21 October 2016
14 October 2016
October 14, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
The leader of the Greens Senator Richard Di Natale has told the Australian senate his views of the political life of Shimon Peres, a former Israeli president who died recently at 93.
Richard di Natale
Di Natale said: “Leaving aside the astonishing hypocrisy of the coalition, who have consistently denied leave on foreign policy motions and yet seek to introduce one today, it is important to put on the record that Shimon Peres has been described as an architect of Israel’s nuclear weapons program, which to this day remains outside the scrutiny of the International Atomic Energy Agency; that he was the father of the settler movement, which involves the confiscation of large swathes of Palestinian land; and that in 1996 he oversaw Operation Grapes of Wrath, which involved the death of 154 civilians in Lebanon and involved the shelling of a United Nations compound, which killed 106 sheltering civilians. While he was awarded a Nobel peace prize in 1994, members of that committee have expressed regret that the prize could not be recalled on the basis of the actions that followed.”
Federal Labor MP Michael Danby has slammed Di Natale’s remarks saying: “Yesterday in the Senate, the leader of the green political party Richard Di Natale, to his shame, denigrated the recently deceased President of Israel, Shimon Peres. Danby said “the Green Party boss again showed his total insensitivity and his hatred of a Jewish State”
“It was unprecedented for the head of a political party to attack the recently deceased head of state who was known for values of peace and reconciliation with which the fake Green party ostensibly identifies.” Di Natale’s attack on Peres came after a non-partisan resolution in the senate lauding Peres’ lifetime achievements. The Green Party’s hypocrisy in criticizing Shimon Peres shows once again why any Australian Jewish citizen cannot support that extremist political party that singles out Israel for disdain. Not a word about Peres’ moves for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinian, his support for a two state solution and his futuristic moves to engage Israel with the Arab world through technology and science were even noted by the deeply ignorant leader of the Australian Green Party that has long left environmentalism behind as its main concern and replaced it with extremist attacks on Israel and the West. Danby said “Di Natale attacked Peres’ role 50 years ago in Israel acquiring nuclear technology – a failsafe for the Jewish State given the near extermination of the Jewish people during the Shoah which was understood by most reasonable people.” In his Senate attack Di Natalie cited other partisans who said Peres’ noble peace prize should have been cancelled because of a military operation in Lebanon when he was leader just after Rabin’s murder.
Danby said, “None of the green party had made such violent denunciations over the hundreds of thousands of civilians murdered in Syria, again emphasising their blinded hypocrisy.” He continued, “This small rotten speech is an insight into the mentality of this group and shows yet again why it was so important to defeat them in Melbourne Ports and elsewhere at the recent election
Danby concluded: “Young people who have been attracted to the Green party’s faux environmentalism should see their environmental policies as merely a cover for a hateful attack on Israel’s widely mourned President. Although the Greens party may have begun with a strong environmental idealistic focus, this shameful speech shows once again that the Green party has today morphed into a party of far left extremists who are unfit for the support of those with any idealism.”
The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein commented: “With his interjection during the condolence motion for Shimon Peres, Richard Di Natale has put his pathetic misunderstanding of world affairs on show and disgraced his office as leader of an Australian political party.
Di Natale showed his utter disregard for Israel’s need for security in a fraught environment and chose to completely ignore Shimon Peres’ many celebrated achievements as a peacemaker.
It says volumes about the schism between The Greens and decency that representatives of 70 nations attended Shimon Peres’ funeral and genuine political leaders lined up to praise him.”
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Robert Goot and executive director Peter Wertheim issued a joint statement saying: “The late Shimon Peres was a world-renowned statesman, as was attested to by the eloquent eulogies at his funeral by most of the world’s leading political figures, including Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
Shimon Peres’s passing also created a rare moment of warmth and civility between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, which is further testament to the greatness of Peres and his ability to unify, both in life and in death.
Unlike Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, who said Peres’s death is ‘a heavy loss for all humanity and for peace in the region’, Senator di Natale could find not a single positive thing to say on Peres’s passing. The Senator’s graceless criticisms of Shimon Peres shortly after his passing reflect poorly on himself and the Australian Greens, and suggest that their leader is a political captive of the extremists in his party.”
10 October 2016
19 September 2016
World Vision claims that it only receives funding from World Vision International and local donations. According to the organization’s financial report, revenue in 2014 amounted to $16.3 million.
In 2016, the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits served the organization with a notice, warning that it had failed to comply with transparency regulations regarding the use of its funds, in addition to failing to submit necessary documentation to the Registrar. It is unknown whether the NGO presented the missing documents to the Registrar.
World Vision claims that “it began working in Jerusalem in response to the Palestinian population needs that as a result of the Israeli occupation the development of infrastructure were severely lacking. Today, World Vision Jerusalem includes 56 projects of community development that help to 150,000 people living in the Gaza Strip and Israel.”
Several senior officials in the World Vision Jerusalem branch have ties to NGOs promoting BDS activities and demonization of Israel:
- Sami Khoury, listed as the financial manager in the latest available documentation, is a member of Sabeel’s General Assembly. Sabeel is highly active in church divestment campaigns, utilizing overtly antisemitic language to demonize Israel.
- Raffoul Rofa, who has led Jerusalem operations since 2009, is also the director of the Society of St.Yves, a Catholic NGO that joins with other highly politicized groups to demonize and delegitimize Israel internationally.
- Anton Asfar is a member of the World Vision Jerusalem board of directors, and serves on the board of directors of St. Yves.
Tim Costello who will give an oration entitled '"Charity in a Time of Terror - From Gaza to Nauru: My World Vision" to Jews in Australia
World Vision Australia CEO Tim Costello contends that the total budget for Gaza operations was only $22.5 million over the past decade, in stark contrast with the $16.3 million annual budget reported in 2014 by the Israeli entity, as well as the Israeli government allegation that over $50 million dollars was diverted from the Gaza budget over ten years.
According to NGO Monitor research, from 2004-2015, the World Vision JWG budget was $134 million. The amount designated for operations in Gaza is unclear.
15 September 2016
From The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 September 2016, by Alex Ryvchin*:
11 September 2016
Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act has been subject to intense criticism on ideological grounds, but many opponents misrepresent its actual operation. These efforts have been overwhelmingly rejected by a broad cross-section of Australia’s diverse communities — reflected in strong bipartisan support, federal and state, for racial hatred laws.
In fact, the law does not simply ask if an individual has been offended — the courts have treated “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” as one test rather than four. And case law says that, in light of “the words chosen as its partners”, offend refers only to “profound and serious effects, not … mere slights”.
Moreover, the words “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” are lifted directly from section 28A of the Federal Sex Discrimination Act — yet no one has argued that this provision must also be repealed to protect free speech.
The act also specifies that it applies only to acts “done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person” — that is, it requires an intent to target someone for abuse or harassment on racial grounds.
More important, section 18D of the act exempts any “fair comment on any … matter of public interest” done reasonably and in good faith. The wide-ranging exemptions also include expressing a sentiment “in the course of any statement, publication, discussion or debate made or held for any genuine academic, artistic or scientific purpose”. This almost certainly would exempt, for example, the recent controversial cartoon by Bill Leak.
Furthermore, this act really offers only a civil, not criminal, process to confront the most naked, blatant, intimidatory and abusive expressions of racism directed at specific individuals or groups, and this is actually how 18C generally has been applied and has functioned across its 21 years of existence.
The vast majority of claims under 18C have been conciliated through the Australian Human Rights Commission, withdrawn or dismissed. Many cases end with a simple apology.
The positive accomplishments of the law in the small number of cases that involved a more substantive decision include: directing a webmaster remove from his site volumes of material alleging that Jewish people created a myth of Nazi genocide to achieve financial and other gains; halting a woman from distributing huge volumes of material alleging every social ill was due to Jewish malevolence; requiring an online newspaper to moderate comments accusing Aboriginal Australians in general of “criminal behaviour” following the deaths of some Aboriginal juvenile offenders; requesting an apology and future safeguards from a political party that had published in its newspaper vicious material alleging Jewish people were corrupt and pornographers; sanctioning a lawyer who, on entering a court building, refused to be searched, abusively screaming at the security guard that he was a “Singaporean prick” and not welcome in Australia; and helping an Aboriginal woman who was subject to a constant stream of public racial abuse from a neighbouring family.
In fact, excepting the 2011 case Eatock v Bolt, in which prominent columnist Andrew Bolt was ordered to withdraw two columns, no other finding under 18C has proven at all controversial. The two other examples generally offered by the “free speech warriors” are not findings and likely never will be.
As noted, the Leak cartoon is almost certainly exempt under 18D (and there is specific case law on this — see Albert Corunna and others v West Australian Newspaper Ltd).
Meanwhile, the Queensland University of Technology computer labs case appears to have been badly handled by the Australian Human Rights Commission but, based on publicly available information, looks quite unlikely to end in significant findings against the students accused.
The rise of One Nation and other populist, extremist groups and the associated ugly rhetoric that has burgeoned demonstrate the necessity of maintaining strong protections against racial hatred. Those enabling their agenda and stated intent to repeal section 18C should look closely at the views of these extremist elements and the heightened concerns and fears in multicultural communities around the country.
Free speech, of course, is fundamentally important to modern democracy, but this right has never been absolute.
There have always been legitimate limits placed on it — from defamation, to incitement, to false advertising, to laws about perjury and other forms of lying to authorities, to shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre. Moreover, laws similar to 18C exist in the overwhelming majority of Western democracies.
Racial vilification can strongly compromise other important human rights, including the right to live free from harassment, intimidation and violence, and indeed to feel able to participate freely in society.
The fact is that 18C and 18D have formed a vital pillar of successful Australian multiculturalism, helping maintain social harmony and cohesion and minimise hatred and hostility between groups.
You’ve got to feel for poor old Sam Dastaryi, dragged through the stocks last week for a spot of unusual household budgeting involving a travel bill, a chummy donor and some artificial islands in the South China Sea. Could’ve happened to any of us.
$1,670 is a fair amount of money, to be sure. But if taking money from Chinese interests is enough to get the media’s attention then Bob Carr must be sitting by his phone awaiting interviews.
Carr, of course, is no longer an elected representative and sits in no Parliament or holds no office. But as the eminence grise of NSW Labor, he wields an influence on his former colleagues and associates bears considering.
And not everyone’s a hypocrite. Some of us still remember Bill Hartley.
Hartley was a vile little operator, associating himself with such elements as the Rejection Front, a loose coalition of Palestinian guerrilla groups that rejected any peace settlement with Israel, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He also provided intelligence for Saddam Hussein’s brutal Iraqi Ba’ath regime as well as working for Colonel Gaddafi’s government in Libya.
All this, it must be remembered, occurred while Baghdad Bill variously served as Secretary of the Victorian ALP, sat as a delegate to numerous internal bodies and ran for the Senate on the Labor ticket.
Of course, we now know that Hartley had at least 20,000 good reasons to behave in such an extraordinary way (when adjusted for Malcolm Fraser’s economic policies, that’s about $100,000 in today’s money). However, we didn’t know this at the time because Hartley received these payments from the Iraqi regime in secret and hid them right up to his death in 2006.
As Bob Hawke pointed out at a Victorian State Conference in the late seventies, there’s nothing left-wing or even vaguely “progressive” about supporting radical Islamist regimes that strip women of all rights and return them to purdah, impose theocratic regimes and sweep away all democratic norms contemptuously or threaten their neighbours with ethnoreligious holocaust and genocide.
$20,000 buys a lot of conscience.
The ALP finally expelled Hartley in 1986. It goes without saying that what Hartley and his ilk engaged in was not a contribution to wide debate on international issues within Labor and politics more generally – it was entryism, pure and simple, an attempt by a virus to infect its host. It was bribery, deception and very likely treason. It was an attempt to pervert the policy direction of Australia away from our own values and interests (and those of social democracy itself) and towards the interests of thuggish, brutal, expansionary dictatorships who had foreign political figures on their secret payrolls.
In many ways, the attempts by Arab Islamist groups to infiltrate Australian democracy parallel similar, more widespread attempts in the same period by Eastern Bloc nations, especially the Soviet Union, using the Communist Party of Australia. ASIO files released over recent years, along with the memoirs of people such as Mark Aarons (whose father Laurie was the long-time general secretary of the CPA) show a long-running system of dual party membership in the ALP and CPA, whereupon Communists loyal to foreign governments gained positions within Labor and sought to influence public policy. Figures including Senators and Government Ministers have been named as members of the Communist Party; policy positions were pushed and at times accepted that were designed to rupture the ANZUS alliance, a long-standing goal of Moscow.
Some of us still remember the likes of Bill Hartley, because Bob Carr wasn’t always a hypocrite.
In the nineteen-seventies Carr founded Labor Friends of Israel with Michael Danby, now the Member for Melbourne Ports, specifically to combat the malignant influence of Hartley and his paymasters. Carr would refer to “Soviet-occupied Victoria” when dealing with the extreme left in that State; language that seems mild when compared to the scorn he heaped on Communist-aligned left-wingers in his home state of New South Wales.
Of the international Communist movement, Carr wrote several years ago while reviewing Donald Rayfield’s ‘Stalin and His Henchmen’, that “the founder of the organization that was to become OGUP, then NKVD, then the KGB, was to be conferred hero status in every subsequent Marxist regime, giving them all a model to emulate. Pol Pot’s regime probably being the truest approximation of the Marxist ideal of enforced equality, class warfare directed at the exploiting bourgeoisie and thorough-going collective ownership.”
For good measure, Carr concluded by inviting his readers to,
“Read this book and learn to revile the bastards all over again. To think that it took Australian communists like Lee Rhiannon decades to bring themselves to criticise the tyranny spawned by the 1917 revolution is to be educated again on the infinite gullibility of the idealistic.”
Strange, then, that Carr would shift to praising Lee Rhiannon as “very strong and very brave” over her commitment to an Arab narrative on Israel, in comments that also praised Labor frontbencher Tony Burke last year.
Stranger still is Carr’s sudden enthusiasm for policy positions that advantage the Communist dictatorship of the People’s Republic of China – even when they conflict with international law, the findings of international tribunals, with Australian interests or with the most basic moral concepts such as democracy or human rights.
Even stranger again is that Carr would accept millions of dollars from Chinese donors in his capacity as Director of the Australia–China Relations Institute (ACRI). ACRI was established with the “generous assistance” of Mr Xiangmo Huang, Founder and Chairman of the Yuhu Group. (You might remember the Yuhu Group from such donations as Senator Dastaryi’s travel bill). The amount donated by Mr Huang was $1.8 million. In 2014, Mr Chulong Zhou – the Director of the Jiexi Rural Commercial Bank, also of Guangdong – pledged $1 million to ACRI.
ACRI’s donors closely are linked to the Australian Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China (ACPPRC). While it describes itself as a spontaneously-organised, non-government, community-based organisation, the ACPPRC is, in fact, one of several “patriotic” “united front” organisations which the People’s Republic of China (PRC) organises, supports, and possibly funds to some degree— although financial arrangements remain opaque.
It has been a practice of the Communist Party of China, since it came to power, to rely on prominent “patriotic” business persons who are prominent in organisations such as the ACPPRC to provide any funding required for front organisations. Such organisations are overseen by the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, and the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council.
The name of the ACPPRC is a reference to the “Peaceful Reunification” of mainland China and Taiwan. However, the organisation pursues a range of activities which support the international aspirations of the PRC, including influence on foreign governments.
And, it would now seem, funding the Australia China Relations Institute and its Director, Bob Carr.
Since ACRI commenced operations in early 2014, Carr’s remarks on issues of strategic importance to the People’s Republic have become so monotonously pro-China that a fellow academic has labelled them, “Bob Carr’s China-whatever comments”. Carr has sung tirelessly and tunelessly from the Chinese song sheet on matters including the South China Sea, a dispute in which virtually no one from international tribunals to experienced academics has taken China’s side.
Except for Bob Carr of the Australia China Relations Institute.
The Carr who once railed against the brutality of Communist dictatorships is now an agent of influence of one. The Carr who founded Labor Friends of Israel to combat the influence of Bill Hartley is now adopting Hartley’s long-dead policies and friends as his own.
Bob Carr is that rarest of occurrences, a reverse metamorphosis – a butterfly turning into a slug before our very eyes.
And with a compulsively narcissistic diarist like Carr, there’s a trail of hypocrisy with enough self-detonating petards going off to light the way to Guangdong and back.
Writing in his ‘Diary of a Foreign Minister’, Carr was scathing of what he perceived as the “Israel lobby” and its influence on Australian foreign policy. “It’s an appalling position,” Carr thundered, “if Australia allows a group of businessmen in Melbourne to veto policy on the Middle East.”
Elsewhere in his Diary, he linked fundraising from Jewish community organisations and individuals to Australia’s diplomacy at the United Nations, volunteering “subcontracting our foreign policy to party donors is what this involves. Or appears to involve.”
Yet strangely, Carr has had no qualms about raking in the yuan while continuing to emit policy motions in ALP fora and lobbying NSW Right MPs.
If only Huang and Zhou were well-known Jewish names.
From anti-Communist to PRC spokesman, from founding Labor Friends of Israel to conspiratorial notions of an evil “Israel lobby”, from denouncing the effect of donations on foreign policy to accepting them gratefully, Bob Carr has come a long way – a good deal of that journey in the first class seats.
The former NSW Premier is now a shell of his once-great self, a moral vacuum propelled by greed. To see him descend into such a pitiable state of luxurious nothingness is perhaps more sad than anything else.
The usual political point-scoring aside there’s no serious suggestion that Carr acolytes like Dastaryi, Tony Burke and Jason Clare have been anything other than proper, either in fundraising or policy terms. They certainly haven’t hidden their transactions – in fact, the only reason the much over-praised Latika Bourke found the Dastaryi donation was because it was listed on the Parliamentary register of interests. But politics is perception. And taking money from the same sorts of people as Carr while spruiking the same lines might produce an unfair conclusion on the part of an onlooker, especially when Carr is still an influential figure in the NSW Labor Right.
Former WA Labor Premier Geoff Gallop had to forbid his MPs to meet with lobbyist Brian Burke over a decade ago because you just never knew who was really paying for Brian’s free advice.
Politicians as canny as Dastaryi, Burke and Clare won’t need to be told to disassociate themselves from Beijing Bob or to disregard his policy thought bubbles – steering clear of Carr is now just good sense.
Or do we really need to be educated again on the infinite gullibility of the idealistic? One Bill Hartley was, after all, more than enough.