Topic: independent media
At first we felt angst but now more in sadness and puzzlement than anything else we report our utter failure to make an important (to us anyway) contribution on a string on the vexed issue of Israel Palestine human rights and foreign policy. And this in a week we have read or heard about banning of an exhibition at Leichhardt Council Library:
May 14 2008 Exhibition axed after police visit - National - smh.com.au
and melodrama over concurrent events at NSW Parliament as per Senator Kerry Nettle here (Green Party):
15 May 2008 Parliament fails to acknowledge Palestinian loss
But on New Matilda with their centre left readership and free speech principles? That's a bit counter intuitive. It's taken a full week to nut out how best to approach this blocked feeling. And of course it's by publishing right here.
The string is
israel/palestine 8 May 2008
Our first comment was fine along these lines and no problem:
I make the same comment as on crikey.com.au today with the Lowenstein article "I still remember a Palestinian lawyer giving a lecture in the mid 80ies to ANU law school though I don’t remember exactly what was said. I imagine about the need for a rule of law per se. Which bring me to a direct challenge to the loyal supporters of Israel - am I correct to say there is no written constitution for the State of Israel? Happy to be told I am wrong, but my understanding is that if there were it would be necessary to codify a non racial and maybe non religous social contract, or at least delimit rights accruing to such race or religion … transparently, and legally enforceable. (It’s true the UK doesn’t have a written constitution but that seems to be the exception in democratic jurisprudence.) Indeed isn’t this all a rotten trick on democratic western allies when as Lowenstein says "including news about the allocation of building permits in the West Bank to only Jewish settlers". In Australia we have the Racial Discrimination Act. What say you?"
It's a busy string of some 30 comments and we made a second comment in conversation with other contributors:
Which is a bit like saying all English speaking westerners are one monolithic nation. Hardly. Quite incredible really to be so cavalier. Paranoid even, which is the psychology of the abused child State grown to adulthood and recently come into great power.
I wonder Denise do you reflect how haughty that reads with the confidence of nuclear weaponry of both of Israel and USA?
So I take it you concede that Israel is effectively an aparthied state.
The sooner Israel gets a written and honest constitution the better off the whole world will be, just as fences can bring neighbours together for the clarity of both the physical and intangible meaning - yes we live close but we want our privacy and quiet enjoyment too.
There is no agreed fence in that part of the world and this is a recipe for confusion and tit for tat that is a damnable spiral of anger and hate, and yes institutionalised violence of thought and deed. And I tell you the whole world is sick to the stomach with it, and don’t buy half the propaganda that comes out of the loyal diaspora Jewry. Indeed we only need to google the local English speaking Israeli press to get far greater diversity of opinion that what can be ‘properly’ discussed here in Australia.
The truth is there are many beautiful Arabic and Jewish people in that part of the world but the rest of the world are constantly prevented from enjoying that potential. Frankly I’m sick of hearing and reading about. Get your house and your neighbourly relations in order for God sake.
And since we were named in fairly mild response, and felt it important to go on the record about some things, we have tried to add this third one, which is blocked for all time it seems:
I tried to make a [third] comment here earlier but it was blocked .... 3 times. It was to say given the carnage of WW2 in the tens of millions it's pretty easy to see why country boundaries were so plastic in resolving the peace dividend in that shell shocked world. In that context one well understands the creation of Israel and the alternative non Zionist/Diaspora approach too, but not the cruel disenfranchisement of the Palestinians from their homes.
Secondly it must be stated endlessly that Israel with some 200 nuclear weapons will ALWAYS exist from here on in the history of this planet, or until they agree to disarm. This is the point of Mordechai Vanunu - as here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mordechai_Vanunu
and lastly this link which I found interesting given vexed functions at NSW Parliament, Leichhardt public library and frankly everywhere these days:
"Cordell Jewish Dating Singles Personals @ JLove"
Over to you NM.
Actually the last bit was flippant but it has a meaning. The editor of New Matilda is Marnie Cordell. Whether this is relevant we just have no idea. Should SAM blog ask her on a date to get the comment on the string? No worries. She is attractive. More attractive than we no doubt. The official NM line is shown in red top right. Which is red for stop one presumes.
There are several other readers who have commented way more than 2 times on this string. Which is exactly why we maintain our own blog micro news website with some 20k readers per month (!) - because there is always the risk someone somewhere who doesn't want you to publish something probitive. Otherwise we love New Matilda, swear, and like it when they provide us with a story too as here.
We may have to return our gratis ticket from New Matilda to their sponsored event at the Sydney Writer's Festival because we obviously were not meant for The Simple Life.
Other views on the actual Israel Palestine question can also be found here in the Sydney press:
13 May 2008 A shared land as one state the way to peace - Opinion - smh.com.au
12 May 2008 Survival despite the odds
14 May 2008 Real nowhere land | The Australian
And one can always count on The Australian for some hyperbole on this subject:
14 May 2008 Roll up for the show trial with the Jews in the dock | The Australian
Postscript #1 20 May 2008
Correspondence with NM's editor says it was merely a web code glitch: She says she let the 3rd omitted post through. But it's not on the string all the same. We will try again. Our suspicion remains that there is something particularly controversial or sensitive about the reference to Israel's nuclear arsenal AND in particular the case of whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu. But to who exactly? NM, or someone looking over their shoulder? The secuirty agencies have the capacity to go straight through standard website security, at least as we understand.
As to the referencing of that Israeli nuclear arsenal:
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 4:11 PMSubject: still waiting .... Israel nuke arsenal, Federation of American Scientists"Israel could potentially have produced a few dozen nuclear warheads in the period 1970-1980, and is thought to have produced sufficient fissile material to build 100 to 200 warheads by the mid-1990s. In 1986 descriptions and photographs of Israeli nuclear warheads were published in the London Sunday Times of a purported underground bomb factory at the Dimona nuclear reactor. The photographs were taken by Mordechai Vanunu, a dismissed Israeli nuclear technician. His information led some experts to conclude that Israel had a stockpile of 100 to 200 nuclear devices at that time.
By the late 1990s the U.S. Intelligence Community estimated that Israel possessed between 75-130 weapons, based on production estimates. The stockpile would certainly include warheads for mobile Jericho-1 and Jericho-2 missiles, as well as bombs for Israeli aircraft, and may include other tactical nuclear weapons of various types. Some published estimates even claimed that Israel might have as many as 400 nuclear weapons by the late 1990s. We believe these numbers are exaggerated, and that Israel's nuclear weapons inventory may include less than 100 nuclear weapons. Stockpiled plutonium could be used to build additional weapons if so decided."
"The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) was founded in 1945 by scientists who had worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bombs. These scientists recognized that science had become central to many key public policy questions. They believed that scientists had a unique responsibility to both warn the public and policy leaders of potential dangers from scientific and technical advances and to show how good policy could increase the benefits of new scientific knowledge."