Thursday, February 26, 2009

We are already dead.

"What does it matter? We are already dead."

Eight words, two short sentences.  Spoken by a boy in Gaza this week, when he was warned against picking up a fragment of phosphorous, which burns through flesh tissues, right down to the bone (a memento courtesy of the Israeli Air Force).

Many Gazans feel that it is only a matter of time before Israel resumes its full-scale attack on their tiny, defenceless territory. And they could be right, particularly if Binyamin Netanyahu comes to power, with his stated intention of finishing the job.

And will our world leaders watch on, indifferent - as they watched the recent round of massacres -as the Final Solution unfolds? 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Land theft in Beit Furiq

Another roadblock between Nablus and Beit Furiq.

I reported in an earlier post how I had been invited to the village of Beit Furiq, east of Nablus, to witness damage done to a children's out-of-school facility by marauding Israeli storm troopers. The centre had just been refurbished using funds donated by AusAid - aid contributed by Australian taxpayers.

This week the Israeli army of occupation ordered five village families to vacate their homes which, they were told, are to be demolished. They will join 25 other families who have had their homes demolished and lands confiscated. Now, of the 18,000 dunums* of arable land belonging to the village, just 6,000 dunums remain.

The gradual ethnic cleansing of Beit Furiq will facilitate the expansion of several nearby colonial settlements, home to some of the most rabid and aggressive Zionist settlers in the West Bank.

* One dunum is approximately 1,000 square metres.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bil'in anniversary

This week marks the fourth anniversary of the farming village of Bil'in's resistance to the ongoing theft of its lands. Lying to the west of Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, Bil'in and the neighbouring villages have seen their agricultural lands substantially whittled away for settlements and Israelis-only access roads.

Each week scores of villagers, accompanied by international human rights workers and Israeli supporters, attempt to march from the village mosque to the site of the latest land theft. Each week they are confronted by heavily-armed Israeli storm troopers who retaliate against the peaceful protests with tear gas, stun grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition. 

Each week, in the village and in the olive groves, protesters are wounded, arrested, sometimes crippled and, occasionally, killed. Yet each week they come out again. It is this spirit which the Zionist state, for all its lack of moral scruples and much-vaunted military might, cannot break.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Ariel Sharon, the Butcher of Beirut, is still lying - for all I know or care - in a coma in some hospital bed.  In 1973 he proclaimed: "We'll make a pastrami sandwich of them...we'll insert a strip of Jewish settlements in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlements right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years' time, neither the United Nations nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart".  

In the 35 years since, he and his political heirs have worked conscientiously to fulfil his prophecy.

In West Bank villages I was asked, time and again: "Why won't the Jews live in peace with us? Why won't they share the land?" Sounds naive, doesn't it? But then the whole world has, for decades, been listening to the bullshit about the "peace process", watching on as Israel steals more and yet more of the Palestinians' dwindling land. Talking peace, stealing land. On and on.

It's time that the blinkers came off.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A tale of two countries

The bushfires which raged through the hills north of Melbourne this past week have ravaged many thousands of hectares of bushland, destroyed homes and businesses and caused the deaths of several hundred people. Messages of commiseration and offers of support have flooded in from around the world and Australia's politicians have expressed their sympathy and condolences for the survivors of the fires. Our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has been highly visible on television, hugging victims, listening to their stories and promising that their homes will be rebuilt.

Think back to January 6th, when an Israeli tank shell slammed into a United Nations school,*  killing 40 innocent Gazans and adding to the toll of over 1,300  (400 of them children) killed and 5,320 maimed during Israel's campaign of extermination. To this, Rudd's humanitarian response was, "Australia recognizes Israel's right to self-defence".

The victims of disasters, whether man-made or natural, deserve our compassion. When it is withheld or applied selectively we are entitled to know why. Rudd, like Obama, like most of the West's elected leaders, is just another opportunistic, run-of-the-mill politician who sees his or her political survival as dependant on kowtowing to Israel and the Zionist lobby. Shame on them.

* A reader has pointed out that the 40+ civilians were killed by a shell which landed on the periphery of the school, and not within the compound. This is true.  My apologies for consulting an earlier UN report which was challenged by the IDF who, somehow, seized upon this as justification for the slaughter. Middle East Reality Check (Useful Links) puts it very well in "Get UNRWA: the Ins & Outs of a Massacre".

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Woman Called Golda

Will the real Golda Meir please stand up?

The Australian actress Judy Davis was a signatory to a recent ad in the Sydney Morning Herald condemning the slaughter in Gaza. By doing so she has redeemed herself, in my eyes, for her misguided decision to take the role of the young Golda Meir in the 1982 movie A Woman Called Golda. (The older Golda was played, if you can believe it, by Ingrid Bergman.)

Golda Meir, the fourth prime minister of Israel, began life as Golda Mabovitz in the Ukraine, before migrating to the USA with her parents. After moving to Israel she changed her name to Golda Myerson, before finally settling on Meir. Said to be strong-willed and ruthless, she earned the nickname "The Iron Lady", 20 years before her English counterpart Margaret Thatcher succeeded to the title.  She asserted, famously: "There were no such things as Palestinians" and "They did not exist".

Davis and Bergman are just two of a number of Hollywood stars who have lent their talents (and their film star good looks) to glorifying the Zionist enterprise. Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint and Sal Mineo starred in the 1960 blockbuster, "Exodus", based upon Leon Uris's novel of the same name. A generation of gullible viewers in the West became supporters of Israel after watching this propagandistic fantasy. 

What next? Nicole Kidman as Tzipi Livni? Enough already. 

Good on you, Judy, for coming to your senses.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More on Monifa

There's something about babies, human or animal, which appeals to us at a visceral level. My son sent me the link below, just in case I hadn't got enough of Monifa, the infant baby hippo.

Watching the video clip, seeing how the zoo keepers handled the little creature with fondness and devotion, it escapes my comprehension how soldiers can become so de-humanised that they can slaughter children and animals in cold blood.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I am lucky

In October 2008 Sydney's Taronga Zoo saw the arrival of the first pygmy hippopotamus to be born at the zoo in 23 years. Australians were captivated by photos and video footage of the endearing baby animal. It was named Monifa which, in Nigerian, means "I am lucky".

Not so lucky were the animals in Gaza Zoo. When Israeli storm troopers mounted their devastating New Year blitzkrieg upon defenceless Gaza they spared neither hospitals, schools, mosques, trapped families, women or children - nor did they spare the animals in Gaza Zoo. After the Israeli incursion the zoo reeked of death, with the bodies of dead animals lying in nearly every cage. They had been shot at close range.

I doubt whether even Mark Regev, the Melbourne-born chief apologist for Israel's war crimes, would have the hide to suggest that these animals posed a threat to the security of Israel. Their only crime was to provide some pleasure to the children of Gaza, 1,000 of whom visited the zoo each day.

Israel has decreed to the people of Gaza: no food, no electricity, no medical supplies, and no pleasure!