Friday 31st of October 2014

ad nauseam, ad infinitum …..

ad nauseam, ad infinitum …..

The images from Gaza are searing, a gallery of death and horror. A dishevelled Palestinian man cries out in agony, his blood-soaked little brother dead in his arms. On a filthy hospital bed a boy of perhaps five or six screams for his father, his head and body lacerated by shrapnel. A teenage girl lies on a torn stretcher, her limbs awry, her face and torso blackened like a burnt steak. Mourners weep over a family of 18 men, women and children laid side by side in bloodied shrouds. Four boys of a fishing family named Bakr, all less than 12 years old, are killed on a beach by rockets from Israeli aircraft.

As I write, after just over a week of this invasion, the death toll of Palestinians is climbing towards 1000. Most are civilians, many are children. Assaulting Gaza by land, air and sea, Israel has destroyed homes and reduced entire city blocks to rubble. It has attacked schools, mosques and hospitals. Tens of thousands of people have fled, although there is nowhere safe for them to go in this wretched strip of land just 40 kilometres long and about 10 kilometres wide. There are desperate shortages of food and water, of medical and surgical supplies.

In an open letter to US President Barack Obama, Dr Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian surgeon working at Gaza's al-Shifa hospital, writes of "the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. Humans! 

"Ashy grey faces – Oh no! Not one more load of tens of maimed and bleeding. We still have lakes of blood on the floor in the emergency room, piles of dripping, blood-soaked bandages to clear out ... the cleaners, everywhere, swiftly shovelling the blood and discarded tissues, hair, clothes, cannulas – the leftovers from death – all taken away... to be prepared again, to be repeated all over."Advertisement

The onslaught is indiscriminate and unrelenting, with but one possible conclusion: Israel is not fighting the terrorists of Hamas. In defiance of the laws of war and the norms of civilised behaviour, it is waging its own war of terror on the entire Gaza population of about 1.7 million people. Call it genocide, call it ethnic cleansing: the aim is to kill Arabs.

As none other than Malcolm Fraser tweeted this week: "If any other country went to war killing as many civilians, women and children, it would be named a war crime." But it is not, although the UN is asking the question of both sides.

Yes, Hamas is also trying to kill Israeli civilians, with a barrage of rockets and guerilla border attacks. It, too, is guilty of terror and grave war crimes. But Israeli citizens and their homes and towns have been effectively shielded by the nation's Iron Dome defence system, and so far only three of its civilians have died in this latest conflict. The Israeli response has been out of all proportion, a monstrous distortion of the much-vaunted right of self-defence.

It is a breathtaking irony that these atrocities can be committed by a people with a proud liberal tradition of scholarship and culture, who hold the Warsaw Ghetto and the six million dead of the Holocaust at the centre of their race memory. But this is a new and brutal Israel dominated by the hardline, right-wing Likud Party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition.

As one observer puts it: "All the seeds of the incitement of the past few years, all the nationalistic, racist legislation and the incendiary propaganda, the scare campaigns and the subversion of democracy by the right-wing camp – all these have borne fruit, and that fruit is rank and rotten. The nationalist right has now sunk to a new level, with almost the whole country following in its wake. The word 'fascism', which I try to use as little as possible, finally has its deserved place in the Israeli political discourse."

Fascism in Israel? At this point the Australian Likudniks, as Bob Carr calls them, will be lunging for their keyboards. There will be the customary torrent of abusive emails calling me a Nazi, an anti-Semite, a Holocaust denier, an ignoramus.  As usual they will demand my resignation, my sacking. As it's been before, some of this will be pornographic or threatening violence.

In fact, that paragraph within the quotation marks was written by an Israeli. Gideon Levy is a columnist and editorial board member of the daily newspaper Ha’aretz. Born in Tel Aviv to parents who fled the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939, he despairs of what his country has become and the catastrophe its armed forces are visiting upon Gaza. After a recent column calling on Israeli pilots to stop bombing and rocketing civilians, his life was threatened and he now has a bodyguard day and night. It has come to that. In the worst insult of all, Levy is branded "a self-hating Jew".

Israeli propaganda is subtle and skilfully put. "If Israel were to lay down its arms tomorrow, she would be destroyed; but if Hamas were to lay down their arms, there would be peace," goes the line, parroted endlessly.

But in all these long and agonising decades, Israel has never offered the Palestinians a just and equitable peace. They would have only a splintered, vassal state, their polity and economy and even their borders and freedom of travel and trade managed and determined by Israel. The occupation of Palestinian lands would remain with the relentless expansion of illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank of the Jordan and the Dead Sea.

As the Palestine Liberation Organisation official Hanan Ashrawi put it this week in a television interview with the Australian journalist Hamish Macdonald: "No nation can accept being imprisoned, being besieged by land, by air, by sea and deprived of the most basic requirements of a decent life: freedom of movement, clean water. For seven years they have been under a brutal and lethal Israeli siege ... You shell them and you bomb them; you destroy homes, you destroy whole neighbourhoods. You obliterate, annihilate, whole families, and then you come and say that this is self-defence?" 

That is why the killing and the dying goes on. Ad nauseam, ad infinitum. And the rest of the world, not caring, looks away.

Mike Carlton

 

cartooning about the jews...

 

The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies has accused the Sydney Morning Herald of racial vilification and demanded an apology for publishing what they say is an offensive cartoon of an old man observing the conflict in Gaza.

The cartoon by Glen Le Lievre has been described by Jewish leaders as “a grotesque stereotype of a Jew using a remote-control device to blow up houses and people in Gaza”.

Vic Alhadeff, the chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, told Guardian Australia he had written to the paper because he objected to the cartoon which was used to illustrate a column by Mike Carlton last Saturday.

“The effect is to portray the Jewish people as being collectively guilty of the tragedy in Gaza and wilfully and intentionally causing civilian deaths there,” Alhadeff said on Friday. “We believe this constitutes racial vilification, as well as inciting third parties to hatred of Jews.”

The Australian Jewish News reported that the board of deputies had threatened legal action, but Alhadeff said that was premature and he was waiting for a response from the newspaper before considering what action to take.

The editor-in-chief of the Herald, Darren Goodsir, is understood to have written to all the Jewish groups and individuals who had complained, saying the paper is committed to calling out examples of racial prejudice and bigotry.

“I very much regret the distress the cartoon has caused, but I want to assure you that there was no intention to invoke any disturbing stereotypes - nor to incite any racial hatred,” Goodsir wrote to one complainant.

“While we vigorously defend free speech, and a robust exchange of ideas and opinions - be they in words or images - I would never condone any submission that purposely impugned any individual, or community.”

Goodsir says the cartoon was directly modelled on a number of photographs published on major news sites during the past week of men, seated in armchairs and lounges, observing the shelling of Gaza from the hills of Sderot.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/01/jewish-board-of-deputies-accuses-fairfax-of-racism-over-gaza-cartoon

 

See toon depicted at top...

 

cartoon could have led to boycott of fairfax...

 

The Sydney Morning Herald has retracted and apologised for publishing a cartoon described by Jewish leaders as racist and admitted it was a serious error of judgment to publish it.

The cartoon, which accompanied a column by Mike Carlton last month, has been removed from the paper’s websites.

The editor of the Herald, Darren Goodsir, originally defended Glen Le Lievre’s drawing about the conflict in Gaza, but in Monday’s newspaper editorial said that his decision had been “too simplistic and ignored the use of religious symbols”.

On Monday, Goodsir told Guardian Australia he had reached the decision “after a long 10 days of serious thinking, and reflection”.

Last week the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies accused Fairfax Media of racial vilification and demanded an apology for the cartoon, which they said was “a grotesque stereotype of a Jew using a remote-control device to blow up houses and people in Gaza”.

Jewish community leaders and many others had written to the Herald to complain about the cartoon and the Australian Jewish News had called for its readers to boycott Fairfax Media’s publications.

“The Herald now appreciates that, in using the Star of David and the kippah in the cartoon, the newspaper invoked an inappropriate element of religion, rather than nationhood, and made a serious error of judgment,” the editorial said.

“It was wrong to publish the cartoon in its original form.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/aug/04/fairfax-apologises-and-withdraws-smh-cartoon-criticised-as-antisemitic

 

We did not like it either... that's why it's in prime position at top... Note that "blanket" boycott is illegal...

 

more damage than a cartoon can ever depict...

 

A third deadly attack on a United Nations school sheltering people fleeing bombardment in Gaza was strongly condemned by both the UN and the US on Sunday, with UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, calling it a "moral outrage and a criminal act" and pleading for an end to "this madness".

The Israeli defence ministry said on Sunday night that Israel would hold a truce in most of Gaza for seven hours on Monday for humanitarian aid and to allow displaced Palestinians to return to their homes, but would fight back if attacked.

The humanitarian truce, beginning at 10am (0700 GMT), would not apply in areas of Rafah, the ministry said, because Israeli forces are remaining on the ground in and around the southern Gaza town to destroy a cross-border tunnel.

The US said it was appalled by the "disgraceful" school attack, which killed at least 10 people and injured dozens just days after the shelling of two other UN schools in Gaza caused international shock and anger.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/03/gaza-israel-united-nations-school-strike-ban-ki-moon

 

a door closes, a few others open, hopefully...

 

Sydney Morning Herald newspaper columnist Mike Carlton has resigned after his angry response to readers who disagreed with a controversial article he wrote.

Carlton's column, which was published more than a week ago, was critical of Israel's actions in the conflict with Gaza.

Fairfax's director of news and business media, Sean Aylmer, says the issue is not with the column itself but the way Mr Carlton responded to readers in emails and on social media.

Mr Aylmer says Carlton's response was totally inappropriate.

After discussions with Fairfax bosses last night, Carlton resigned.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-06/smh-columnist-mike-carlton-resigns-following-gaza-column-furore/5651470

----------------------------

Well, Mr Carlton, may be it's time for you and some of your good mates to join Citizen Media... Kick the arses of the neo-fascists, beaut!.

 

a passion for religious bum fights...

 

Dr. Evan Jones continues his in-depth analysis of how Fairfax has propagated an Israeli narrative on the massacre in Gaza. See yesterday’s Part II(a).

Jihadis for Jerusalem

There was the article, formally straight up down reporting but substantively subversive, by Nick Toscano and Ben Doherty, ‘Melbourne school colleagues in Israeli army injured in Gaza’, 5 August. What’s this then?

'Two former students of a Jewish school in Melbourne have been wounded while fighting for the Israeli army in Gaza. … The combat soldiers are former students of Leibler Yavneh College in Elsternwick …'

'[Zionist youth movement] Bnei Akiva Melbourne president Romy Spicer … said that out of the 365 students and leaders in Melbourne's Bnei Akiva program, as many as 10 had joined the Israeli army in the past two years. "What drives them is a love and passion for Zionism," she said. …'

'There are about 2500 foreign citizens from more than 60 countries enlisted in the Israeli Defence Forces. … The Israeli embassy in Canberra refused to comment on the number of Australians fighting for the IDF, but it is believed in excess of 100 are enlisted.'


Read more: http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-fairfax-press-and-the-gaza-massacre-part-iib,6890

 

 

Please note that the Mike Carlton article quoted at top is still available at the SMH archives but the cartoon is not.