Saturday, April 21, 2012

Iran vs Israel

This 5-minute video from, 19 April 2012, has already had almost 2 million views in 2 days!:

Intellect is not wisdom

Intellectuals and the Left

by Isi Leibler, April 20, 2012

The most talented Israeli intellectuals and writers frequently display gross political naiveté.
Amos Oz is an Israeli icon, recognized throughout the world as the doyen of the Israel literary arena. His books, primarily relating to the wide spectrum of life in Israel, are enormously popular and have been translated into many languages.
Oz, always regarded as a supporter of the left, was also admired as a consummate and devoted Zionist. Until recent years, he expressed his political views with gentle restraint and moderation and was perceived as a national rather than partisan intellectual.
...In contrast today, Oz unhesitatingly exploits every opportunity, even when abroad, to bitterly demonize his government. Moreover, his criticism has become so vehement to the extent that he effectively blames Israel for the impasse with the Palestinians.
Most recently, Oz even proudly publicized his prison visits to Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian terrorist condemned for five life sentences for the murder of five Israelis plus other orchestrated attacks on Israeli civilians and who only recently called for a third intifada and global boycott of Israel. Sadly, Oz morally identified himself with Barghouti, insisting that they both share the same national objectives and expressed the fervent hope that the ruthless killer would soon be released.
David Grossman, another highly acclaimed and talented Israeli writer whose son was killed during the Second Lebanon War, behaves in a similar manner. He recently penned an op-ed in the viciously anti-Israeli UK Guardian proclaiming that the greatest threat confronting the Jewish state is not Iran but the paranoia of its leaders.
These two writers exemplify the irresponsibility and extremism that has consumed a number of prominent leftist Israeli intellectuals and academics.
Needless to say, they are hailed as heroes by Israel's "elitist" but dramatically declining newspaper Ha'aretz, which over the past decade has radicalized itself to such an extent that it is recognized as one of the most potent sources for global anti-Israeli propaganda. The extent of this newspaper’s venom - directed from the “top” - was recently demonstrated in an op-ed written by the publisher, Amos Schocken who accused his country of becoming an "apartheid" state and last week in an editorial which criticized President Peres for “publicly” calling on President Obama to release Pollard.
It is hard to comprehend how seemingly rational educated Jews can behave in such a manner. Of course, Jews turning against themselves are not a new phenomenon. In the Middle Ages Jewish apostates emerged as the most vicious anti-Semites. But one can rationalize that their disgusting behavior may have been motivated by an obsession to ingratiate themselves within their host societies.
Likewise the alienation from Judaism of Karl Marx and many of the early Jewish socialists could be attributed to desperation for emancipation from what they considered to be a stifling religious and ethnic identity in order to qualify as cosmopolitan citizens of the world.
The same can also be said for the Jewish Communists who vigorously applauded as Stalin executed their kinsman and justified the persecution of Soviet Jews. Many of them convinced themselves that by destroying Jewish particularism, they were paving the way for a messianic secular era in which the brotherhood and equality of all men would resolve the Jewish problem.
But after the Holocaust and with the creation of a Jewish state, one surely expected less alienation and a more rational approach.
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, a genuine social-democrat, was highly conscious that left-wing extremists represented a major threat to the Zionist enterprise. He was especially scathing towards the Marxist Mapam which continued to idolize the murderous Stalin and the Soviet Union - even after Mordecai Oren, one of their senior political leaders, had been arrested in Czechoslovakia in 1951 during the Prague Trials on trumped-up charges of having acted as a CIA agent.
But after Khrushchev's exposure of Stalin's “Cult of the Personality”, the loony left in Israel was marginalized to splinter groups like Matzpen.
The dominant Labor Party was uncompromising in its commitment to the State of Israel and proudly stood at the forefront of Zionism. It had no truck with the post Zionist intellectuals and ensured that they were isolated and condemned.
It was only following the huge public divide over the Oslo Accords that the Zionist left began to fragment. Although Rabin himself remained a steadfast Zionist throughout his life, de facto he became allied with a new breed of labor activists, many of whom flirted with post-Zionism. Dr. Yossi Beilin, a key architect of the Oslo Accords, even expressed public regret that his grandfather, one of the original Chovevei Zion delegates to the early Zionist Congresses, had voted against Herzl's plan to adopt Uganda as a Zionist homeland.
Some Labor leaders, in order to alleviate public hostility about the “peace process”, felt obliged to defend the Arab case and began understating or trivializing statements by Arafat and other Palestinians leaders who were telling their people that Oslo was merely a preliminary step towards achieving the ultimate objective of destroying the Zionist entity. They also suppressed the mounting evidence that the duplicitous Arafat was actually directing terrorism.
This impacted on our response to terror with repeated mindless statements, even from Rabin, that we would fight terror but continue pursuing peace - with the very same Palestinians initiating the terror.
As a result, the Zionist core of the labor movement rapidly eroded, with extremist radicals emerging and expressing sentiments that would have been considered treasonable during the period of the Mapai hegemony. Ultimately the radicals all but hijacked the Labor Party.
Of course, criticism of Israel is a guaranteed passport for elevation to heroic stature in certain Western liberal quarters, and thus represents an additional incentive for failed Israeli politicians like Avram Burg and his ilk to join the anti-Israeli pack and act as principal propagandists of the adversaries of Israel.
The situation became exacerbated in recent years with a major change in public perceptions and the emergence of a consensus moving the country somewhat to a right of center approach to the Israel-Palestinian impasse, thus further marginalizing the far left. To the dismay of the radicals, , their bête noire, Netanyahu, far from being reviled , emerged as the most popular leader.
Oz and Grossman are neither post-Zionists nor self-hating Jews. They unquestionably love Israel. But the public support of the government appears to have unhinged them and a number of other “doves”. In their frenzied desperation to dissociate themselves from the national consensus which broadly endorses Netanyahu, they succumbed to employing vitriolic language that comes perilously close to being indistinguishable from the anti-Zionist left.
One can only hope that under the new leadership of Shelly Yachomovich, the Labor Party will reaffirm the Zionist credo and encourage Labor Zionists who lost the plot, to return to the fold.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Queensland allows neo-Nazi festival to go ahead

From Ynet News, 19 April 2012:Queensland AG says 'disgusting' Hammered music festival not illegal. Former lawmaker claims major white-pride event violates anti-discrimination legislation
Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said banning the Hammered music festival, is expected to draw white supremacists from Australia and overseas, is out of the question in the interests of free speech.
Bleijie was quoted by the Brisbane Times as saying that he was "disgusted" by the major white-pride event to be held in Brisbane this weekend, but added that “while the government does not condone neo-Nazi or extremist beliefs, it is not illegal to hold an event such as this.
"The Queensland government will not ban this festival, but any attendees who incite or commit violence or racism will be dealt with by the police,” he warned.

כרזת פרסומת לפסטיבל
Poster promoting festival

According to the Brisbane Times, former independent member for Burnett Rob Messenger, who launched a Parliamentary e-Petition against the “Neo Nazi, race hatred-inspired gathering,” said he was frustrated the views of nearly 2000 petition signatories had been ignored.
He claimed allowing Hammered to proceed made Queensland a national “laughing stock.”

“The government, I believe, under current Queensland laws, has the ability to stop the rally,” Messenger was quoted by the Brisbane Times as saying.
"I believe that it breaches anti-discrimination (legislation) as it stands, but in the meantime, and at the very least, the (Attorney-General) should untie the hands of the Queensland police and allow them to investigate the concert promoters and their public advertising.”

The Brisbane Times said the Hammered Festival is organized by a group called the Southern Cross Hammerskins, a local branch of an international association spawned from the American white power skinhead movement.
This is the first year the three-year-old festival will be held in Brisbane, the report said, and websites promoting the event say it coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Southern Cross Hammerskins in Australia.
Other websites promoting the festival contain pro-Nazi media including YouTube video clips celebrating Adolf Hitler, according to the report.

Australian NGO funding called into question

From:The Australian, March 30, 2012, by Jason Edelstein:

THE problematic nature of massive funding from European governments to NGOs active in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict is regularly part of the public debate in Israel.
Now issues related to Australian funding for such organisations has become part of this important conversation.
In a new report, Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Centre) presents "conclusive evidence" that a Gaza-based organisation supported by two Australian groups is linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group.
The report explains that the Australian Agency for International Development and World Vision Australia are "providing financial aid and other forms of material support to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, an agency of the proscribed terror organisation the PFLP."
The possibility that Australian government funding is being transferred to organisations affiliated with a terror group reflects a wider problem. As demonstrated by research by NGO Monitor, an independent, non-profit organisation based in Jerusalem, substantial AusAID funding is channelled through Australian NGO intermediaries to NGOs that claim a "human rights" mandate, but in reality pursue agendas counterproductive to peace.
In fact, numerous Australian-funded NGOs are active in anti-Israel demonisation campaigns such as BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions).
Along with funding World Vision Australia, in 2010-2011 AusAID provided $5.5 million to APHEDA, Actionaid Australia, and CARE Australia. This funding is conducted within the framework of the Australia Middle East NGO Co-operation Program, which claims the noble goal of "improving food security and the livelihoods of Palestinians and strengthening the community organisations that provide them with basic services".
But, as is the case with European funding, the stated goals of NGOs often do not square with their actual activities.
As NGO Monitor has shown, APHEDA, for example, engages in activities that fuel the conflict and do not promote humanitarian objectives. APHEDA campaigns for a one-sided and immoral arms embargo that would impair Israeli defence against terror attacks, uses demonising "apartheid" language, endorses the so-called Palestinian "right of return" and partners with organisations promoting BDS and "lawfare" tactics. Its Middle East tours have served as the basis for promoting BDS campaigns in Australia.
Last year, Australian senator Eric Abetz criticised APHEDA for its work with a pro-BDS Palestinian NGO, but no changes were implemented to better monitor and evaluate Australian government funding. As a result, Australian NGOs continue to partner with and provide funding to Palestinian NGOs that are active in BDS campaigns and other anti-Israel demonisation.
CARE Australia receives AusAID funding for a joint project with Ma'an Development Centre and the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem. While ARIJ claims to be a "non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable development in the occupied Palestinian territories and the self-reliance of the Palestinian people through greater control over their natural resources", its activities promote the conflict. Along with supporting BDS campaigns, a December 2008 publication labels Jerusalem's mayor a "racist" who supports "ethnic cleansing".
In 2009, Ma'an Development Centre published Boycotts, Divestment & Sanctions: Lessons learned in effective solidarity, a guide to grassroots and international BDS campaigns. Instances of delegitimisation of Israel include a "case study" about a farmer from Qalqilya that refers to "consecutive occupation governments since 1948". This is one of many examples in which such NGOs are continuing the war waged by Arab leaders against Israel from the moment that the state became independent.
Such activities are entirely inconsistent with promoting peace based on mutual understanding and reconciliation.
These government-funded organisations are undermining Australian government policies that foster values necessary for such a peace to exist. This funding not only provides a lifeline for these groups to sustain or expand highly politicised activities, but it also provides a stamp of approval when they seek additional funding for other projects and from other sources.
The questions that have been raised about AusAID and World Vision Australia pose an opportunity for constructive action by the Australian government. It does not make sense that Australian taxpayers would fund groups whose destructive activities run entirely counter to the policies and principles of their government.
A serious investigation into NGO funding and partnerships, including the possibility of terror connections, would be a positive first step towards increasing accountability and towards eventually adopting clear, enforceable guidelines.

Also see these postings on the Friends of Israel Western Australia blog:

Obama support for "Zionist lobbies" is just "rhetoric" ...?

This 2-minute video from Youtube, published on on Mar 6, 2012 by CNSNews, is essential viewing:

The full question, and her full reply, as posted on the U.S. State Department website follows (follow this link to the full transcript):

Questioner: After the electoral campaign starts in the United States – it started some time ago – we noticed here in Tunisia that most of the candidates from the both sides run towards the Zionist lobbies to get their support in the States. And afterwards, once they are elected, they come to show their support for countries like Tunisia and Egypt for a common Tunisian or a common Arab citizen. How would you reassure and gain his trust again, once given the fact that you are supporting his enemy as well at the same time?
Clinton: Well, first, let me say, you will learn as your democracy develops that a lot of things are said in political campaigns that should not bear a lot of attention. There are comments made that certainly don’t reflect the United States, don’t reflect our foreign policy, don’t reflect who we are as a people. I mean, if you go to the United States, you see mosques everywhere, you see Muslim Americans everywhere. That’s the fact. So I would not pay attention to the rhetoric.
Secondly, I would say watch what President Obama says and does. He’s our president. He represents all of the United States, and he will be re-elected president, so I think that that will be a very clear signal to the entire world as to what our values are and what our president believes.
So I think it’s a fair question because I know that – I sometimes am a little surprised that people around the world pay more attention to what is said in our political campaigns than most Americans, say, are paying attention. So I think you have to shut out some of the rhetoric and just focus on what we’re doing and what we stand for, and particularly what our president represents.

What do you think this says abut the Obama administration???
Read Barry Rubin's opinion on Pyjamas Media.