Some of my critics; the expulsion of the Israeli diplomat; other stuff

Some critics of my ABC article

My article on the killing in Alice Springs and the judge who let them off was posted on the ABC website. It gathered over 250 comments. Some of them are supportive. Some of them are shocked. And some of them think I got everything wrong, know nothing and misrepresented the facts of the case. It’s amazing that people responded to this case with indifference, or the claim that Aboriginal people (as a group) are worse and do worse things. One person complained “If they weren’t sleeping in a riverbed this wouldn’t have happened.” Several complained that they didn’t see what being Jewish had to do with anything. Others said what I said counts for nothing because Israel treats the Palestinians badly, and why don’t I talk about the Palestinians instead? Several said – if you’re so ashamed of Australia, why don’t you move to Israel? In my view, besides being juvenile and representing a fundamentally anti-liberal point of view, it’s also anti-Semitic. Other people complained that I was so emotional and/or hysterical over what happened.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice (!) Martin resigned about 8 years before he had to.

I’ll post from the ABC story. The Australian version is pretty much the same.

Justice Brian Martin, who will retire in September, says it has been demoralising and distressing to see repeated cases of Indigenous men committing violence against women.

He says the violence has not abated in his six years in the job and he predicts things will not change for another 25 years.

“I’ve been doing criminal law for nearly 40 years, which includes 11 years as a judge, and some of those cases have been fairly rough and demoralising,” he said.

“You reach a point where you say enough is enough.

“It is somewhat demoralising and distressing to see so many cases of that nature and so many offenders who are repeat offenders.

He’s so disturbed by crimes by Indigenous offenders. Obviously, he can’t think of any distressing crimes committed by white people lately. Or at the Australian:

In words laced with anguish and despair [oh doesn’t your heart just weep for him? I feel so sad for his terrible suffering], Justice Martin announced his surprise resignation – eight years before compulsory retirement age – admitting that “some of the cases have been rough and demoralising”.

“You reach a point,” he said, “where you say enough is enough.”

And then, he explains how to solve the problem of Aboriginal crime:

Justice Martin said stamping out the violence would take generational change and special attention needed to be given to children. “The project in my view is at least a 25-year project,” he said. “It starts with getting the very young children out of the dysfunctional lifestyle and circumstances and get them into the right lifestyle and break the vicious cycle that has been set up.”

How do you get them out of the “lifestyle and circumstances” he so deplores? Presumably, removing them from their communities. There’s a new idea. Look at the comments at the bottom of the Australian.

The Anti-Defamation Commission (sic)

This is tiresome. The ADC has a “special report” titled “Demonization on the Left”. It’s 1 page precis, 8 pages of Dr Philip Mendes whining about left wing coverage of Palestine in Arena and Overland. What he writes bears almost no relation to reality – I can’t imagine any sensible person reading what he writes, comparing it to what was actually written, and agreeing with Mendes. The ADC is pretty extreme, but otherwise this kind of thing is self-discrediting. The “report”, funnily enough for Mendes, doesn’t explicitly accuse anyone of anti-Semitism. So there’s no apparent reason why the ADC published it – unless, as is obvious, they are a pro-Israeli government lobby group, and not an organisation devoted to racism and anti-Semitism.

After mentioning Curthoys and Loewenstein, he goes on:

Even worse was the contribution in Issue 198 of Michael Brull, an Independent
Australian Jewish Voices blogger, who claims to support a two-state solution whilst
regularly demonising Israel and any supporters of Israel. Brull’s particular contribution is
rambling, repetitive and contradictory, and of a standard that one might expect to find on
a blog devoid of editorial oversight, not as an article chosen for publication in a refereed
intellectual journal. In parts of his essay, Brull seems to support two states and oppose
an academic boycott of Israel, but in other parts he seems to argue the exact opposite.
Strangely, he seems to believe that anybody who supports the continued existence of
Israel including fanatical anti-Zionist Noam Chomsky is a Zionist. This would be news
indeed to the millions of Communists including even Arab Communists who supported
the creation of Israel in 1948, but remained philosophically anti-Zionist.
His final four paragraphs consist of ad-hominem abuse of myself and others. His
misrepresentation of my views and opinions on the nature of the relationship between
anti-Zionism and antisemitism (which I have always portrayed as reflecting complex
historical and political influences) has occurred frequently on his blog. What is
surprising is that a serious journal chose to publish this unsubstantiated nonsense. [Citation to one of his boring essays omitted]

Incidentally, you can read the last four paragraphs of my essay and judge that issue for yourself. Note that he doesn’t actually cite a word of what I write. My final appearance:

Sadly, the final shameful contribution came from the once moderate Australian Jewish
Democratic Society, which historically supported two states, but is increasingly using the
language and arguments of the anti-Zionist fundamentalists. The AJDS’ new media

officer Les Rosenblatt, who was formerly a Committee member of the now defunct far
Left Jews for a Just Peace group and is also a regular contributor to the left-wing Arena
Magazine (discussed later), issued a statement of unequivocal support for Overland’s
pro-Palestinian orthodoxy. He bizarrely claimed that Overland were actually seeking to
broaden rather than limit the range of views in the debate, and even more strangely cited
with approval Brull’s article in favour of their (AJDS) concern to promote “civility and
respect in debate on political differences over the issue and strongly oppose the
vilification and abuse that often follows expression of radical or minority opinions”. The
AJDS clearly did not even bother to read the content of Brull’s article for otherwise they
would have realised that they were endorsing personal abuse instead of a diversity of

I suspect Dr Mendes personal anger has caused his increasing lack of coherence. Incidentally, this member of the self-identified responsible left has had this invective reprinted at ….. Quadrant and Vexnews. Vex News says it loves Fox News.  Yep, Mendes is plainly very left-wing. Vexnews accuses Jeff Sparrow of wanting to drive 6 million Jews into the sea. Funnily enough, this makes them only slightly more shrill than Mendes. They admire Mendes analysis.

Oh yeah, and Mendes said me, Loewenstein and Curthoys “form a mad hatter’s picnic of fanatical attacks on
Israel and supporters of Israel followed by more fanatical attacks of the same ilk.”

Actually, if Dr Mendes does read this, I hope I could make a request. I don’t like being referred to as pro-Palestinian. Firstly, it just seems inaccurate: I’m not a nationalist, and I don’t support nationalisms. But perhaps more importantly, I find it an offensive term. It reminds me of a time when people actually called me an Arab lover. It seems to me a more euphemistic version of it – I find it amazing it is regarded as polite or acceptable political discourse.

Alan Howe

I want to say this again. Alan Howe wrote in a paper with a circulation of something like 500 00:

We did annihilate many Japanese. Enola Gay’s biggest passenger, Little Boy, killed 140,000 at Hiroshima in a moment; 70,000 died at Nagasaki three days later.

It’s not fashionable to say so, but those bombs were two of the best bits of World War II. [Emphasis added]

That is, almost two weeks have passed. I googled that phrase: The only other site that quotes that is me. Alan Howe celebrated the murder of 210 000 Japanese civilians, hundreds of thousands of people read it, and NO ONE FOUND IT FUCKING DISGUSTING.

The expulsion of the diplomat

I’ve found a lot of media commentary pretty banal. Labor came out against the Israeli government and suddenly the media criticises Israel, on completely unprincipled grounds (with few exceptions). It shows how cynical and spineless they are. Most of it just complains about forging Australian passports – not about the actual murder. And it is not put in the context of Australian support for Israeli oppression and atrocities. I’ll make an exception of Paul McGeough’s article on the Freedom Flotsam (or whatever they’re called), which was pretty good, and surprisingly so. Haaretz editorial was about the same as most Australian political commentary, which in my view, in only criticising Israel after Rudd did, really just served as Labor party propaganda.


Ah good satire. Sometimes it just cheers you up when otherwise you’d have to get furious or despair.

From Haaretz (Nehemia Shtrasler)

How can we rely on those Palestinians? For 43 years, they have been building the settlers’ homes with the sweat of their brows, paving roads for them and building their fences, and then suddenly, out of the blue, a boycott? Is that the way for partners to behave? Is that how they pay us back after we educated them for so many years to be our hewers of wood and drawers of water?

The prime minister, too, doesn’t understand this ungratefulness. At the Likud faction meeting this week, he complained bitterly about the Palestinian Authority’s decision to boycott 500 items produced in the settlements and to halt the work of the 6,000 people who are building settlers’ homes. “They think they can do everything they want,” the prime minister concluded angrily as his heart bled over the terrible injustice being done to us while the whole world looks on and says nothing.

Larry Derfner in JPost on the blockade. This is brilliant satire.

Don’t you just wish you lived in Gaza? Don’t you just envy those people who get to raise their kids amid such abundance? Look at all the stuff they’ve got:

“Truckloads of meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, milk powder, baby food, wheat and other staples arrive in Gaza on a daily basis,” said the Foreign Ministry in advance of the “Freedom Flotilla,” due to either reach Gaza or get intercepted by the navy today.

“Since the cease-fire in January 2009, well over a million tons of humanitarian supplies entered Gaza from Israel – that is almost a ton of aid for each man, woman and child in the Strip.”

A ton each! Somebody put those people on a diet! They get “most types of food,” said the IDF. Most types! Even pasta, ever since Sen. John Kerry went to Gaza last year and found that the IDF was banning pasta, and convinced army officials, softies that they are, to start letting it in.

But the story of life in Gaza gets even happier. In the first quarter of 2010, the IDF said, “Israel transferred 250 trucks of equipment for the UNRWA summer camp, including arts and crafts equipment, swimming pools, inflatable toys, ice cream machines, musical instruments, clothing, sports equipment, etc.”

They eat ice cream, they swim, they play music. Paradise! And look at this: “Special permission was granted to Gaza footballers to train in Judea and Samaria and compete in international matches abroad.”

We even let their soccer team out to play. It took special permission, but hey, for those guys and those fans, if that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.

SO WHO are these goddamn Jew-haters and their boats, The Rachel Corrie – the “St. Pancake” they should call it. Who are these Nazi human rights organizations? And who is this John Ging, this terrorist who runs UNRWA in Gaza? “We recommend the world send ships to Gaza,” he says. “Breaking the siege on Gaza is possible.”

We should put him on a ship and sink it.

The UN. Anti-Semites, all of them. They try to make everything in Gaza look terrible. Read this garbage by the “UN Office for the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs, Occupied Palestinian Territory.” (“Occupied.” I love that.) They put out a report every week about how awful it is for the poor Palestinians. Look at this crap from their last one, for May 12-18:

“Imports of industrial fuel to operate the Gaza power plant further declined this week… this week’s figure represents 27 percent of the actual estimated weekly amount of fuel required for the power plant to operate at full capacity. As a result, the majority of the population continues to experience power cuts of eight to 12 hours per day, forcing them to rely on generators run by fuel… These generators, which are imported largely through tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, can be unsafe… [A] generator fire broke out inside a house this week, killing two members of one family and injuring five others. Since the beginning of the year, 31 Palestinians have been killed and 41 others injured in generator-related incidents.”

They’re not careful – that’s our fault? They probably started the fires on purpose to blame it on Israel. Here’s some more garbage:

“Quantities of imported cooking gas also further declined this week… representing only 64% of the average weekly needs… As shortfalls continue, the rationing scheme for cooking gas, introduced in November 2009, remains in place.”

Oh, too bad, they won’t be able to heat their ice cream. A tragedy. Now look what big, bad Israel is doing to the poor fisherman in Gaza:

“Israeli restrictions on Palestinian access to fishing areas beyond three nautical miles from shore also continued to be enforced; in at least two incidents this week, Israeli naval vessels opened ‘warning’ fire toward Palestinian fishing boats, forcing them ashore.”

Do we know these “fishermen” aren’t really terrorists? Can we take a chance? Nobody got killed, did they? Oh, but wait, now read this from the last weekly installment of the UN Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

“Israeli forces shot and killed one elderly Palestinian civilian and injured another one in two separate incidents near the Gaza-Israel border… On 14 May, Israeli forces positioned on the border east of Jabalya shot and killed an elderly Palestinian man while he was visiting the grave of his wife in a cemetery located in the area. In a separate incident, Israeli forces opened fire toward a group of Palestinians collecting rubble near the border, injuring one of them. Israeli forces continue to enforce access restrictions in the ‘buffer zone’ by opening ‘warning’ fire toward people entering the area, affecting farmers and workers, and leveling lands in border areas.”

Well, maybe if the terrorists in Gaza didn’t keep trying to get near the fence and kill our soldiers, we wouldn’t have to shoot old men in cemeteries and kids collecting rubble, would we? (Rubble? They have swimming pools, arts and crafts, musical instruments, and spend their time looking through rubble? A fat lot of good it does trying to help those kids.)


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