Palestinian Sand Village at Brunswick Heads



Israeli military oppression reaches it’s zenith in the Palestinian village of Bi’lin with arbitrary arrests for peaceful protest, incarceration with no fixed release date, torture, abuse of children, loss of homes, orchards & olive groves to Israeli bulldozers and, of course, the massive Apartheid Wall which fractures the village. Simple journeys to school, relatives or shops now take hours thanks to ubiquitous military check-points and the Wall itself. Delays to medical services have caused deaths.

Gareth Smith, Byron People for Peace & Justice and Gaza Freedom March participant, plans to enter the Brunswick Heads Fun Sandcastle Competition by constructing a sand mock-up of Bi’lin complete with Wall & possibly a Tonka Caterpillar bulldozer ramming it’s way through a sand house!

“Most Australians are unaware of what is happening throughout Occupied Palestine”, said Gareth. “A year ago, Coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements, Abdullah Abu Rahmah, was dragged at night from his family by the Israeli military who smashed their apartment. He was convicted of ‘organizing illegal demonstrations’ and ‘incitement’ against the Wall, despite the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruling that Israel’s wall is illegal and must be dismantled. Even the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the Wall’s route in Bil’in is illegal. Abdullah is still locked up, so I want to take this opportunity of peacefully bringing the fate of Bi’lin and Abdullah to the attention of the Byron community and to generate support for the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement against Israel”.

Venue: Brunswick Heads between the South Wall and the Surf Club

Date: 3/1/2011

Time: From 1430

Contacts: Gareth Smith 0422298165

Maxine Caron 0432394871

27 thoughts on “Palestinian Sand Village at Brunswick Heads

  1. loewdabulla says:

    Israeli Knesset Druze Arab minister Ayoob Kara Visits Vienna and The Freedom Party (FPÖ) to Defend Israel and All Other Secular Liberal Democratic Countries


    Ayoob Kara:

    It is important to cooperate with every element, organization or party to fight terror, religious fundamentalism, which is a problem and danger to the entire world. I want to mee with Europeans because the same thing happened 60 years ago [alluding to the dangers prior to the Nazi takeover of Germany and World War II]. People were naive back then, they are naive now. People are not speaking out loud about the problems. Muslims are killing people everyday, but nothing is happening [no one is reacting].
    I want to thank Mr. Strache, FPÖ, and all parties in Europe that Israel is on the frontline [of this war]. In the future there will be organizations in the every corner. Today in Israel, tomorrow in Sweden in Austria, everywhere.

    I am not Jewish, but I am more Jewish than the Jews themselves. Non-Jews in Israel feel the same as Jews. I will fight with my Druse friends. They [the Muslims] hate us, they kill [us], and we defend Israel, we fight for Israel. There are only two million of us [Druse]. In Syria, Druse are sent to jail, there is no defense possible.

    Other Arab states are sending messages to Israel that they are afraid of Iran and fundamentalism, but they cannot say it publicly. People are afraid because there are no human rights in the Middle East.

    We must stop these fundamentalist organizations. Islam says: “We have the solution. All must submit to Islam.” But I like liberal life. They hate my policies. I speak out: I want the world to be free. Seventy years ago, people were quiet and did nothing to stop the situation. I am here today [to say]: Let us stop Islamic fundamentalism together before Iran attacks us. If you are afraid, you cannot stop anything. [But] we must stop this.

    In Israel, they are saying: “Why are you going to Austria?”

    I say: “Let us be together! I am glad to be sitting here next to my friend HC Strache!”

  2. Judy/Jude says:

    Nice propaganda coup for a roiling mob of Muslims to dress up as angry Santas and provoke the inevitable response from Israeli soldiers. Seems to go down a treat with the West’s useful idiots, who still don’t realize who it is that’s being targeted when they go after the Jews… erm … zionists. Not to say a wall across my land wd make me happy but I’m sure it fills Hamas and Iran with Christmas cheer tho. And if the wall goes down there’s always suicide bombing business as usual as a fallback position. Hook line and sinker. Sigh.

  3. Judy/Jude says:

    Loewda, I’ve been trying to contact you as you seem like a fun girl to start a conspiracy a deux with. Unless of course you’re already a Mossad agent. In fact they’re so insidious that for all I know I’m one already myself. After all as everyone knows there’s a Mossad agent for every meshugene blog dedicated to giving aid and comfort to Islamofascists everywhere. Anyhow meet me at midnight under the arches of and don’t forget the secret handshake.

  4. Jude/Judy,
    Have you been to Israel?

  5. Well done Gareth. May I suggest adding a Rachel Corrie figurine underneath the Caterpillar ‘dozer to draw light on the IDF’s indiscriminate murder of western activists in Palestine.

  6. loewdabulleaaa says:

    Hey Judy Happy New year.

    That’ “wall” byt the ay is a securiy fence. the Wall section takes up 3% of the entire fence. Nobody cares cos the propaganda value, even though it’s false is sooooocoooool…
    There are fifty or so securiry fences in the world, most of them built to keep out terrorists. Saudi Arabia has one to keep out Iraquis. America has one to keep out Mexicans. EGYPT, you know, guardians of the Gaza border, have one to keep out Palestinians.

    Soprry, Jude, not ime to make up a conspiracy of tweo, fun though it might be. It’s hard to keep sane enough as it is, with all the hallucinatory Jewbaiting going on. But good to see you again! 😉

    meanwhile, back in the real world:
    Leftists Caught Red-Handed: `Burning Sheep’ Libel Was Faked.

    A Jordan Valley Arab farmer has admitted that he concocted a story about Israeli settlers deliberately burning his sheep to disguise his own blunder of losing control of a brush fire.

    Various groups agitating against the settlers immediately spread the story about the Arab shepherd who “saw settlers light a fire in the field where his herd was grazing, burning to death 12 pregnant ewes, and then drive away.”

    Of course there was no fact checking by those who were eager to spread yet another unconfirmed story of condemnation. It was yet another rush to judgement like the Al Dura case, the Jenin “massacre” and the flotilla fraud story.

    The problem here was the story had no credibility. The supposed sheep burning occurred on the Sabbath, when observant Jews are forbidden to drive.

    Despite the doubts, the B’Tselem and Yesh Din human rights group alleged that this so-called attack was another one of hundreds of supposed acts of vandalism by Jews against Arabs and the Palestinian Authority called on the international community to pressure Israel to stop “settler violence.”

    As has been the case with the flotilla fraud, there has been no apology or words of regret about the libels against the settlers, nor are we likely to see any sign of the lies abating.

    More likely is the possibility that some sleazy journalist will repeat the lies and that some media group will not only swallow those lies but also award him or her a prize for great journalistic prowess.

  7. loewdabulleaaa says:

    Oh, and Ian – I myself have to Israel 6 times. I have also been to Gaza, pronounced locally as ‘Aza.

    have you EVER been out of Australia??
    I don’t have to ask whether Duncan and Gareth have travelled, as they have plainly been out of their minds for a long time.

  8. loewdabulleaaa says:

    I hereby apologise for any typos I make. This is strictly for administrative purposes.

  9. Gareth and Maxine did a tremendous job of recreating a section of the ‘wall’ along with a small Palestinian village and a Tonka dozer emblazoned with the slogan “Home demolitions courtesy of the Israeli Offence Force”. The press were there to cover the story and many passers by took the opportunity to read the material outlining the details of home demolitions, violence and intimidation, tear-gassings and shootings associated with the weekly peaceful protest against the separation wall that cuts through the Bi’lin community.

    Jawaher Abu Rahmer was killed on 31st december 2010 after inhaling a fatal quantity of tear gas fired at protesters by the Israeli military during a protest at Bi’lin. To watch the video of the protest go here:

    It is a good example of state-sponsored terrorism by the IDF firing on protestors armed with saxophones and flags.

    Her unarmed brother was shot dead by the IDF during a protest over a year ago. The video is here (warning graphic depiction of an actual shooting):

    For more information on the Bi’lin issue go here:

    People can make their own minds up and do their own research but the pictures and videos tell their own story. They represent not ‘opinions’ but irrefutable factual evidence of Israeli soldiers killing unarmed civilians protesting against the theft of their land.

    Under the Geneva Convention civilians are ‘protected persons’ and the occupying military administration is required by law to ensure their protection.

    The second video is thus clear evidence of a war crime committed by the IDF, a daily occurrence in Palestine. This is another reason for our ongoing solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine and the casus belli for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against apartheid Israel.

  10. Hi Ian, re your pointed questions, have I ever been to Israel, and do I know any Palestinians. Yes to both, and I’ve been to the West Bank as well.

    And guess what? All the ones I know believe their fringe left Anglo “supporters” do more harm than good. They reckon you are more rabid than the average Palestinian, excluding the Islamist extremists who you give so much aid and comfort to.

    Have you met any Coptic Christians, Assyrians, Kurds? The ones I know laugh at your naivete about the middle east. Guess who is being targetted with Israel as the wedge?

  11. Mark Bradbeer says:

    Dear Ian,
    I have just discovered your interesting Workers’ Bush Telegraph website and wish I knew about it sooner. There is an important essay on the Countercurrents website that needs to be on an Australian website such as yours (, so more Australian workers are aware. You will find the essay references to be especially important as all statements made in the essay can be verified in MSM, even though overall analysis, mysteriously, will not be found in MSM.
    I am absolutely sure that Francis Enden wants his essay to be on your
    website, and have included a copy below, as well as a couple of attached pictures to go with it to add colour. I hope the essay is acceptable to you.

    Kind regards
    Mark Bradbeer,

  12. 3/1/2011 Brunswick Heads, New south Wales, Australia

    Israeli military oppression reaches its zenith in the Palestinian village of Bi’lin with arbitrary arrests for peaceful protest, incarceration with no fixed release date, torture, abuse of children, loss of homes, orchards & olive groves to Israeli bulldozers and, of course, the massive Apartheid Wall which fractures the village. Simple journeys to school, relatives or shops now take hours thanks to ubiquitous military check-points and the Wall itself. Delays to medical services have caused deaths.

    Gareth Smith, Byron People for Peace & Justice, entered the Brunswick Heads Fun Sandcastle Competition by constructing a sand mock-up of Bi’lin complete with Apartheid Wall & a Tonka Caterpillar bulldozer ramming its way through sand houses!

    “Most Australians are unaware of what is happening throughout Occupied Palestine”, said Gareth. “A year ago, Coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements, Abdullah Abu Rahmah, was dragged at night from his family by the Israeli military who smashed their apartment. He was convicted of ‘organizing illegal demonstrations’ and ‘incitement’ against the Wall, despite the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruling that Israel’s wall is illegal and must be dismantled. Even the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the Wall’s route in Bi’lin is illegal. Abdullah is still locked up.

    On New Year’s Day, the Abu Rahma family was hit yet again with the death of Jawaher Abu Rahma in her own home. She died from tear gas asphyxiation. Her brother Bassem was also killed by the Israelis 2 years ago. I wanted to take this opportunity of peacefully bringing the fate of Bi’lin and Abdullah to the attention of the Byron community and to generate support for the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement against Israel”. Unfortunately, the Brunswick Heads Progress Association which organised the event, complained about its “politicisation” and the amount of media attention it generated. They disqualified the entry claiming it had violated the rules-which it had not.

  13. I’ve moved back here as I see you couldn’t restrain yrself from making false analogies between the Aboriginal struggle, invaded by an alien white race with no connection to the land, and the Arab struggle against people who had every cultural and historical claim, and had a continuous presence in the land despite the destruction of Jerusalem and the beginning of the diaspora? I wonder whose side you would be on if it took the Aboriginals 2000 years to get land rights in Kurilpa? Would you be moved and proud? I abhor the wall, but I blame Islamist terrorists for the necessity of constructing it. There have been no suicide bombings since.

  14. Ian, Whatever disagreements I may have with you, I don’t believe you would think that Max Broadbeer’s creepy conspiracist article belongs on this website?

  15. I am saddened to see that the Israeli people have become increasingly savage in their response to 60 years of Arab attrition, with the unfortunate Palestinians being used as pawns by Arab ruling classes and religious extremists. I am sorry that Israel is being used by these same people who have massacred far more Palestinians than Israel ever did as a wedge to attack the West. I am sorry that the left has fallen for 40 odd years of propaganda beginning with the corrupt Yasser Arafat, and used to such good effect by Islamic extremists since. I am sorry that the oil rich Arab nations have provided the Palestinians with money mainly for weapons and propaganda instead of for construction, development and creative partnerships with Israel. I am proud of Israel for all it is capable of achieving for the region, and I hope those of you who want to boycott it will turn off your computers, your mobiles, and stop going to hospitals, because most of the hi tech you rely on was developed there. The Palestinians could have been part of that. I am not at all sorry that Israel is not perfect, as only anti-semites hate Jews for being human, for existing anywhere on this earth on their own terms, and for being unable to achieve the Utopias which they themselves could not achieve. Try to think of “Zionists” as 100% human. It might give you a new perspective. It’s just sad, that you think you are helping the Palestinians. You just know not what you do.
    Hopefully I have got it all out of my system and can leave you to your folly and get on with my life.
    I wish it was not up to me and Loewda as Jews to stand up to and speak for the preservation of the Jewish people. Where are all the Christians who are staying silent, being “innocent bystanders” while Israel is totally demonised and stereotyped by the misinformation peddled here by a few people with bees in their bonnets and a whole load of propaganda in their heads.

  16. Judy your so called silent Christians are surrounded by the Apartheid Wall in Bethlehem, in Israeli jails for resisting occupation or driven out by the impact of this occupation. They cannot make the 2000 year old route to occupied Jerusalem along the time honoured paths. Once 35 % of the Palestinian population they are now reduced to a small minority by this occupation. One of these exiles was Edward Said, later a University Professor in the US, who was able belatedly to return after the Oslo Accord to view his families’ stolen and occupied house in Jerusalem. He could only observe it but not return to it. Another well known Christian Palestinian who is not silent is Hanan Ashrawi the Palestinian Legislator, activist and scholar and recipient of the Sydney Peace prize.
    You and other defenders of occupation diminish your humanity by your attempts to vilify all Palestinians under your caricature of Islamic fanatics. You diminish yourselves by your vilification of others in your comments to this site. You also expose yourselves as extremists like the government you defend, a governemt that is losing its status in the eyes of the world. The continuing expansion and building of settlements on Arab lands does not distinguish Palestinian Christians from their Muslim or secular brothers and sisters and cannot be covered over any longer by a propaganda war based on vilification of the occupied people.

    Over the last thirty years, I have witnessed a change in this far flung and conservative country of Australia and I commend its proponents such as the builders of Sandcastles at Byron Bay that form part of this change.
    The vilification of the Palestinian people is not the first in history and it will not be the last , but one that nonetheless should be resisted.

    The actions of the BDS movement is playing a small part in this resistance.

    In the end though humanity must confront the reality of the nuclear armed and US funded settler state of Israel on Arab land as the cause of suffering, division and dispossession that haunts the region.
    That corrupt and despotic Arab governments are benefactors of this colonial settler state not its opponents is no surprise .

    For myself I would one day like to follow the footsteps of my mother and father, on their honeymoon, before the 1967 occupation of the West Bank when they walked from Bethlehem to Jerusalem.

    In the words of one of Israel’s friends ‘Tear down your wall’

    End the occupation.

    Joseph M

  17. Joseph, at last, a genuine stakeholder on this website! As opposed to people who I suspect are projecting their guilt as occupiers of Aboriginal land onto the traditional scapegoats. You might like to read about Bethlehem’s beleagured Christians

    I am not aware of villifying Palestinians as fanatics, in fact I came on to promote the many grassroots projects between moderate Palestinians and Israelis who are working together and reject the extremists who speak in their names. Once again, I commend to you organisations like Onevoice,, the Middle East Peace Alliance. www., the Comet project and hundreds more.
    I was shocked by the demonisation of “Zionists” on this website, and the bizarre idea that you can create peace by villifying either of two small ethnic groups who are the pawns in much bigger power plays.
    I consider both Israelis and Palestinians as pawns, symbols, and scapegoats for wider political powerplays. I don’t think playing the blame game against either of these two small peoples fighting over an area 1/3 the size of Tasmania has yielded much progress in the past 60 years, so why not try reconciliation?
    As a refugee myself traumatised as a child, and never really recovered, I sympathise with all refugees who are forced to leave by choice or necessity or a complex mixture of their perceptions and understandings at a crisis point. Many make a success of it. Many are scarred for life. One difference is that Australia took us in and gave us every opportunity. Therefore I have no desire to reclaim my family’s small one bedroom flat in Eastern Europe.
    What I don’t understand is, why do the Arab nations treat Palestinian refugees so cruelly while pretending to be on their side? Why the appalling refugee camps in Lebanon, where Palestinians had no rights to work or education? Why the Black September Massacres in Jordan? Why the mistreatment of Palestinians in Kuwait, Egypt. Why does Israel get more blame for not stopping the Sabra and Shatilla Massacres than Lebanese who actually did the killing? Why is Israel demonised while these rogue states get the propaganda benefits? Why have Palestinians remained refugees for 60 years, while everyone else moves on?
    Should the million Jews who fled Arab lands have the same right of return and restitution?
    Should Anglos and Euros end their occupation of Aboriginal Land?
    Look forward to your answers.

  18. Judy needs a history lesson, or therapy, or both. For the record, we are all ‘genuine stakeholders’ and it is the height of absurdity to assume the right to determine the bonafides of those commentators who contribute factual data to these discussions rather than emotive propaganda and rash opinion.

    ‘Vilifying small ethnic groups’ is an inappropriate term. The Jewish people are not an ethnic group. The proselytization of large numbers of people to Judaism over the centuries has created many branches: Sephardic, Yemeni, Ashkenazi who share no common genetic origin.

    The myth of the continuous ‘ethnos’ of the Jewish people is dismissed by notable historians such as Shlomo Sand in his book ‘The Invention of the Jewish People’ and such luminary works as Keith Whitelam’s ‘The Invention of Ancient Israel:The Silencing of Palestinian History’ read it here:

    The value in these publications is in revealing how a national identity can be forged in the fires of nationalism despite the historical evidence to the contrary. These nationalistic ideals were the grist to the Zionist mill, and even today the old testament is used as a literal history book in Israeli schools. Sadly, many educated Israelis are oblivious to the ‘construction’ of their nation’s history as a means of validating the false territorial claims to ancient Palestine made by the Zionists.

    Sand’s book is very interesting, (It has been translated into 18 languages), and represents a landmark in the re-evaluation of the historical claims that predicated the creation of the state of Israel. It goes further in dispelling the mythistory of the exiles and the exodus for which there is no archaeological evidence. He presents very solid arguments for the spread of Judaism throughout Europe, North Africa, Spain and Arabia via proselytization thus questioning the validity of any claim for the existence of a continuous ethnicity of the Jewish diaspora.

    Interestingly, I can become Jewish by conversion, move to Palestine and receive a heavily subsidised home loan to settle in ‘Judea’ or ‘Samaria’ yet a Palestinian Fellahin farmer whose relationship with the land may go back thousands of years cannot obtain a building permit or worse may have his land confiscated by an Ultra-Orthodox settler or his house demolished by an Israeli bulldozer.

    What is interesting about the Fellahin is precisely this actual historical continuity acknowledged by none other than David Ben-Gurion and his co-author Yitzhak Ben-Tzvi in a book published in Hebrew in the 1930’s. In this book, the authors state that the Palestinian farmer has more in common with the inhabitants of ancient Israel than the European Jews. These comments were tolerable in the days when Zionism had a more moderate outlook prior to the ‘expulsionist’ phase. Noam Chomsky, for example, was a Zionist Youth Leader in the same period. Many of these were more interested in peaceful co-existence with the existing inhabitants of Palestine in line with traditional levels of tolerance experienced in Arab countries rather than the aggressive land theft and expulsion that characterised later policy. Nur Masalha has similarly written a book: ‘The Bible and Zionism – Invented Traditions, Archaeology and Post-Colonialism in Israel-Palestine’ that all students of Middle east history should read.

    There is an interesting angle on the ethnicity of the Palestinians since they don’t consider themselves to be Arabs. Sand speculates that during the Arab invasion of the region in the 7th century CE many local inhabitants converted to Islam for one simple reason. The Caliph decided that non-Muslims must pay tax and Muslims were exempt. There was such an enormous rate of conversion (according to historical documents) that the Caliph’s treasury demanded that the edict be revoked because of the loss of tax revenue. Thus, it is argued, many of the Palestinians are in fact more closely related to the ‘biblical inhabitants’ of ancient Israel than most of those more recent migrants laying claim to the land.

    Thus to answer Jude’s question ‘why is Israel demonised?’. The simple answer is the continued theft of Palestinian land and the destruction of property, the murder and/or displacement of civilians including unarmed women and children as evidenced in Operation Cast Lead.

    Israel’s apologists such as Jude want us to believe that the ‘moderates’ are the true vanguard of a peace paradigm. This naivete in the face of overwhelming evidence of Israel’s continued unpunished war crimes beggars belief when the ruling party in the Knesset (Likud), itself a direct descendant of the terrorist organisations that helped forge the state, and the even more right-wing elements in the coalition (including the Kadima Party and its zealous Avigdor Lieberman) have no intention of allowing a Palestinian state west of the Jordan river. These governing right-wing elements are continuing the policies of land acquisition and expulsion begun prior to 1948 and flatly oppose the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. The claims that ‘hundreds’ of these moderate groups exist is pure nonsense. Add to this the fact that they have achieved nothing in terms of halting settlements or Israel’s illegal activities.

    Joseph M touches on a point echoed in Noam Chomsky’s book ‘Hopes and Prospects’ (recommended reading) in which he states that ‘nothing will stop Israel’s descent into a pariah state’. That mechanism is well underway.

    As an example and again a response to Jude’s question regarding Israel’s accountability for the Sabra and Shatila massacre. Ariel sharon was found to be responsible for what the UN determined was an act of genocide: (Quote A/RES/37/123 – 16th December 1982)
    The General Assembly,

    Recalling its resolution 95 (I) of 11 December 1946,

    Recalling also its resolution 96 (I) of 11 December 1946, in which it,
    inter alia, affirmed that genocide is a crime under international law which
    the civilized world condemns, and for the commission of which principals and
    accomplices – whether private individuals, public officials or statesmen, and
    whether the crime is committed on religious, racial, political or any other
    grounds – are punishable,

    Referring to the provisions of the Convention on the Prevention and
    Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted by the General Assembly on 9
    December 1948,

    Recalling the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to
    the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,

    Appalled at the large-scale massacre of Palestinian civilians in the
    Sabra and Shatila refugee camps situated at Beirut,

    Recognizing the universal outrage and condemnation of that massacre,

    Recalling its resolution ES-7/9 of 24 September 1982,

    1. Condemns in the strongest terms the large-scale massacre of
    Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps;

    2. Resolves that the massacre was an act of genocide.

    I appreciate that Jude may have sympathies for Zionism given her origins in Eastern Europe. The Ashkenazi Jews in Poland supported Beitar, the Jewish militant movement that set its sights on Palestine. The head of Beitar in Palestine was also the head of the Irgun Zvai Leumi – the terrorist organisation responsible for the bombing of the King David Hotel – itself associated with the Herut Party that later morphed into the Likud Party. Beitar’s pre ww2 leader in Poland was Menachem Begin later to become head of Beitar in Palestine and became Israel’s prime minister in 1977. Other right-wing political ‘graduates’ of Beitar include Tsipi Livni (threatened with arrest for war crimes in Britain), Ehud Olmert, Yitzhak Shamir and others.

    Beitar has an Australian chapter. The problem is thus endemic with a parliamentary system peopled by war criminals and Zionist militants who escape prosecution for their crimes as Ariel Sharon did when he enjoyed immunity from prosecution for the Sabra/ Shatila on becoming prime minister.

    This climate of immunity clouds the perception that Israel is accountable for its actions to the international community which itself depends largely on moral norms and standards of decency anathema to the ruling class in Israel. This ‘status quo’ cannot continue.

    The action in support of the residents of Bi’lin is eminently valid. Counterclaims to the contrary must indeed be well researched.

  19. A footnote on anti-Semitism: according to Vic Alhadeff (CEO NSW Jewish Board of Deputies) criticism of Israel is not ant-Semitic. This coming from someone whose Polish family lost 150 people in the concentration camps.

    Criticism of Israel does not qualify as racism.

    Rational observers of the Israel – Palestine conflict rightly exclude such a term from the lexicon because it has no relevance to the debate. The majority of Israel’s inhabitants are not Semitic. The use of the term is, once again, a perpetuation of the mythistory of a continuous Jewish ‘ethnos’ that history has revealed to be false.

    ‘Semitic’ is a group of languages that includes Arabic and Hebrew it does not mean ‘Jewish’ by any definition.

    Wheeling out the old ‘anti-Semite’ barrow is a disgraceful manipulation of the memory of those who lost their lives or experienced deprivation or hardship at the hands of others because of their Jewishness and has no place here.

    Astute observers note that Israel is ironically fueling a rise in ‘anti-Jewish sentiment’ because of its continued mistreatment of the Palestinians, criminality and flouting of international law.

  20. A Palestinian Embassy in Canberra? says:

    Dear One and All,

    During the struggle for the liberation of East Timor the Union Movement was instrumental in creating an East Timor “embassy” which comprised a demountable placed across the road from the Indonesian Embassy. This riled the Indonesians no end but without doubt, its symbolic significance in the nation’s capital provided impetus and hope to the liberation movement and was an embarrassing thorn in Australia’s side.

    Across the road from the Israeli Embassy, Canberra, is a tract of vacant land bounded by the following streets: Turrana, Arkana and Wonna. This would be an ideal site to place a Palestinian “embassy” which would cause a storm of publicity and highlight how marginalised Australia is in slavishly following Israel and the US’s voting patterns in the UN General Assembly and how out of step it is with the growing momentum to recognise Palestine as a state defined by its 1967 borders. Even the UK media is moving in this direction.

    Let’s place this on the agenda for discussion and sound out the Union Movement for support.

    Gareth Smith

    “The sleep of reason produces monsters” Goya
    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities” Voltaire
    “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian Archbishop

  21. Judy,

    Your comment – “people who I suspect are projecting their guilt as occupiers of Aboriginal land onto the traditional scapegoats.” – is in some ways nearly accurate, at least for me anyway.

    However, philosophically – and I hope psychologically – I reject the notion of guilt. It is a dysfunctional consciousness that leads to denial and consequently the concretising of whatever hurt has caused the guilt in the first place. It inhibits growth and healing.

    But I do see a parallel between the genocide and occupation in the middle east and the same process in this country. My critique of the state and culture of Israel is firmly based on my experience of colonial culture in this country, the culture into which I was born. My Irish family history also gives some perspective on colonisation and war that colours my understanding of the Middle East.

    I identify the emotive support of Israel by yourself and others in the same way that I perceive Australian racism – a psychological loyalty to the dominant culture that creates a psychological wall to Aborigines and Palestinians, every bit as impenetrable as the physical walls.

    Your cynicism misrepresents the notion of scapegoat. This archetype is a pillar of the law of Moses and Joshua and based on Abraham’s sacrifice. It is surely a process for extinguishing guilt (because guilt is dysfunctional), but it is part of a broader process of restoration and reconciliation – outlined in the scriptures as Sabbath and Jubilee law.

    Because I am in this country, I can only pursue the principles of restoration and reconciliation in real terms with regard to the blood that screams out from the land on which I live. It is this that also informs my detached commentary about other places and people.

    I plead guilty to commentary on international affairs from a parochial perspective. But to the charge of feeling guilty I plead no jurisdiction.

    I suggest that barracking for Israel as if it were a football team is more likely an indication of repressed guilt than Ian and his fans publishing information about war, genocide and colonisation in the country and the middle east.

  22. Well, Duncan, you’ve blinded me with a veritable sandstorm of facts and semantics. You have mixed up genetics, ethnicity, culture and identity, and while I’m still rubbing my eyes, you have even managed to define my identity out of existence. You have created a willy-willy of facts and misinformation, and then joined the dots to come up with something truly marvellous.

    Of course not all critics of Israel are anti-semites. But some are. You have defined a perfectly useful term out of existence, I’ll just say that whatever you call it, you can still tell it by the stench of obsession.

    There are two completely parallel narratives about the Middle East, and if you choose to follow one, you can live in blissful superiority all your life. If only you realised it, Western Leftists anti-Zionists and right wing Zionists are two sides of the same coin, working in concert to maintain the status quo of indefinite war.

    In future, I will try and stay away from scratching the itch provided by this site, and continue to support Palestinian and Israeli moderates who have the courage to trust, and are trying to build the capacity for a peace and a civil society, together.

    They say “This is not a war between Israelis and Palestinians. It is a war driven by extremists of both sides”.

  23. Judy,

    How is my friend Khalil extreme? He was driven out of his village in 1948 at the age of 6.

    You say Palestinians are treated like second class citizens in Arab countries – but why?

    Because everything Palestinians ever had was taken from them by Zionists in 1948.

    You prefer to scapegoat others and say the Zionists were a national liberation movement.

    If it is moderate to support injustice, then you are truly a moderate.

    You say you have been to the West Bank so you know full well the history.

    So what mind games are you playing and why?


    [My previous comment was too long. I will try to get a full account of Khalil’s story posted elsewhere at a later date].

  24. If indeed I have created a ‘willy-willy’ of misinformation then I am happy to respond to the previously requested well researched refutation. Bibliographies are most welcome.

    I encourage any and all skeptics to research the facts for themselves and read the books I have suggested in previous posts. Request them at your local library so that others can access them but most of all – don’t believe a word I say. Check the facts for yourself.

    Ian Curr has provided a personal history of individual suffering that is not untypical of many stories of dispossession and exile in the story of the Palestinian people.

    To dispel the myth proposed below that “This is not a war between Israelis and Palestinians. It is a war driven by extremists of both sides”, I include an article by Noam Chomsky:
    U.S. Savage Imperialism, Part 2
    The Israel/Palestine issue

    [Editor’s note – comment too long, Chomsky’s article is the address given by Duncan above. See also Duncan’s site at . Pls note, it is probably best to include your URLs in the body of the comment and not in the space provided in the comment box. ]

  25. Well, you’ve finally knocked me out with a double punch. You’ve pulled out your aces, Noam Chomsky, the doyen of the left conspiracy theorist, a guy whose formidable intellect hides the fact that he has no social or sociological intellect whatsoever. You should read some accounts of how he held back the evolution of linguistic theory for a decade because people were so intimidated by his intellect. I wouldnt dream of taking on someone so clever, I’m more interested in his emotioal IQ.

    Ian you have aced me with an actual Palestinian refugee, so you can shame me with my heartlessness. You may have forgotten that I also am a refugee, who left my homeland at the age of 5, with my family carrying 2 shopping bags of photos and the clothes on our backs. There’s not much you can teach me about the psychological anguish of exile, which never dies. (And for the stereotypers in your midst, no, I am not a rich Jew. On the contrary I’m as poor as its possible to be in Australia. Ian you know that.)What you haven’t answered is why it is that only the Palestinians are still refugees after 60 years. Please meditate on the possible reason why I am not demanding my teddy bears back, why ISrael is the only demon in the world, why the Arab ruling classes with all their oil money have profited endlessly in suppressing dissent amongst their own masses by keeping Palestinians in refugee camps as a constant distraction.
    Please meditate on the million Jewish refugees from Arab lands.
    I am not playing mind games. How hurtful!. I am “playing” for the survival of the Jewish people, one of the worlds oldest, most oppressed and most creative cultures, who surely deserve a niche on the earth, at least as deserving as the greater bilby.
    Unlike you, I am a stakeholder.
    I will never come back to this site, as your burgeoning sandstorms are exhausting me. But next time I visit Brisbane, I’d like you to introduce me to Khalil. I wager he and I will understand each other better than you ever could.
    My finally point, philosopy of knowledge 101. A hypothesis must be falsifiable to have a truth claim. To prove your case, you need to seek out intelligent opinions that undermine it. There is a mountain of information about Israel, both pro and con. Keep delving. I am not an intellectual, just a stakeholder. I don’t envy the task ahead of you.

  26. The question: “What you haven’t answered is why it is that only the Palestinians are still refugees after 60 years”.

    The simple answer is that the ‘right of return’ of refugees displaced from their homes as enshrined in UN Resolution 194 is to be upheld:
    UN General Assembly Resolution 194 passed on 11 December 1948 which provided (Article 11):
    “Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible”.

    Another article of faith is UN Resolution 242 which, amongst other things, refers to ‘the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war’. This, by definition, expressly relates to the acquisition of the Syrian Golan, (which Syria wants back), East Jerusalem, (illegally annexed by Israel in 1967), and of course the West Bank.

    Whilst UN Resolutions are not enforceable under international law they do nonetheless represent the democratic will of the international community. membership of the UN brings a responsibility to abide by its decisions – something that Israel has failed to do.

    The return of millions of displaced refugees and their descendants poses a demographic problem for Israel. It would create an Arab majority thus destroying the ideal of a ‘Jewish state’.

    Asking why the neighbouring Arab states don’t simply absorb them ignores the fact that these refugees want to return to their rightful places in Palestine. The integration of large numbers of refugees poses tremendous social and political problems not least of which is the recognition of fundamental Palestinian rights – principally the ‘right of return’ enjoyed not by Palestinians displaced from their homes by Israel but by Jews anywhere in the world. That’s correct, any Jewish person anywhere in the world has the right to migrate to Israel, acquire land and settle permanently on Palestinian land.

    The ‘absentee property law’ conveniently considers any property ‘abandoned’ by a Palestinian owner to be fair game. I won’t go into the details of how ‘absenteeism’ was forced on many by such devices as Plan Dalet, the ‘Transfer Committee’ in the Israeli government and general coercive military terrorism including civilian massacres designed to scare owners off their land.

    The history is there, the demand for recompense and return persists – and rightly so – in the eyes of many in the international community.

    Israel merely has to retreat to the 1967 borders, dismantle or abandon its illegal settlements as it did in Gaza and allow the return of the rightful owners of the land and compensate them.

    I think peace might prevail under those circumstances.

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