Sunday, March 22, 2009

We came, we saw, we destroyed.

A T-shirt with the image of a pregnant Muslim woman in the cross-hairs of a sniper's rifle and bearing the slogan "1 SHOT 2 KILLS".  Other shirts and caps, adorned with similar slogans, such as "WE CAME, WE SAW, WE DESTROYED". Such is the trophy clothing, boasting of rape, murder and destruction, printed and worn by members of various Israel Defence Force units.

Just another sign of the increasing callousness of those who make up "the most moral army in the world".

For the full story go to:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Human Rights (for some)

Homeless refugees in Gaza shelter in the ruins of their home.

Debate goes on in Australia about the need for a Bill of Rights or Charter of Rights. Those for such a document argue that it would guarantee and enshrine the basic rights of all citizens, to be upheld in our courts of law. Those against maintain that our rights are best preserved through the workings of the federal parliament - claiming that our elected representatives, not unelected judges, should be the watchdogs of our freedom and rights.  Some assert that Australia is the only Western democracy without such a bill or charter.

As the "only democracy in the Middle East" Israel would, one imagines, assume responsibility for the basic rights of all its citizens and those living under its military occupation.  But of course it doesn't. Only its Jewish citizens are entitled to the full protection of Israeli laws. Its Arab citizens enjoy only a second-class status. The Palestinians under its protection as an occupying power (in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem) face the theft and destruction of their property, imprisonment without trial, restrictions of movement and beatings and killings by army personnel, with no meaningful recourse to law. Land thefts and extra-judicial killings by agents of the state continue to go unpunished.

Such a debate as we are having in Australia is irrelevant in the context of Israel. When laws are enacted for the benefit of some, and denied to others, then surely this earns Israel the definition of a racist state. While it continues on its present course Israel will increasingly be seen as a pariah nation by the rest of the world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

No more Holocaust movies

Last Sunday SBS television screened a Hungarian movie, "Fateless", about a Jewish boy's experiences in a World War 2 concentration camp. While I'm a fan of foreign-language movies on SBS, I couldn't bring myself to watch this one, though I had enjoyed a brilliant Israeli movie, "Sweet Mud", (about a boy growing up on a kibbutz in the 1970s) earlier in the week.

I have seen enough Holocaust movies to last me a lifetime, especially those of the Hollywood variety. There are many Jews, in Israel and worldwide, who are fed up with the incessant portrayal of Jews as victims. As the American academic Norman Finkelstein has argued in his book, "The Holocaust Industry", promoters of the Holocaust work to portray Israel as a victim state, thereby garnering it immunity to criticism of its horrendous human rights record.

Israel has, grotesquely, attempted to portray itself as the victim during the recent Gaza massacres. Meanwhile, it continues with the inexorable ethnic cleansing of the occupied West Bank. While it persists on its present path it can only fuel the fires of anti-Semitism worldwide.

I probably missed a really good movie, but until we start seeing similar treatments of the Palestinian Holocaust coming out of Hollywood and Europe then the subject is closed for me.