Australian celebs support genocide

International: UN Report of Israeli war on Gaza (2014)

I found the decapitated bodies of my uncle and daughter. 
My cousin was alive but died on the way to hospital. 
Another cousin’s body was found sliced in two. 
We had ten corpses in the first ambulances. 
No other survivors were found. 
[…] After having removed the cement I identified my cousin 
Dina’s body. What I witnessed was horrible. 
She was 9 months pregnant and she had come from her 
home to her parents’ house to have her baby. 
We could not imagine that she had passed away. 
Her stomach was ripped open and the unborn baby was 
lying there with the skull shattered. We kept searching 
for other corpses and found my uncle’s wife. 
We had great difficulty removing all the pieces of 
cement from her body.
      - Report of the detailed findings of the independent
        commission of inquiry established pursuant to 
        Human Rights Council resolution S-21/1

The UN commission calls upon the Government of Israel to conduct a thorough, transparent, objective and credible review of policies governing military operations and of law enforcement activities in the context of the occupation, as defined by political and military decision-makers, to ensure compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights law, specifically with regard to:

(a) The use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in densely populated areas, including in the vicinity of specifically protected objects;
(b) The definition of military objectives;
(c) The tactics of targeting residential buildings;
(d) The effectiveness of precautionary measures;
(e) The protection of civilians in the context of the application of the Hannibal directive;
(f) Ensuring that the principle of distinction is respected when active neighbourhoods are declared “sterile combat zones”;
(g) The use of live ammunition in crowd control situations.


Publisher’s Note: Reports of the Israeli Occupation Force attacks on GAZA continue. Here is the UN Full Report on Israel’s attack on GAZA 2014 (called “Report of the detailed findings of the independent commission of inquiry established pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution S-21/1∗∗”) released overnight.

The BDS campaign to challenge the apartheid state of Israel is an important response coming from Palestinian Civil Society.

Resistance on the ground deserves support from workers and their organisations everywhere.

Meanwhile, at home, local celebrity support for the  genocide needs to be exposed and financial sanctions taken against them and their businesses and organisations.

Ian Curr,
June 2015

Celebs support genocide
Australian celebs support Israel at Max Brenner’s after the IOF’s military offensive on GAZA – includes former Australian Workers Union national secretary, Paul Howes, seated at the head of the table between TV journalist, Jana Wendt, and Warren Mundine, national president of the ALP). Others pictured are Gerard Henderson (former Liberal Chief-of-Staff to John Howard), Sandy Gutman (aka Austen Tayshus) and Michael Danby (ALP MP from Victoria).


Israel is in violation of international law and tried to overcome this by setting up its own ‘inquiry’ claiming innocence. Israel exports its military death machine throughout the world – to the barrios of Brazil and into the jungles of Myanma (Burma).

The UN report details the systematic and precision bombing of people’s homes in GAZA in 2014. No military peacekeeping force is recommended. The Palestinians are left to fend for themselves with crude rockets aimed at military targets.

The UN report states:

“The blockade of Gaza by Israel, fully implemented since 2007 and described by the Secretary-General as “a continuing collective penalty against the population in Gaza was strangling the economy in Gaza and imposed severe restrictions on the rights of the Palestinians.

Two previous rounds of hostilities in the Strip since 2008 had not only led to loss of life and injury but also weakened an already fragile infrastructure.

Palestinians have demonstrated extraordinary resilience in recent years, living in an environment scarred by physical destruction and psychological trauma.

In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, settlement-related activities and settler violence continued to be at the core of most of the human rights violations against Palestinians.

In the absence of any progress on the political front, the risk of a flare-up of the situation was evident.”

The report notes:

“Many of the incidents took place in the evening or at dawn, when families gathered for iftar and suhhur, the Ramadan meals, or at night, when people were asleep. The timing of the attacks increased the likelihood that many people, often entire families, would be at home. Attacking residential buildings rendered women particularly vulnerable to death and injury.

“In six of the cases examined by the commission, and in most cases reported on by non-governmental organisations, there is little or no information available to explain why residential buildings, which are prima facie civilian objects immune from attack, were considered to be legitimate military objectives.”

The report concludes:

“In many incidents, however, the weapons used, the timing of attacks, and the fact that the targets were located in densely populated areas indicate that the Israel Defence Forces may not have done everything feasible to avoid or limit civilian casualties.

“Israel should provide specific information on the effective contribution of a given house or inhabitant to military action and the clear advantage to be gained by the attack. Should a strike directly and intentionally target a house in the absence of a specific military objective, this would amount to a violation of the principle of distinction. It may also constitute a direct attack against civilian objects or civilians, a war crime under international criminal law.”

The UN commission calls upon the State of Palestine (sic):
(a) To ensure that investigations into violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including international crimes,
by the Palestinian Authority, the authorities in Gaza and Palestinian armed groups,
where substantiated, comply with international human rights standards and that full accountability is achieved, including through criminal proceedings;
(b) To accelerate efforts to translate the declarations on Palestinian unity
into tangible measures on grounds that would enable the Government of national consensus to ensure the protection of human rights and to achieve accountability for victims.
683. The commission calls upon the authorities in Gaza and Palestinian armed
(a) To respect the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution,
including by ending all attacks on Israeli civilians and civilian objects, and stopping all rocket attacks and other actions that may spread terror among the civilian population in Israel;
(b) To take measures to prevent extrajudicial executions and eradicate
torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment; to cooperate with national
investigations aimed to bring those responsible for violations of international law to justice; and to combat the stigma faced by families of alleged collaborators.

This call on the State of Palestine is ironic, to me at least.

Ian Curr
June 2015

Sources: UNHCR
Picture: Jane Dempster, The Australian
Departing ALP member tells of deep Zionist influence in party

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  1. Departing ALP member tells of deep Zionist influence in party says:

    [Publisher’s Note: Yet another poor deluded soul thinking they can reform the Labor Party …]

    The departing Labor member for Fowler, Julia Irwin, has revealed the deep influence of the Zionist lobby on the ALP and the inner workings of her party towards the Middle East in an exclusive interview with Crikey.

    Irwin says Israel must engage with Hamas, argues that the two-state solution may be a lost cause, remains open to backing a cultural and academic boycott of Israel and provides unprecedented details about the Zionist lobby’s capture of newly minted Labor MPs.

    Irwin claims that her statements on the Israel/Palestine conflict over the years “have been broadly in line” with party policy and urges “an active role for the United Nations in the peace process”. Such a view “upset Israel supporters in Caucus” from 2002 onwards. Irwin comments that the UN is generally backed by the ALP — note the party’s opposition to the Iraq war due to a lack of UN support — but the Middle East crisis is seemingly different.

    “When I put the question of UN involvement to [current Israeli Defence Minister] Ehud Barak when he visited Australia, he almost exploded,” she says.

    Irwin stands firm on her belief that the UN is central to solving the conflict.

    When asked to explain why virtually every Labor MP backs Israel uncritically, Irwin responds that Zionist lobby free trips to Israel are central to cementing views. “Many members and senators from right-wing unions have had close links with the Israeli union movement over the years and have maintained entrenched views.”

    AWU boss and Labor aspirant Paul Howes is constantly backing Israeli unions in the public sphere, despite the call by Palestinian civil society to boycott such groups due to their connection to maintenance of the West Bank occupation.

    Irwin tells me that her critical stance — best revealed in two recent speeches in parliament, one calling for a full investigation of the massacre on the Mavi Marmara and the other condemning increased Israeli colonisation in Palestine — has cost her some friends in the ALP. “I should add that many of my colleagues these days begin a conversation with the remark, ‘I know we don’t see eye to eye on the Middle East but’ …”

    She repeated her claim in a recent Sydney Morning Herald article that Labor power-broker Mark Arbib [alongside ALP officials and NSW Jewish treasurer Eric Roozendaal] have demanded her speeches be vetted before presentation. But she reveals to Crikey that it went further:

    “[I was told I should] visit the Holocaust Museum, visit Israel and meet with members of various Jewish organisations [but] these requests have not been followed up. After one speech on Palestine, the ALP chief whip tore up my application for leave from the House when I was to attend an Inter Parliamentary Union meeting in Geneva. This was later approved but not before some emotional displays on both sides.”

    Significantly, Irwin says that she “enjoyed strong support from many rank-and-file members of the ALP” after a speech or statement on Israel/Palestine and would receive mountains of positive letters and emails. “There is obviously a strong groundswell of support within the ALP for a more independent position when it comes to the Israel/Palestine conflict.”

    There is no evidence that Prime Minister Julia Gillard is even willing to entertain this issue, placing blind backing for Israel as one of her key foreign policy objectives. Opposition leader Tony Abbott is no different.

    Irwin says that former leader Simon Crean called her many years ago to briefly discuss the Middle East but until recently neither Kevin Rudd nor Julia Gillard had approached her:

    “Then, strangely, at the Caucus meeting on the Tuesday before he was deposed as Prime Minister, I had gone up to Kevin to ask him to sign a hardback edition of The True Believers which had been signed by all Party leaders from Gough Whitlam. Kevin was surprisingly friendly and inquired about the reaction of supporters of the Palestinian cause to the government’s handling of the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat over the theft of Australian passports and his statement calling for an inquiry into the Mavi Marmara incident. His remarks led me to believe that there had been some change in the government’s position with regard to Israel even if it was only a small step from being totally uncritical.”

    Irwin laments the lack of MPs speaking out on Palestine (except Victorian MP Maria Vamvakinou and West Australian MP Melissa Parke) and blames enormous pressure from ALP officials. Furthermore, “most members regard Foreign Affairs as a specialist policy area and rarely make public statements on these matters. Tibet, Burma and Zimbabwe would be exceptions”. But Irwin continually spoke out over Palestine.

    Irwin’s departure from parliament will leave virtually nobody from the major parties to speak critically about the Middle East.
    She tells Crikey, without revealing the name, that “at least one ALP member receives big donations from Palestinian interests but is silent on the issue.” Irwin says she has never received donations from groups with “direct links to Palestinian interests”.

    Irwin cites the belief within the party that “support for Palestine will swiftly end any prospect of a front bench position. Even a hint of offence can result in an immediate unconditional apology.” She continues:

    “For all MPs there is the desire to ‘play it safe’. Why make enemies over an issue which does not directly affect your local community? And I have to add that many Labor members have an intense dislike of Arabic people. That’s something that comes across in their less-guarded moments. They will talk about human rights abuse in every corner of the world, but not Palestine.”

    One of the least understood realities of modern politics is the insidious influence of unelected lobbyists on the political process. Irwin is remarkably forthcoming in detailing how the Zionist lobby operates within the ALP:

    “On the Labor side (and as far as I know the same applies to the Liberals), a newly selected member for a winnable seat is hosted to a private fund raising dinner. A table full of Jewish businessmen are happy to hand over $10,000 for the candidate’s first campaign. That’s a big bonus for a new member and many never forget the generosity. I was never afforded such an honour but I can say that I would have been suspicious of the motive.”

    Irwin also cites the never-ending free trips to Israel — “a visit to Israel is almost a rite of passage for new MPs and Senators” and display by hosts of “backward Arabs threatening such an enlightened society” — and acknowledges that the lobby needs backing across the political aisle. “It cannot afford to snub Labor even if most Jewish voters live in blue ribbon Liberal seats.” Labor’s closeness to the lobby is well documented.

    She tells Crikey that although she survived four terms in parliament, “I have no doubt that senior ALP figures have promised to end my career on more than one occasion. At the grass roots level, in the branches and the wider electorate, the lobby has no influence. Only at the highest levels can a member be threatened. But a party which allows that to happen is not worthy of public support.”

    Once a strong believer in the two-state solution, today Irwin wonders if Israel has “passed the point of no return” with ongoing colonisation across the West Bank and isolation of Gaza. “There can be no ethnic cleansing of the occupied territories,” she warns and urges “unconditional engagement” with Hamas to facilitate a peace treaty. She remains pessimistic of future prospects. “Despite the belief of the Israeli leadership, time is not on their side.”

    Irwin raises the possibility of backing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, a growing global movement to non-violently pressure Israel to embrace true democracy in Israel and Palestine or face increasing isolation.
    The departing MP says that she grew up greatly admiring Jews and was shamed “at our complicity of abuse and discrimination against Jewish people” but “now I ask, what has changed? How could such a people condone the oppression of others?”

    Irwin believes Israel can survive economic isolation but, like apartheid South Africa, the Jewish state “cannot survive a cultural and academic boycott … While politically Israel lurches further to the right, Israelis must come to realise that they are all judged by the actions of their leaders.”

    While both major political parties continue pandering to Israel’s pro-settler fringe, the BDS movement is exploding everywhere, including Australia.

    by Antony Loewenstein
    Source: Crikey

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