Mark Steel; AJDS; Saffran

Just saying, I like this dude Mark Steel. He can be funny – he wrote very well during the Gaza massacre too. It’s nice to see a satirist who’s well informed on international issues (unlike, say, Jon Stewart).eg “So the next move will probably be to revert to an early favourite, the claim we’re fighting for women’s rights, which is why we only sell a billion dollars worth of weapons to places that respect women, like Saudi Arabia, where it’s just feminism feminism feminism.”

Meanwhile, Israel wants to make its education of children more militaristic, sending in army officers to recruit kids. This is obscene. Actually, in some ways, even at Moriah here in Australia the education glamorised the military which I consider obscene. Not so long ago, a Melbourne Jewish school principal practically wrote an ode to the military and his son who joined the army and now has a gun.

Letters to the Age by AIJAC and AJDS. Colin Rubenstein wrote:

From 1993 to 2008, Israeli-Palestinian talks proceeded, and produced generous offers from Israel, without building in the settlements being frozen. [This is true, and revealing (except for the bit about generous offers)] Moreover, settlement growth is today more restricted than at any time in recent history. [This is bullshit, it’s not restricted at all, though Israel hasn’t restricted settlements in memory.]

Most building – of kindergartens, medical clinics and some additional housing – is occurring in larger settlement blocs that will stay within Israel under all existing, serious peace proposals.

Well, this shows how generous the offers are.

AJDS wrote:

THE Australian Jewish Democratic Society concurs with your editorial’s conclusion that ”the only way that Israel can avoid having to choose between its Jewish identity and democracy is to keep the two-state solution alive”. A settlement freeze is the essential precondition to any credible negotiations.

How is it possible for Israel to credibly claim it supports the establishment of a Palestinian state, while at the same time continuing to expand and integrate its settler population into the West Bank? Israel’s supporters must stop pretending that the relative calm in the conflict is a stable endpoint. If Israel doesn’t grasp the opportunity it is being given to restart negotiations now, when will be the right time?

If this is clear to everyone other than the hardline settlers and their supporters, then the broadest possible coalition of Israel’s supporters needs to convey to Israel, openly, publicly and vocally, that it needs to declare its bona fides by stopping the settlement project completely and immediately.

It is good they wrote this letter.

The AJDS editorial has good and bad. They wrote:

Many people within the Jewish community, whose support for Israel is not in
question, have watched and noted the way in which the occupation of
Palestinian land has had a corrupting influence on Israel’s soul. [I always think this should be considered a secondary issue] Many
Jewish Israelis are blind to the indignity and abuse on a daily basis
accorded to ordinary Palestinians passing through Israeli checkpoints. [I am glad they mention this: not solely is the occupation good for the Jews] They
are insulated from feeling the deprivation, frustration and powerlessness in
the lives of people under occupation behind a wall and out of view. But the
most corrupt aspect of the occupation is the pervasive acquisition of land
through the establishment of Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank.

The settler population has increased threefold from 100,000 in 1993 to over
300,000 today (plus another 200,000 in East Jerusalem) on land that, all who
claim to support a two-state solution understand, is supposed to belong to a
future Palestinian state.

How is it possible for Israel to credibly claim it supports the
establishment of a Palestinian state, while at the same time continuing to
expand its population in the West Bank?

This is good and principled. Though they say Israel will become an apartheid state: why isn’t it one now, with so many unenfranchised Palestinians under occupation? Also, when they say “We still
need to see how seriously Palestinians themselves want a state of their own.” What does that mean? Do they mean Palestinians want a one state solution? Or that Palestinians enjoy the occupation? Don’t they realise the PLO has supported a two state agreement since 1976?

HAHAHAHAHA. John Saffran blasts ECAJ and Robert Goot on his show. So funny.

Okay, I’m not enjoying the David Irving interview. I’m getting very angry. Why the fuck is he doing this?

haha he’s locking Irving in. He’s filling it with gas. Hm, that was odd.

Also, Zionist fanatics are unhappy.

Australian Jewish leaders are irked that the government voted in favor of a “one-sided” and “unbalanced” United Nations resolution on Palestinian self-determination.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Robert Goot and Zionist Federation of Australian president Philip Chester wrote to Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith Tuesday, saying they were “disappointed” because Australia’s vote in favor of the resolution was a departure for the government’s normal policy of abstaining.

“We were even more disappointed,” they wrote, “that our community was not given advance notice that the change of vote was being contemplated.”

Mark Leibler and Colin Rubenstein, of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, went a step further, writing to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

In their letter Tuesday, the pair argued that the resolution – adopted by the UN Third Committee on November 12 – omitted any reference to Palestinian obligations, and thus “perpetuates the counter-productive narrative that Israel’s policies are the sole obstacle to peace.”

They were similarly nonplussed last year when the Labor government voted in favor of a motion condemning all West Bank settlements and a motion to apply the Fourth Geneva Convention to the West Bank and Gaza.

For the previous decade, under the conservative government of John Howard, Australia backed Israel at the UN on virtually every occasion.

Meanwhile, a report in the Solomon Star claims that Israel is sending a foreign ministry official to the Solomon Islands next week to find out why it was the only country in the Oceania region to vote in favor of adopting the Goldstone report.

The island nation’s recent diplomatic engagement with Iran was cited as a possible reason, according to the newspaper.

The Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Australia voted against the resolution while Fiji, PNG, Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand abstained.


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