Alahu Akbar!" and throttling Tzipi Livni on national television they would still support him.  If Barack Obama were to fly to Israel for the purpose of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers, like Edward Said did, they would explain that this is "tough love."

There has got to come a point when reality intrudes into the consciousness of even the most ideological so that they can acknowledge that reality, adjust their thinking accordingly, and move on.

We're still waiting.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Difference Between Antisemitism and Antizionism


Don't you know by now?

By Steven Plaut

Say What? Anti-Semites? Who, us anti-Zionists? US? We have nothing against Jews as such. 

We just hate Zionism and Zionists. We think Israel does not have a right to exist. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such. Heavens to Mergatroyd. Marx Forbid. We are humanists. Progressives. Peace lovers.

Anti-Semitism is the hatred of Jews. Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionism and Israeli policies. The two have nothing to do with one another. Venus and Mars. Night and Day. Trust us.

Sure, we think the only country on the earth that must be annihilated is Israel. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

Sure, we think that the only children on earth whose being blown up is ok if it serves a good cause are Jewish children. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

Sure we think that if Palestinians have legitimate grievances this entitles them to mass murder Jews. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

Naturally, we think that the only people on earth who should never be allowed to exercise the right of self-defense are the Jews. Jews should only resolve the aggression against them through capitulation, never through self-defense. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We only denounce racist apartheid in the one country in the Middle East that is NOT a racist apartheid country. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We refuse to acknowledge the Jews as a people, and think they are only a religion. We do not have an answer to how people who do NOT practice the Jewish religion can still be regarded as Jews. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We think that all peoples have the right to self-determination, except Jews, and including even the make-pretend Palestinian "people". But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We hate it when people blame the victims, except of course when people blame the Jews for the jihads and terrorist campaigns against them. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We think the only country in the Middle East that is a fascist anti-democratic one is the one that has free elections. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We demand that the only country in the Middle East with free speech, free press, or free courts be destroyed. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We oppose military aggression, except when it is directed at Israel. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We really understand suicide bombers who murder bus loads of Jewish children and we insist that their demands be met in full. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We think the only conflict on earth that must be solved through dismembering one of the parties to that conflict is the one involving Israel. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We do not think that Jews have any human rights that need to be respected and especially not the right to ride a bus without being murdered. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

There are Jewish leftist anti-Zionists and we consider this proof that anti-Zionists could not possibly be anti-Semitic. Not even the ones who cheer when Jews are mass murdered. These are the only Jews we think need be acknowledged or respected. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We do not think murder proves how righteous and just the cause of the murderer is, except when it comes to murderers of Jews. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We do not think the Jews are entitled to their own state and must submit to being a minority in a Rwanda-style "bi-national state", although no other state on earth, including the 22 Arab countries, should be similarly expected to be deprived of its sovereignty. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such
We think that Israel's having a Jewish majority and a star on its flag makes it a racist apartheid state. We do not think any other country having an ethnic-religious majority or having crosses or crescents or "Allah Akbar" on its flag is racist or needs dismemberment. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We condemn the "mistreatment" of women in the only country of the Middle East in which they are not mistreated. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We condemn the "mistreatment" of minorities in the only country in the Middle East in which minorities are NOT brutally suppressed and mass murdered. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We demand equal citizen rights, which is why the only country in the Middle East in need of extermination is the only one in which they exist. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We have no trouble with the fact that there is no freedom of religion in any Arab countries. But we are mad at hell at Israel for violating religious freedom, and never mind that we are never quite sure where or when it does so. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

So how can you possibly say we are anti-Semites? We are simply anti-Zionists. We seek peace and justice, that's all. And surely that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

hat tip Shirlee

Israel Elections (Updated)


Preliminary Results

The preliminary results are as follows:

Likud -Yisrael Beiteinu: 31 

Yesh Atid: 18-19 

Labor: 17 

Habayit Hayehudi: 12 

Shas: 11-13 

Hatnua: 6-7 

Meretz: 6-7 

United Torah Judaism: 6 

Hadash: 3-5 

United Arab List-Taal: 3-4 

Balad: 2 

Otzma Leyisrael: 0-2 

Kadima: 0

via Israel Thrives
  1. Arutz Sheva discussing election results live and in English.
  2. Here's the prelim poll results:

    Likkud dives down to 31 mandates or less; Yesh Atid, a new centrist middle-class party, is the big surprise with 18–20 mandates; Labor gets 16–18 mandates; 12–14 for Jewish Home (Bennett's party); 12 or less for Shas, the Sephardi Ultra-Orthodox party.

    This is a social issues win. Israeli Jews have overwhelmingly voted for welfare state policies. The hawkish stance on geopolitics has not diminished, however, as Bennett's gains show. Just as I said, it's not an either-or but a question of which is considered more important.


    A preliminary analysis from Barry Rubin

    TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2013

    Israel's Election: A Preliminary Analysis

    By Barry Rubin

    As expected, Israel has once again made Benjamin Netanyahu its prime minister. The results were not as positive for him as they might have been but are good enough to reelect him.

    While some might find this paradoxical, the results show that Israelis have a basic consensus and yet have very different ways of  expressing their political positions. This isn’t surprising given the fact that 32 parties were on the ballot.

    First, though, a myth that has at times become a propaganda campaign should be exposed. There were numerous reports in the Western media that the Israeli electorate was going far to the right, didn’t want peace, and that Israeli democracy was in jeopardy. None of this had any real basis in fact and the election results show these claims to be false.

    The main story of the election was supposed to be the rise of the far right Ha-Bayit ha-Yahudi Party. In fact, though, it received only about 10 percent of the vote which is usual for that sector. In comparison, about one-third went to liberal or moderate left parties, and about one-quarter to centrist parties.

    According to reports which are not final but are close to the ultimate result, Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitaynu list received 31 of 120 seats. The Labor Party made some comeback with 17 but came in third. Labor’s hope that its showing would make Israel a mainly two-party system clearly failed.

    The big winner was Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid with 19 that became the second largest party, while Tsipi Livni’s party obtained 7.  The appeal of Lapid and Livni are precisely that nobody really knows what they stand for but it is certainly nothing to either extreme.

    In other words, 26 seats went to vaguely reformist somewhat centrist or mildly liberal parties that don’t have any clear or strong stands except to promise better government.

    On the far right, Ha-Bayit ha-Yehudi, led by Naftali Bennett, got 12.

    On the far left, Meretz obtained 7, better than it expected, while the Communists got 3, the Islamists 3, and the Arab nationalists 2. The last three parties depend mostly on Arab votes and it was a poor showing for that deeply divided sector.

Britain Has Been Lost


Snitched from Israel Thrives who swiped it from Caroline Glick

In an interview with Haaretz in November 2010, British novelist Martin Amis said the following about discussions of Israel in his motherland:

I live in a mildly anti-Semitic country, and Europe is mildly anti-Semitic, and they hold Israel to a higher moral standard than its neighbors. If you bring up Israel in a public meeting in England, the whole atmosphere changes. The standard left-wing person never feels more comfortable than when attacking Israel. Because they are the only foreigners you can attack. Everyone else is protected by having dark skin, or colonial history, or something. But you can attack Israel. And the atmosphere becomes very unpleasant. It is traditional, snobbish, British anti-Semitism combined with present-day circumstances.

After participating last week in a debate in London about Israeli communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines organized by the self-consciously pretentious Intelligence Squared debating society, I can now say from personal experience that Amis is correct. The public atmosphere in England regarding Israel is ugly and violent. 

The resolution we debated read: "Israel is destroying itself with its settlement policy. If settlement expansion continues Israel will have no future."

My debating partner was Danny Dayan, the outgoing head of the Yesha Council. 

We debated Daniel Levy, one of the founders of J-Street and the drafter of the Geneva Initiative, and the son of Lord Michael Levy, one of Tony Blair's biggest fundraisers; and William Sieghart, a British philanthropist who runs a non-profit that among other things, champions Hamas. Levy has publicly stated that Israel's creation was immoral. And Sieghart has a past record of saying that Israel's delegitimization would be a salutary proces and calling for a complete cultural boycott of Israel while laudingHamas. 

We lost overwhelmingly. I think the final vote tally was something like 500 for the resolution and 100 against it.

A couple of impressions I took away from the experience: First, I can say without hesitation that I hope never to return to Britain. I actually don't see any point. Jews are targeted by massive anti-Semitism of both the social and physical varieties. Why would anyone Jewish want to live there?

As to visiting as an Israeli, again, I just don't see the point. The discourse is owned by anti-Israel voices. They don't make arguments to spur thought, but to end it, by appealing to people's passions. 

For instance, in one particularly ugly segment, Levy made the scurrilous accusation that Israel systematically steals land from the Palestinians. Both Dayan and I demanded that he provide just one example of his charge. And the audience raged against us for our temerity at insisting that he provide substantiation for his baseless allegation. In the event, he failed to substantiate his allegation.
At another point, I was asked how I defend the Nazi state of Israel. When I responded by among other things giving the Nazi pedigree of the Palestinian nationalist movement founded by Nazi agent Haj Amin el Husseini and currently led by Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas, the crowd angrily shouted me down. 

I want to note that the audience was made up of upper crust, wealthy British people, not unwashed rabble rousers. And yet they behaved in many respects like a mob when presented with pro-Israel positions. 

I honestly don't know whether there are policy implications that arise from my experience in London last week. I have for a long time been of the opinion that Israel shouldn't bother to try to win over Europe because the Europeans have multiple reasons for always being anti-Israel and none of them have anything to do with anything that Israel does. As I discuss in my book, these reasons include anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, addiction to Arab oil, and growing Muslim populations in Europe. 

I was prepared to conduct a civilized debate based on facts and reasoned argumentation. I expected it to be a difficult experience. I was not expecting to be greeted by a well-dressed mob. My pessimism about Europeans' capacity to avail themselves to reasoned, fact-based argumentation about Israel has only deepened from the experience. 

One positive note, I had a breakfast discussion last Wednesday morning with activists from the Zionist Federation of Britain. The people I met are committed, warm, hardworking Zionists. I wish them all the best, and mainly that means, that I hope that these wonderful people and their families make aliyah. 

While their work is worthwhile, there is no future for Jews in England.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Inauguration


Dear Abby,

My husband has a long record of money problems. He runs up huge credit-card bills and at the end of the month, if I try to pay them off, he shouts at me, saying I am stealing his money. He says pay the minimum and let our kids worry about the rest, but already we can hardly keep up with the interest. Also he has been so arrogant and abusive toward our neighbors that most of them no longer speak to us. The few that do are an odd bunch, to whom he has been giving a lot of expensive gifts, running up our bills even more. Also, he has gotten religious. One week he hangs out with Catholics and the next with people who say the Pope is the Anti-Christ, and the next he's with Muslims.. Finally, the last straw. He's demanding that before anyone can be in the same room with him, they must sign a loyalty oath. It's just so horribly creepy! Can you help?
Signed, Lost

Dear Lost,

Suck it up and stop whining, Michelle. You're getting to live in the White House for free, travel the world, and have others pay for any vacations and everything else you want. You can divorce the jerk any time you want. The rest of us are stuck with the idiot for four more years!

hat tip Trudy

Monday, January 21, 2013

Living in Israel

elinor    אלינור

Historic Israel

Everyone who lives in Israel has a defining moment when the realization that s/he is actually living in a place so stuffed with history that it’s impossible to avoid. My defining moment occurred when I was on a bus one smelly summer’s evening. The bus stopped at a red light and through the open window I read a sign which said HEROD’S TOMB ---à. Really? Herod’s tomb is within walking distance of this bus? Unbelievable!

Of course this paragraph should begin with ‘…So I got off the bus and walked up the hill..’ but I'm a lazy git, it was dreadfully hot and the realization was enough.

Today, some 24 years later, I was choosing an apple for cabbage salad. The label on the apple said Fruit from the Garden of Eden. Another said, The Taste of Eden. Which, I thought, must be around here somewhere…

And this, my friends, is what makes living in Israel so different from living in Australia or any other place, including Gettysburg in Pennsylvania and all the other poignantly historic sites available. All of Israel is an historic site.

ADDENDUM: The day after I wrote this piece—in one of life’s more charming coincidences—there was an article on the front page of Haaretz with a substantial headline: ‘Israel Museum reconstructs first floor of King Herod’s tomb in country’s largest-ever archaeological exhibit’. It seems that there will be ‘a huge exhibit of the life and architectural legacy of the controversial King Herod the Great’, AND ‘a gigantic recreation of his tomb’. The exhibit is scheduled to open in a month. In time for Passover, one assumes.

First thought: No one else was getting off the bus, either.
Second: Now I really have to visit the new Israel Museum.

The project is, of course, attracting raging controversy.

cross posted Israel Thives

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Problem With "Friends".


Dr Mike Lumish of friend blog Israel Thrives posted this here yesterday. It features a quite brilliant address on contemporary antisemitism from Ruth Wisse.

Ruth Wisse is a professor of Yiddish and Comparative Literature at Harvard University and the author of Jews and Power . In his post Mike includes this bracing metaphor which distils in a few sentences what is so terribly terribly wrong with critical "friends" of Israel in the West. 

Another point that Wisse makes in the video is concerned with criticism of Israel by those who claim to be friends of Israel.  She points out that it is often said that there is nothing wrong with criticizing any country and who would disagree?  All governments are subject to criticism and Israel is no different than any other country in that regard.

However, she uses a metaphor to underline a somewhat different point of view.  Imagine, she says, that you are not doing a very good job of keeping your front yard clean and a neighbor complains about it.  Well, that may very well be a perfectly reasonable criticism, right?  Why should this be a problem?  Fair is fair and if you need to clean up your yard a little then you need to clean up your yard a little.

Now imagine that all your neighbor's yards are in far, far worse condition and, in fact, these people not only do not want you living among them, but are constantly throwing rocks and garbage through your windows and vocally threatening the lives of your children.  What would you think of the neighbor's complaint then?  Would you not suspect that this neighbor is simply joining with the others in laying the ground for the persecution of you and your children.

Che Gorilla, using one of his anonymous pen names,  has had an email exchange with outspoken Israel "friend" Dr Andrew Leigh MP. Here it is. Best to keep everything on the public record these days.

Dear Andrew,

Don’t mention it.

I intend to share my views with you, and your colleagues, and anybody else who will listen as much as I can.

Not just because I am pro-Israel but because I am pro-Australia. Pro-human really and especially pro-human rights. Like the ALP used to be. Do feel free to share, yourself. Especially with Gareth Evans, Bob Carr and Bob Hawke.

In that regard I will be grateful if you or someone in your office passed this along to Graham Richardson. He doesn't seem to have a public email address. Cool. Whatever it takes.

Kind regards

Sent: Friday, January 18, 2013 9:14 AM
To: Che Gorilla
Subject: RE: The Drum
Dear Geoff,

Thanks for sharing your views with me.
Kind regards,
Andrew Leigh
Federal Member for Fraser
Description: email_16 Description: blogger_16 Description: facebook_16 Description: twitter_16 Description: youtube_16
phone 02 6247 4396
address 8/1 Torrens St, Braddon ACT 2612

From: Che Gorilla
Sent: Thursday, 17 January 2013 11:54 PM
To: Leigh, Andrew (MP)
Subject: The Drum

A detailed response to your essay at the Drum has been posted at this blog here

Foreign reaction to the essay can be found here and the linked US blog

Not helpful. Not the act of an informed wise and true friend at a bad time

Friday, January 18, 2013

The ALP Goes To The Mattresses On Israel

How Very Clever.  We Haven't Seen Anything Like This Before


This is the cartoon that headed an article by Graham Richardson in this morning's Australian  that cites the Prime Minister's courage in standing up for Israel and standing by the US, Canada and the Czech Republic  in the critical UN vote that has given "Palestine" the status of a state as reason why her political judgement is lacking and simplistic. Why she had to be rolled.

We shall see about that.

It's behind a pay wall so this is my summary.

The "Israel right or wrong" group in the Victorian right of the Party, Richardson complains, "can't bring themselves to say no to Israel." Bob Carr used to be like that, he says, but "has long harboured deep concerns about Israel's policy of allowing more and more settlements on the West Bank" .Carr says there is "no hope of peace without a two state solution" and there is no hope of that "if the settlements keep spreading".

Minister after minister concurred with Carr, he says, but the PM stood her ground. Gareth Evans was lobbying ministers furiously at the time (big surprize there) , Richardson informs us, no  doubt declaring to anyone who would listen that to stand up for Israel was to be on the "wrong side of history".  Whatever it takes, I guess.

.Anthony Albanese withdrew support and Carr said that if the issue went to caucus he would break cabinet solidarity and vote against the Prime Minister. This would bring her down. She would have lost her job over Israel.

I'm not even going to comment on the sheer bloody minded offensiveness of the cartoon that the Australian editors (and Richardson?) allowed to illustrate the piece. If they don't know by now how provocative and degrading those symbols are, especially right now in the middle of a global tsunami of antisemitism, they never will. They know. They just don't care.

 I will say the courage of Australia's cartoonists is  truly remarkable. They are always standing up to the all powerful and spiteful "Jewish lobby". The Jews don't scare them, they boast. They have Jewish friends who agree with them. They all do.  Cartoonists have a job to do. To bring balance by being unbalanced; or something.

What heroes of the hour they are. Of course the Jews don't scare them. What a delicious thrill it must be to upset them. One thing is certain. You could bet the house not one of them would have the balls to draw an image of Mohammed.

Like Andrew Leigh's piece in the Drum a few days ago it is astonishing how wrong and perhaps dishonest Richardson's narrative is. I suppose his position is now mainstream in the chattering classes but these are supposed to be informed men with power and influence.  As Isi Leibler said yesterday about liberal Jewish Israel bashers  --- are they malicious or ignorant? 

The starting point is Richardson's description of the UN vote. It was on "the admission of the Palestinian Authority to observer status" he says.  Sucked in, Richardson and the ALP. The Palestinians have already made fools of them. 

Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer's latest article is entitled "Palestine: Trojan Horse Exposes Duplicitous Doublecross".

He writes: 

'Any doubt that the Oslo Accords and the Bush Road Map are dead and buried has been put to final rest by John V Whitbeck – an international lawyer who has served as an advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team in negotiations with Israel.

Writing in the Cyprus Mail on 13 January Whitbeck reveals that the Palestinian Authority "has been absorbed and replaced by the State of Palestine" in a decree issued by Mahmoud Abbas on 3 January and signed by him acting in his capacities as president of the State of Palestine and chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

With Respect,  Graham Richardson and the ALP --- Don't You Feel Just  A Little Embarrassed?

Look at this from the "Palestine Ambassador to the UK" in the British Houses of Parliament just two days ago.

"There is no two state solution. Democracies don't fight each other. If Israel is a democracy I would claim that the Palestinians are also a democracy. If democracies cannot fight each other then why not have one state?; one man, one vote." (sic)
"Israel will never continue to exist as a pariah state. Israel could never continue to fight wars against the Palestinians, against the Arabs and the Muslims. The United States is not going to be Israel's strategic ally for time immemorial. And today we have 1.5 billion Muslims. In 20 years we will have 2 billion. And those 2 billion, forget about politics, from a religious perspective will not allow Israel to continue desecrating their religious rights (in Jerusalem). And then what?"

Everything else I wrote to Andrew Leigh yesterday applies to Richardson mutatis mutandis. All of them really.  Especially the bits that follow in a moment..  At least  he didn't try on the "illegal" under "international law" blind red furphy.  How seriously perverse is that one especially after a year in which Hamas and its allies fired 2556 rockets and mortars from Gaza into Israel.

Each of those rockets and mortars was fired indiscriminately at a civilian population with the intention of causing as much death and injury as possible. Every one was fired from under the cover of another civilian population with the intention of using casualties from any provoked response as war propaganda to incite racist genocidal hatred in Gaza and abroad.

At least Richardson did not claim to be a friend of Israel. 

  •  Jerusalem and the adjoining "settlements", and E-1,have always been earmarked for Israel under any realistic two state deal. This "settlement activity that roars ahead" of which you speak and which you claim is blocking the Palestinian state is in Jewish neighbourhoods in Jerusalem and other areas that have never previously been contested as part of Israel under  land swaps.

 Read Isi Leibler's just published piece on this. Do you have any idea of what you and the ALP  have bought  by signalling that this is again open as far as Australia is concerned? Especially in the explicit context of the following point?  Do you seriously think you are helping?

 Every Palestinian faction is united on this now. Why wouldn't they be? Wherever they look in the West they are being told they are winning .  "Armed struggle" it is. Or the ethnic cleansing of the Jews outside of the 1949 armistice lines, just like from Gaza where they had lived pretty much for as long as there has been a Gaza,,; followed by the  forced collapse of the state through the spurious and offensive Muslim right of return. That is their bottom line.  With respect are you deaf? Do you think the Israelis are? That you overlook Palestinian intransigence and ignore the numerous repeated and specific offers by Israel and the world of a Palestinian state both before and after 1967 right up until Olmert's extraordinary offer a few years ago causes concern about your sincerity when you talk about peace.

  •  No where in your essay do you mention the campaign of Nazi inspired genocidal antisemitism that is part of Hamas and Islamist ideology and reaches as far as Australia. That this  has reached this  far , and the threats this conflict and all the others involving radical Islam present on the home front, you appear to have no inkling of at all.  It is as if it does not exist. It is as if this and Islamist imperialism are simply not factors in the equation despite all the evidence.. Just as the human rights of the Israelis to their liberal democracy appear to be of little concern to you, beyond some somewhat condescending quips about technology and economic innovation and independent judges, academics and journalists. Just like Czechoslovakia before she was handed to the Nazis.

More innovative and independent than in Australia. For better or for worse.

  •  To expect the Israelis to retroactively deep freeze their vibrant state permanently along 1949 armistice lines in the teeth of all this is an invasion of their human rights. Would you put up with that? . This is not the border. It never was and there have been three wars since then. These lands are not "occupied". They are disputed and especially in regard to those areas which were supposedly settled to be part of Israel under any two state deal long ago,  with land swaps, Jewish East Jerusalem, E-1  and the surrounding neighbourhoods, it is absurd and offensive to suggest that the Fourth Geneva Convention has application as you and the overt Israel bashers, including naturally the UN, have done.

 As far as the Palestinians and their foreign string masters are concerned it is not just these lands that are disputed. All the land is disputed all the way to the sea. Now more than ever. This is at the very core of the problem.  There are reasons why this problem is worse now than ever before.. These are the Islamic Revolution and Islamism. Not necessarily in that order. Did they miss that at your universities? Do you think you are helping by feeding it?

Perhaps you think these are Israel's fault. That you don't even mention the core of the problem suggests you are part of the problem.

  •  The Israelis are not going to give up their brilliant little democracy without a fight.. Would you? To paint them into a corner is to invite war. That you can not see this, and you ignore completely the most pressing issue for Israel and the world, the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran, as if it was an entirely different and irrelevant topic,  in favour of the by now clearly outright fraudulent  "Palestine"  ruse of the Islamists suggests a serious deficit of political courage. You just cannot bear to face the real problem, as huge as it is, so you look in the exact opposite direction.

I am an Australian of some generations and let me tell you something true, friend. Mate. Friends like you Israel can do without. That you appear to not understand that a liberal democracy anywhere is not dispensable in the face of this vile ideology without us all being dispensable , and that she is not in any way responsible for this vile ideology, or any of the other sick political cultures that have plagued the Arab world since the end of the First World War, including  the Palestinians,  suggests you do not appreciate how crucial this issue is for the health and future of the West and for Australia. The Islamists mean to win. Essays like yours embolden them.   Friends like you both Israelis and Australians can do without.  That is why all Australians, not just Jewish Australians,  who care about ideas like democracy, self determination and human rights should vote against the ALP this year.

Che Gorilla
Resident Human Rights Activist
Geoffff's Joint

The plan still is for the son of an ape to keep on making  a pig of himself at Richardson's and Leigh's and the ALP's blogs and wherever he can find anyone who will listen. Just like Gareth Evans but without being a complete arsehole.

Readers are invited ... requested ... pleaded ...  to send links  to these posts to their local members and everywhere else where it might do some good. The ALP have locked themselves in on this . They have shattered the bipartisan policy on supporting Israel in the face of this vile ideology about which they are in stunned denial.. Among other things perhaps it is time to shatter the bipartisan policy on multiculturalism and immigration; at least how it operates in modern Australia in tolerating, indeed encouraging,  hateful and violent religious extremism and ideological antisemitism, racism and anti-Western radicalism. 

Let us see just whose political judgement is exposed as simplistic on this.  . 

cross posted Israel Thrives