Saturday, June 04, 2005

How the West Australian called it...

P T Singham is a journalist with the West Australian Newspaper. He is one of the finest journalists in WA, and his work is widely respected. His moderation and sense of perspective is one that I often admire.

I do not hold Mr Singham accountable for the way in which he reported the visit of Professor Naomi Chazzan to Perth. The report of her visit, her viewpoints, and the message she carried was unquestionably accurate.

I do however question the “sechel” (intelligence) of the Australian Jewish leaders of the Bnai Brith Anti-defamation league who opted to fund Prof Chazzans visit to defame Israel and the Jewish people through the delivery of the annual Gandel oration. Her agenda would see the destruction of Israel as a Jewish State, and her proposed solutions would place Israel in great physical danger.

Back to reporter Singham. It’s not his fault that he follows the lead of the messages that flow through all international press agencies, and that emanate from the diplomatic centre of Israel itself.

However Singham’s article of page 40 of Today’s West Australian “Dove backs Hawk on flight to peace” relays some critical points that require challenge and a little deeper thought. I’d like to note the following:

The inference that Sharon is a “hawk” continues to linger. This is the industry standard of today’s press. Sharon is a hawk, Abbas is a moderate, and these descriptors will never change. Why?

The describing of Abba’s platform as “non-Violent” seems to be a little misplaced given that he has done nothing to curtail the acts of terrorism that continue to be perpetrated in Israel. Over the past few weeks dozen’s of thwarted attacks have not been reported. The Palestinian Forces commanded by Abbas have done nothing to curtail Hamas or to prevent this activity. Now Abbas has moved to form an alliance with Farouk Kaddoumi – a terrorist who advocates violence. Hardly conditions that justify the bestowing the virtues of “non-violence”. However the ongoing Palestinian sponsored terrorism is not reported. Why?

Incredulously, the article states that Israel has to stop building settlements “truncating Palestinian lands” and that Palestinians have “stopped hatred broadcasts”. These lands are assumed to be “Palestinian Lands” but that is a Palestinian position only. The claim of title to much of this settlement land is very much legitimate for Israel, but this position is always disregarded. Why?

As for the missing hatred broadcasts – as recently as last week Israeli press have identified new sermons in mosques, new textbooks in schools, and Palestinian press items which call for the murder of Jews and the violent destruction of Israel. It is patently incorrect to report that this incitement has ceased. Examples of this incitement have been placed onto this blog.

Like I say, I don’t blame Mr Singham. He is reliably informed by credible sources, and has little opportunity to uncover the hidden reality. He is only doing his job, and he is doing his job well.

The problem is that one day people may turn around and ask “How is it possible that the truth of the campaign of genocide against Israel was not identified and understood”. The answer will be because most of the world’s population will have been reading newspaper reports that pervert the course of history and distort reality. The answer will also be that too many leaders, including Jewish and Israeli political leaders, are scared to face up to and identify the immoral way in which Palestinians are not hold to task or held accountable by actions, and the immoral way in which the truth of their unconscionable conduct is being hidden from the world at large.

J'Accuse - Tom Gross

A French court last week found three writers for Le Monde, as well as the newspaper's publisher, guilty of "racist defamation" against Israel and the Jewish people. In a groundbreaking decision, the Versailles court of appeal ruled that a comment piece published in Le Monde in 2002, "Israel-Palestine: The Cancer," had whipped up anti-Semitic opinion. The writers were ordered to pay symbolic damages of one euro to a human-rights group and to the Franco-Israeli association. Le Monde was also ordered to publish a condemnation of the article, which it has yet to do.

Responsible journalists strenuously avoid libelous characterizations of entire ethnic, national, or religious groups. They go out of their way, for example, to avoid suggesting that the massacres in Darfur, which are being carried out by Arab militias, in any way represent an Arab trait.
The exception to this seems to be the coverage of Jews, particularly Israeli ones. From Oslo to Athens, from London to Madrid, it has been virtually open season on them in the last few years, especially in supposedly liberal media.

In the British media, the Guardian equated Israel and al Qaeda; the Evening Standard equated Israel and the Taliban. The Independent's Middle East correspondent, Robert Fisk, implies that the White House has fallen into the hands of the Jews: "The Perles and the Wolfowitzes and the Cohens...very sinister people hovering around Bush." Bashing Israel even extends to local papers that don't usually cover foreign affairs, such as the double-page spread titled "Jews in Jackboots" in Luton on Sunday (Luton is an industrial town in southern England).

Although the French court ruling - the first of its kind in Europe - is a major landmark, no one in France seems to care. One would have thought such a verdict would prompt wide-ranging coverage and lead to extensive soul-searching and public debate. Instead, there has been almost complete silence, and virtually no coverage in the French press.

And few elsewhere will have heard about it. Reuters and Agence France Presse (agencies that have demonstrated particularly marked bias against Israel) ran short stories about the judgment in their French-language wires last week, but chose not to run them on their English news services. The Associated Press didn't run it at all. Instead of triggering the long overdue reassessment of Europe's attitude toward Israel, the media have chosen to ignore it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Long wait for restitution for Eastern Europe's Jews

From an article in The Australian by Jay Bushinsky, Jerusalem, May 30, 2005.

THE former "captive nations" of Eastern Europe re-emerged as independent states more than a decade ago, but the Jewish communal property left behind by their citizens who perished in the Nazi Holocaust remains beyond the reach of the victims' authorised representatives to retrieve.

It was confiscated by Hitler's SS immediately after the German Wehrmacht's conquests and was nationalised by the local communists after the Red Army's takeover. Since 1992, when the recovery process began, the former synagogues, hospitals, orphanages, cemeteries and ritual baths have been the subject of snail's pace negotiations and impenetrable bureaucracies.

...the private property left behind in these countries by the Holocaust's 6 million Jewish victims is valued in the billions of dollars.

. . .Poland, which had Eastern Europe's largest Jewish population – more than 3 million – has been responding to the WJRO's entreaties, but the restitution process has been agonisingly slow. At the current rate, it will take at least 60 years for the Jewish communal claims to be processed.

...the response of the 10 other former Soviet satellites also has been bureaucratic and legalistic. In short, they, like Poland, have been "stalling"...

Abbas: Terrorism may be over --- maybe not

From the Jerusalem Post
May. 30, 2005 1:33 Updated May. 30, 2005 13:11

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview aired on Sunday that the era of suicide bombings may be over.

....But he warned that if progress toward a peace agreement was not achieved in meetings with Sharon next month, "despair and loss of hope will come back and a return to the old ideas" of armed resistance.

...earlier Sunday Prime Minister Ariel Sharon expressed skepticism over Abbas's ability to quell terror even as he bolstered the Palestinian leader by pushing the cabinet to approve the release of 400 Palestinian prisoners.

Sharon defended the need to support Abbas now in spite of warnings by his security experts that he could be doing more to stop terror.

Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Health Minister Dan Naveh and Agriculture Minister Yisrael Katz voted against the prisoner release.

...Also at the cabinet meeting, Sharon warned his ministers to be cautious when meeting with PA ministers and not to think that it bolsters the cause of peace of to do so.

"Not everyone has to run to catch the coattails of a Palestinian minister," he said. "If you knew what they are saying about you, you would refrain from doing it."

Dahlan denies that Abbas promised not to execute collaborators

From a Jerusalem Post article By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
May. 30, 2005 23:09 Updated May. 30, 2005 23:36

Palestinian Authority Civil Affairs Minister Muhammad Dahlan on Monday called for firm action against Palestinians suspected of "collaboration" with Israel. He also denied that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas had promised Israel that he would not authorize the execution of convicted "collaborators."

Last week the government announced – in response to a petition to the High Court by the Israel Law Center, Shurat Hadin – that it had received assurances from the PA that collaborators would not be executed. The petition was filed in the wake of reports that Abbas was about to approve the execution of dozens of Palestinians who were found guilty of assisting Israel in the killing of wanted gunmen.

Dahlan, who served as commander of the PA's Preventive Security Service in the Gaza Strip between 1994 and 2003, was responsible for the arrest of many suspected "collaborators," who were later sentenced to death by PA courts.

. . .PA Foreign Minister Nasser al-Kidwa said on Monday that the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip did not mean that the occupation had ended, noting that Israel would continue to control the water and airspace of the area. "The Gaza Strip is only part of the territories that were occupied in 1967," he said.

IAF foils Jabaliya mortar attack

From a report in Jerusalem Post, by ASSOCIATED PRESS
May. 30, 2005 1:21 Updated May. 30, 2005 9:46

The Israel air force fired missiles at the Jabaliya refugee camp early Monday, where terrorists were preparing a mortar attack, Israeli military officials said, seriously wounding two Palestinians.

...Islamic Jihad issued a statement saying that a few minutes before the Israeli air strike, its cells launched three rockets from northern Gaza at an Israeli village just outside the territory. The Islamic Jihad said its cell was the target of the Israeli attack.

....the military notes that mortar and rocket attacks have been increasing in Gaza in recent days, and Israel charges that the Palestinian Authority is not doing enough to stop the militants.

According to Israeli figures, more than 60 mortars and 10 homemade Kassam rockets have been fired in Gaza in the last two weeks.

A second blast heard later in the Jebaliya camp, where about 100,000 Palestinians live in poverty, turned out to be an accidental explosion of a gas canister.

Telstra could boost imports from Israel

From the Jerusalem Post May. 30, 2005 7:14 by YIGAL GRAYEFF

Australian telecommunications operator Telstra could increase its annual spending on Israeli hi-tech products to $90 million-$100m. a year, Ted Pretty, the group managing director of technology, innovation and products, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

Pretty...has been in Israel since Tuesday as part of an Australian trade delegation...

The companies from which Telstra buys products include billing software provider Amdocs and communications software maker Comverse Technology. In addition to deepening existing relationships, Pretty is also looking to create new ones.

One company that could benefit is Ra'anana-based IXI Mobile...He also praised Check Point Software Technologies Ltd...

In addition to buying products from Israeli companies, Telstra is helping them to sell themselves and to adapt their products to the needs of their clients. Telstra sits on the customer and user group forums of Amdocs, Click Software and others, and Pretty will write a report for Israeli companies suggesting what they should focus on when making their presentations.

Despite being impressed by the technology in Israel, Pretty said Telstra had no plans for major investments in the country. "We are not a direct seed investor. Our core business is running networks and you can get distracted by technical developments," he said.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Relay Race...

(from the Gamla website )
Oleg's cartoon, first published in January, doesn't look like such a joke now....

The Hazards of Making "The Case for Israel"

Noam Chomsky - literary "McCarthyist" and Israel basher

Many thanks to several JIW readers who alerted us to this one....

On Gamla (, May 26, 2005, Alan Dershowitz, author of "The Case for Israel," makes a case against Noam Chomsky and co-horts who have engaged in "literary McCarthyism" for decades. The following is extracted from the detailed and well-referenced article.

...A systematic effort to discredit the book, and me, has been undertaken by a well-organized group of Israel bashers led by Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, and Alexander Cockburn. ...They had a model for their attack going back 20 years.

The mode of attack is consistent. Chomsky selects the target and directs Finkelstein to probe the writings in minute detail and conclude that the writer didn’t actually write the work, that it is plagiarized, that it is a hoax and a fraud. Cockburn publicizes these "findings," and then a cadre of fellow travelers bombard the Internet with so many attacks on the target that these attacks jump to the top of Google....when the pattern is examined ...the entire enterprise becomes clear for what it is: ... a form of literary McCarthyism.

Noam Chomsky('s)...record—includ(es) supporting, praising, and working with neo-Nazi Holocaust deniers...(including) Robert Faurisson, who called the Holocaust a "hoax," denied the existence of Hitler’s gas chambers, claimed that the diary of Anne Frank was a "forgery," and described the Jewish claims for Holocaust reparations as a "fraud."

...Ever since his close association with neo-Nazi Holocaust deniers compromised his credibility on "matters pertaining to Jews," Chomsky has tended to leave it to surrogates to continue his campaign of vilification against the Jewish community.

His primary surrogate is Norman of his "very close friends"[....a man who boasts of "publicly honoring" and showing "solidarity with Hezbollah...." Finkelstein has ...asserted that Israel’s human rights record is "interchangeable with Iraq’s" when it was ruled by Saddam Hussein..." He has said that most alleged Holocaust survivors—including Elie Wiesel—have fabricated their past, are "bogus," and that those seeking reparations are "cheats" and "greedy." ...He is a popular speaker among German neo-Nazis...Finkelstein has reportedly praised the Holocaust-denying Irving as "a good historian"[15] and as having "made an indispensable" contribution to our knowledge of World War II."[16] .....His books do not sell in America, but they are best-sellers among the growing number of neo-Nazis in Germany.

The third member of this smear team is Alexander Cockburn...(who) is virulently anti-Israel. In 1984 he was fired from the Village Voice for hiding a $10,000 "grant" he received from an anti-Israel organization.[20] ...Columnist Jon Margolis, after exposing several false charges made by Cockburn, asserted that "Cockburn has been abusing reality for decades" and that "as an accuser, Joe McCarthy was more responsible."[22]

The story of this unholy alliance among Chomsky, Finkelstein, and Cockburn begins nearly 20 years ago with the publication of a book entitled From Time Immemorial, by ...Joan Peters. The book...was largely a demographic study of the population of the area that eventually became Israel. Peters’ conclusion was that the Arab political claim that the Palestinians who left or were expelled from Israel during the war of Independence (1947-1948) had lived in the area from time immemorial was exaggerated.

When Noam Chomsky learned of the Peters book, he became outraged because its thesis undercut his ideological opposition to Israel. ...Chomsky telephoned Finkelstein, then a graduate student already notorious for the virulence of his anti-Zionism, and directed him to expose Peters’ book as "a fraud." ...Finkelstein...responded: "Well, you know, I’m a person of the left, and when you get a call from Professor Chomsky, his wish is your command."[29]

...The third member of this nasty attack team, Alexander Cockburn, made similar claims. Cockburn wrote articles publicizing Finkelstein’s unfair attack against Peters. He characterized her conclusions as "fraudulent," "mad,"[33] and immoral.

The Chomsky-Finkelstein-Cockburn mode of ad hominem attack proved particularly successful against Peters because the words "hoax," "fraud," "fake," and "plagiarism" are so dramatic and unforgettable....

To date, Finkelstein has targeted at least the following writers who support Israel and seek justice for Holocaust survivors: Elie Wiesel, Stuart Eizenstat, Martin Gilbert, Daniel Goldhagen, Burt Neuborne, Yehuda Bauer, Gerald Feldman, Richard Overy, Abba Eban – calling these distinguished Jews "hucksters," "hoaxters," "thieves," "extortionists," and worse. The pattern of attack is always similar.

Thus, it was only natural that the anti-Israel triumvirate would target me in a similar manner after the publication of "The Case for Israel". ..(they) employed exactly the same words they had employed so successfully against Peters (and others) ...The only new element in this tired tactic is the creative use of the Internet.

The members of the McCarthyite triumvirate are invited to campuses far more frequently than centrist, moderate pro-Israel speakers. There is something very wrong with this picture, but now that the pattern of literary McCarthyism has been exposed, perhaps the picture will change.

For the full article, with references. . . link to the Gamla site