We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East. (From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Amnesty International Slams Palestinian War Crimes in Gaza

In a press release dated today (26 March) Amnesty International advises:
'Palestinian armed groups displayed a flagrant disregard for the lives of civilians by repeatedly launching indiscriminate rockets and mortars towards civilian areas in Israel during the conflict in July and August 2014, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.
Unlawful and deadly: Rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian armed groups during the 2014 Gaza/Israel conflict provides evidence that several attacks launched from inside the Gaza Strip amount to war crimes. Six civilians in Israel, including a four-year-old boy, were killed in such attacks during the 50-day conflict. In the deadliest incident believed to have been caused by a Palestinian attack, 11 children were among 13 Palestinian civilians killed when a projectile fired from within the Gaza Strip landed in the al-Shati refugee camp.
“Palestinian armed groups, including the armed wing of Hamas, repeatedly launched unlawful attacks during the conflict killing and injuring civilians. In launching these attacks, they displayed a flagrant disregard for international humanitarian law and for the consequences of their violations on civilians in both Israel and the Gaza Strip,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.
All the rockets used by Palestinian armed groups are unguided projectiles which cannot be accurately aimed at specific targets and are inherently indiscriminate; using such weapons is prohibited under international law and their use constitutes a war crime. Mortars are also imprecise munitions and should never be used to attack military targets located in or near civilian areas.
“Palestinian armed groups must end all direct attacks on civilians and indiscriminate attacks. They must also take all feasible precautions to protect civilians in the Gaza Strip from the effects of such attacks. This includes taking all possible measures to avoid locating fighters and arms within or near densely populated areas,” said Philip Luther.
And now, in Gaza, opportunities for women grow (read about it here)
At least 1,585 Palestinian civilians, including more than 530 children, were killed in Gaza, and at least 16,245 homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by Israeli attacks during the conflict, some of which also amounted to war crimes.
“The devastating impact of Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians during the conflict is undeniable, but violations by one side in a conflict can never justify violations by their opponents,” said Philip Luther.
“The fact that Palestinian armed groups appear to have carried out war crimes by firing indiscriminate rockets and mortars does not absolve the Israeli forces from their obligations under international humanitarian law. The war wrought an unprecedented level of death, destruction and injury on the 1.8 million people in the Gaza Strip, and some of the Israeli attacks must be investigated as war crimes.
“The Israeli and Palestinian authorities must both co-operate with the probes of the UN Commission of Inquiry and the International Criminal Court to end decades of impunity that have perpetuated a cycle of violations in which civilians on both sides have paid a heavy price.”
According to UN data, more than 4,800 rockets and 1,700 mortars were fired from Gaza towards Israel during the conflict. Out of the thousands of rockets and mortars fired, around 224 are estimated to have struck Israeli residential areas, as Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted many others.
The death of Daniel Tregerman, a four-year-old boy, on 22 August 2014 clearly illustrates the tragic consequences of using imprecise weapons such as mortars on civilian areas. His family had fled their home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz because of the fighting but returned the day before he was killed. Moments after the alarm sirens went off, a mortar launched from Gaza struck the family car parked outside the house. Daniel’s little sister who was also present watched him die before her eyes.
“My husband and son were in the living room and I was yelling for them to come into the shelter. Shrapnel [from the mortar] entered Daniel’s head, killing him immediately,” his mother, Gila Tregerman, told Amnesty International.
Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The briefing also highlights the Israeli authorities’ failure to adequately protect civilians in vulnerable communities during the conflict, particularly Bedouin villages in Israel’s Negev/Naqab region, many of which are not officially recognized by the Israeli government. Ouda Jumi’an al-Waj was killed by a rocket that struck the Bedouin village of Qasr al-Sir near the Israeli city of Dimona on 19 July.
Most Bedouin villages are classified as non-residential “open areas” by the Israeli authorities, so the Iron Dome system to intercept rockets does not operate there and there are no bomb shelters. More than 100,000 people live in Bedouin villages in southern Israel.
“Civilians living in Bedouin villages during the conflict were left vulnerable and exposed, one manifestation of the discrimination they face on a daily basis. The Israeli authorities must ensure everyone is given equal protection,” said Philip Luther.
Other civilians killed by attacks launched in Gaza included an agricultural worker from Thailand, Narakorn Kittiyangkul, who was killed when a mortar struck the tomato farm in southern Israel where he was working. Ze’ev Etzion and Shahar Melamed were killed in a mortar attack on Kibbutz Nirim on 26 August.
In the deadliest incident believed to have been caused by a Palestinian armed group during the conflict, 13 Palestinian civilians – 11 of them children – were killed when a projectile exploded next to a supermarket in the crowded al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza on 28 July 2014, the first day of Eid al-Fitr.
The children had been playing in the street and buying crisps and soft drinks in the supermarket at the time of the attack.
Although Palestinians have claimed that the Israeli military was responsible for the attack, an independent munitions expert who examined the available evidence on behalf of Amnesty International concluded that the projectile used in the attack was a Palestinian rocket.
“Evidence suggesting that a rocket launched by a Palestinian armed group may have caused 13 civilian deaths inside Gaza just underscores how indiscriminate these weapons can be and the dreadful consequences of using them,” said Philip Luther.
Mahmoud Abu Shaqfa and his five-year-old son Khaled were seriously wounded in the attack. His eight-year-old son Muhammad was killed. “The rocket fell near the car… The whole car was pierced by shrapnel. A piece of shrapnel pierced me… My son [Khaled] came to me. He was screaming ‘Daddy get up, get up…’ My entire leg was torn open and my arm had been wrenched to my back.”
There are no bomb shelters or warning systems in place to protect civilians in Gaza.
The report also details other violations of international humanitarian law by Palestinian armed groups during the conflict, such as storing rockets and other munitions in civilian buildings, including UN schools, and cases where Palestinian armed groups launched attacks or stored munitions very near locations where hundreds of displaced civilians were taking shelter.
“The international community must help prevent further violations by tackling entrenched impunity and by ending transfers to Palestinian armed groups and Israel of all arms and military equipment that could be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law,” said Philip Luther.
Amnesty International is calling on all states to support the UN Commission of Inquiry and the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over crimes committed by all parties to the conflict.'  [Emphasis added]
 Read the full report in English here  https://www.amnesty.org/…/Documents/MDE2111782015ENGLISH.PDF

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Why The "Two State Solution" Has Gone Nowhere: David Singer Explains

Here, entitled "Palestine: Words Matter – But Their Meaning Matters More," is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

"Words matter," White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters this week.

Regrettably Earnest was being less than earnest in failing to point out that words can also have several meanings – which can result in people failing to actually communicate with each other because each has a different understanding of the words he is using.

As a lawyer with extensive experience in drafting agreements – I have found the most critical part in any agreement is the definition of terms used in those agreements – so that the parties are in no doubt at all as to the meaning of the words they are using.

The so-called “Two State Solution” has gone nowhere in the last 20 years for precisely this reason.

The parties to the negotiations – including America on its own and as part of the Quartet – have been talking at cross purposes without first agreeing on the meaning of the terms they are using.

Take the following terms –  and their suggested possible definitions:

1. “Palestine” – means “the territory known today as Israel, West Bank, Gaza and Jordan being the territory covered by the Mandate for Palestine dated 24 July 1922.”
2. “Palestinians” – means
(i) “those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or stayed there.
(ii) Anyone born after 1947 of a father qualifying as a Palestinian under paragraph (i) - whether inside Palestine or outside it”
3. “West Bank” – means “the term used since 1950 to refer to the territory known as “Judea and Samaria” since biblical times and comprising the territory that came under Israeli military government control in 1967”
4. Oslo Accords 1 – means Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or short Declaration of Principles(DOP) dated 13 September 1993
5. “Oslo Accords II - means Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip commonly known as Oslo II or Oslo 2 dated 25 September 1995
6. “Oslo Accords” means “Oslo Accords I” and “Oslo Accords II”
7. “Bush Roadmap” means – “the two-state solution”
8. “Two-State solution” – means “the Performance Based Roadmap To A Permanent Two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict as presented in President Bush’s speech of 24 June 2003, and welcomed by the EU, Russia and the UN in the 16 July 2003 and 17 September 2003 Quartet Ministerial statements.”
9. “Quartet” means “America, European Union (EU), Russia and the United Nations(UN)”
10. “Jerusalem” means “all of the area that is described in the appendix of the proclamation expanding the borders of municipal Jerusalem beginning the 20th of Sivan 5727 (June 28, 1967), as was given according to the Cities' Ordinance.”
11. “Palestinian Authority” means “The Palestinian National Authority established in 1994 following Oslo Accords 1 and disbanded on 3 January 2013”.
To the legally uninitiated this may sound like a lot of detailed, unnecessary and technical drafting – but its purpose is quite clear – to ensure when the parties to this dispute use any of the above terms  their meaning is unmistakeably clear.

The proof is in the pudding.

Do President Obama and his Press Secretary – Josh Earnest – agree with the above definitions when they utter these commonly used terms almost daily?

Do Israel’s Prime Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu – and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas agree with these definitions?

Do the media? Do you?

If indeed there is any disagreement – then the parties need to first reach agreement on their meaning – before they can even think of talking to each other.

Unless everyone is singing from the same hymn book the music will sound frightfully discordant.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

"The Egyptian People Is Entitled To Claim Its [Legal] Rights In Australia"

Who discovered Australia?  The Aboriginal people of this vast continent?  Malaysian seafarers and fishermen? Abel Tasman?  James Cook?

Re-write the history books!:


More from Elder of Ziyon here

(Hat tip: Ian)

Now, just supposing this whacko view of history was true, would it mean the Australian lefties who castigate Israel for the "occupation" of "Arab land" would be willing to give up their occupation of "Egyptian land" to any claimants?

Monday, 23 March 2015

More Malice in Marrickville: Theatre Rats Refuse Jewish Booking (But Later Apologise)

The Red Rattler Theatre in the Sydney suburb of Marrickville (where, as many readers will recall, the Greens-led council in 2010 notoriously voted to implement a despicable and ludicrous BDS policy) describes itself as:
'a not-for-profit (NFP) artist-run initiative (ARI) operating a community-based venue and artists’ studios.
[It] is a creative playground for performers, musicians, artists, designers, multi-media makers, experimentalists, film-makers, theorists, activists, collective organisers, and local punters. It is fitted with a full PA, stage, LED lighting rig, projector and screen, licensed bar, a roof-top garden, and two non-residential artist studios currently supporting 5 practicing artists.
The Theatre was the realisation of a collective dream of five local artists, who wanted to create a legal warehouse venue to showcase alternative Sydney arts, performance and grassroots activism. The five “Rats” had been hosting events for years at many of the illegal inner-city and inner-west warehouse spaces that have been shut down over the years (Lan Franchis, Space 3, love hotel, and many temporary squatted zones), and dreamed of creating an accessible venue that held all relevant licences to stay open, and would not be at the mercy of high rents and developers.
The Red Rattler Theatre Inc is completely volunteer-run, and could not exist without the hard work and goodwill of a small army of volunteers who staff, manage and run the venue. The success and longevity of the Theatre depend on the involvement and support of volunteers....
[T]he name of the theatre is inspired by the old Red Rattler trains... The rattle refers to us trying to shake things up in terms of accessible venues and creative spaces in Sydney, and the colour red has long associations with left politics, revolution and anarchism.
Since its inception, The Red Rattler Theatre has shown the resilience, mettle and cunning of the furry creature it has been nicknamed for."
Regarding hiring the 300-capacity theatre for performances see here

When the Jewish group Hillel tried to book the theatre in order to stage a series of storytelling performances relating to the Shoah on its premises it was unprepared for the Rats' response.

Hillel representative Shailee Mendelovitch, who applied to hire the theatre for that purpose, felt understandably "diminished" when received this unsigned email in response:
“Our policy does not support ­colonialism/Zionism. Therefore we do not host groups that support the colonisation and occu­pation of Palestine.”
The Australian notes that this refusal "has left the NSW Jewish community shocked and distressed" and appears to breach anti-discrimination laws on the grounds of race.

The paper reports that NSW Jewish Board of Deput­ies chief executive Vic Alhadeff
has written to the theatre explaining that Hillel is a non-political organisation and reiterating his Board's support for a Two State solution.

 He wrote inter alia:
“To categorically reject an approach by a Jewish organisation to hire your premises because of a political position that your team holds in relation to an overseas conflict is at best ill-informed and at worst racist and discriminatory."
Alhadeff informed the antipodean J-Wire service:
"I wrote a respectful letter to the theatre, saying I would like to discuss the matter in order to resolve misconceptions on the part of their team – about the organisation which had approached them and about the position of the Jewish community in regard to Palestine and about Israel itself.
 Despite several calls to the theatre with a request to discuss and resolve the matter and explain Hillel’s and the community’s position on these issues, I have  received no response either to my letter or to several calls to the theatre."

Disgusted messages (some very shrewd in the points they make) have, not surpringly, been posted beneath The Australian's article and to the Rats' Facebook page here

A page on which the merest glimpse of the Rats' "Likes" leave us in no doubt where the Rats' loyalties lie

The Red Rattler Theatre, by the way, has an appeal underway for financial support.  It seems safe to say that Jews and others appalled by its antisemitism will not be contributing.

Update: The Australian Jewish News [AJN] reports:
'In an email to The AJN tonight (Monday) it [the theatre]  said the email [sent to Hillel refusing the booking] “does not reflect the values of  the Community Board of the Red Rattler Theatre”.
The email, which is signed by the entire board of directors of the Red Rattler Theatre went on to say that “The Red Rattler condemns racism of any kind”.
“We welcome organisations  from all cultures and walks of life and actively encourage cultural diversity.”...'
A typical telling off for the Rats on Facebook
Cold feet (with possible legal prosecution in mind?) or consciences genuinely pricking?  Either way, it's a welcome ending.

But the little episode illustrates the depths to which some anti-Israel fanatics are willing to sink.

Which is instructive.  And which leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Big Malevolence: Fraser The Anti-Israel Fantasist

Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser, who led the Liberal Party to three election wins, finally succumbing to defeat at the polls by the ALP's Bob Hawke, has died at the age of 84, and inevitably people on both sides of politics are falling over themselves to pay tribute to his memory, no matter what they thought of the manner of his taking office and of his policies while in office.

"In retirement he became a statesman" is a widespread and indeed, an almost consensual view.

It's not the done thing to speak ill of the dead (at least, not immediately after their demise), and so even his those who have the most reason to feel aggrieved by him accentuate the positive, as in this excellent overview of his relations, once upon a time, with Australian Jewry .

Virtually his last political tweet
But make no mistake: hagiography towards Malcolm Fraser is strangely misplaced.

In his "retirement" the haughty and pompous Fraser became a proverbial pain in the tuches, loftily berating the policies of  John Howard and his other successors in the party, from which, having become an holier-than-thou advocate of "human rights" in Australia and around the world, he ultimately resigned.

From "Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs"
Whatever may or may not have been Fraser's achievements and good qualities [update: see Isi Leibler's brief reflection here), his reputation must always be tarnished by the extreme hostility towards Israel that he (of part-Jewish descent himself, by the way) developed, and which include, most inexplicably and dementedly, the acceptance and advancement of a bizarre conspiracy theory regarding Israel's tragic (mistaken) attack on the USS Liberty during the Six Day War.

In an interview last May with ABC Radio Melbourne's Jon Faine (pictured above with Fraser), to plug his anti-American book Dangerous AlliesFraser declared that former foreign minister Bob Carr was “absolutely correct” in his view that the pro-Israel lobby wielded too much power and maintained that
“Israel years ago, during one of the wars, killed 30 or 40 Americans on a spy ship in the Western Mediterranean.
The Americans tried to cover it up. It wasn’t a mistake. It was deliberate.”
When Faine inquired what he based the claim upon, Fraser replied in characteristically supercilious fashion:
“Information I have. I am not going to tell you the source.”
Little wonder that Australian Jewish leaders condemned his remarks.

Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Council  (AIJAC) chairman Mark Leibler commented, inter alia:
"This is a guy who says we’re too powerful as a Jewish lobby. There never has been another case that I can remember that a prime minister or the Australian government has issued a press release calling on us to support a view that they had in relation to Israeli policy....
This is not the same Malcolm Fraser … It seems he’s developed an antagonism towards the Jewish community and Israel for reasons which are certainly not apparent to me or to anyone else.”To make these allegations about Israel deliberately targeting Americans when there’s no evidence to support it, when successive inquiries by both the Americans and the Israelis have demonstrated that this was an accident, I just think it is appalling beyond description ...."
As Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) president Robert Goot said:
“Fraser’s assertion, that Israel’s missile hit on an American ship in the Mediterranean was not mistaken but deliberate, was disgraceful given the number of international inquiries that found to the contrary. The statement by Fraser that the Jewish community ‘seek to get Australia to adopt policies as defined by Israel’, suggesting dual loyalties, is equally wrong and particularly ­unfortunate.”
And in the words of Zionist Federation of Australia president Danny Lamm :
“The [USS Liberty] incident was subject to no less than 10 American investigations and an additional three Israeli investigations, all of which found that it was indeed an accident.
If Mr Fraser has a credible source to back up his outlandish claims, then he is duty-bound to reveal it.”
But "Big Mal" Fraser proved incorrigible.  Despite his part-Jewish origins he seems to have become a confirmed antisemite, even granting an interview to Melbourne "Troofer" Dalia Mae Lachlan in which he augmented his nutjob views:

Friday, 20 March 2015

"The Churchillian Thing To Do"

"Deeply Unfortunate & Dangerous".  That's how Obama's attitude towards Israel and Netanyahu has been described in this excellent video, telling the story (so far) of the current American administration's attitude to the man who thwarted them in being returned for another term as Israeli prime minister.

Among the  articles that have been written (so far) by friends of Israel in the wake of Bibi's election victory, this brief and lucid statement by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center,  which appeared on Fox News, particularly caught my eye:

Iran's aim: Shia Corridor; h/t Bruce's Mideast Soundbites
“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." That Churchillian one-liner summarizes the glorious chaos that is Israeli politics.  
In the one Middle Eastern nation where you can still speak your mind without being arrested, disappeared, or executed, Israelis went to the polls Tuesday to decide whether Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu or Isaac "Bougie" Herzog would lead the Jewish State for the next four years. 
The unexpected outcome came as a shock to many pundits on both sides of the Atlantic. Netanyahu’s Likud Party won between 29 and 30 seats  Mr. Herzog’s Zionist Union’s, 24. This means  that Netanyahu will be given time to forge a new coalition government. 
 Without question the results will  deeply disappoint President Obama and some European leaders, who were hoping Israelis would swap out an intractable “hawk” for a more flexible “dove,” one whom they assumed would pave the way for a quick final deal with Iran and hasten a two-state solution in the Holy Land before President Obama leaves office. 
The ABC's Sophie (see previous post) begins her campaign
In reality however, there is no real distance between Bibi and Bougie over the existential threat posed by Iran. Israel’s next prime minister must come up with a plan to thwart Tehran, whose leaders continue to call for the Jewish State’s annihilation, from becoming a nuclear power. 
Additionally, Jerusalem will be confronted with a new strategic threat from Iran and its Hezbollah terrorist lackeys whose brazen entrenchment on the Golan Heights has raised nary a peep from the U.S. or the European Union. 
Even if Israel’s left had prevailed it is hard to imagine that a deal for a Two-State solution could be reached in the next two years. Hamas’ continuous terrorism and genocidal hate and the celebration by leaders of the PA of vicious terrorist outrages against Jews, have left most Israelis warily awaiting a Palestinian leader someone unlike PA President Abbas who would be ready to tell his constituents that their Jewish neighbors are there to stay and that the Jewish State has a legitimate right to be there.
 Against this background it seems almost ludicrous for anyone to believe that Israeli voters could somehow be manipulated by forces outside of Israel as to whom they should cast their ballots for. For us as Americans, Election Day is certainly important. For most Israeli  parents right, center, and left who have to send their 18-year-old sons and daughters for two years of military service to protect the homeland they cast their votes as if their lives and the lives of their children depend on making the right choice. Those in Washington who were reportedly involved in such an effort did a great disservice to both democracies. 
I was present in our nation’s capital for Netanyahu’s speech on Iran. Love him or hate him, everyone in the Chamber, and Israelis watching at home, saw a true world leader in action. In the end, his respectful and masterful speech reminded everyone, that he has earned his place on the international stage, no matter how discomfiting his message is to some.
 Finally, it would not surprise me if, when Israeli President Ruby [Reuven] Rivlin invites Netanyahu to form the next government, he winds up reaching out to some of the very people who tried to topple him, especially those who gave strong voice to the frustrations of young couples lacking affordable housing as well as the many citizens left behind by Israel’s expanding economy.
After all, that would be the Churchillian thing to do.'

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Sophie's Choice: "I Wanted To Be A Journalist ... To Make The World A Better Place ... You Knew What Was Happening In Gaza ... There Are No Excuses Any More"

Bibi's Victory: The BBC's Bowen reacts
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is Australia's counterpart to the BBC, and is similarly obliged to adhere to a code of practice prohibiting bias, that code declaring, inter alia:
 "The ABC has a statutory duty to ensure that the gathering and presentation of news and information is impartial according to the recognised standards of objective journalism.
 Aiming to equip audiences to make up their own minds is consistent with the public service character of the ABC. A democratic society depends on diverse sources of reliable information and contending opinions. A broadcaster operating under statute with public funds is legitimately expected to contribute in ways that may differ from commercial media, which are free to be partial to private interests."
But, just like its British equivalent, Australia's public broadcaster exhibits a shameless left-liberal bias.

And, disturbingly, the ABC has recently appointed as its Middle East correspondent, based in Jerusalem, Sophie McNeill, a young woman with a, disturbing history of naive and leftwing pro-Palestinian bias, a young woman who is on record as expressing her admiration for John Pilger (it was reading his Hidden Histories which inspired her to enter journalism) for Robert Fisk.

In the following must-watch (or listen to) video, dating to 2011, Ms McNeill tells her interviewer, inter alia:
"If you just try to frame stories from the point of view of the people who are really suffering in a situation, be it in Lebanon, if you re hanging out in a Palestinian refugee camp, [or] in Gaza you re hanging out, you know, at the children’s cancer ward. One of the saddest things I’ve seen in my whole life is spending some time filming in a children’s cancer ward in Gaza. I just think if you just – if you look at a situation and you just – yeah, I guess just try to spend time with the people who are – who really don t have any power and it is hard, you know, for them to have a voice. Then that’s, yeah, that’s the kind of journalism I want to do.... Everyone knew what was happening in Gaza ... you saw all the horrific videos ... a lot of people died ... there are no excuses any more..."


Ahron Shapiro of  the Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) points out (hat tip: Ian):
"Any reporting by an ABC employee, including McNeill, is required to follow the following standards:
4.1 Gather and present news and information with due impartiality.
4.2 Present a diversity of perspectives so that, over time, no significant strand of thought or belief within the community is knowingly excluded or disproportionately represented.
 And also
4.4 Do not misrepresent any perspective.
4.5 Do not unduly favour one perspective over another."
In a substantial article, Shapiro traces and analyses historic broadcast after broadcast by Ms McNeill that reveal her pattern of blatant partisanship in reportage concerning the Middle East.

He also draws attention to her apparent pro-Palestinian activism.

For example:
 '[I]n 2013, McNeill, along with prolific pro-Palestinian photographer Richard Wainwright were the only journalists presented to speak at the Human Rights in Palestine Conference at the ANU [Australian National University] ...
 [W] hile living in Beirut in 2007, McNeill filed a story with the notorious anti-Israel website Electronic Intifada.
Here, the content of the story she filed, which was about Lebanese mistreatment of Palestinians, was in itself not problematic. What is a problem, however, and what should have given ABC pause when choosing McNeill for her current job, is why McNeill chose to work with a website whose raison d’être is to increase popular support for the elimination of Israel and routinely publishes material justifying Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians.
Finally, in 2009 (see here and here) and again in 2013, McNeill initiated online campaigns to raise money for her “dear friend” and Gaza fixer, Raed Al Athamneh. Raising money to help someone you work with through a crisis is not necessarily inappropriate. But for a journalist to adopt the Palestinian narrative in their pitch for donations most certainly is.
For example, she wrote “most of Gaza’s residents are refugees who used to live inside Israel’s borders, but were forced out when the country was created in 1948″.
This revisionist historical narrative that Israel forced out all the refugees – language used by her mentor Pilger – represents an endorsement of the Palestinian narrative that Israel is entirely responsible for the refugee problem, ignores the fact that the vast majority of Palestinians fled and were not forced out and ignores the war that was launched against Israel by the Arab nations and Palestinians who rejected partition.
In this essay, she also made an allegation that Israel “collectively punished” the Palestinians of Gaza, describing the blockade of Gaza as a means of punishing the Strip’s residents who support Hamas. [Emphasis added]
She initiated a fundraising campaign for Raed again in 2013, according to her friend and Australian Gazan Patrick Abboud and an appeal she posted on ABC Triple J Hack’s Facebook page.'
He observes:
"Her reporting does not show a clear record of separating her media career from her activism..
And there is little doubt that her activism continues and influences her reporting in terms of how she frames stories, particularly about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. ...
 What makes this matter even more serious is the fact that the Jerusalem bureau is undergoing changes. While until now there were two ABC Middle East reporters (most recently Hayden Cooper and Matt Brown) as well as some support crew, the ABC says that it is making Jerusalem a Video Journalist bureau later this year. That move, it would appear, would give McNeill substantially more autonomy than previous Middle East correspondents have had.
The onus now lies on O’Neill [sic] to demonstrate that ABC management was not irresponsible in making the appointment – given her self-described dedication to frame stories from the point of view of the people who are “really suffering” (in her lexicon, the Palestinians) – and whether she can possibly fulfil the statutory obligation of an ABC correspondent to present news with due impartiality and to be fair to all perspectives.'
Read Shapiro's entire detailed piece here

And brilliant Aussie columnist Andrew Bolt's characteristically astute piece here

(Hat tip: The amazing bloodhound Ian)

Sophie McNeill will certainly have to be closely watched.

And any episodes of bias robustly protested.

But is it not outrageous that a person with this level of bias came to be appointed by the ABC in the first place?