12 Aug 2013

Defending The Right To Dissent

By Stuart Rees

Sydney Uni academic Jake Lynch has publicly backed the BDS movement – and copped a class action complaint. This is a politically motivated attempt to stifle criticism, writes Stuart Rees

It may sound preposterous, but freedom of public debate and the voicing of dissent in Australia is being threatened by a law firm in another country.

In mid-June, an Israeli law centre Shurat HaDin told my colleague Jake Lynch and I that if we did not desist from our support of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement in support of Palestinian human rights, they would take legal action against us. 

We replied saying that we’d welcome a forum in which to air such issues. We insisted that we supported BDS “for the purpose of pressuring Israel to abide by international law and cease its illegal occupation of the Occupied Territories”.

At the end of July, Shurat HaDin, represented in Sydney by Andrew Hamilton, filed a class action racist complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission over Professor Lynch’s support for BDS. Such support, they say, is racist and anti-Semitic.

Australians for BDS have responded to the threats and to the complaint to the Human Rights Commission by inviting supporters of BDS to become co-defendants in any future legal action. This initiative is taken on the grounds that the Shurat HaDin complaint raises political issues as much as legal ones. Instead of being served derision of BDS as extremist and anti-Semitic, the public needs to be far better informed as to that world wide movement’s purpose and achievements.   

In 2005 over 170 Palestinian civil society groups conceived the BDS campaign because of decades of failure by governments to hold Israel accountable for the occupation of Palestinian lands and for related human rights abuses.   

In accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the campaign is based on Palestinian rights to self determination and on the obligation of the international community to respect those rights. Far from being illegal, the BDS movement seeks adherence to international law and uses non-violent means for doing so. It is supported by churches, NGOs, trade unions, by students and staff on campuses across the world and by significant artists and academics, including most recently Professor Stephen Hawking. 

Jewish Voice for Peace in the United States explains, “We assert that the tactics of boycott divestment and sanctions are a viable, democratic and non violent response to the horrific policies used by the State of Israel against Palestinians”.

In July the European Union repeated its position that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. Its published guidelines distinguish between the State of Israel and the occupied territories. In the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, journalist Gideon Levy takes a more radical position:

“The distinction between products from the occupation and Israeli products is an artificial creation. It’s not the settlers who are the primary culprits but rather those who cultivate their existence…. There is no one unaffected by the occupation, including those who fancy looking the other way and steering clear of it. We are all settlers.”

BDS policies make it clear that it is a non violent human rights based movement and opposed to racism in all forms, including anti-Semitism. But as part of a concerted campaign to deflect attention from Israeli cruelty towards Palestinians, complaints of racism and anti-Semitism are thrown against almost anyone who is critical of the Israeli policies. In a succession of court cases, however, these claims have been rejected.  

In March 2012 in a court in Edinburgh, the Sheriff dismissed allegations of racism  against BDS activists. He said that the prosecution case was “rather strained”, an understated way of saying utterly without foundation. On 9 April 2012, the London Times reported that the charges were “thrown out of court in a landmark case”. 

In Washington State USA, in February 2012, a lawsuit brought against the Olympia WA Food Coop for boycotting Israeli products was dismissed and the defendants – supporters of BDS – awarded attorneys’ fees, cost and sanctions.

In March 2013, in a London Employment Tribunal, all 10 charges of institutional anti-Semitism brought by an academic against the British Universities and Colleges Union were dismissed and judged “an impermissible attempt to achieve a political end by litigious means”.  The case was said to show “a worrying disregard for pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression”.

The complaint lodged against Jake Lynch is also a politically motivated attempt to intimidate, to stifle  criticism and to impede his totally legal, non-violent, socially just stand.    

Shurat HaDin and Hamilton seem to think that derision heaped on derision amounts to proof that what they say – “racist”, “anti-Semite” – must be true. If BDS supporters even appeared to lump together a particular group to imply that they were odious, as in the Israeli law firm’s reference to “Lynch and his ilk”, they might be vulnerable to the very charges Hamilton has in mind. 

Totally absorbed with the belief that BDS supporters must be anti-Semitic, there’s no limit to the sleights of hand which the accusers use.  Guilt shows by association. No further proof needed. Who cares about truth?

To prove something by defining themselves as worthy and by stigmatising opponents as unworthy, Shurat HaDin declare that their work is modeled on an Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Centre which has successfully confronted racist groups such as the Klu Klux Klan. They also drop the name of Holocaust denier Fredrick Tobin. He and many noxious groups may well support BDS but that does not undermine the campaign nor does it give any substance to attacks against Jake.

Other critics of BDS use the same tactics. An editorial in The Australian claimed that the Greens’ support for BDS, showed “a preference for the company of numbats and conspiracists in the dark and dangerous fringelands”. Who writes this stuff?

If an objective is to bully people into submission, any adjective or accusation can be used. The bully in the playground, boardroom or on the streets uses the same tactics. 

What must be emphasised and understood is that the use of such tactics undermines the very basis of our democracy. Rational public debate, the presentation of different and dissenting opinions and the necessity to justify policy positions using verifiable and available facts, are important to us all. The personal denigration and defamation of supporters of BDS sets a precedent which, if allowed to succeed, can smother any dissenting opinion or individual person.

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markfletcher
Posted Monday, August 12, 2013 - 12:52

(Before I get flamed: I'm pro-Palestine)

It seems reasonable to expect that a defence to the accusation of racism would include some demonstration that the position isn't racist.  Instead, this article seems to boil down to: 'BDS has been accused of being racist.  The people making the accusations resort to smeer.  The accusation hasn't been successful in other jurisdictions.  Therefore, BDS isn't racist.'

Richard Dawkins has got some attention recently for making racist comments.  His response was weirdly similar to this article.  He's not racist because people are trying to smeer him with grammatically incorrect slurs.

I'm neither pro-BDS nor particularly anti-BDS, but the question of whether targeting particular businesses and academics simply because they are based in Israel does make me wonder whether the movement is racist.  

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, for example, says: 'In this Convention, the term ” racial discrimination ” shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.'  A strict reading of this passage suggests that the BDS could be racially discriminatory.

The article just seems too quick to jump to 'People use the R-word when they're trying to silence dissent.  Therefore, I am not going to question whether or not we actually are racist.'

petersc2u
Posted Monday, August 12, 2013 - 14:49

Mark, your understanding of BDS is incorrect .  The global BDS movt targets all businesses, organisations, corporations  who support the Occupation and colonisation of Palestine by providing services or profiting from businesses in the .  It does not specifically target businesses or academics who are based in Israel.

The media in this country has been disgracefully lazy or deliberately misleading in relation to the BDS, taking their lead from the pro Zionist lobby and politicians who jumped on the anti BDS wagon to further their political careers - the ALP and Coalition are full of these people, many who have taken free trips to Israel but never set foot in the West Bank or Palestine.

It's worth looking at the BDS website to both understand the movement and also to see the massive international support it has gained since 2006 - http://www.bdsmovement.net/

The article by Stuart Rees is aimed at alerting readers to the attempt to stifle free speech and dissent by this Israeli based company which has threatened both academics for their courageous support for BDS here in Australia.  This is part of  highly organised and funded Israeli govt initiatives to counter the BDS internationally http://www.pinkwatchingisrael.com/2012/06/13/behind-brand-israel-israels-recent-propaganda-efforts/

Disclaimer:  I have supported BDS for years as a non violent means to try to make the Israeli government adhere to international law and human rights.  The international community is playing a vital role in the eventual dismantling of all the illegal Settlements in the West Bank and the horrendous illegal Wall, as well as the return of millions of displaced Palestinians from refugee camps to their homelands and the removal of all IDF troops from Palestinian land. 

Vacy
Posted Monday, August 12, 2013 - 14:52

Shurat HaDin is an Israeli gadfly that attacks with the sharp bite of ant-semitism or racism persons or groups who dare to support Palestinian political and human rights. 

 

Noisy, annoying and a pest to free speech, it has, unsuccessfully, tried to suck blood-money ($5million) out of ex-US president and Nobel prize-winner, Jimmy Carter, for consumer fraud for publishing his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. Apparently  to call Israel an apartheid state is misrepresenting the facts  even though both UN Special Rapporteurs, Dugard and Falk have  denounced Israel's apartheid practices as illegal under international law. And Archbishop Desmond Tutu denounced Israel's apartheid under an universal moral law.

 

Shurat HaDin also attempted to sting World Vision for allegedly  providing " financial aid to a Gaza-based terrorist group", the Union of Agricultural Work Committees,  which in reality is  a non-profit company . It was investigated by AusAID and the Australian Federal Police which concluded there was no evidence to Shurat HaDin's absurd claims.

 

Now BDS, a non-violent movement is the new target. The matter against Professors Lynch and Rees, goes way beyond  the shocking interference by a foreign agent into the Australian right to freedom of speech, it is yet another heinous machination to safeguard Israel's impunity to mercilessly persecute Palestinian families, steal their lands and livelihoods, contain the concentration camp of Gaza for armament testing and war crimes.

 

BDS challenges that impunity and particularly the academic  boycott of Israeli universities which  have an unethical symbiosis with Israels's lethal armament industry and military - and so Shurat HaDin is let loose.

 

Australia has stringent quarantine requirements that should include gadflies that can devastate our right to to freely defend the human rights of all suffering members of the human family.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Monday, August 12, 2013 - 16:28

Professors Jake Lynch and Stuart Rees are outstanding  pro-peace,  anti-racist and indeed philo-Semitic  Australian academics. Indeed Professor Lynch is one of many  anti-racist Jewish Australians with the courage to stand up against the horrendous human rights abuses of Apartheid israel. The claims against them are egregiously false, horribly defamatory and turn reality on its head.

For anti-racist Jews and indeed all anti-racist humanitarians the core moral messages from the Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million dead, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) and from the more general WW2 European Holocaust (30 million Slav, Jewish and Gypsy dead) are “zero tolerance for racism”, “never again to anyone”, “bear witness” and “zero tolerance for lying” . Adherence to these moral messages means opposing the horrendous abuse of Palestinian human rights by nuclear terrorist, racist  Zionist-run, democracy-by-genocide Aparthied Israel.

For alphabetical compendia of the humane opinions of numerous outstanding  anti-racist Jewish and non -Jewish figures opposed to racist  Zionism and its  manifestations such as  Israeli Apartheid and  the Palestinian Genocide see "Jews Against Racist Zionism"; https://sites.google.com/site/jewsagainstracistzionism/home , "Non-Jews Against Racist Zionism": https://sites.google.com/site/nonjewsagainstracistzionism/   and "Palestinian  Genocide: https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/ .  

The “Boycott Apartheid Israel” site (see: https://sites.google.com/site/boycottapartheidisrael/ ) is an alphabetical compendium of the opinions of outstanding, anti-racist, Jewish and non-Jewish  scholars and writers  who variously describe the State of Israel as a race-based  Apartheid state involved in a Palestinian Genocide – and also exists to promote comprehensive intra-national and international Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)  against Apartheid Israel and its racist supporters as were successfully applied to US-, UK-, Apartheid Australia- and Apartheid Israel-backed  Apartheid South Africa and the individuals, corporations, organizations and countries who supported that egregiously racist, anti-African and anti-Asian White Minority régime.

Thus anti-Apartheid heroine Winnie Mandela: "Apartheid Israel can be defeated, just as apartheid in South Africa was defeated" - by Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)  against Apartheid Israel.

Racism and Apartheid are utterly repugnant and the genocidally racist Zionsit and their supporters need to be sidelined from public life as have been like racsits like the Nazis, neo-Nazis, Apartheiders and KKK.

Thus outstanding anti-racist Jewish American schoalr Professor Bertell Ollman (NYU) on the fight against Zionist anti-Semitism: “An all out struggle against Zionism by Jews, therefore, is also the most effective way to fight against real anti-Semitism. Furthermore, if Zionism is indeed a particularly virulent form of nationalism and, increasingly, of racism and if Israel is acting toward its captive minority in ways that resemble more and more how the Nazis treated their Jews, then we must also say so. For obvious reasons, the Zionists are very sensitive about being compared to the Nazis (not so sensitive that it has restrained them in their actions but enough to bellow "unfair" and to charge "anti-Semitism" when it happens). Yet, the facts on the ground, when not obscured by one or another Zionist rationalization, show that the Zionists are the worst anti-Semites in the world today, oppressing a Semitic people as no nation has done since the Nazis.”

 

NewsGooJake
Posted Monday, August 12, 2013 - 17:25

Supporters of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians have stepped up their 'lawfare' since the vote at the UN General Assembly last year which accorded Palestine the status of ‘non-member observer state’, by an overwhelming majority of 138 to 9.

The further the conflict is conceived within the framework of the UN, the more salient the issues of international law and international humanitarian law, will become. The conceit underpinning various US-led 'peace talks', that Israel's illegal settlements and military occupation should be regarded as 'facts on the ground', and bargaining chips in negotiations, will be exposed and undermined.

It's worth emphasising that according to many surveys of Israeli public opinion over the years, the settlement project has only ever enjoyed minority support. Most Israelis are in favour of relinquishing them, in the framework of a peace agreement. Standing in the way is the military-industrial complex (an offshoot of its US parent) and the political parties that exploit fears over security issues to divert attention from conversations about fairness and justice.

Within Israel, this hegemonic political discourse is being challenged, and opponents finding useful arguments, as a result of BDS - as Stuart's quote from Gideon Levy suggests. In other words, BDS is working, and that is why the likes of the Shurat HaDin law centre want to attack it.

peter hindrup
Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 09:15

A brief, very brief, overview of the nation in whose defence  an Israeli law centre Shurat Ladin demanded that Sydney Uni academics Jake Lynch and Stuart Rees who have  publicly backed the BDS movement desist, or face a class action against them.

This nation claims that it is beyond reproach, or at least that no others have the right to judge them. 

 "Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial."

– Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 25 March, 2001 quoted in BBC News Online

“The Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the under dog.” — President Harry S. Truman: A recently discovered diary of President Harry S. Truman indicates that the former president may have had a strongly negative opinion of Jews. In the diary, which includes 42 entries written in 1947, Truman recounts a conversation he had with Henry Morgenthau, the Secretary of the Treasury, who had phoned to discuss the fate of Jewish refugees. In criticizing the approach of Morgenthau, who was Jewish, Truman wrote the above in a July 21 passage;

"We enthusiastically chose to become a colonial society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justification for all these activities. Passionately desiring to keep the occupied territories, we developed two judicial systems: one - progressive, liberal - in Israel; and the other - cruel, injurious - in the occupied territories. In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied territories immediately following their capture. That oppressive regime exists to this day. —  Michael Ben-Yair: Article/book #: 3837 Title: The war's seventh day:  Michael Ben-Yair: Published in: Ha'aretz; Date of issue: Sunday, 3 March 2002

Michael Ben-Yair was attorney general of Israel from 1993-96 (that is, in the governments of Rabin and Perez).

"If certain acts and violations of treaties are crimes, they are crimes

whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them. We are not

prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we

would not be willing to have invoked against us." - Justice Robert

H. Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg War Crimes Trials

Beyond reproach?  The actions of these people we may not condemn?

yeahbut
Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 10:43

Guess what? Anti-semitism: It's in the vibe, stupid! Anyone can hide behind fine words, but fairminded Aussies should go see Stuart Rees in action to decide whether he is a hater or not. It's a pity but Shurat ha Din wont be able to prove anything, because the law doesn't recognise signs like red-faced choleric old bastards with bees in their bonnets about just one country. 

yeahbut
Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 11:25

Oh, hello, Vacy and Vlazna and Polya are all popping up here as well. Where ever there is Israel, there are those two indefatigable warriors for there being no Israel. Obsessed? Anti-semitic? No waaaaaay...

Rocky
Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 12:36

BDS is obviously some threat to the Zionists, congratulations.

"Totally absorbed with the belief that BDS supporters must be anti-Semitic,"--

I doubt that's often really the case, accusations of anti-semitism are standard Zionist tactics, it's usually a cynical ploy. Zionism is not defensible on any ethical or humane grounds, so attacking the messanger is the default position for its apologists.

 

markfletcher

"Richard Dawkins has got some attention recently for making racist comments."

I didn't notice any racist remarks by Prof Dawkins, can you provide examples? Are you making the mistake of assuming that Moslems are  a "race", thet're not-- crticism of the Islamic ideology or culture is not necessarily racist. Accusations of "racism" are also an Islamist tactic.

 

NewsGooJake

"It's worth emphasising that according to many surveys of Israeli public opinion over the years, the settlement project has only ever enjoyed minority support. Most Israelis are in favour of relinquishing them, in the framework of a peace agreement." 

Why not before a peace agreement? Despite the implied disapproval of the majority of Israelis, the settlements continue to expand, how very, very peculiar since the settler carpetbaggers are one of the causes of the conflict, something of a paradox isn't it?

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 14:09

I have signed on to the Petition advertised above by Vacy in support of Professors Jake Lynch and Stuart Rees and BDS. I hope that others will do likewise - false defamation of outstanding, anti-racist Jewish humanitarian scholars  like Professor Jake Lynch is  anti-Jewish anti-semitism  which,  like anti-Arab anti-Semitism,  is repugnant racism that all decent people abhor.

Failure of Zionist-subverted Labor to defend anti-racist Jewish Australians from defamation by racist Zionists (and in particular via the Zionist-subverted, taxpayer-funded ABC) is another reason for decent people to vote 1 Green and put Labor last (the Zionist lackey Coalition is just as bad but unlike Zionist-subverted Labor has not actually betrayed decent, anti-racist Labor voters and values).

Thus a  similarly extremely offensive  “Holocaust denial and the new anti-Israelism” was the title of an interview of Deborah Lipstadt by longtime ABC and Murdoch media employee Phillip Adams broadcast by ABC Late Night Live (“Holocaust denial and the new anti-Israelism”., ABC Late Night Live, 12 August 2013: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/deborah-lipstadt---the-new-anti-israelism/4876122 ).

No doubt protests from decent Australians led to a sneaky  alteration of the title today to "Holocaust denial and the Eichmann trial" but the false and repugnant linkage is still made in the intro: "She [Lipstadt] continues to campaign against Holocaust denial, and what she now perceives as the new anti-Israelism."

I posted the following comment on the website under my name “GideonPolya” (other versions  of my name are BLOCKED by the ABC, which like the ABC-linked and ABC-promoted,  taxpayer-funded web magazine The Conversation,  subjects me to extraordinary censorship, blocking and defamation; see: “Censorship by ABC Late Night Live”: https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbyabclatenightlive/ , .  "Censorship by ABC Saturday Extra": https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbyabclatenightlive/censorship-by-abc-sat , “Censorship by The Conversation”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/censorship-by  ):

MY COMMENT. “The title of this interview, “Holocaust denial and the new anti-Israelis”, was a highly offending linkage (that was not even discussed in the program!) – a large body of anti-racist Jewish and non-Jewish scholars and writers , informed by “never again to anyone” arising from the Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million killed, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) and the WW2 European Holocaust of which it was a part (30 million Slavs, Jews and Gypsies killed) are opposed to the horrendous , continuing crime of the ongoing Palestinian  Genocide by the nuclear terrorist, genocidally racist, democracy-by-genocide, racist Zionist-run rogue state of Apartheid Israel (Google “Jews Against Racist Zionism”, “Non-Jews Against Racist Zionism”, “Palestinian Genocide” and “Boycott Apartheid Israel”. For a detailed critique of this highly flawed interview Google “ABC Fact-checking unit & incorrect reportage by the ABC”). END COMMENT.

it appears that my comment has been censored out, consistent with the entrenched policy of  the bottom-of-the-barrel, Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist-perverted and -subverted ABC of censoring things that it feels its Masters won’t want the ABC audience to see, hear, read, know about or think about.

For your convenience the links to the quoted sites are: “Jews Against Racist Zionism”: https://sites.google.com/site/jewsagainstracistzionism/ , “Non-Jews Against Racist Zionism”: https://sites.google.com/site/nonjewsagainstracistzionism/ , “Palestinian Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/  and “Boycott Apartheid Israel”. https://sites.google.com/site/boycottapartheidisrael/ , and  “ABC Fact-checking unit & incorrect reportage by the ABC”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/abc-fact-checking-unit

My criticisms of the Lipstadt-Adams interview are as follows (also see  in section A, Incorrect reportage", “ABC Fact-checking unit & incorrect reportage by the ABC”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/abc-fact-checking-unit ):

1. The title “Holocaust denial and the new anti-Israelism” is a highly offending linkage off repugnant “holocaust denial”  and the repugnance o fall decent people in the word for horrendous crimes of Apartheid Israel (indeed this was not even explored in the program!).

2. The continual reference to ”the Holocaust” as a synonym for the WW2 Jewish Holocaust  is incorrect and an appalling ignoring  of all other holocaust and genocide atrocities e.g. (dates and deaths from violence or violently -imposed deprivation in parentheses) the WW2 European Holocaust (30 million, 1939-1945), WW2 Bengali  Holocaust (6-7 million, 1942-1945), WW2 Chinese Holocaust (35 million, 1937-1945), Palestinian Holocaust, Palestinian Genocide (2 million, 1936-), Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide  (4.6 million, 1990-), Afghan Holocaust  Afghan Genocide (5.5 million, 2001-), Somali Holocaust and Somali Genocide (2.2 million, 1992-) , Muslim Holocaust, Muslim Genocide (12 million, 1990-) (Google “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/muslimholocaustmuslimgenocide/  ).

3. I disagree with Professor Deborah Lipstadt’s statement in the interview that ” I’m against laws outlawing holocaust denial” – people should be held to account  for false witness and particularly  for holocaust denial but in the interests of free speech and unfettered scholarship the only punishment should be the ignominy of public exposure.

4. Lipstadt reveals she was an adviser to Madeline Albright who notoriously stated that the 0.5 million Iraq infant deaths by 1995 were “worth it” (Iraqi under-5 infant deaths since 1990 now total 2 million, evidence of an immense war crime in gross contravention of the Geneva Convention, the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration off Human Rights and the Rights if the Child by the war criminal, racist Zionist-perverted US Alliance).

5. Phillip Adams: “the Jewish legal system, the Israeli system” – this defames anti-racist Jews because there is a huge body of anti-racist Jews who reject the horrendous  human rights violations underpinned by the genocidally racist Apartheid Israel legal system.

6. Lipstadt re  genocidal war criminal Apartheid Israel hanging genocidal war criminal Adolph Eichmann: “the only person in the history if Israel who has ever had a death sentence carried out” ignores the 2 million Palestinians killed in the Palestinian Genocide and the 12 million Muslims killed  in the racist Zionist-backed US War on Muslims.

7. Repeated quotation by Lipstadt of outstanding   anti-racist Jewish scholar  Hannah Arendt who became a trenchant critic  of racist Zionism. Thus  Hannah Arendt, in a Letter with Albert Einstein and other scholars decrying Nazi-style Irgun Zionists like Menachaem Begin to the New York Times, 1948: “TO THE EDITORS OF NEW YORK TIMES: Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the "Freedom Party" (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine…The discrepancies between the bold claims now being made by Begin and his party, and their record of past performance in Palestine bear the imprint of no ordinary political party. This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a "Leader State" is the goal. In the light of the foregoing considerations, it is imperative that the truth about Mr. Begin and his movement be made known in this country. It is all the more tragic that the top leadership of American Zionism has refused to campaign against Begin's efforts, or even to expose to its own constituents the dangers to Israel from support to Begin.The undersigned therefore take this means of publicly presenting a few salient facts concerning Begin and his party; and of urging all concerned not to support this latest manifestation of fascism.” (see Letter by Hannah Arendt, Albert Einstein and many other signatories to the New York Times, 4 December 1948, “New Palestine Party. Visit of Menachen Begin and Aims of Political Movement Discussed”,. a letter to The New York Times, published in the "Books" section (Page 12) of the New York Times, Saturday December 4, 1948: http://www.archive.org/details/AlbertEinsteinLetterToTheNewYorkTimes.December41948 ).

8. Phillip Adams: “the Holocaust is now part of the Australian school curriculum”: “the WW2 Jewish Holocaust is in the national School curriculum  but not the WW2 European Holocaust (30 million, 1939-1945), WW2 Bengali  Holocaust (6-7 million, 1942-1945), WW2 Chinese Holocaust (35 million, 1937-1945), Palestinian Holocaust, Palestinian Genocide (2 million, 1936-), Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide  (4.6 million, 1990-), Afghan Holocaust  Afghan Genocide (5.5 million, 2001-), Somali Holocaust and Somali Genocide (2.2 million, 1992-) , Muslim Holocaust, Muslim Genocide (12 million, 1990-) (Google “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/muslimholocaustmuslimgenocide/  ), atrocities that were not mentioned in the interview. .

9. Further to point #8, genocide ignoring  and holocaust ignoring  are far, far worse than repugnant genocide denial and holocaust denial because the latter at least admit the possibility of public discussion.

10. Lipstadt wants a 2-state solution but ethnic cleaning of 90% of the land of Palestine means that this is now impossible. Israel as a Jewish Sate (Jewish Israelis are already less than 50% of the population fo Palestine) means it must continue as a race-based Apartheid state, a situation that decent people throughout the world find utterly repugnant. 

The ABC is a disgrace and should be cleaned up or failing that, privatized.

peter hindrup
Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 21:20

 

'like anti-Arab anti-Semitism,'

But anti-Arab would be anti-Semitism.  

Native Arabic speakers, the largest Semitic language group in the world cannot possibly be 'anti-Semitic'  

There is a discussion amongst linguist as to whether modern Hebrew is in fact a  Semitic language, the question being whether it is a derivative of the Germanic languages. 

There is also a question as to whether ‘constructed languages’ ought not belong in a distinct and separate group.

Regardless of the  washup, Hebrew is at best a minor language in the Semitic language group. 

It is past time that ‘anti-Semitism’ was dropped from use, it is obviously wrong in context, does not fit into the norms of English usage. Try anti Israel, anti Judaism, anti Zionist, which at least have the advantage of being precise as opposed to the derogatory and incorrect catch all ‘anti-Semitism’. 

 

yeahbut
Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 23:50

Just as dickhead doesn't literally mean a person who has a dick growing where his head should be, anti-semitic doesn;t literally mean someone who is against all semites. It has a historically constructed meaning that specifically and recognizeably means in common parlance "hatred of Jews",  As anybody but the kind of dickhead who has nothing better to do with his time than write this tripe would know.

Rocky
Posted Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 08:27

Probably the most successful project of f the Zionist propaganda machine is the widespread acceptance of the myth that  Jews were the only victims of the Nazi genocide policies, they were neither the only victims, nor the most numerous.

 

 

paulduffill
Posted Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 09:57

The state of Israel's breaches of international law in Palestinian territory are a fact of international law: The world’s authority on international law, the International Court of Justice, ruled in July 2004 that Israel's is occupation of Palestinian territory is illegal. See paragraphs 132 and 134 of the full judgement at: http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1671.pdf

The same judgement is very clear on Israeli settlements:  "The Court concludes that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law." (Paragraph 120)

The official summary of the ICJ judgement is here: http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1677.pdf

Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian territory violates: the Fourth Geneva Convention; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and UN Security Council Resolutions 446, 452 & 465;

Israel is a member of the International Court of Justice and has fully ratified all of these international standards. This means Israel has committed to fully respect these international laws and treaties.

Australia and its allies have responded very forcefully to breaches of international law and human rights violations by other countries in the region such as Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Syria: with sanctions and even violence (note that BDS explicitly rejects violence). But Israel's breaches of international law meet no such consequences; Israel even continues to be rewarded by being the largest recipient of US foreign aid (http://www.haaretz.com/business/u-s-aid-to-israel-totals-233-7b-over-six-decades.premium-1.510592)

BDS aims to end these breaches of international law and promote equality before the law for all in Israel and Palestine (see http://www.bdsmovement.net/call)

 

 

phoneyid
Posted Friday, August 16, 2013 - 22:02

What business has all this debate of the legendary 6_Million figure have to do with Australia in our education above other teachings and the Israeli law centre Shurat HaDin in our laws?
Before meddling further with our laws, watch the 300 Movie and remember "this is Australia!"
get stuffed!

Rockjaw
Posted Saturday, August 17, 2013 - 19:22

To Gideon Polya - Winnie Mandela was no heroine mate, she was a murderess, a thief and a great embarrassment to the anti-apartheid movement.

Since you are in the mood for quoting South Africans, why don't you make reference to Justice Richard J Goldstone of the war crimes Tribunal? Not only is Justice Goldstone a great South African, but he is also a brave and righteous Jew, a wonderful human being who had the courage, the nouse and the strength of character to face up to criminal Israel.

To Stuart Rees - these people care not whether they win or lose, their objective is not to win this court case, their objective is to intimidate Australians, to discourage any Australian dissent. On this occassion they will do so by demonstrating to Australians that power which we have stupidly placed at their disposal to enter into our own back yard and to leave us all with the same uncomfortable feeling of being placed firmly under their tyrannical zionist boot which has also bled the Palestinian people of their humanity for past 70 years.

We underestimate the evil of these people at our own peril Mr Rees.

Even if we win this case, which is highly likely, this legal victory will be a hollow one because those thugs who rule Israel will have achieved their objective, which is to place in the Australian psyche that knowledge that there exists great adversity in any act which seeks to challenge the criminal terrorist state of Israel.

Mr Rees, the truth is this, through this action all Australians have become Palestinians today.

Dr Dog
Posted Monday, August 19, 2013 - 14:21

Yeahbut, I have actually seen Mr Rees 'in action' as you say and have never met a more considered and polite man, who left me with the impression of someone with compassion and decency at the forefront of what they say and do.

Certainly he was more charitable than your abusive self - 'because the law doesn't recognise signs like red-faced choleric old bastards with bees in their bonnets about just one country.'

 

Seek all the refuge you like in empty and abusive rhetoric yeahbut. Your argument doesn't suffer for it, as it is already moribund.

 

 

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 10:42

It should be noted that the pro-Zionist, US lackey Australian Broadcasting  Corporation  (the ABC, Australia’s equivalent of the BBC) has  repeatedly shown its hand as holocaust ignoring, holocaust denying and anti-Arab anti-Semitic (by supporting and lying about the Zionist-backed, Lib-Lab-supported  US War on Muslims associated now with over 20 million Muslim refugees and since 1990 with 12 million Muslim deaths from violence or  violently-imposed deprivation)  and  anti-Jewish anti-Semitic (by endlessly and falsely defaming anti-racist Jewish humanitarians and in particular by falsely associating  all Jews with Apartheid Israel and hence with  its horrendous crimes against humanity).

Decent Australians must insist that the endlessly lying,  anti-Arab anti-Semitic,  anti-Jewish anti-Semitic, Jew-baiting, taxpayer-funded ABC be cleaned up or sold off. 

Indeed decent, anti-racist people around the world should insist on arraignment,  trial and punishment of all ABC and Australian Mainstream media journalists around the world for complicity in anti-Arab anti-Semitic holocaust ignoring and holocaust denying  (in the interests of free speech the only punishment of the guilty should be the ignominy of public exposure of their racist lying).

For details of bottom-of-the-barrel ABC anti-Semitism and how the ABC defames anti-racist Jewish humanitarians while simultaneously blocking and censoring  attempts to defend anti-racist Jews (most notably on ABC Late Night Live) see "ABC Fact-checking Unit & incorrect reportage by the ABC (Australia’s BBC)”:  https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/abc-fact-checking-unit and scroll down to “Section A  Incorrect reportage” and thence to “Critical of Israel's actions is indeed to be anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic" (egregiously false and defamatory assertions).

 

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 10:49

False defamation of anti-racist Jewish and non-Jewish scholars critical of Apartheid Israel is a form of bullying, intellectual suppression and censorship that all decent people must oppose.

The following is a list of outstanding  anti-racist Jewish and non-Jewish scholars, writers and citizens from around the world who have been implicitly defamed and whose views critical of Israeli human rights abuses have been censored by the pro-Zionist, US lackey, anti- anti-Arab anti-Semitic,  anti-Jewish anti-Semitic and Jew-baiting but still taxpayer-funded ABC and the taxpayer-funded Australian universities-backed web magazine the Conversation (for details of this extraordinary  and offensive censorship of humane opinion see “Censorship by The Conversation”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/censorship-by  ,  “Censorship by ABC Late Night Live”: https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbyabclatenightlive/  and "Censorship by ABC Saturday Extra": https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbyabclatenightlive/censorship-by-abc-sat ):

Professor Peter Singer,  Miriam Margolyes, Professor Eva Cox, Professor Dennis Altman, Professor Andrew Benjamin, Sara Dowse, Professor GJ Lindell, Susan Varga, Antony Loewenstein, Professor David SG Goodman,  Professor John Docker, Jean McClean, Dr Peter Slezak, Dr Tony Balint, Dr Ron Witton, Dr Ned Curthoys, Dr Rick Kuhn, Dr. Tamas Pataki, Russell Bancroft, Alice Beauchamp, Toni Beauchamp, Wendy Crew, Bronwyn Dahlstrom,  Nicole Erlich,  Marshall Harris, David Hermolin,  Sylvie Leber,  Jeffrey Loewenstein,  Stefan Moore,  Martin Munz, Dr Gideon Polya, Vivienne Porzsolt,  Joe Rich,  Margot Salom,  Rene Tsukasov, and Nic Witton (anti-racist Jewish Australians);

Helen Bamber OBE, Prof Zygmunt Bauman, Sir Geoffrey Bindman, Rex Bloomstein, Sir Anthony Caro, Prof Stan Cohen, Jenny Diski, Moris Farhi MBE, Bella Freud, Stephen Fry, Prof Eric Hobsbawm, Dr Julian Huppert MP, Prof Mary Kaldor, Nicolas Kent, Beeban Kidron, Baroness Oona King, Prof Francesca Klug OBE, Mike Leigh, Miriam Margolyes OBE, Mike Marqusee, Dr Jonathan Miller, Rabbi Jeffrey Newman, Sophie Okonedo OBE, Prof Susie Orbach, Prof Jacqueline Rose FBA, Mike Rosen, Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah, Alexei Sayle, Prof Lynne Segal, Will Self, Sir Antony Sher, Prof Avi Shlaim FBA, Gillian Slovo, Sir Tom Stoppard, Dame Janet Suzman and Zoë Wanamaker CBE (eminent anti-racist Jewish Britons);

Uri Avnery, John Berger, William Blum, Noam Chomsky, Richard Falk, Jeff Halper, Naomi Klein, Stephen Lendman, Ilan Pappe, Harold Pinter, Adi Ophir, Tanya Reinhart,  and Howard Zinn (more famous anti-racist Jews); and

Tariq Ali , Rev. Allan Boesak, Professor Francis Boyle, Pat Buchanan, Jimmy Carter, Kathleen Christison, Bill Christison, Jonathan Cook, Ed Corrigan, Brian Eno, PM Tayyip Erdogan, Sophie Fiennes, Eduardo Galeano, George Galloway MP, Mahatma Gandhi, Allan Hart, Julia Irwin MP, Sonja Karkar, Conor Kelly, Terry Lane, Martin Linton MP, Mairead Maguire, Gabran Majdalany, Nelson Mandela. Cardinal Renato Martino, Cynthia McKinney, Vanessa Redgrave, Senator Lee Rhiannon,  Arundhati Roy, Rabee Sahyoun, Jose Saramago, Ahdad Soueif, Elia Suleiman, Baroness Jennifer Tonge, Rev Desmond Tutu, Gore Vidal, Alice Walker, David Ward MP and Dr Vacy Vlazna (variously famous anti-racist non-Jewish writers and leaders) (for details and more see “Non-Jews Against Racist Zionism”: https://sites.google.com/site/nonjewsagainstracistzionism/ and “Jews Against Racist Zionism”: https://sites.google.com/site/jewsagainstracistzionism/ ).

Rockjaw
Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 17:36

Mark Fletcher actually makes a very valid point. If we are to defend an accusation of racist speech we should be able to demonstrate that our speech does not include racial distinctions defined in the Convention.

Firstly, and with some amusement, we note that ther is no reference in the Convention to "creed" or "religious belief".

Israel describes itself as a "Jewish State" and seeks to escape accusations of anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism on this basis. But it gets even more ridiculous, Israel seeks to dodge accusations of racism by arguing that opposition to racist policies is itself racist because our criticism targets their Israeli nationality. HUH? Are you serious?

The Israeli argument assumes a shapeshifting character.

This is why it is so noteworthy that the first International conference on racism held in Durban, South Africa, was boycotted by Israel and it's anal suppository, the USA delegation, when both groups of representatives walked out of the conference in a ruffled huffy puff over the Israeli question.

So how does this affect our litigants from Sydney University?

It seems the argument from israel is that rejecting Israelis on the basis of their nationality is racist. But that is like saying rejecting applications from South Africans during the anti-apartheid boycotts was "racist".

Opposition to Springbok rugby tours was racist 1) because it targets nationality and 2) because some of the Springbok players were non-white.

How ridiculous does this really get?

The argument then proceeds with the well known one used by the apartheid apologists that sanctions hurt "the very people we sought to defend" in that sanctions threatened the livelihood of the very South African "bantustans" whom we sought to assist, whatever that meant.

So equally unconvincingly, israel now argues that boycotting goods produced from raw materials and capital stolen from Palestinains would actually cause greater harm to those incarcerated Palestinians whom we seek to defend and it is racist in that it targets the nationality of products sold by Israel.

What a load of crap.

The right to oppose, by whatever peaceful non-violent means, any form of racism, bigotry or political crime is not one which is within the competence of any state or judiciary to deny any citizen. This is a fundamental right which every decent Australian should defend, even if it means sharpening a pitchfork.

So I guess I better not be willing to state in public that ".....Shurat Hadin can take their hatefilled bile and shove it all the way back up their dirty little buitts, along with all their spoilt little whinging and squealing pro-Israeli bigots..."

There, I said it, now maybe i can wait to be served a joiner in this action.

 

Rockjaw
Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 17:36

Mark Fletcher actually makes a very valid point. If we are to defend an accusation of racist speech we should be able to demonstrate that our speech does not include racial distinctions defined in the Convention.

Firstly, and with some amusement, we note that ther is no reference in the Convention to "creed" or "religious belief".

Israel describes itself as a "Jewish State" and seeks to escape accusations of anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism on this basis. But it gets even more ridiculous, Israel seeks to dodge accusations of racism by arguing that opposition to racist policies is itself racist because our criticism targets their Israeli nationality. HUH? Are you serious?

The Israeli argument assumes a shapeshifting character.

This is why it is so noteworthy that the first International conference on racism held in Durban, South Africa, was boycotted by Israel and it's anal suppository, the USA delegation, when both groups of representatives walked out of the conference in a ruffled huffy puff over the Israeli question.

So how does this affect our litigants from Sydney University?

It seems the argument from israel is that rejecting Israelis on the basis of their nationality is racist. But that is like saying rejecting applications from South Africans during the anti-apartheid boycotts was "racist".

Opposition to Springbok rugby tours was racist 1) because it targets nationality and 2) because some of the Springbok players were non-white.

How ridiculous does this really get?

The argument then proceeds with the well known one used by the apartheid apologists that sanctions hurt "the very people we sought to defend" in that sanctions threatened the livelihood of the very South African "bantustans" whom we sought to assist, whatever that meant.

So equally unconvincingly, israel now argues that boycotting goods produced from raw materials and capital stolen from Palestinains would actually cause greater harm to those incarcerated Palestinians whom we seek to defend and it is racist in that it targets the nationality of products sold by Israel.

What a load of crap.

The right to oppose, by whatever peaceful non-violent means, any form of racism, bigotry or political crime is not one which is within the competence of any state or judiciary to deny any citizen. This is a fundamental right which every decent Australian should defend, even if it means sharpening a pitchfork.

So I guess I better not be willing to state in public that ".....Shurat Hadin can take their hatefilled bile and shove it all the way back up their dirty little buitts, along with all their spoilt little whinging and squealing pro-Israeli bigots..."

There, I said it, now maybe i can wait to be served a joiner in this action.

 

Rockjaw
Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 19:02

oooops sorry :(( duplication unintentional