23 October 2016


Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy

On October 9th, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he plans to support his coalition’s initiative to boycott the Joint List, the third largest party in the Knesset. The move, initiated by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, is aimed at punishing the party’s decision not to go to former President Shimon Peres’s funeral, which was attended by dignitaries from no less than 70 countries, including US President Barack Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “Members of the Joint List have proven that there’s no point anymore in discussing anything or even arguing with them,” Lieberman averred, while adding “that we must decide to boycott all their appearances and addresses in the Knesset.”

Speaking on Israeli Channel 2, the head of the Joint Arab List, Ayman Odeh, explained that Peres’s funeral was part of a “national day of mourning in which I have no place; not in the narrative, not in the symbols that exclude me, not in the stories of Peres as a man who built up Israel’s defenses.” He went on to recall scenes in Peres’ long public career: from his role in the military government imposed on Israel’s Palestinian citizens in 1948-1966, through his pivotal role in obtaining Israel’s nuclear arsenal, to the IDF’s 1996 attack on a UN compound in the Lebanese village Qana, where 106 civilians were killed. He even cited Peres’s failure to attend Arafat’s funeral (with whom he had won the Nobel Peace Prize), or, indeed, of any other Israeli-Arab leader.

Perhaps because he did not think the Israeli public could stomach it, Odeh did not mention that Peres was a colonist through and through. In documents recently revealed, Peres is quoted as saying that he does not believe in an “Arafat state” and that Jordan is the only Palestinian state, while bemoaning the existence of Palestinian citizens in the Galilei. “I see how they eat up the Galilei and my heart bleeds,” he told former Prime Minister Menachem Begin in a 1978 meeting between the two. Much more recently, Peres went so far as to maintain that “Israel Defense Force operations enabled economic prosperity in the West Bank, relieved southern Lebanese citizens from the terror of Hezbollah, and have enabled Gazans to have normal lives again.” Indeed, until his death he was the paradigmatic voice of the colonial civilizing mission.

During the same Channel 2 interview, however, Odeh did point out to his Israeli Jewish audience that the following Saturday the Arab-Israeli community would be marking the 16th anniversary of the October 2000 riots in which 13 citizens of the community were killed by police during a series of demonstrations protesting Israel actions against Palestinians at the outset of the Second Intifada. “Will anyone from the government attend?” Odeh pondered; “Can someone understand our pain or does our pain not interest anybody?”

Notwithstanding Odeh’s candid effort to expose Israel’s racist approach toward its Palestinian citizens, Netanyahu’s coalition is determined to boycott the Joint Arab List.

Ironically, this is the same coalition that has been outspoken against the adoption of the boycott strategy as a legitimate non-violent political tool to struggle against Israel’s subjugation of the Palestinian people. Indeed, Netanyahu’s government is currently spending millions and millions of dollars to combat the Palestinian boycott movement, while criminalizing anyone who dare to support it publically. Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced the formation of a committee to prevent BDS activists from entering the country, and to deport those already in Israel/Palestine.

Boycotting Israel’s colonial project is anti-Semitic, Netanyahu and his cronies assert, as they boycott the Palestinian leaders who dared not pay final respect to Peres.  They are so captivated by their twisted logic, that the irony is lost on them.

This article first appeared in Al Jazeera
Neve Gordon is the co-author (with Nicola Perugini) of the newly released The Human Right to Dominate.

21 October 2016


What is it about Australian politicians - do they really think that 24 million people living in this country are dumb?

People understand torture and abuse when they see it - or even when they don't see it - although we are not supposed to believe the reports that manage to get through the smokescreens and other subterfuges that governments use to hide the human rights abuses they are perpetrating behind closed doors.

So we don't know what went on in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Auschwitz, Gulags and other equivalent horror hot spots such as Gaza and the occupied West Bank of Palestine?

Despite their best attempts information manages to get out into the public arena and is seen and read by thousands if not millions of people around the world.

Even today, the New York Times, one of the most conservative papers around, has an article condemning Australia's treatment of asylum seekers in Manus and Nauru.

The Nauru cowboys get a free run to further torture asylum seekers who are not locked up in their cages all the time by harassing them and assaulting them at every given opportunity.

The main problem is that the public has been so apathetic about what governments are doing in Australia that there hasn't been a massive outcry with thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, getting on to the streets and demonstrating their objection to this police-state-like activity on the part of government and opposition alike.

There are solutions available, but some politicians are cruel and enjoy their sadistic cruelty and insist that they know best what they are doing and everybody else is wrong.

One has to continue to believe that this will come to an end one day, as usually this sort of regime ends - think apartheid South Africa - and with ongoing pressure apartheid Australia, apartheid Israel and a few other apartheid states will come to an end.

Maybe some of the perpetrators will end up in international criminal justice tribunals and be forced to admit to their atrocities.

09 October 2016


 Before I get started on the rest of this story of the hypocrisy of the politicians of much of the world, I think the most breathtaking one came today, 8 OCTOBER 2016, from John Kerry from the USA, holding forth on the war crimes being committed in Syria by the Russians and others on the bombings taking place on civilians in Aleppo and other areas of Syria.

This is the same John Kerry who didn't say or do anything when Israel bombed Gaza to smithereens, not once, not twice, but on an ongoing basis.

Then you have to read the three stories below and note the hypocrisies of all the governments concerned of the countries under the microscope.

I believe the episodes involved everywhere are nothing short of the most unbelievably hypocrisy that we have seen perpetrated anywhere in the world.

When you have finished reading the stories, discuss what you think of the unspeakable chutzpah, to use that wonderful Yiddish word, to describe our politicians "great and small" everywhere.


Israeli sentenced to 5 years for joining Syrian Qaeda group

Amin Ahmad Saleh Snobar convicted of traveling to Syria, training with Nusra Front terror group

April 21, 2016, 2:26 pm 1
An Israeli Arab man was sentenced on Thursday to five years in prison after being convicted of traveling to Syria to join the al-Nusra Front and fight against President Bashar Assad’s regime.
The Haifa District Court sentencing of Amin Snobar, 24, from Kafr Yasif in the northern Galilee, was the most severe so far given to Israeli citizens who have been involved in the Syrian civil war.
He was also ordered to pay a NIS 35,000 ($9,300) fine or serve an extra half a year in prison.
Court papers revealed that Snobar left Israel in mid-2014 and traveled to Turkey. From there he infiltrated into Syria.

Snobar then spent six months training with various jihadist groups including the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front. In December 2014 he returned to Israel, whereupon he wiped information from his computer, as well as instructing his family to do the same. He also destroyed his cellphone and the SIM card that he used during his time in Syria, actions the court said were intended to hinder a possible investigation, according to court documents.

Amin Snobar
          in Haifa District Court on April 21, 2016. (Screen capture:
          Ynet news)
Amin Snobar in Haifa District Court on April 21, 2016. (Screen capture: Ynet news)
He was arrested after his return to Israel in January 2015 and convicted a year later on several charges, including exiting the country in an illegal manner, membership in an illegal organization, illegal military training, providing services and assistance to an illegal organization, and obstruction of justice.

Snobar’s legal representative said the sentence was unprecedented and noted that another man convicted of joining the Islamic State was given only two years in prison, Channel 2 reported. The attorney also pointed out the Snobar cooperated with investigators by confessing to most of the charges against him and did not in any way harm state security.

“While it is true that [prosecutors] did not prove that the defendant had [specific] intentions to harm the State of Israel, that does not pardon his actions,” the court noted.

“He took part in extensive and diverse training during the half-year in which he was a member of various groups, including the al-Nusra Front, and in various locations.”

According to the ruling, Snobar trained in bomb-making, infantry combat and the use of various weapons, including assault rifles and RPGs.

The court concluded that Snobar “was not engaging in adventurous behavior, but in the behavior of one who wishes to be part of a terror organization, and even to die as a ‘martyr’ in a jihad in which he sought to participate.”

The al-Nusra Front, the ruling read, “constitutes an arm of al-Qaeda. It was not established just to battle against the Assad regime. It is a Salafist jihadist Islamic organization for which the toppling of the Assad regime is only part of a comprehensive regional plan that intends to establish an Islamic regime in the region, including by replacing the State of Israel, and through the use of violence to achieve its goals.”

Israel formally declared several Syrian jihadist groups, including Islamic State and the al-Nusra Front, illegal organizations in late 2014, after Snobar had already set off on his journey.

According to security services, more than 50 Israeli citizens have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic State.

In December 2015, in two separate incidents, an East Jerusalem man and five residents of Nazareth were arrested for planning terror attacks in support of IS.

In November, six Arab Israelis from Jaljulia were arrested for preparing to join Islamic State after a seventh man successfully joined the organization by hang gliding into Syria from the Golan Heights.
And in October, in the first indictments for IS-affiliated activity on Israeli soil, seven men were indicted in Nazareth for attempting to carry out terror attacks in Israel under the Islamic State’s flag, having already acquired weapons and scoped out army bases and police stations.


Man found guilty of preparing to travel to Syria sentenced to five years’ jail.

By Emma Younger, ABC News 290916

A would-be-foreign fighter has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail for attempting to join the conflict in Syria in one of the first cases of its kind in Australia.

Melbourne man Amin Mohamed, 26, was convicted of three counts of making preparations to travel to a foreign country to engage in hostile acts for attempting to fight on the frontline in Syria.

The Somalian-born New Zealand citizen was stopped from boarding a plane bound for Turkey at Brisbane airport in 2013.

He was later arrested and charged for applying for a passport, buying a plane ticket for Turkey and obtaining a contact for a fixer to help him travel from Turkey to Syria.

Mohamed made the arrangements with the help of Sydney jihadist recruited Hamdi Al-Qudsi who has since been jailed for helping young people travel to Syria.

In sentencing, Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry said he did not think Mohamed would have “lasted long”.

“You do not seem to have any previous experience that would have equipped you for what you apparently wanted to do,” he said.

“That may be a clear indicator of how misguided your state of mind was at the time.”

Justice Lasry noted few people have been sentenced for the offence Mohamed was convicted of and none was similar.

Resolve to travel should not be downplayed.

Mohamed has since acknowledged he became “extreme” about religion and was motivated by hijrah – to travel to another country for the sake of God.

He told the court he now described himself as being naïve and foolish.

Justice Lasry told the court despite that self-reflection, Mohamed had failed to ever admit he was planning to join the conflict in Syria and his resolve to travel should not be downplayed.

“These arrangements were being carefully planned with a view to ensuring that your plans were not discovered,” he said.

“There was a time for reflection but you were not deterred and indeed your enthusiasm for your travel plans and the desire to engage in hostile activities seemed to escalate.”

After his arrest, Mohamed was held in immigration detention and he will now be transferred to prison to serve a minimum sentence of three-and-a-half years.

Taking into account the time he has already spent in detention, Mohamed will be eligible for release next year.

He is then likely to be deported, despite the fact his mother and siblings live in Melbourne.


  • September 27 2016 The Age

Manny Waks sues brother for defamation over 'harbouring paedophile' claims

Yeshiva Centre child sexual abuse whistleblower Manny Waks is suing his brother for defamation, in a case likely to re-inflame tensions over abuse cover-ups in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.
Avi Yemini is the co-founder of IDF Training in Caulfield.Avi Yemini is the co-founder of IDF Training in Caulfield.  Photo: www.facebook.com/AviYeminiOfficial/
Mr Waks' brother Avrahem (Avi) Yemini​ has refused to remove from his public Facebook page explosive claims that Mr Waks and his parents hosted a known paedophile in their home for financial gain.

Mr Waks has acknowledged that the Waks family had a man convicted of a child sex offence - New York Rabbi Moshe Keller - staying at the family home over a period of days last year. (Rabbi Keller was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child after a court heard he had inappropriately touched a 15-year-old boy, The New York Times has reported.)

Manny Waks is suing his brother for defamation.Manny Waks is suing his brother for defamation.  Photo: Penny Stephens
But Mr Waks says the family was initially unaware that Rabbi Keller would be staying at the home, and as soon as the Waks family was aware of the situation, they asked Rabbi Keller to leave.

Yeshiva wrote to parents in September last year to say it had been brought to their attention that "an individual ... who was previously charged with child related crimes, is visiting Melbourne and is staying in close proximity to the school campus.

"We have been in contact with Victoria Police and consulted with the relevant authorities and the individual is completely excluded from any access to the Yeshivah Centre in its entirety, at all times," the letter stated.

Mr Waks came to national prominence after he broke the silence about sexual abuse within Melbourne's Orthodox community, specifically at the St Kilda East Yeshiva College.

Mr Yemini is the co-founder of IDF Training, a pro-Israel gym in Caulfield that has come under attack for recruiting members to serve in the Israeli army, and has offered training in weaponry hosted by former Israeli Defence Force snipers.

The brothers' relationship has been strained for years, but the defamation suit represents a new low.
In documents lodged with the Supreme Court, Mr Waks says Mr Yemini's claims held him up to contempt and ridicule, and seriously injured his credit and reputation.

But Mr Yemini told Fairfax he would fight the defamation action.

Last year Mr Yemini posted on his public page a photograph of Manny and his parents, Zephaniah and Chaya Waks, beneath a headline reading "PLEASE SHARE: IMPORTANT CSA [child sexual abuse] OFFENDER COMMUNITY ALERT!"

Beneath, it read: "Moshe Keller, a notorious, convicted child sex offender is currently staying at the Waks' family home which is located literally metres from a school frequented by hundreds of children. Ironically, it is the very same school that Zephaniah (and Manny) Waks have been attacking relentlessly for years now in a so called bid to 'protect the children' who attend there."

Mr Yemini made further claims which Fairfax has chosen not to republish.

The post remains visible on the public page.

In 2013, the Waks family put their home on the market and moved to Israel, saying they had been bullied, harassed and ostracised from the Chabad community after Manny blew the lid on abuse at Yeshiva.

Two years later, Mr Waks said on his website, his parents had "finally" managed to sell their house, "unknowingly" selling it to Rabbi Keller's daughter and her large family.

"At the time of sale they were completely unaware of the link (the Keller daughter has adopted her husband's family name)," Mr Waks wrote in September last year.

"The contract has already been finalised and the settlement is due in December. As the family needed a place to stay for a few months, my parents generously offered them to move into the house this week free of charge (over Rosh Hashanah only Moshe Keller and his wife stayed over)."

He said once the link was known, the Kellers were asked to leave.

Mr Waks is seeking damages and court costs against his brother, saying Mr Yemini failed to offer him a right to reply before putting his Facebook post online, and did not alter the post after Mr Waks had publicly responded.

02 October 2016


If you ever want to read fiction of the highest order, or watch and listen to it in all the other media, all you have to do is tune in to Turnbull and all the other parliamentarians and their denier/denialist mates telling us what happened in South Australia with the complete power blackout in that state.


Having lived for 90 years through the period of the nazi holocaust period and subsequent denialists, followed by the AIDS deniers and the more recent climate change/global warming denialists, as well as the zionist story of anti-zionism equals anti-semitism spread by Israel, one wonders if there is anything left for denialism to feature.

Oh, I forgot the whole ongoing saga of the deaths and disasters in the Middle East - nothing to do with Israel and Palestine - all to do with everybody else! 

Not only have the holocaust deniers been at it since the end of world war II, they are still at it now in 2016. The ex-president of South Africa and his health minister who is no longer around propagated the myth that beetroot, garlic and a few other likeminded vegies would cure AIDS. The ex-president, Mbeki, is still saying it in 2016.

Climate change and global warming denialists are still in their infancy - in a manner of speaking - in more ways than one, and, what can one say about Israel and anti-semitism. The greatest causes of anti-semitism continue to be the Israeli government, and this will also continue long past 2016.

One can only conclude that education is wasted on many people and certainly the deniers show that they do not understand the first concepts of education - and nor do they want to - they make vast amounts of money from the denialist industry, money that could well be spent on rectifying so much of what is wrong in the world today.

28 September 2016


Concentration Camps seem first to have entered the world stage when the British Government established concentration camps in South Africa between 1899 and 1902 when the Boer Republics were fighting the British government to retain control of their lands - rich in resources such as gold, diamonds and other minerals - which the greedy British were trying to steal from them.

During that time the concentration camps contained many South African locals who were locked up in conditions which were criminal - and illegal - then, as the later concentration camps in modern times are illegal and criminal.

Think of the conditions of the millions of Palestinians locked up in Gaza and the West Bank, and the hundreds of asylum seekers locked up in Manus and Nauru.

The world is ignoring these crimes against humanity as they continue unabated.

Genocide is what is happening in Israeli occupied Palestine and in Australia what politicians are perpetrated can not be called genocide because it does not consist of any particular groups being targeted, the outcomes are the same in the fact that people's lives have become not worth living.


There are other ways to vote in the US elections than for the two major parties. The main stream media (MSM) which is notoriously one-sided and corrupt NEVER EVER mentions that there are other parties to vote for than the Democrats and the Republicans.

As in Australia where there is seldom mention of independents and others in the MSM one could be forgiven for believing one had very little choice.

The reverse is the truth and if people would explore deeper than the media which serve us our daily dross they would find to their great joy that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are loathed in equal measure and there are people standing for election who are honest and who have progressive policies and who will not take them to war at the drop of an NRA or equivalent.

The tragedy of elections is that mostly people are just too tired or disgusted to bother with any research into candidates and the truth is that most people are too tired at the end of yet another depressing day to bother about loathsome politics and even more loathsome politicians.

In Victoria in Australia we are about to have local government elections thrust upon us in the next few weeks and the evidence is that the major parties are, yet again, putting forward dummy candidates to make sure they get the votes one way or another.

Well, I have news for them - people have for many years already seen through this ploy and already in the last few years results have shown that people will no longer just vote like dummies.

Let us hope that in October in Victoria, Australia, and in the more vital international poll in the USA, people will vote for other than the corrupt main parties and remember there are worthwhile alternatives!

23 September 2016


Where does one start with the Palestine/Israel saga and why do people like Stan Grant who claims Aboriginal ancestry in Australia not understand the issue of the Palestinians?

Grant has been a news journalist and has been around in the world. He has been known for his misogyny when working at SBS many years ago but it seems he still hasn't learnt how politics around the world works.

Time he and a few others around Australia and elsewhere learnt that racism and nationalism and the truth of the apartheid Israeli regime should be called for what it is and realise that when the Israelis talk about anti-semitism it is they who are spreading it around the world so that they can continue to attack anti-zionists everywhere.


For God's sake, give Palestinians a fair go

During Tuesday night's ABC show Recognition: Yes or No? Stan Grant weighed in on his Aboriginal identity after 200 years of European settlement, citing Israel as an example Australia could follow for its cohesion and equal society. Israel, being itself a European settlement, was absolutely the last example expected for supporting the rights of Aboriginals' recognition in Australia.

He said: "I have been to Israel and I have seen the sense of Jewish belonging whether you are an Ethiopian Jew or a Russian Jew or an American Jew, with a whole range of ethnicities and everything else around it that coalesce around a sense of belonging and kinship."

Palestinian youths in Bethlehem list the names of the children killed in Israel's Operation Protective Edge military assault on the Gaza Strip in July 2014. Photo: AFP
Grant astonishingly fails to mention my people, the Palestinian people, who have resided under Israeli occupation or tutelage since (similar to Australia) mainly Europeans established a state on their lands 68 years ago. The use of Israel as an example for a place where "a whole range of ethnicities and everything else around it that coalesce around a sense of belonging and kinship" is flawed and simply unfactual.

In the words of former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Theodor Or, Palestinians in Israel face a structural and systematic discrimination with the Israeli state not doing "enough to grant equality" for its Arab citizens. We haven't even mentioned the 4 million Palestinians living under military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza for 49 years ongoing, or the other 4 million Palestinian refugees who were displaced in 1948.

Palestinians have lived under constant colonisation, dispossession and suffering from an illegal occupation that erodes their human, economic, and existential rights. Some 225,000 children in Gaza today require psychosocial support due to the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza in 2014; over 48,488 Palestinian structures have been demolished; and over 800,000 trees have been uprooted in the West Bank and Gaza. Is this a model Australia wants to replicate?

In an earlier speech Grant delivered at the IQ2 Racism Debate last year he called for Australians to acknowledge the two centuries of "dispossession, injustice and suffering". I find this statement to be strikingly similar to the Palestinians' plight for recognition, equality, justice, and statehood.

Suffice to say I find the irony in yesterday's comments painfully obvious. My 19-year-old sister, a future architecture engineer, was complaining to me yesterday about a 45-minute wait at an Israeli military checkpoint to her university in Ramallah. The military was chocking morning Palestinian traffic to let Israeli settlers reach Jerusalem without delay, with no regards to the native population of the West Bank and their livelihoods. This system, that increasingly resembles an apartheid, has to be internationally condemned and de-structured, not subtly praised.

Palestinians have been under a constant wave of colonisation, eroding their existence from the land they have proudly resided for thousands of years. Just like Grant is rightly proud of his ancestry that might run tens of thousands of years deep, I, too, am proud of my ancestry in Palestine. We both have suffered colonisation, marginalisation, and discrimination – most Palestinians still do – and we all ought to stand for equality and justice for their cause.

Anas Iqtait is a research Scholar at the Australian National University.


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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
89 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 93-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm