Saturday, August 30, 2008

Defamation, bigotry and censorship

From the Web site of Michael Danby, Member of the House of Representatives, Wednesday August 27, 2008:

Michael DANBY(9.01 am)-Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation...This is the first opportunity I have had since the last session of parliament and the busyness of yesterday to respond to a story that ran in the Melbourne Age, ‘ALP interest in funds probe', on 21 June 2008. Unfortunately, the Age did not speak to me prior to publishing this article, which implied I was linked to the former Director of the Australian-American Association, Tony McAdam, who is being investigated for fraud.

The central implication of this article is false. In seeking to link me to this alleged fraud, the article states:
It is understood Mr McAdam has assisted Mr Danby on some of his political campaigns.
Far from having any current association with Mr McAdam, I ceased contact with him years ago, prior to the events described in the article.

The Age article suggested I had a defensive ‘interest in the police investigation'. It is quite the opposite. I encouraged solicitors to financially liquidate this organisation if it failed to produce financial reports.

Further, the Age claimed that I retained an influence after 2002 on the Australian-American Association, where I sought to protect Mr McAdam. The article says:
... Mr Danby, a former association president and committee member, retained considerable influence over the organisation ...
To the contrary, I have not been a member of the organisation, involved in its management or attended its meetings since 2002.

During the parliamentary break, I did the normal thing: I sought correction from Mr Jaspan, the editor of the Age, whose response was to quote from a letter to the editor by Mr McAdam. The Age response quotes Mr McAdam:
It is true I have had a long-standing friendship with Michael Danby-
but the Age left out the rest of the sentence, which was-
... although we have not talked for some time.
Mr McAdam also admitted:
He-That is, Mr Danby-has had no involvement with the AAA for many years and to suggest otherwise is quite wrong.

I will leave aside the bigotry identified by Senator Robert Ray when he referred in the Senate to the obsessive focus on me by the back page of the Age. Senator Ray referred to the Age's gossip columnist as:
a sneering anti-Semite kind of journalist that I detest.

I will set aside the fact that the Age has censored every opinion article I have submitted since being elected in 1998. My constituents and the tolerant liberal majority of this country can decide for themselves what motivates this pattern of defamation, bigotry and censorship....

...and from The Australian, by Nick Tabakoff August 27, 2008:

ANDREW JASPAN has been sacked as editor-in-chief of Fairfax Media's Melbourne flagship, The Age....

In a statement to staff still reeling from yesterday's announcement, management said: "The company has decided that for this next critical stage of The Age we would have fresh editorial and executive leadership.” ...

...Yesterday it emerged Antony Catalano, who was the sales and marketing director of The Age, had left the company as it attempts to cut 5 per cent of its workforce. The moves are in response to a tightening advertising market and pressure on newspaper classifieds. Mr Churchill’s announcement follows the revelation by Fairfax’s head of Australian newspapers, Brian McCarthy yesterday that he was taking stock of Fairfax’s Melbourne newspaper operations....

...Paul Ramadge will be acting editor-in-chief.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Terror TV backed by Australia's Arabic community

From The Age, August 22, 2008, by Barney Zwartz:

...[Bnai Brith] Anti-Defamation Commission chairman John Searle said yesterday he was disappointed that Australia's Arabic community was supporting the station, al-Manar.

The Australian Communication and Media Authority has twice stopped the channel from being broadcast in Australia, in 2004 and in January this year, because of its support for terrorism. Now it is being transmitted by an Indonesian satellite company part-owned by the Indonesian Government, which has declined American requests to halt the broadcasts.

Al-Manar is operated by Hezbollah... endorses suicide bombing and often broadcasts the final messages of suicide bombers.

Mr Searle said al-Manar went beyond acceptable limits of free speech and was renowned for inciting violence and hatred. He said he was disturbed at statements by Australian Arabic Council chairman Roland Jabbour in The Age yesterday that the channel was popular and should not be restricted. "I would have hoped that a station broadcasting programs which describe Jews as the offspring of apes and pigs and which advocates their annihilation would not receive the support of Australia's Arabic community," he said.

Mr Jabbour responded yesterday by saying that anti-Semitism was wrong and that Judaism should be respected, but that Hezbollah was not anti-Semitic. "We need to make a clear distinction between anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, and between a terrorist organisation and a resistance group," he said. He said he would not call Jews the offspring of apes and pigs, but that in the context of "the crimes of the state of Israel" it was reasonable for al-Manar to do so and to portray Israeli rabbis as killing Christian children to use their blood in Passover meals.

...and from the Andrew Bolt Blog (The Herald Sun), Friday, August 22, 2008:

...If that’s what Jabbour calls “respecting” Judaism, I’d hate to think what he’d get up to if he were a, you know, bigot.

For a reminder of the kind of respectful, non-racist progamming put on by al-Manar, here are a few cheery little clips.

Oh, and as for Jabbour, you’ll be pleased to know that a man with his broad mind and fine taste in television has been showered with all the honors appropriate in our fiercely multicultural land:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Israeli Terror Victims Sue Bank of China for Millions

From Epoch Times, Aug 21, 2008, by by Gilad Slonim & Dalia Harpaz:

Israeli victims of terror demand millions from the Bank of China claiming it knowingly funded Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists responsible for their losses.

A lawsuit representing a hundred victims of terror in Israel and their families was filed in Los Angeles on August 21 against the Bank of China for knowingly funding Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist activities. The plaintiffs are demanding a compensation of hundreds of millions of dollars.

...According to the charges, the Bank of China transferred regularly, over a period of time, amounts of about US$100,000 to the private bank account of a senior Hamas official located China. The latter used the money to buy merchandise which he shipped to Gaza. In Gaza, this merchandise was resold by senior Hamas officials and the profit was used to fund terrorist activities.

According to the plaintiffs and their attorney Nitzana, the Israeli government notified the Bank of China of the use Hamas was making of the money and demanded the bank of China to stop the transfers. Darshan-Leitner claims to have evidence proving this.

The victims' families also approached the Bank of China in January, sending information by direct correspondence as well as through the director of the bank's New York branch. After the Bank of China repeatedly failed to reply to their messages, the families turned to a US court.
The plaintiffs claim that since the Bank of China has a branch in the U.S., U.S. courts have power of attorney to handle the case under a U.S. law that forbids funding terrorist activities.

"U.S. courts consider the rules of evidence without employing any political favoritism," Attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner told The Epoch Times. "So if we succeed in proving our claims—and I am fairly certain that we will—the bank will be ordered to pay the plaintiffs millions of dollars in compensation. Moreover, this will open a door for others who have been victims of terrorist activity which originated in Gaza during the relevant time period, and they, too, will be able to demand compensation from the Bank of China," said Leitner.At the time of publication, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not available to comment.