Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

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)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Monday 29 April 2019

"A Silent Retreat of Jews and Christians"

Love her or loath her, it's hard to deny she's brave.   British commentator Katie Hopkins, in her new documentary "Homelands", suggests a bleak future for the West's ostriches:
(Homelands: Our people searching for a new place to call home. Katie Hopkins looks at Christian and Jewish communities being forced from their Homelands and asks where will they go. This film is sponsored by ENF and Produced by Janice Atkinson MEP.)

Wednesday 24 April 2019

David Singer: Trump Seems Set to Expose UN Fraud on Boundaries of Palestine

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

President Trump appears set to expose more than forty years of deceptive and misleading information disseminated by the United Nations (UN)  in relation to the boundaries of former Palestine.

This welcome development comes with President Trump’s Special U.S Envoy Jason D. Greenblatt telling Sky News in Arabic on 19 April:
“there is no reason to use the term ‘two-state solution,” the reason being that, “every side sees it differently.”
The UN must take responsibility for creating such confusion by perpetuating intellectual and political fraud originating with its 1978  publication: "The Origins and Evolution of the Palestinian Problem" (referred to below as the Study).

Part 1 of the Study covering 1917-1947 was trashed by Israel’s Ambassador to the UN – Yehuda Blum – on 16 November:
 “Even the most cursory reading of this document can leave no doubt that the means and machinery of the United Nations have been misused once again to disseminate highly selective and tendentious information under the guise, in this instance, of what purports to be a scholarly study.
The history of international conflicts, and particularly those with complex historical origins, can only be properly written by objective historians who enjoy complete academic freedom. The practice of writing and rewriting history according to the transient interests of a political body is, of course, characteristic of certain regimes. It is regrettable that the United Nations has now been drawn into that pattern.”
 Blum then told the UN General Assembly on 30 November 1978:
“At the end of the first part of the publication, ostensibly dealing with the period of the Palestine Mandate, there appear a number of maps. The one map that is conspicuously absent is the official map of the Palestine Mandate which, until 1946, included Transjordan on the east bank of the Jordan River. This map was omitted because it does not fit into the PLO’s own scheme, as it would show too clearly that a Palestinian Arab state has already been in existence for 32 years on more than three quarters of the territory of mandated Palestine – that is, the state now called Jordan. That embarrassment is eliminated in this purportedly scholarly and impartial publication by the simple expedient of eliminating the map.”
Blum was not finished – pointing out to the General Assembly on 20 December 1978 regarding Part 2 of the Study, covering 1947-1977:
“Taken in conjunction with the first part, it is clear that this pseudo-scientific “study” is designed to give currency, under the emblem of the United Nations, to a completely misleading version of the history of the Arab-Israel conflict.
Put briefly, that version has it that the League of Nations Mandate over Palestine was illegal, and all subsequent events, including the establishment of the State of Israel, are null and void. This wholly distorted view is set out in almost as many words in article 20 of the so-called PLO’s basic document, the “National Covenant”, and it forms the underlying thesis of the United Nations Secretariat publication in question. It completely ignores the Jewish people’s inalienable rights to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty in its homeland, the land of Israel.
Thus, what purports to be a scholarly study, supported by what appears to be a scientific apparatus, is no more than a crude piece of propaganda.”
Two  States exist in former Palestine today: Arab Jordan – created in 1946 in about 78 per cent of former Palestine –  and Jewish Israel – created in 1948 in about 17 per cent of that territory. These two states remain pivotal to ending the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict.

Trump seems ready to set the UN fabricated record straight when his peace plan is released.

(Author’s note: The cartoon—commissioned exclusively for this article—is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators—whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog)

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Butterfield 'ate

In Oz, and beyond, at least 15 minutes of infamy for "comedian" Isaac Butterfield (no, I've never previously heard of him either), who thinks the Shoah is a suitable subject for "comedy".

Melbourne Herald Sun, 22 April 2019
Butterfield claims on his social media accounts that he's been misrepresented in that press report and will duly respond on his "channel".


As we read here, Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich said Butterfield should apologise for the comments. 
“It’s never OK to spew such hate rhetoric, and Isaac Butterfield should be ashamed for his hideous remarks that crossed all lines and which trampled on the memory of the dead,” he said.
“It is beyond shocking to exploit the extermination of six million Jews in the Holocaust to generate despicable jokes.
“When you consider that the corpses of those killed with the poison gas were often cremated in ovens, Mr Butterfield’s email response of ‘get out of the oven’ is disturbing and vicious.”
He urged the festival organisers to consider whether he should be given a platform in future.
However, a Melbourne Comedy Festival spokeswoman said performers are able to express their views, even those deemed offensive.
“The festival does not censor artists’ work and the annual event represents the individual views, observations and humour of the artists involved,” the spokeswoman said.
“Melbourne audiences have the intelligence to make calls about the work of various comedians and either support them or hold them to account for their views.”
Mr Butterfield declined to respond to questions by the Herald Sun.
His performance Why So Serious? is said to “explore the PC culture of our ever so changing world — from the good, the bad to the ugly”.
Almost 20,000 people have signed an online petition for him to be elected to the House of Representatives this May to challenge “this crazy left-wing agenda and politically correct world”.
But is the near-annihilation of European Jewry an appropriate subject for levity? Most reasonable people must surely think it monstrous.

On Facebook, in the meantime, beneath a female poster's criticism of Butterfield's Holocaust "humour", fans of Butterfield have written such contemptible comments as these:

Monday 22 April 2019

Fighting for France

Venomous posts on social media from militant atheists, extreme leftists, anti-white racists and other usual suspects regarding the tragedy that was the burning of Paris's Notre Dame cathedral are as despicable as they are predictable.  There have been posts from some Jews expressing a lack of sympathy with the French owing to the historic persecutory nature of Christendom towards Jews, but they have been few and far between, with most Jews sharing the general anguish at the terrible fate of this beautiful and iconic symbol of western civilisation.

After all, revolutionary and Napoleonic France was the first of the continental nations to grant Jews civil rights, that France's Jews amply repaid the favour, and that, for all the trauma of the past, Jews and Christians in France, as in western Europe, now face a common enemy.

100 years ago, shortly after the Treaty of Versailles, the new grand rabbin (chief rabbi) of France, Israel Levi, son-in-law of the famous grand rabbin Zadoc Kahn, and for many years grand rabbin of Paris, gave an interview to a representative of the London Jewish Chronicle (reprinted in the Sydney Hebrew Standard, 7 November 1919).

'You come to me', Levi told the reporter,
'when we have just celebrated our fête of victory, so that it is opportune for me to review that part which the Jews of France took in the great war. As you know, we have compulsory service, so that we naturally had large numbers of men serving from the outbreak of war, but the remarkable feature to note is that the number of Jewish officers was out of all proportion, and stiows the high standard of education attained by the French Jewish community. A very considerable number of Jews served in the Algerian regiments, which had a glorious record under fire.... 
The wide dissemination of the Jews among the various professional classes has been brought out by the special services held by various bodies in memory of those fallen in the war. Services have been held in the synagogues as well as in the Catholic and Protestant churches — a real union of the creeds. We never confined our prayers on these occasions for our own brethren, but for all without distinction. [Emphasis added here and below]
The war has hit French Jewry very hard.  Many communities have ceased to exist because the towns in which they lived have been wiped out. Thus, the synagogue at Verdun was completely destroyed, and altogether ten places of worship met a like fate. The synagogue at Rheims was not altogether destroyed, but the inhabitants were compelled to leave. Several synagogues, including those in Rouen and Boulogne, were bombed from the air....
Our chaplains were selected in the first instance from those rabbis over military age, but if these proving insufficient, the authorities released a certain number of rabbis from the fighting ranks to serve as chaplains. Several of them fell on the field of battle, including the grand rabbin of Lyons [Abraham Bloch, Jewish chaplain attached to the
14th Army Corps], who, you may remember, was the hero of a very remarkable incident. A farmhouse [on Anozel Hill near Nancy], which was formerly used as a dressing station, came under shell fire, and the rabbi went about among the wounded reassuring them till their turn came to be removed. A poor fellow, who was dying, seeing a chaplain moving about, asked him for a. crucifix. The rabbi fetched one, and was holding it before the man's dving gaze, when he himself was killed. The incident created quite a sensation at the time and produced a profound impression in circles able to appreciate the line humanity of the rabbi's last service to his fellow-creatures....'
Levi continued:
'[A] very large proportion of French Jewry comes from [Alsace and Lorraine, held by Germany from 1871 following the Franco-Prussian War until the Treaty of Versailles in 1919], and the Jews there, in common with so many Alsatians, retained feelings of the warmest affection for France and welcomed the return of the  tricolor. Last December a solemn service was held in the synagogue at Strasbourg, which was attended by the President of  the Republic [Raymond Poincaré], by M. [Georges] Clemenceau, Marshals Joffre, Foch, and Petain, and Generals  Gouraud, Mangin, and Hirschauer. I may, perhaps, recall the words which M. Raymond Poincaré used in reply to an address of welcome on that occasion. He said: "I thank you for the welcome which you have been good enough to extend, in the name of the Jews of Alsace, to the representatives of the government of the Republic and the national representatives.
We know how faithfully the Jews of Alsace have remained to the mother country. I beg you to believe that France has never  for one moment lost sight of them, and that it is not tolerance, to use your own expression, which she displays towards your community, but, indeed, a profound respect, which she has for your religious beliefs. The communities of the reconquered  provinces expressed a, desire to join the Consistoire within a few days of the signing, of the armistice, and they will undoubtedly prove a source of strength."...' [Emphasis added]
Regarding the future of French Jewry, Levi was optimistic:
"I am pleased to say that during and since the war there has been not a single manifestation of antisemitism. Many feared that the war would bring about a recrudescence of Jew-hatred, but their fears have been falsified. I may say that at the be ginning of the war there were many foreign Jews in France — Russians, Poles, Rumanians, etc. — who voluntarily enlisted in the Foreign Legion, but there were also a considerable number who did not, but even this fact excited no anti-Jewish comment. On the other hand, the part played by the Jews in the defence of their country earned many encomiums in his quarters. I believe the French have learned by experience that antisemitism is a superficial prejudice, which has no solid grounds, and the new feeling of national unity has doubtless obliterated the old hatreds."
"There has undoubtedly been a revival of religious feeling since the war, not only among those who have lost their dear ones, but generally. Our synagogues have been crowded and there are signs that this happy state of affairs will continue. On the other side of the picture is to be set the regrettable fact that there have been several mixed marriages between Jewish girls who have served as nurses in the hos pitals and their Christian patients or doctors. Still, the new era which peace has opened seems likely to be a fruitful one for French Jewry."
In 1938, the year a menorial to Bloch was erected, French cabinet minister César Campinchi unveiled a monument at Verdun commemorating Jewish soldiers who served in the French and Allied armies during the First World War, declared.  To quote  report in the Manchester Guardian (reprinted in the Sydney Hebrew Standard, 18 August 1938):
'Out of 190,000 Jews of France and Algeria 32,000 were mobilised and 6,500 killed; 12,000 foreign Jewish volunteers fought in the French Army and over 2,000 of them were killed.
After recalling, the moving episode of the Grand Rabbi Abraham Bloch, who, mortally wounded, handed a crucifix to a dying Catholic officer, M- Campinchi said:
"The French Revolution proclaimed that men must not be judged by the blood in their veins but considered as according to their mortal intellectual merits The Republic will never abandon this high principle. France does net hound men because their ancestors, were not born within her frontiers. We do not believe in establishing ridiculous hierarchies among ourselves. We do not hold that this or that people must be reduced to slavery or be destroyed. We  believe that every human being has a right to live whatever his features or his colour. We do not believe in 'inferior' or ''despicable' races.
The ideal for .which, .together with their feilow-countrymen, so many Jews of France, England, and the. United States have died remains ours. We shall continue to hope that it will become the ideal of the whole world, for history is patient.' [Emphasis added]
The Vichy regime, of course, betrayed those Enlightenment-rooted idea of which Campinchi spoke, but they underlie the post-war emergence of a multicultural France, for good and, as we know in our generation, for ill.

Thus Dennis Prager observed last week:
'.... The two final deathblows to Christianity in Europe were the world wars. World War I ended most Westerners' belief in the nation-state and the West. Christianity, already weakened by the Enlightenment, was further weakened by World War I. German Christians were killing millions of French and English Christians, and French and English Christians were killing millions of German Christians. So the argument and sentiment against Christianity went. Then World War II saw even more death on the Christian continent as well as the failure of Catholic and Protestant churches in Nazi Germany to offer even minimal noncompliance with the Nazis' Jew-hatred.

Wednesday 17 April 2019

David Singer: Jordan in Denial over Trump Plan for Israel in Judea and Samaria

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

In a closed-door meeting with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee King Abdullah of Jordan reportedly said the White House had given him
“zero visibility into the most fraught part of their peace plan: how it proposes to divide Israeli and Palestinian territory.”

His Majesty – in complete denial – could not bring himself to call that territory “Judea Samaria and Gaza”

Abdullah has seen Trump ditch the Palestine Liberation Organisation financially and diplomatically over its continuing refusal to negotiate with Israel on any Trump proposal to divide sovereignty in Judea and Samaria between Jews and Arabs.

Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan laid out Jordan’s pivotal role in negotiating any such division in 1980:
“Israel and Jordan are the two Palestinian states envisioned and authorized by the United Nations. Jordan is now recognized in some 80% of the old territory of Palestine. Israel and Jordan are the parties primarily authorized to settle the future of the unallocated territories in accordance with the principles of the mandate and the provisions of Resolutions 242 and 338”
In 1982 duly-elected President Reagan made it clear that peace could not be achieved by the formation of an independent Palestinian state and the United States would not support the establishment of such a state.

Reagan added:
“There is, however, another way to peace. The final status of these lands must, of course, be reached through the give-and-take of negotiations; but it is the firm view of the United States that self-government by the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza in association with Jordan offers the best chance for a durable, just and lasting peace.”

Reagan concluded:
“When the border is negotiated between Jordan and Israel, our view on the extent to which Israel should be asked to give up territory will be heavily affected by the extent of true peace and normalization and the security arrangements offered in return.”

Abdullah’s father – King Hussein – did not take up Reagan’s invitation.

The creation of an additional Arab State between Israel and Jordan – favoured by President Bush, President Obama and ostensibly Kings Hussein and Abdullah – is dead in the water following Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent re-election as Israel’s Prime Minister for another four years.

Netanyahu promised pre-election to apply Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria.

Having recognised Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan Heights – Trump could do likewise for those parts of Judea and Samaria coming under Israeli sovereignty.

The circle will be completed for Netanyahu who told the United Nations on 11 December 1984:

“Clearly, in Eastern and Western Palestine, there are only two peoples, the Arabs and the Jews. Just as clearly, there are only two states in that area, Jordan and Israel. The Arab State of Jordan, containing some three million Arabs, does not allow a single Jew to live there. It also contains 4/5 of the territory originally allocated by this body's predecessor, the League of Nations, for the Jewish National Home. The other State, Israel, has a population of over four million, of which one sixth is Arab. It contains less than 1/5 of the territory originally allocated to the Jews under the Mandate.... It cannot be said, therefore, that the Arabs of Palestine are lacking a state of their own. The demand for a second Palestinian Arab State in Western Palestine, and a 22nd Arab State in the world, is merely the latest attempt to push Israel back into the hopelessly vulnerable armistice lines of 1949.”

King Abdullah should not miss the opportunity his father rejected in 1982.

Zero visibility will disappear when King Abdullah opens his eyes.

(Author’s note: The cartoon—commissioned exclusively for this article—is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators—whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog)

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Palestinian Preacher Justifies Violent Jihad (video)

Here's Sheikh Ahmad Al-Khatwani at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, justiying violent Jihad.

To quote the translator and uploader,
'Palestinian political researcher Sheikh Ahmad Al-Khatwani said in an address he delivered at the Al Aqsa Mosque that Istanbul had been conquered just like the Prophet Muhammad had predicted, and that Rome will also be conquered according to Muhammad's predictions. Al-Khatwani said that Muslims do not hate non-Muslims; rather, he said that all Muslims do "break down the physical obstacles" that prevent the "hateful infidels" from being brought into the light of Islam. He said that Islam is a religion for all of mankind and that the "physical obstacles" will be broken down by "a huge Muslim army that will wage Jihad for the sake of Allah." The video of the address was uploaded to the Internet on March 31, 2019.'

Sunday 14 April 2019

An Australian Dreyfus? The Cardinal Pell imbroglio

Australia's Dreyfus?
The (left-dominated, politically correct) Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV; formerly the Victorian Jewish Board of Deputies), the roof body representing organised Jewish communal life in the Australian state of Victoria, has issued an abject apology to the Jewish gay rights lobby group Aleph, regarding the latter's failure to be admitted to membership two decades ago:
"Aleph Melbourne submitted a valid application for membership of the JCCV in January 1999.  The Executive of the JCCV supported admission of Aleph Melbourne as a member. On 10 May 1999 the JCCV Plenum debated the motion and voted (39 votes in favour and 46 votes against) to deny the application for membership
In the course of the debate, homophobic views were expressed by some delegates which caused long-term harm to members of our LGBTIQ+ community.
Accordingly, this Plenum now apologises unconditionally to all members of our community who were impacted by the rejection of the membership application and for the unacceptable homophobic views expressed during the debate.
We apologise for the deep offence and humiliation caused by the hateful words spoken in the course of the debate. We apologise for the subsequent distress, further marginalisation and stigmatisation caused by the rejection of Aleph Melbourne’s membership application. We now recommit ourselves to welcoming and embracing LGBTIQ+ Jews in all our work, as part of our broader commitment to social inclusion for all members of the Jewish community of Victoria. Through our genuine commitment to equality and diversity we seek to ensure that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated."
Among those resolutely opposing the admission of Aleph to the JCCV in 1999, mindful of such passages as Leviticus 18:22,  was a prominent mainstream Orthodox rabbi in Melbourne, Ronald Lubofsky, well-known and well-remembered in circles promoting Jewish-Christian understanding.  As he afterwards explained on ABC (Australia's equivalent of the BBC) radio:
"The core of the philosophy, the religious philosophy, the political philosophy of being Jewish, is in the written word. The Christians call it the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures. Some would reduce it to the Ten Commandments etc. and that excludes the notion of homosexuality, and as a consequence it’s a contradiction in terms. You simply cannot consider the two ideals as being compatible. So true enough, the members of this group are Jewish and it may well be that they are secular in their intent, but I’m afraid that as a group, as an organisation, they cannot claim parity as individuals absolutely. This is a point which I and others have made, that Jewish gay people, lesbian people, they can join synagogues, they can join the organisations which are represented under the umbrella of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, they can be the presidents of those organisations, but as an organisation, as an ideology, they’re not compatible.... 
These are individuals who do not produce families, these are individuals who perform sexually in a way which is aberrant, to say the least, with regard to Judaism. It is something which runs counter to the fundamentals of Judaism, that is the family unit..."
This is not unlike Cardinal George Pell's attitude towards homosexuals, to judge by what the cardinal told a reporter:
'How was he to know if someone was gay or not? If someone came before him in Mass with cupped hands of course he would give the bread and wine. He was hardly going to quiz each parishioner.
But if someone came before him in a rainbow sash — as the gay parishioners had — in what he saw as an open act of rebellion against the church, then he was duty bound as a servant of the church to defend its honour.'
Lay Catholics are now copping abuse
As we all know, Cardinal Pell, who is not in good health, has since been convicted of sexually abusing two choirboys in a busy cathedral after Mass 22 years ago, and languishes in a prison cell awaiting the outcome of an Appeal in June against his sentence of six years' imprisonment with no possibility of parole for three years and eight months.  A day of prayer for him scheduled by one Melbourne Catholic institution for Saturday, 9 March, was cancelled owing to an outcry. He's in solitary confinement, for his own protection apparently, is permitted no sacramental wine and no breviary, although he does have his rosary. He's permitted only one visitor a week, few books, and gets to leave his cell for just one hour each day. 

What a victory his fate is for visceral haters of the Catholic Church, for whom the theologically conservative Pell has long been, in his own words (in the course of his interview here with columnist Andrew Bolt) "a hate figure", and which has ensured a "lynch-mob mentality" towards him that included, among an avalanche of prejudicial press items (here's a taster), intemperate comments (taster here), an acclaimed obscene portrait of him and a much-publicised spiteful song, and which now sees Open Season on Australian Catholicism itself in full swing: see, for example, here
Many of those ebullient at Pell's downfull undoubtedly see the Church as a relic of the pre-Enlightenment era. Yet, it must be asked, how "enlightened" is it for a court of law to find a person guilty and deprive him of his liberty and his reputation on the testimony of a single plaintiff, uncorroborated by forensic evidence.

In a nutshell: doubting the justice of Pell's conviction (from here)
Does not this have grievous implications for all Australians who find themselves defendants, not just Pell?  The cardinal has not been proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. The "guilty" verdict is unsafe.  No wonder that many people are comparing his case to that of the famously wronged Alfred Dreyfus, as well as to such proven miscarriages of Australian justice as the Lindy Chamberlain and Josephine Greensill jailings.

"[T]he boy from Ballarat with the film-star looks."  

In its blurb, that's how Dublin-born lapsed Catholic  ABC journalist Louise Milligan's much-hyped book   The Rise and Fall of Cardinal Pell, now triumphantly reissued with an update following his controversial 11 December 2018 conviction on historic sex abuse charges, describes the big imposing former Australian Rules ruckman (pictured left in his forties).

The book was commissioned by Louise Adler, the  leftwing Israel-critical head of Melbourne University Press, who also commissioned Antony Loewenstein's despicable My Israel Question. (She 'resigned in January following reports of internal conflict over Cardinal and budget subsidies. The university's chancellor, Allen Myers, is one of Pell's lawyers' notes a very recent publicity feature on Milligan in the Financial Review, in which she deplores those who question Pell's conviction.)

"In the end", Ms Milligan (who since the original publication of her book has been snapped up by the ABC's Four Corners current program along with the ABC's openly anti-Israel Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill)  told ABC news website readers gloatingly in March, after Pell's sentencing, 
"he was just an elderly, grey-faced man in the dock.
Not a prince of the church, not a cardinal, but a man convicted of and sentenced for terrible crimes against children.
A man who once flew first class will celebrate his 78th birthday in prison, and at the very least, his 79th, 80th and 81st....
We saw a man in a beige jacket and black shirt who seemed to have aged years in a matter of weeks....
Here was the man who dined with prime ministers, who went into battle in the culture wars, who cast an enormous shadow over the Catholic Church and Australian culture life.
He spent his days telling the rest of us how we ought to live our lives, and now, here he was, scratching out his signature on the sex offender register.
He could be on that register for life...."
    In 2015 Pell's successor as Sydney's Catholic Archbishop, Anthony Fisher, identified the reasons for the "unfair"targeting of the cardinal: 
“For so long he was the most prominent churchman in Australia, so people assume he’s in charge of everything and has been since birth,” he said, noting that Pell was never the bishop in Ballarat and had no direct responsibility for [convicted paedophile Gerald] Ridsdale or other priests in the diocese.“Add to that a lot of people didn’t like him for the very strong conservative stand he took on a number of issues, and they would be happy to see him humbled,” Fisher said.
From a vile longstanding anti-Pell Facebook page
Fisher said there’s also a personal edge to the anti-Pell sentiment.
“Probably, some people too are looking for public contrition. They think George looks too self-confident or too gruff, too defiant. There’s a kind of Aussie male macho element about his whole demeanor they don’t like,” he said.
“They’d like to see him crying, they’d like to see him blush … they’d like to see him in some way looking hurt,” Fisher said. “Maybe they’re thinking that by putting him through this again, he’ll finally crack.”
Noting that Pell has responded to most of these charges several times before, Fisher said the experience of having to do it again seems to be taking a toll.
“People think he’s indestructible, but I’ve sensed seeing him this time that it’s getting to him,” he said. “It just goes on and on. No matter how many inquiries there are it just keeps coming back, and it gets a bit more vicious each time.”
(See Louise Milligan's biased piece here, for instance, and the despicable comments about Pell below the line.)

Even before Pell's trial doubts were being expressed that he could ever expect a fair one.  In the conservative Quadrant magazine (3 July 2017) David Flint, an emeritus professor of law, wrote inter alia:
'Without in any way debating his guilt or innocence, like every Australian, Cardinal George Pell is entitled to a fair trial.
If he is denied this, will this be because of the leaks to the media about the police investigation, will it be the failure of the Victorian government to take serious action against this, or will it be because of those in the media who have engaged in character assassination?
Australians may well wonder why the announcement that the police had finally decided to make charges was made by a deputy and not Victoria’s Chief Commissioner Graeme Aston. Was it because he had, in one of his conversations about the case in the media, described  the complainants as ”victims”? Did the police believe that by using his deputy his apparent pre-judgement of the case was somehow extinguished from the minds of potential jurors? 
.... Pell was undoubtedly the pioneer here in dealing with institutional sex abuse. He subsequently cooperated fully with the Royal Commission. Recalled in 2015, the hearing was delayed by curious attempts to force him to fly to Melbourne even when it was revealed his doctors warned that the long flight could be fatal.
Just before he was to appear, the world’s media were filled with well-timed leaks revealing a police investigation about which even the Cardinal had not been informed.... 
In the meantime, the Royal Commission video examination was extraordinarily long and unnecessarily hostile....'
(See also this refutation of misrepresentations regarding the cardinal and the Commission)
In a speech in Hobart in 2017 believing Catholic-turned-agnostic Dr Gerard Henderson, director of the Sydney Institute, made, inter alia, these salient points:
"In its wisdom, the Royal Commission decided not to conduct hearings into institutional responses by the Australian media to instances of child sexual abuse.... The Royal Commission also did not hold hearings with respect to Islamic institutions or government schools.
While the Royal Commission chose not to conduct hearings into the ABC or Islamic institutions or government schools, it focused overwhelmingly on the Catholic Church in general and Cardinal George Pell in particular. This was lapped up by sections of the Australian media—particularly the ABC, Fairfax Media (mainly the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald), the Saturday Paper, the Guardian Australia, Channel 9’s 60 Minutes, Channel 10’s The Project and Sky News’s Paul Murray Live and Hinch Live (the latter program is no longer extant).
While all these media outlets employ objective journalists, it is true that some contain a high proportion of alienated ex-Catholics along with Catholics who disagree with the social conservatism of George Pell. Then there are the atheists, many of a sneering disposition, who resent believers—particularly Christians. In short, sections of the media have used the Royal Commission’s obsession with Catholicism to run campaigns against the Catholic Church....
The Christian tradition today faces two fundamental challenges—from militant Islamists who want to kill Christians and place the so-called Islamic State’s black flag on the Vatican; and from intolerant atheists who hold believers in contempt, particularly Christians, and wish to restrict their freedom of expression and action."
Catholic journalist Michael Warren Davis observed in 2017:
 'Let’s be clear: he’s guilty, as he’s admitted, of not being aware of the abuses by priests under his charge. That’s a serious ministerial lapse ... Yet, somehow, I doubt the anti-Pell crowd is up in arms because he’s an inadequate prelate. One suspects they’re not concerned about a marked aloofness in the Catholic hierarchy. Indeed, as [Julia] Yost points out, Archbishop Frank Little – Pell’s superior when the abuses took place – is known to have actively covered up abuses. Is it worth noting that Little was a progressive, and Pell’s a conservative? Julia Yost makes that transparently clear in [her] First Things critique of ABC operative Louise Milligan’s recent hatchet job.'
Distinguished Catholic scholar Dr George Weigel who happens to be a founder member of the Friends of Israel initiative (part of what he says about Israel has long featured on this blog's sidebar, and the rest can be read here) has known George Pell for 50 years.  (See here too.) He characterises the Pell imbroglio as "this generation's Dreyfus Case".  There are very many, and not all within the Catholic Church, who share that view.

"Look, I know I'm innocent," Weigel quoted the cardinal, on the eve of his sentencing in March,  as telling him, "The only judgement I fear is the Last Judgement."

Added Weigel: "This whole thing had weirdness about it from the get-go ... who put the Victorian police up to this?" (Update: see also Weigel's fine Easter article here)

Here's John Macaulay, a prominent Sydney Catholic and conservative, explaining why the cardinal's prosecution and conviction is "extraordinary beyond belief":

Phillip Breene, writing in The Spectator on 9 March this year ("Prosecuting Pell: Can public hate figures get a fair trial?") observed:
"The important question is not simply whether the verdict in this case is sound but whether a responsible public Prosecutor should have brought the charges...
This is the difficulty with trials in which the defendant is a controversial public figure and has been demonised among the population from which the jury is drawn."
And here's Pell's biographer Tess Livingstone (behind a paywall, I'm afraid) giving her take on the conviction:
Full text available here
'....The guilty verdict was delivered in December by a unanimous jury, in a properly constituted court, after an earlier jury was dismissed on September 20 because it split 10-2 in Pell’s favour. Hence the second trial, in which many people, whether they like or loathe Pell and all he stands for, believe went badly wrong.
If so, the jury were not the only ones to get it wrong, nor the most culpable. Hard questions need to be asked about police and judicial processes, including how and why certain allegations ever made it to court, let alone to trial.
During the first trial, observers in the gallery claimed: “Even if he didn’t do it he deserves to be punished. He was in charge of the whole show’’. How much did such sentiments influence the verdicts, if at all? Australian justice cannot sink so low.
Studied closely, the five convictions of child sexual abuse are grotesque, implausible and break the bounds of credulity. In religious terms, they would be grave sacrileges....
It is extremely unfortunate, some of Pell’s friends believe, that the two juries hearing the case were taken around the cathedral on a quiet weekday when it is usually all but deserted, rather than having the chance to see its hustle and bustle on Sunday mornings....
According to the evidence, Pell was fully vested when he committed the crimes of which he was found guilty. Over his trousers and shirt, he wore an alb — a long, straight white garment, extending from shoulder to the floor, with no openings and no splits at the front or sides that would have allowed the garment to be moved aside, as alleged. Over the alb, Pell wore a cincture — a thick cord tied several times around his waist, and over that a heavy chasuble (the outer robe). Those garments, worn by every priest at Mass, have spiritual significance. The choir boys were also vested in robes over their shirts and trousers.  [This video explains such vestments.]
It's an ill wind that blows nobody good
The timing was odd for another reason. The scandal of clerical abuse was a major issue in the news in late 1996 in Melbourne after the inglorious legacy of Pell’s predecessor, Archbishop Frank Little. Pell had launched the Melbourne Response in October 1996, a system to deal with the problem led by an independent QC and the first of its kind for the Catholic Church in the world. In that atmosphere, the notion of Pell committing grotesque offences in a semipublic place with an open door (a point not disputed by the prosecution) at a busy time defies logic.
During the committal hearing, [magistrate] Ms Wallington dismissed even more grotesque charges against Pell, dating back decades before 1996 to provincial Victoria. As [Pell's lawyer] Richter said in his summing up in the Committal hearing, one charge that was subsequently dismissed owed “more to the watching of Satanist movies’’.
It was extreme, violent and satanic, lending weight to the view that Pell has been the victim of a vile stitch up. If so, it needs to be uncovered. In the committal hearing, Richter said had the police made proper investigations (as the defence did) they would have discovered no evidence that Pell was ever at the institution where the alleged Satanic incident occurred....'
(Curiouser and curiouser: see here)  Any serious student of the Pell imbroglio should also read this article by veteran award-winning Australian crime writer John Silvester.  Inter alia:
From here
"Pell was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt on the uncorroborated evidence of one witness, without forensic evidence, a pattern of behaviour or a confession.
 It is a matter of public record that it is rare to run a case on the word of one witness, let alone gain a conviction....
Pell has become a lightning rod in the worldwide storm of anger at a systemic cover-up of priestly abuses. But that doesn't make him a child molester. If Pell did molest those two teenagers in the busy cathedral, it certainly does not fit the usual pattern of paedophile priests....
He could not have known if one of them was not the son of the chief commissioner, the premier or the chief justice who were waiting outside to collect them. He could not have known if one of them would walk straight out and blow the whistle on him, and with two kids in the room he would have been sunk...."
In this month's issue of the conservative political and intellectual magazine Quadrant, the front cover of which bears the unequivocal headline "The Persecution of George Pell", former Anglican priest Peter Wales puts it  this way:
"... If you wanted to invent a perfect nemesis for Australia's left-wing media, you could not  do better than to come up with an intelligent, energetic, tough-minded, Australian-rules-playing, politically and religiously conservative straight white male.
 The ABC’s almost psychotic obsession with finding something dreadful to report about Cardinal Pell was noted at least as long ago as 2015, when Gerard Henderson suggested the mainstream media had the wrong target, and was focussing on Pell simply because he is a social conservative....'  (See another pertinent Peter Wales article here)
Writes Quadrant editor-in-chief Keith Windschuttle in another trenchant article:  
'The current heroine of the news media pursuing this story is Louise Milligan, who has a best-seller with her book Cardinal, and her own special reports on ABC television’s 7.30 and Four Corners programs. The latest edition of her book lists the number of awards this work has won her: the Walkley Book Award, two Quill awards from the Melbourne Press Club, the Sir Owen Dixon Chambers Law Reporter of the Year award, the Civic Choice award in the Melbourne Prize for Literature. The new edition also carries accolades from an impressive array of left-wing journalists and authors: Annabel Crabb, David Marr, David Armstrong, Peter Fitzsimons, Kate McClymont, Quentin Dempster, Michaela Bond, Derryn Hinch, Yvonne Rance, Gerard Windsor and Anton Rose, plus a foreword by novelist/historian Tom Keneally who says Pell got what he deserved because he was “a notable neo-conservative”, who “had questioned climate change” and “has raised only muted opposition to the  federal government’s heinous asylum seeker policy”....'
Windschuttle places great significance on a case in Philadelphia dating to 1998, involving a boy referred to as "Billy".
See in full context here
'The Philadelphia case was written up in Rolling Stone in September 2011, well before Victoria’s police began what they called their “trawling operation” against George Pell, hoping to find someone to testify against him....
The only difference between the American and Australian evidence was the account of a second alleged meeting, which the boys said took place “a few months later” in Philadelphia and “a month or so later” in Melbourne. In the American version, it was a different priest involved this time, who led the same boy to the sacristy, told him to undress and then fellated him. In the Australian version, Pell allegedly found the boy in the back corridor of the cathedral, forced him up against a wall and fondled his genitals.
Nonetheless, the two accounts are so close to being identical that the likelihood of the Australian version being original is most implausible. There are far too many similarities in the stories for them to be explained by coincidence. The conclusion is unavoidable:
“The Kid” [Louise Milligan's term for the still anonymous Australian testifier] was repeating a story he had found in a magazine – or repeating a story someone else had found for him in the media – thereby deriving his account of what Pell did from evidence given in a trial in the United States four years earlier. In short, the testimony that convicted George Pell was a sham. This does not mean the accuser was deliberately making it up. He might have come to persuade himself the events actually happened, or some therapist might have helped him “recover” his memory. But no matter how sincere the accuser’s beliefs were, that does not make them true, especially when there is so much other evidence against them.
There is little doubt that if members of the jury in Pell’s case had been informed of the surprising similarities between the two versions, some of them must have had serious questions about their witness’s veracity. The result would have been either a second hung jury or a not guilty verdict....'
Surely this not too dissimilar allegation, about the late Rabbi Lubofsky, might not, unwittingly, have been grist to the anti-Pell mill.  It appears to have first surfaced publicly several years ago, when it was referred to on the Facebook page of a well-known victim of paedophilia turned victims' advocate, though without mention of names:

 It was, incidentally, repeated on high-profile Aleph activist mikeybear's blog in this form in January 2018:
"It was alleged by two men in 2012 that the late Rabbi Emeritus Ronald Lubofsky AM [Member of the Order of Australia] of St. Kilda Synagogue masturbated in front of them during their bar mitzvah lessons in the 1970s and 1980s.  These men would have been 12 or 13 years old boys at the time.  So far neither of the men have gone public with the details of the sexual abuse."
And again there, this year, following Pell's conviction:
 "What do Cardinal George Pell and Rabbi Ronald Lubofsky have in common?
What do Rabbi Emeritus Ronald Lubofsky AM and His Eminence Cardinal George Pell AC [Companion of the Order of Australia] have in common? 
Both appointed to the Order of Australia.
 Both revered in their religious circles.
Both vehemently opposed to homosexuality and sexual immorality.
Both sexually abused / predated on young boys."
Rabbi Lubofsky, by the way, died in 2000.

It's not necessary to be convinced of Pell's innocence to deplore his conviction.  The conviction is "unsafe" and that's enough to believe it should be set aside.  To quote Michael Warren Davis again
"Pell’s cause is an unpopular one, to say the least. Our taste-makers decided to destroy this man long ago. But, if his conviction goes uncontested, who will be next? Who else will be condemned in the eyes of law without forensic evidence or corroborating witnesses? Who else will be imprisoned because he fails to conform to fashionable opinion? Me, perhaps. Or you. Mark my words: if the third-most senior prelate in the Roman Catholic Church isn’t safe, we don’t stand a chance. This, in my opinion, is a fight for Australians’ basic civil liberties. I personally believe that, if Cardinal Pell’s conviction isn’t overturned, we’ve already lost."

Saturday 13 April 2019

In the ALP, Might Melissa's Malignance Mirror Mounting Malice?

She was hoping to get back into the thick of Aussie federal politics, former UNRWA lawyer and unreformed Israel-hater Melissa Parke, who when representing (2007-16) the safe Labor seat of Fremantle, Western Australia, was a junior minister in the latter stages of Kevin Rudd's government, swept from power in 2013.

In selecting the glamorous blonde to run against conservative Celia Hammond in the normally safe Liberal WA seat of Curtin, relinquished by glamorous blonde Liberal former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Labor bigwigs evidently thought her high profile meant Ms Parke had a fighting chance of wresting the seat away from the less stellar Liberal hopeful.

But it's all gone awry for Parke and her backers, because she's now quit as a candidate in order to save her embarrassed party the "distraction" caused by her loathsome antisemitic slurs on Israel, scathingly compared in today's Melbourne Herald Sun by political commentator James Campbell as "actually manag[ing] to say something new" in the "long history of slanders" of the Jewish people.

A proponent of BDS in its economic and cultural guises, who in 2017 was one of about 60 prominent Australians (including APAN's president, ex-Bishop Browning) publicly opposed to Bibi Netanyahu's visit to Australia, Parke last month told the launch of WA Labor Friends of Palestine (to quote a report in WA Today) that
'Australia should recognise a Palestinian state and likened Israel's settlements to China's island building activity in the South China Sea.
She also took aim at Israel's influence in Australian politics and said there was no doubt Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel, while illegal under international law, were "a reaction to and a consequence of decades of brutal occupation".
Ms Parke, a former lawyer for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Gaza, said Australia had to break away from its "strategic dependence" on the United States and recognise Palestine as a state, which is contrary to Labor policy.
"There are already 137 nations that recognise the state of Palestine, that is more than 70 per cent of the world," she said.
"And, inshallah [Arabic for 'God willing'], Australia will join that consensus once we have a Federal Labor government.
An APAN illiterate has his say
"It's also time finally for Australia to support an end to the brutal occupation of Palestine and for the right of return of the Palestinian refugees."
In her speech to Palestinian supporters, which was held in the Perth offices of the United Voice union, Ms Parke said the discrimination experienced by Palestinians in Israel was because of a "fully fledged system of Apartheid"....
"A false narrative sold to the western world is that Israel is a beacon of western democracy and human rights."
Ms Parke said Israel "propagates the myth that it is a small country that just wants to live in peace".'
'WAtoday also revealed earlier this week WA Labor senator and Senate Deputy President Sue Lines told the same meeting of pro-Palestinian activists that a powerful "Israel lobby" had been influencing her party's policy on Palestine and peace in the Middle East.
Senator Lines said policy in the area had stalled because "the Israeli lobby is so powerful within the party and outside of the party".'
 The report quotes Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin as follows:
'He said Ms Parke had the "inglorious distinction" of being the first, and only, Labor MP to publicly endorse the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which seeks to force Israel to withdraw from occupied or contested territories and aims at "the complete and total isolation of the state of Israel and to dismantle the national home of the Jewish people".
"BDS was rightly condemned as a form of antisemitism by Julie Bishop, who Ms Parke is now seeking to replace as the federal member for Curtin," Mr Ryvchin said."BDS has also expressly been repudiated by the Australian Labor Party and rejected as national policy even by the Greens."It is regrettable that such an extreme and divisive figure should receive the endorsement of the Australian Labor Party, particularly at a time when it is vital to strengthen the political centre and diminish the appeal of low populism and false and polarising rhetoric."
 Parke also, as widely reported today, for instance the Sydney Morning Herald here, declared:
 "One case I remember vividly, a pregnant refugee woman was ordered at a checkpoint in Gaza to drink a bottle of bleach," she said.
"It burnt out all her throat and insides. Fortunately her baby was saved.
"Another refugee was forced to put her baby through the X-ray machine."
It is that vile canard in particular that disgusts the Herald-Sun's James Campbell, who pointedly observed that another Labor candidate, Josh Wilson, was at the meeting addressed by Parke and did not take issue with her remarks.

Campbell adds that while current federal Labor leader Bill Shorten is committed to friendship with Israel, the fears of pro-Israel Australians that, post-Shorten, the party (remember the lurking presence of Bob Carr and cobbers?) might fall into the hands of a Corbynista-type leadership remains a realistic prospect.

ScoMo for me, I think.

Friday 12 April 2019

Loving Jihad, Hating Jews & Infidels: A New York mufti tells (video)

Last year Philadelphia-born Mufti Muhammad Ibn Muneer told his faithful:
'that a martyr killed fighting for Allah holds the highest status of martyrdom, and that Muslims should never apologize for speaking the truth about Jihad, the Jews, and the Christians. Ibn Muneer explained that while there are different types of martyrs in Islam, one should not confuse any of them with the martyr who was killed in battle, who holds the highest status of martyrdom. He warned the audience not to treat lesser forms of Jihad, such as seeking knowledge and giving da'wa, as if they are equal to fighting for the sake of Allah.
Ibn Muneer said that when a Muslim makes a comment about Christians or Jews, such as saying that the Jews have earned Allah's wrath, he may face repercussions such as being called an extremist or terrorist. He explained that some people might say that videos on those topics should be taken down or made private, but that there is no need to apologize for the truth, and he asked: "What's next?... When does it stop, the neutering of the Muslim?" He also said that trying to remove Jihad from the Quran and the Sunnah is like "removing sweetness from honey." He added: "Your feelings have no value [or] worth in light of the Quran and Sunnah. If you don't believe and understand that, then maybe Islam is not the religion for you."...' [Emphasis added]
 Read more here

 Here he is again. last year and this, telling his faithful how to deal with Jews and "kuffars".

To quote the uploader,
'In a Q&A session uploaded to the Hadith Disciple YouTube channel on January 31, 2018, New York cleric Mufti Muhammad Ibn Muneer said that there are different ways of dealing with different types of Jews. 
He cited the Islamic principle of Al-Bara Wal-Wala (disavowal and loyalty), which he says is, as "explained by Ibn Al-Qayyim and many others... simply summed up as loving the Muslims and hating the non-Muslims... Buddhist, Hindu, this, that, so on and so forth." 
He underlined that if his Jewish neighbor is "trying to do me physical harm... I have the right to defend myself." 
He continued: "Look at history" when Jews and Muslims lived together and "the Muslims ran the country [and] the Jews were the minority.... The moment there is oppression" – that's "a whole different story." 
In a Q&A session uploaded a year later, on January 31, 2019, he expanded on the subject, saying that a Muslim cannot maintain a close relationship with infidels with whom he had been friends prior to accepting Islam and that Muslims cannot treat non-Muslim as friends. 
They may be treated with respect and friendliness in order to invite them to Islam, he said, but only a pious Muslim is worthy of a close, trusting friendship. 
He added that it may be Islamically impermissible to wear soccer jerseys that have the names of non-Muslims or that contain symbols of something other than Islam, and that buying designer clothing might be supporting homosexuals or people who are bombing Muslims in Palestine.' [Emphasis added]