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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 19 January 2009
Gallery of Sydney rally for Gaza 18 Jan attended by thousands of Australians
Topic: local news

Some coverage you won't get on Adam Spencer's ABC 702 Breadfast show, or the Deborah Cameron show following on Monday morning 19 Jan 2009 supposedly covering happenings in Sydney. Press in Sydney also looks weak in terms of visuals.

One theme of John Pilger's speech included this quote: "the media have built a wall between the public and the massacres in Gaza"

Sorry to say there were some pictures on posters at the rally that were so graphic that we couldn't bear to photograph them, let alone post them here. The truth is the horror of war is being sanitised by our mass media in a collective conspiracy of silence as to the real actoins of Israel ally of the Australian Govt.

By contrast the millions of Arabic tv viewers are being shown the gruesome truth of Israel's cynical war as it promotes it's blockade and slow strangulation and torture of the Palestinians in Gaza, but also the West Bank, not least by illegal squatter towns, and aparthied land laws.

This story page 1 leading the Sydney Morning Herald :

Israel kept out aid for Gaza - World - smh.com.au p1 19 Jan 2009

As we write we are listening to the regualar local ABC radio 'Party Liners" segment with no mention of the Gaza scandal 10 minutes in with two old major party hacks Stephen ODoherty and John Brown (a severe critic of the Iraq war which is seriously inconsistent).

 

 

Picture: A group of girls of similar age to the daughters of Barak Obama, the red flags are the very big Construction Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, with NSW secretary Andrew Ferguson in the crowd. The black yellow red flag in the far distance is the Aboriginal Flag of the Indigenous Australians with representative opening the rally.


 


 


 


 


 


 

 


Posted by editor at 6:59 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 19 January 2009 9:39 AM EADT
Sunday, 18 January 2009
A word about our advertising ... it's not 'ours'
Topic: independent media

We sort of knew this would happen.

Once we signed up for Google Adsense we would get adverts that we had no control over. For instance we have no problem with people wanting to learn Hebrew but next to a string of stories about the atrocities in Gaza by the IDF? That's annoying.

On the flipside we aren't by choice spruikers for Arabic language or becoming the "next 007".

Or what about the solar energy adverts, which are cool, but following a pitch to invest in uranium as the next big stock mover? That's annoying.

The silver lining may be that it indicates readers from the relevant parts of the world. Or maybe it's only that it relates to story content which is not as useful but logical on their part.

There may be a way to block such adverts selectively. We haven't worked that out yet via the Google universe of advertising online.

Suffice to say whatever adverts they choose we won't be changing our news analysis and coverage. That's a promise.

In memory of Lasantha Wikrematunga.


Posted by editor at 10:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 18 January 2009 10:11 AM EADT
Sydney rally for Gaza scheduled for Sunday 18 Jan 2pm Town Hall CBD
Topic: local news

Via Sydney Indy Media, confirmed by source in Sydney big media

Date and Time: 

18/01/2009 2:00pm - 5:00pm

 

Emergency rally

* Stop the war on Gaza

* End the brutal siege, bombing and invasion of Palestine

* End the Rudd government's support for Israel's massacres

* Suspend all Australia-Israel ties until Gaza is free

* Freedom and self-determination for Palestine

Assemble Sydney Town Hall - Sunday 18 January, 2:00PM

Speakers include:

* JOHN PILGER, renowned author and documentary film maker

* ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN, author of My Israel Question

* SYLVIA HALE, Greens MLC

* PAUL MCALEER, MUA Sydney Branch Assistant Secretary

=======================================

Protest initiated by the Gaza defence committee contact Tim Dobson 0430 209 865 or Dr Ghassan Achi 0408 605 437

Aljazeera live Arabic: http://www.aljazeera.net/channel/livestreaming

Aljazeera English: http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

Contact Name: 
Gaza Defence Committee
Location: 

Sydney Town Hall

 


Posted by editor at 9:48 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 19 January 2009 10:41 AM EADT
Acting PM Olmert announces ruthless Israeli unilateral ceasefire in '2hours 20 min' with ongoing tight blockade
Topic: world

The unilateral ceasefire reveals the utter cynicism of Big Israeli politics. To breach the ceasefire in early November 2008 after maintaining a crippling blockade for 4 months despite unprecedented reduction in rocket or mortar fire by a very disciplined Hamas to virtually zero.

Then with the inevitable ineffective rocket fire in retaliation by Hamas, the might of the full IDF slaughtering over 1000, hundred of children and 5000 injured.

Empty words about "not hating" the Palestinian children and blaming Hamas. "You're suffering is unbearable" this incredible hypocrite has just in the presser as we write.

The fact the ceasefire does not even include Hamas as a party shows Israel keeps a free hand and that it also maintains the continued blockade at the Israel border, and to the ocean, from passage to the West Bank or economic activity. Humanitarian supplies can enter via Eqypt no doubt but that also has a subtext.

As the Israeli and Al Jazeera commentators have said the Ultra Right coalitionists in the Israeli election and government seek Palestine and Gaza to be absorbed into Egypt. That is to destroy the two state solution and appease the right wingers in the coalition politics of Israel.

While taking questions Olmert's hypocrisy is underlined by thanking Cond Rice who he crunched by preventing a USA vote a week ago for a ceasefire in the UN Security Council. His empty words 'reaching out' to the people of Gaza "unjustly affected" are shocking from a deposed PM facing corruption allegations forced into an Acting PM role. For instance Haaretz (and Al Jazeera) reports this Israeli tv personality doctor with fluent Hebrew whose 3 daughters and neice were killed during live audio on Israeli television. The Israeli journalist taking the phone call is followed by the camera using his contacts successfully to get an ambulance for the wounded breaching the IDF blockade as an exception.

Israeli-trained Gaza doctor loses three daughters and niece to IDF ...17 Jan 2009

I want to know why my daughters were harmed. This should haunt (Israeli Ehud Prime Minister) Olmert his entire life," Abu al-Aish said on Israel's Channel 10, speaking through a cell phone in Hebrew as he has throughout the war.

He added that his daughters were "armed only with love."

Gazan officials identified Al-Aish's deceased daughters as 22-year-old Bisan, 15-year-old Mayer and 14-year old Aya. His niece was identified as 14-year-old Nour Abu al-Aish.

At least two other daughters were injured, and are currently being treated at Tel Ha-Shomer Hospital in Tel Aviv.

The press conference at Tel Ha-Shomer became tense at one moment when an Israeli woman and mother of three IDF paratroopers began yelling at Abu al-Aish, demanding that he explain why there was weaponry in the house.

Throughout the war, Abu al-Aish had put a face on the Palestinian suffering, making regular reports by cell phone to Israel's Channel 10. He is a rarity among Palestinians, a Hebrew-speaker who trained in two Israeli hospitals - the Soroka hospital in Beersheba just 18 miles from Gaza, and Tel Aviv's Tel Hashomer hospital.

His tragedy prompted numerous calls of concern to the station, many from
people who know him.

"We all know and love him well at Soroka, and we really hope the situation gets better," Dr. Shaul Sofer, head of the ER at Soroka who taught Abu al-Aish.

He also quotes President Bush and so called 2 state solution which has gone nowhere for the 8 years of the Bush Regime, with no mention of incoming president Obama.

The invisible person at the press conference? Yigal Amir murderer of Israeli prime minister Yitzak Rabin, symbolising the illegal Israeli Squatter movement running in the Feb 2009 election, unlike any Israeli Arabic Parties who have been outlawed only days ago from the so called "liberal democracy":

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0bpEgpQcPgbas/610x.jpg


Posted by editor at 8:02 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 18 January 2009 9:37 AM EADT
The Frank Sartor and Lisa Carty show - flick the switch to vaudeville!
Topic: nsw govt

Thank heavens for local NSW politics. With Gaza such a horror being shot to pieces by IDF gangsters on behalf of sinister illegal squatter movement, one embraces the light relief.

"I won't tackle premier" blares the lower circulation Sydney SunHerald today. Derr Frank.

You don't have a faction, or history in the ALP until poached from Sydney City Council independent politics by then Premier Bob Carr. You won't tackle him because your's is the last man standing desperation platform. There's a clue here Frank: You've got a face only a mother or wife could really love Frank as per the press image here:

I won't tackle Premier Sydney SunHerald 18 Jan 09 Exclusive: Frank Sartor breaks his silence on the plot to unseat NSW Premier, Nathan Rees.

And even further back in the mid 1990ies when you couldn't even get a gig with the successful bid team for the Olympics under the Fahey Coalition Govt? You were the Johnny On His Own even as the independent mayor of the CBD.

You're a bolt on Frank (as well as having a head like one?). Just like Peter Garrett. You will never be given the levers to the machine. Control of the treasury decisions. You might have laid down on the railway tracks for 5 years doing developer dirty work for the Tribe but they see that as their genius leveraging your previous strong cred as an independent to their own sleazy benefit. But truly Frank - it wouldn't matter if you had given your whole body to be burnt. You are not congenitally ALP which is why you ran as a successful independent mayor for Sydney all those years ago. And not for the ALP.

It's an old cliche but when you've been f*cked for your body and not your mind, they don't respect you in the morning Frank. It's been the morning after ever since Carr bailed out mid 2005. Why do you think Deputy Premier Andrew Refshauge announced his retirement after Carr's resignation pronto making way for Carmel Tebbutt in his own seat of Marrickville. So you could be premier? Dear fellow, in the words of Daryl Kerrigan, you're dreamin'.

(Just as this writer was too of Starship Troopers pseudo fascists in the form of the IDF last night but that was from watching Al Jazeera coverage of Gaza last evening.)

And there is another reason Frank you won't "tackle the premier". He's younger, brighter, and far more adept at diplomacy than you when he tries, and he's got truck loads of courage to take on his own machine at the pre- selections. You never had to do that as an insert to the ex Premier Carr food chain.

You Frank, are like a whiny dog with his tail between his legs asking for more. In that respect you are doomed to a certain fate like Peter Garrett 'with limited power' serving the beast we all know as the ALP. It's a gilded cage for you Franky, and Peter. That's the price you pay for the strut upon the stage.

Even today's front pager is exploitative by Fairfax to balance last Friday's front pager in the Daily Telegraph. You might think your voters in Rockdale, a large proportion of Mediteranean background, might be just a little distracted with the Middle East at the moment than interested to gird their loins in favour of their local MP?

As for Lisa Carty she is the proverbial 'bony arse bitch' of a journalist in the sense of the movie Working Girl character Signourney Weaver.

She can't help you, but she can use you. And she just did with your front pager and 2 page spread signifying just about nothing. Rees will be chuckling in his weeties at the din of empty vessels.


Posted by editor at 7:15 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 18 January 2009 7:58 AM EADT
Has PM Rudd destroyed any future career at the United Nations over Gaza scandal?
Topic: aust govt

The Rudd Government here in Australia has tried to mitigate their craven silence on the obvious war crimes of Israel in Gaza (by targeting civilians and UN facilities regardless of spin and hollow excuses) by announcing some significant but small compassionate policy decisions on a handful of refugees here in Australia.

Arrival of first visa recipients in ALP's asylum regime imminent ... 17 Jan 2009

But it's too little too late for a PM who likes to think of himself as a courageous Bonhoeffer, ie brave against political orthodoxy on matters of high morality: Rudd has probably destroyed any diplomatic credibility he had with the UN membership for a future career there for his silence literally as UN facilities are being shelled in Gaza, just like Lebanon in 2006, by the Israeli Defence Force using conventional and phosphorous explosives killing civllians and aid workers.

In a way this is Rudd's summer 2005 tsunami tragedy in South East Asia killing several hundred thousand, that in turn killed off Mark Latham's leadership amongst his rivals and critics in his own federal ALP. But actually the moral values of Rudd are under even more intense scrutiny. Latham had the excuse of illness and shock of losing the federal election to cope with late 2004 and cynics in his own party willing him to fail and shove off.

Rudd is in the ascendant as an elected PM, but here is the crucial point: He was elected as a Howard clone in a global and Australian boom. With a nice turn of Mandarin for our biggest future export market China. But he is NOT the right man for the job in a depression after the Global Financial Crisis. He's a free marketeer centre right ideologue unsuited to social welfare issues which will be paramount in the next economic cycle. His colleagues can cover for him but this callous handling of Gaza shows he's insensitive to the real plight of little people. He's just another ruthless clever ambitious rich man climbing over peoples' faces. His ALP federal MP colleagues will take due notice and the loathing will grow.

And his VC ceremony 'stunt' will be seen in time as too clever by half, evidencing John Howard's fatal flaw - the smart arse factor which Australians find repellant in anyone let alone leaders.

As the defeated 'man-o-steel' Howard correctly noted about rival Rudd in the 2007 election contest - Rudd effectively supported the invasion of Iraq as then shadow Foreign Minister in March 2003 with pandering to the Bush regime, undermining then ALP leader Simon Crean for careerist reasons. Contrast Barak Obama who spoke against the Iraq war:

Barack Obama's Iraq Speech - Wikisource 12 Nov 2008 ... Delivered on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 by Barack Obama, Illinois

Barack Obama and Joe Biden: The Change We Need | Iraq Barack Obama opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning. ... Washington lined up for war, Obama had the judgment and courage to speak out against the war. ...
www.barackobama.com/issues/iraq/

No wonder he made the front page of the local Sydney Arabic press in December 2008 before the Gaza scandal:

And no we don't read Arabic and would be interested to know what it says.

There is no equivalent speech or policy view by Rudd not in the press, parliament or wherever. There is by his then party leader Simon Crean but not Rudd. Google can't help no matter how many keyword searches.

Contrast PM Rudd with this press conference "hosted by Google", as well as this direct YouTube via Al Jazeera news network (which is very impressive) at our lead in above:

Jordan's queen's Gaza children plea

Jordan's Queen Rania is questioning whether children in the Gaza Strip have the same rights as others in the world.

The UNICEF activist, whose parents are Palestinian, urged the world to pay more attention to the plight of children in Gaza.

Queen Rania spoke to reporters during a meeting of UN regional chiefs in Amman.

She demanded that there be a humanitarian ceasefire so that wheat, fuel and medicine could reach Palestinians civilians trapped in Gaza.

The queen also called for emergency financial aid to be given to UN agencies.

She says the children of Gaza and their parents are "not acceptable collateral damage" and their lives do matter.

........................................

Rudd has deliberately bought into the Howard, and even extreme right winger local cleric George Pell, clash of civilisations agenda of Islam world religion versus the West by parading with a VC winner for heroic/defensive war actions against the Taliban in Afghanistan. It's an analysis replete with convenient selectivity and moronic simplifications which boil down to a free pass for the military industrial complex to screw the social services budget of every western country across the world.

Significantly Rudd also supported Hilary Clinton over Obama.

Rudd will play extremely well amongst the 500,000 strong extremist illegal squatter movement in Israel, but that's no achievement. They also praise Yigal Amir serving a life sentence for the murder of Labour Israeli PM Yitzak Rabin, and 30% of Israeli society want him to be pardoned according to reportage by Haaretz.

These are the extremists that hold the coalition politics of Israel - in an election season - hostage to their ruthless agenda of expulsion of Arabs from so called 'greater Israel'. Many of these criminal sympathisers have their finger on the trigger killing UN and civilians in Gaza at the time of writing - just like Blackwater in Iraq.

To the sly Israeli Squatter movement Gaza is all about fighting dictatorial extremist Islam on the home front in Gaza. Palestinians have no legitimate rights to a nation of their own at any time. For this ideological struggle any number of Palestinian children killed is "a just war".

No wonder the monarch of Jordan was forced to speak for them that their human rights are not indivisible. Her words condemn Rudd as a very small man like John Howard with a walnut for a heart.


Posted by editor at 5:47 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 18 January 2009 9:45 AM EADT
Saturday, 17 January 2009
Hilary Clinton's biased nonsense on Hamas violence reported today in News Corporation broadsheet
Topic: human rights

 

The Rudd Government here in Australia have tried to mitigate their craven silence on the obvious war crimes of Israel in Gaza (by targeting civilians and UN facilities regardless of spin and hollow excuses) by announcing some significant but small compassionate policy decisions on a handful of refugees here in Australia. But it's too little too late for a PM who likes to think of himself as a courageous Bonhoeffer, ie brave against political orthodoxy on matters of high morality:

Arrival of first visa recipients in ALP's asylum regime imminent ... 17 Jan 2009

Rudd has probably destroyed any diplomatic credibility he had with the UN membership for a future career there for his silence literally as UN facilities are being shelled by the Israeli Defence Force with conventional and phosphorous explosives killing civllians and aid workers.

Additionally Hilary Clinton as prospective Secretary of State in the USA from next Tuesday USA time is reported making an incredulous comment about the "abosolute" pre condition to negotiation with Hamas of renouncing violence:

Hillary Clinton faces a tough test for 'smart power' | The Australian 17 Jan 2009

But there's a red line the incoming Obama administration won't cross.

"I think on Israel you cannot negotiate with Hamas until it renounces violence, recognises Israel and agrees to abide by past agreements," Clinton said. "That is just for me, you know, an absolute. That is the US Government's position, that is the president-elect's position."

and earlier same article:

Clinton is seen as a staunch ally of Israel, particularly since becoming a New York senator, putting behind her, for instance, controversies such as embracing Yasser Arafat's wife Suha in 1999 after the latter had denounced Israel (Clinton later condemned the remarks when she saw an official translation, but the damage was done and it almost derailed her bid for the senate).

Incredulous for these reasons:

1. No sovereign government has ever renounced the option of violence especially in what it perceives to be in self defence. For a leading USA figure to preach the renunciation of violence is Lehrer-esque in its satirical tone. Lehrer said satire was dead when Henry Kissinger architect of the Vietnam war (killing millions) won the Nobel Peace Prize;

2. There is a real 'blame the victim' air to the naive comment by H Clinton, given the 5,000 injured with 1000 dead including many hundreds of children, after Isreal's constructive breach of the cease fire with ongoing blockade of essential supplies, then air strike killing 5 Hamas members in early November. All this after Hamas kept a truce discipline for 4 months July to October while Israel breached the truce (as below at 3). It calls up exclusively blaming the IRA for the million dead in the Irish Potato Famine when the British were net exporters of food away from the stricken. Or the Black Panthers after African Slavery to the USA tortured millions. Or the ANC under the jackboot of the pro Nazi Afrikaaner National Party. Clinton's comment is so inept as to be an alarming signal as to her capacity for the huge responsibility of Secretary of State;

3. The blockade on every side particularly the sea border controlled by Israel but also landside is a form of violence against Gaza with real fatalities. With 45% of children anaemic and therefore prone to severe illness, poverty, lack of medical and other services for a population of 1.5 million people, the blockade does kill people every day. The blockade on and off for 30 years but particularly the last 2 years is a form of real violence by Israel.

4. Then the creeping conquest by the 500K strong Israeli illegal squatter movement, backed by aparthied land laws with no objective written constitution in Israel is another form of violence on Palestinian legal rights.

5. Only this week we learn of the USA shipping 325 shipping containers of ammunition supplies for the IDF. Given 30% of Israeli society are sympathetic to the assassin of PM Rabin in 1995, and it is preumably these criminals targeting civilians and UN workers and facilities within the IDF in Gaza, the USA is complicit in arming these "gangsters" to quote Israeli historian Avi Shlaim in today's Sydney Morning Herald, last few paragraphs here:

Bitter pill after the mourning - World - smh.com.au 17 Jan 2009 For all its muscle power and powerful allies, Israel stands diminished in the eyes of the world, writes Paul McGeough. - Sydney Morning Herald Online.

....The Israeli historian Avi Shlaim has a wonderful knack of tracing the arcs of Israel's history to reveal today's reality - all the talk of successive governments about the peace process has been lip service which has conceded nothing on the ground.

Even before the events of this week, when Washington dismissed Olmert as - well, as a liar, and the UN used similar language to dismiss Israel's attempt to blame Hamas for the white phosphorous bombing of the UN's emergency stores of food and medicine in Gaza, Shlaim was in his library, re-evaluating the words of John Troutbeck.

In June 1948, Troutbeck vented to Ernest Bevin, the British foreign secretary of the day, that the US had been responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders".

"I used to think this judgment was too harsh," Shlaim wrote in The Guardian. "But Israel's vicious assault on the people of Gaza and the Bush Administration's complicity, have reopened the question."

Paul McGeough is the Herald's Chief Correspondent.

Yet Clinton laughably, selectively focuses on Hamas renouncing violence. And what does she say about Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela who also refused to renounce violence in the face of fascist aparthied and systemic human rights abuses by the South African Government? Her comments so far are a biased nonesense. As we write another 6 are reportedly killed in a UN school shelled by the Israeli Defence Force according to Al Jazeera coverage over the web. This is the covert campaign by Israel to achieve a Greater Israel while giving lip service to the 2 state solution in the West. This fraud must be condemned, not least perpetrated by Olmert facing corruption charges.

H Clinton has the great political kudos of her husband's previous efforts for peace in the 90ies. But she talks in a jaded tone about 'not giving up on peace' like it's a mid life gym routine in an impossible quest for the perfect body. If she takes that attitude the assassin of PM Rabin and 30% support in Israel wins and the world's belief in Israel will have been betrayed. In reality H Clinton has been pandering to the Greater Israel lobby at the expense of Palestinian human rights in the primaries and probably her whole Senate career as discussed by Mother Jones here:

Hillary Clinton's Little-Noticed Israel Problem 3 Apr 2008

"Clinton's rhetoric dates back to when her husband was attempting to broker a compromise on the holy city. She first took the position in 1999, prior to announcing her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in New York. (It was later in the same campaign that Clinton was slammed for hugging and kissing Suha Arafat, the wife of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, at a ceremony on the West Bank, where Suha, speaking in Arabic, accused the Israeli government of using poison gas against Palestinian women and children. Hours after the event, Clinton condemned her.) "I personally consider Jerusalem the eternal and indivisible capital of Israel," she wrote in a letter to the president of Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, echoing the exact language favored by some Israeli politicians. That stand was interpreted in the media as an obvious pander, a play for support among the hardline segment of New York's sizable Jewish community. "Israel's new friend Hillary Clinton, born-again Zionist" read the headline in her hometown paper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. As Michael Tomasky later wrote in Hillary's Turn, his book about the 2000 campaign, "The Jerusalem question is always an issue in New York campaigns, and anyone running for dogcatcher in New York signs on to the position Hillary took."

Hilary Clinton has a much bigger more important job now than pandering to New York Jewish diaspora, and it's well before time she worked that out.


Posted by editor at 6:59 PM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 20 January 2009 11:00 AM EADT
Friday, 16 January 2009
Australian PM Kevin Rudd offers no comfort or view on bombing of UN headquarters or Gaza hospital by Israel ally
Topic: aust govt

In a rather pathetic form of timing Kevin Rudd is dominating the lead evening news in Sydney by the pretext of awarding the highest military honour to an undoubtedly brave Australian soldier:

VC award 'stuff of legends': 'I don't see myself as a hero' - National 16 Jan 2009 ... Mr Rudd said Trooper Donaldson's actions "leapt from the page" and was "stuff of legends".

When was the well earned VC ceremony organised? Is it an excuse to avoid the Israeli war crimes underway in Gaza? Why is Rudd silent on the 5,000 injured and dead mostly civillians? Is this the craven calculations of a supremely amoral politician at his worst hiding behind a brave soldier to avoid his policy responsibilities to promote human rights including for relatives of Australian citizens in Palestine?

We condemn Australian PM Kevin Rudd over his silence on the Gaza scandal on the day UN headquarters and food and medical supplies were bombed. We predict Rudd's silence and in effect apologia for criminal elements within the IDF will be condemned in a surprisingly big protest rally in Sydney scheduled this Sunday, and it will be well justified.

Rudd was exposed eloquently earlier today on ABC Radio National by an 85 year old giant of the peace movement in Israel, and former Knesset member as here:

Dissent against Gaza conflict: Uri Avnery
Israeli Journalist and Peace Activist

Uri Avnery has been a Zionist paramilitary but now a dedicated peace activist. At 85 he nailed his own government in Gaza as a "blood stained monster lacking in moral restraint and prepared to committ war crimes", the cheap populism of war until the body bags roll in just like "Vietnam", and the cynical politicians generally. Here is his published opinion recently:

How Israel is Multiplying Hamas by a Thousand Molten Lead in Gaza By URI AVNERY

Kevin Rudd couldn't hold a candle to this old man who has survived at least one murderous attack by a 'settler' nutcase. Or to the UN Secretary General

......................................

Postscript 17 Jan 2009

The Rudd Government have tried to mitigate their craven silence on the obvious war crimes of Israel through targetting of UN facilities by announcing some significant but small compassionate policy decisions on a handful of refugees here in Australia. But it's too little too late for a PM who likes to think of himself as a courageous Bonhoeffer, ie brave against political orthodoxy on matters of high morality:

Arrival of first visa recipients in ALP's asylum regime imminent ... 17 Jan 2009

Additionally Hilary Clinton as prospective Secretary of State in the USA from next Tuesday USA time is reported making an incredulous comment about Hamas renouncing violence:

Hillary Clinton faces a tough test for 'smart power' | The Australian 17 Jan 2009

But there's a red line the incoming Obama administration won't cross.

"I think on Israel you cannot negotiate with Hamas until it renounces violence, recognises Israel and agrees to abide by past agreements," Clinton said. "That is just for me, you know, an absolute. That is the US Government's position, that is the president-elect's position."

and earlier same article:

Clinton is seen as a staunch ally of Israel, particularly since becoming a New York senator, putting behind her, for instance, controversies such as embracing Yasser Arafat's wife Suha in 1999 after the latter had denounced Israel (Clinton later condemned the remarks when she saw an official translation, but the damage was done and it almost derailed her bid for the senate).

Incredulous for these reasons:

1. No sovereign government has ever renounced the option of violence including in self defence.

2. There is a real 'blame the victim' air to the naive comment by H Clinton, given the 5,000 injured with 1000 dead including many hundreds of children, after Isreal's constructive breach of the cease fire with ongoing blockade of essential supplies, then air strike killing 5 Hamas members in early November;

3. The blockade on every side particularly the sea border controlled by Israel but also landside is a form of violence against Gaza with real fatalities. With 45% of children anaemic and therefore prone to severe illness, poverty, lack of medical and other services for a population of 1.5 million people, does kill people every day. The blockade on and off for 30 years but particularly the last 2 years is a form of violence.

4. Then the creeping consquest by the 500K strong Israeli illegal squatter movement, backed by aparthied land laws with no objective written constitution in Israel is another form of violence on Palestinian legal rights.

5. Only this week we learn of the USA shipping 325 shipping containers of ammunition supplies for the IDF. Given 30% of Israeli society are sympathetic the assassin of PM Rabin in 1995, and it is preumably these criminals targetting civilians and UN workers and facilities within the IDF in Gaza, the USA is complicit in arming these "gangsters" to quote Israeli historian Avi Shlaim in today's Sydney Morning Herald, last few paragraphs here:

Bitter pill after the mourning - World - smh.com.au 17 Jan 2009 For all its muscle power and powerful allies, Israel stands diminished in the eyes of the world, writes Paul McGeough. - Sydney Morning Herald Online.

....The Israeli historian Avi Shlaim has a wonderful knack of tracing the arcs of Israel's history to reveal today's reality - all the talk of successive governments about the peace process has been lip service which has conceded nothing on the ground.

Even before the events of this week, when Washington dismissed Olmert as - well, as a liar, and the UN used similar language to dismiss Israel's attempt to blame Hamas for the white phosphorous bombing of the UN's emergency stores of food and medicine in Gaza, Shlaim was in his library, re-evaluating the words of John Troutbeck.

In June 1948, Troutbeck vented to Ernest Bevin, the British foreign secretary of the day, that the US had been responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by "an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders".

"I used to think this judgment was too harsh," Shlaim wrote in The Guardian. "But Israel's vicious assault on the people of Gaza and the Bush Administration's complicity, have reopened the question."

Paul McGeough is the Herald's Chief Correspondent.

Yet Clinton laughably selectively focuses on Hamas renouncing violence. And what does she say about Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela who also refused to renounce violence in the face of fascist aparthied and systemic human rights abuses by the South African Government? Her comments so far are a biased nonesense. As we write another 6 are reportedly killed in a UN school shelled by the Israeli Defence Force. The covert campaign by Israel to expand Greater Israel while giving lip service to the 2 state solution continues.


Posted by editor at 7:34 PM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 17 January 2009 6:58 PM EADT
Al Jazeera English easily accessible by LiveStation download 'free and safe'
Topic: independent media

Another option for accessing various social and big media for the current crisis or future situation is explained here on tech website Mashable.


Posted by editor at 7:18 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 16 January 2009 7:34 PM EADT
Sydney spinner for 'moral' IDF, Benjamin Rutland, to explain shelling of UN Gaza headquarters?

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2008/s2462712.htm

As news emerges in Sydney Australia that soldiers have shelled the UN headquarters in Gaza and resultant fires are destroying all food and medicine supplies it becomes clear that criminal elements are active within the Israeli Defence Force.

This is not surprising and borne out by the objective facts. Not that the IDF are a monolithic war criminal organisation but that there are murders in uniform. As written here before 30% of Israeli society (reports Israel press eg Haaretz) want a pardon for Yigal Amir the assassin of peace maker PM Yitzak Rabin.

Given compulsory national service in Israel it is logical to say 30% of the IDF and maybe more in the full time personnel agree with assassin Amir murdering any obstacles to an expanded Greater Israel over the rights of Palestinians. That includes problem people like UN staff, aid workers, peace activists like Rachel Corey, civilians trying to make a living on their own land that illegal squatters covet.

The excuses of accident or being fired on which don't bear any real investigation are discreditable. The IDF censorship should be seen for what it is. A guilty conscience and or brazen dishonesty.

Israel itself has a massive credibility gap. Their PM has "apologised" for "the grave mistake" says ABC radio this morning here. The 70% of decent Israelis and similarly in the diaspora are in denial of the criminals in their own army regarding all things Palestinian, who sympathise with Yigal Amir. Such people are eminently untrustworthy in any moral institution let alone the IDF in Gaza.

Benjamin Rutland originally from Sydney, pictured above as PR spinner for the IDF, was targeted as in effect an apologist for war crimes by Greg Barnes lawyer writer in crikey.com.au yesterday:

The Aussies spinning the Gaza conflict Thursday, 15 January 2009

It's a fair point we think. There is enough information in the public domain for a reasonable person to believe war crimes and criminal murder have been committed by IDF soldiers.

Yet Rutland with supreme confidence states in The Australian newspaper last week, despite the spectre of Yigal Amir throughout Israel society:

"But as part of my job I have met and liked thousands of Israeli soldiers and officers and I know that the vast majority of them are quite simply very good people who do the maximum to minimise injuries to civilians and I'm convinced that the IDF is a moral and just body which makes it easy for me to sell it."

in Aussie mafia of spin doctors in Israel | The Australian 10 Jan 2009

...............................

This is what leader of The Greens Senator Brown released today:

Friday, 16 January 2009

Israeli attack on United Nations

Prime Minister should break silence on Gaza

The devastating Israeli military attack on the United Nations buildings
in Gaza, which has reportedly wiped out the relief agencies' food and
medical supplies, should cause a rethink in the Australian Government's
stance, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.

"It is time the Prime Minister took decisive diplomatic action. He
should start by calling in the Israeli ambassador to express the
Australian people's horror at what is happening in Gaza," Senator Brown
said.

"Nine Israeli human rights organisations, including the local Amnesty
International section, have called for Israel's military to end the
wanton use of lethal force; the United Nations' chief Ban Ki-moon has
called the attack on the United Nations outrageous; the Foreign Press
Association has called for a boycott of Israeli military pictures,
following attacks on a media building; hundreds of panicked sick and
wounded civilians were forced to flee from a hospital after it was
shelled with phosphorus and caught ablaze, according to hospital
officials; and the death toll of Palestinians has surpassed 1000 - yet
there has been no condemnation of the Israeli military's actions by the
Rudd government.

"The public is alarmed, yet Australians are hearing nothing from the
Government to match their concern.

"Australia needs to be part of global diplomatic efforts to get the
Israeli government to stop this sickening violence," Senator Brown
concluded.

The Australian Greens have consistently condemned the violence from both
sides, including the rocket attacks on Israel.


Posted by editor at 11:53 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 16 January 2009 6:40 PM EADT

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