Thursday, August 31, 2006


All you need to know about George Galloway's take on Lebanon:
But make no mistake, with the victory of Hizbullah, a terrible beauty is born.
Galloway is, of course, a great admirer of the new Arab way of war.


Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez embraces Syrian president Bashar Assad.

Chavez, visiting Syria, said:
"No matter how strong the American empire becomes and no matter how much force it uses, it will be defeated. We and Syria as well as other countries will be an army of tigers, struggling and strong."
Tigers? A Chavez-Assad liaison would no doubt produce something interesting but I doubt it would be anywhere close to a tiger.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


As really nothing more than your typical anti-Israel lefty who just happens to be Jewish, Antony Loewnstein has received far more attention – both from blogs and the MSM – than he deserves. I therefore decided to stop writing about him. Unfortunately for my long suffering readers, there's much stupidity yet to be covered – I knew the pool is deep but had no idea it was bottomless. Silly me.

The current edition of the Sydney University newspaper Honi Soit features a two page interview with the fearless dissenter. Hitherto unknown "facts" are revealed: Loewenstein is developing a "cult-following" of "middle-aged women"; his book "contains a lot of history, footnotes, facts and figures that would put your average PhD to shame, it is also surprisingly readable"; and the book has "page-turning urgency". Most importantly, My Israel Question is revealed to be a "novel". Well, that explains the plot-enhancing factual, er, errors.

While the Honi Soit article is a funny example of fluffy lefty-worship from a naive university student, a post at Loewenstein's blog is very revealing of the goings on inside his head. Loewenstein responds to this from Paul Gardner of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria:
As for the premise that Israeli policies and actions are responsible for promoting anti-Semitism, this is ludicrous. Actually, anti-Semitism is caused by anti-Semites. Tough Israeli policies — sometimes necessary in Israel’s fight for survival — merely provide an excuse for anti-Semites to feel free to spout their hatred.
With this:
Let me get this straight. People are anti-Semitic simply for no reason, a sickness borne out of a malignant hatred of Jews. Israeli actions are totally unrelated. To believe this is as deluded as believing that anti-Americanism is unrelated to US foreign policy in the Middle East.
Up to now Loewenstein has been at pains to draw a distinction between antisemitism and anti-Zionism. Now they're one and the same. Not only that, antisemitism is not irrational, it has root causes.

Now I'm not one to gratuitously mention Hitler or Nazis but Loewenstein's comments could be used to justify the Holocaust. I mean, Germans wouldn't have taken the drastic step of exterminating six million Jews unless the Jews had started the war (and were siphoning off far too much oxygen with those really big noses), right? There's no blaming the Holocaust on Israel, which didn't yet exist. Regardless, the Germans are a rational and cultured people who wouldn't go to the trouble of trying to hunt down and kill all the Jews in Europe unless they had good cause.

Even a loyal commenter at his echo-chamber thinks Loewenstein has gone too far:
Gardner is right about anti-Semitism, though. The idea that Israeli policies and actions are responsible for promoting anti-Semitism is indeed ludicrous. What they do promote are criticism of Israel and digust at Israel’s actions, but not anti-Semitism.
In reality there's nothing to worry about here; Loewenstein has no idea what he's talking about. Some people just don't like Jews.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Indonesian Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir says the 2002 Bali bombing was hijacked by the CIA, with the original bomb replaced by an American-designed "micro-nuclear bomb." Despite the bomb building expertise of the Americans the Indonesian designed bomb was actually much more technically advanced, not to mention more humane, as it "would not have killed people, only injured them."

Bright as he is, Bashir is stumped by Australia's travel restrictions:
"The Australian Government still treats me like an enemy for reasons that are unclear."
The reasons are clear to Australians and that's all that matters. Moron.


Lefty Tim Dunlop suffers a lunatic infestation:
We have sold our souls for a flat screen TV, paid for with the blood and suffering of innocent brown people.
There's this from Loewenstein regular orang:
You will not deny my fantasy!! There is no way Downer would fake an orgasm while being butt fucked by Condi with a 12" strap-on.
And to round things out there's a bit of Lebanese ambulance hoax denial:
Having taken a look into the fever swamp of the right wing blogs, it seems like the evidence of the ambulance attack having been faked is pretty thin itself, sourced from a single Fox bulletin and thirdhand analysis of compressed photos.
Right wing blogs are a fever swamp? Right.

Update: Loewenstein censors dissenting views but leaves up this typical orang gem:
Ian, surely you are not suggesting that Israel’s kidnapping of Palestinian civilians and then using them as shields to protect their chicken hearted child murdering cocksucking deviants used in the occupation of Palestine are in the same league as Hezbollah? I can only deduce you are anti-freedom and democracy, you should go before a Rabbi and confess your anti-semitism, say twelve hail Marys , …….
Update II: Speaking of lunatics, Loewenstein highly recommends a Marxist, Lebanese, "non-mainstream anarchist," ABBA lover.


Interviewed last night on Lateline, Al Qaeda training camp graduate "Jihad" Jack Thomas's brother claims Jack has been targeted by the government and media:
LES THOMAS: It's an unfortunate fact that there have been so many untruths, insinuations, and outright lies printed about my brother that it's just probably going to be impossible to combat them in a single lifetime. We've done what we can. I mean, even in tonight's intro, you're still using the Jihad Jack tag, which has been a very effective smear and obviously ...

TONY JONES: I have to say, just to interrupt you there, Les Thomas, that he actually made that up himself. He called himself jihad, didn't he?

LES THOMAS: He actually adopted the name jihad in the sense of inner striving and spiritual struggle. The Jihad Jack alliteration was actually a media idea and obviously it buys into all kinds of Western conceptions about the term 'jihad'.
And here I was thinking al Qaeda jihad training camps were about learning to use guns, explosives and the like. Silly me.

Les and Jack Thomas need to work on coordinating their stories. Here's Les on Jack's questionable friends:
LES THOMAS: The only tenuous connection that I know of relating to Abu Bakar Bashir is the fact that Mariati, Jack's wife, went to school with a woman who later went on to marry him.
Here's Jack:
INTERVIEWER: Why did Abu Bakar Bashir come to meet you?

JACK THOMAS: He's a family friend.
Read the two Lateline interviews (here and here) and decide if you'd be happy with Jack living next door.


As part of the EU's Kyoto commitments European car makers voluntarily agreed to reduce new car CO2 emissions to 140 grams a kilometre by 2008. The target will be missed by a wide margin. Ever the lateral thinkers, European bureaucrats have come up with a solution:
The European Commission is today set to warn car makers that they must "substantially increase their efforts" or face being forced to do so through legislation, according to the European Federation for Transport and Environment.
When in doubt, legislate.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Super-brained loony lefty Paul Norton thinks differences of opinion within the Australian Environment Foundation are a bad thing. Yep, lefties much prefer lock-stepping.

Norton's quite a nasty piece of work, enviously referring to global warming co-believer Don Burke as a "retrenched celebrity gardiner [sic]." Also, despite Jennifer Marohasy and her blog featuring prominently in his post, Norton refuses to link – don't want any traffic going to a right-of-centre site, now do we. Typically petty lefty bullshit.


Journalist and author Antony Loewenstein has milked two attention seeking ploys for all they're worth: he's a dissenting Jew; and his fellow Jews have tried to silence him. The latter has been demolished by Loewenstein himself in his prepared remarks at the Melbourne Writer's Festival:
Over two years of writing, researching and spending time in the Middle East and the US [how much time was spent in Israel is never revealed - ed.]... I soon realised that I wasn’t being silenced but the issues of Israeli occupation and the Zionist lobby were routinely avoided by the mainstream media. I wanted my book to readdress [sic] that imbalance.
Exactly when this epiphany occurred isn't revealed but it must have been recent because just the other day Loewenstein had an article in the Australian opening with this leader:
The Israel lobby’s attempt to silence contrarian voices is counterproductive and undermines freedom of speech
What happened is that Loewenstein finally realized his claims of a conspiracy to silence are ludicrous considering the media exposure he's getting. As Daniel Mandel advises on this SBS radio response (audio) to Loewenstein's accusations of attempted silencing (also audio), criticism of Loewenstein's controversial views does not amount to censorship.

That leaves Loewenstein's status as Jewish dissenter to make him stand out from the inherently anti-Israel leftist crowd. As pointed out in an email from a Jewish reader, how Jewish is this guy when he fails to realize that Tzipi is short for Tzipora, an obviously feminine name? Even if it's expecting a bit much for him to recognise the name as feminine, it's reasonable to expect someone writing a book on Israel to know the sex of a prominent Israeli minister. (The erroneous reference to Livni as "he" was, by the way, surreptitiously corrected.)

It also seems odd that a Jew would mistake written English for Hebrew. Hell, I'm about as far removed from the Jewish community as it's possible to be and I could tell straight away it wasn't Hebrew. (Loewenstein's mistake was, yet again, surreptitiously corrected.)

In My Israel Question Loewenstein presents as a secular Jew. He reveals that Jewish schools, which seem to produce reasonably successful graduates, were regarded by his parents as providing an education that was too "narrow," so he was sent to a private Anglican school. He had his bar mitzvah and attended synagogue "on major Jewish holidays." His political views have estranged both family and Jewish friends. All things considered, Loewenstein is not close to his faith.

According to Rabbi Shafran secular Jews are a threat to Judaism:
A secular Jew is basically a dead end in terms of the continuity of the Jewish people.

We need to act in a firm and decisive way to reconnect as many Jews as possible with what has made the Jewish people a people to begin with 3,000 years ago, and what will preserve us as a people into the future.
It seems to me – and I could be totally off base here – that being a Jew is more than a matter of genetics, it's what goes on in your head that's important. If that's the case I'm probably more Jewish than Loewenstein.

If you have $33.00 to spare and want to read a lefty's take on Israel, My Israel Question is for you. Other than that, save your money.

One more thing, make sure you check out Loewenstein's obviously unedited Melbourne Writer's Festival remarks and decide for yourself who deserves more credit for the book, Loewenstein or his editor.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


In an article about shoes suitable for vegans Lucy Siegel tries to make funny while recommending a supplier of vegan friendly, non-leather footwear:
Had Judy Garland embraced veganism instead of drink and drugs, she'd surely have patronised the Dorothy-inspired heels from
There are, of course, no alcohlic or drug taking vegans. Which makes sites like this a bit of a puzzle.

Anyway, if you're a vegan woman wanting a pair of non-leather shoes you might like this plain but stylish pair – the £165.00 price of the shoes is way funnier than the Judy Garland dig.


So, what could possibly be controversial about Victorian teenager Ayten Ahmet's decision to enter the Miss Teen Australia beauty pageant? As you have probably gathered from the wholesomely attractive young lady's name, she's Muslim. This is a problem:
Victorian Islamic leader Yasser Soliman said participating in the contest was not in accordance with the teachings of Islam.

"What Islam teaches is that God-given beauty is only to be shared with the husband. It is not something used as a commercial gimmick, for financial gain, fame or entertainment,' he said.
To her credit, Ayten Ahmet is standing her ground:
"I don't believe religion should make a difference in the competition," she said.

"I am not expecting to win, but it would be excellent. It would enable me to start being a really good role model," she said.
Good on ya, Ayten. If you've got it, flaunt it.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Sam Kinison.

Note: If you play this at work, or if there are any females nearby, it's a good idea to turn the volume right down.


Muslims are outraged at the detention by Dutch authorities of 12 men removed from a Bombay-bound flight:
“Because of this global war on terror, Muslims today feel the same way as Jews in the 1930s,” said Shabnam Hashmi, a spokeswoman for the New Delhi-based human rights movement Act Now for Harmony and Democracy. “This calculated, systematic demonization of Muslims is going to get worse in the coming days.”

“Earlier it was just the US, but now it’s Europe too. Anyone who is not white is a suspect,”
The outraged might want to consider redirecting at least some their anger to those who have provoked anti-terrorist measures in the west. It's a root causes thing.

Friday, August 25, 2006


Probably the world's most famous socialist realist – how's that for an oxymoron? – film-maker has joined the Cultural boycott of Israel. Say it ain't so!


Fearless Jewish rebel Antony Loewenstein damn well better be fearless because unhappy cousin Ronald Green is a formidable opponent. From today's Australian Jewish News (not available online):
Ronald Green, a distant cousin who welcomed Loewenstein into his home near Tel-Aviv for a [Sabbath] dinner while he was researching his book, said his relative "took snippets" of their Friday night conversation "so that he could make us grist for his mill".

"None of his 'quotes' are accurate", Green claimed. "some are taken out of context and some are so far from what I said as to be downright lies."
Loewenstein responded by playing the man, not the ball:
"He's not particularly happy that he's been painted as a bigot. People who are bigots don't like being called bigots, but that's what he is," Loewenstein said.

He stood by the quotes he attributed to Green, saying: "I have notes written just after my conversations with him and I have every confidence in what I have written."

"If I write something down a few minutes after someone says it, I can remember quite accurately what they said", Loewenstein told the AJN.
Loewenstein's confidence in his memory is curious considering he couldn't accurately quote from Mark Steyn's presentation at the CIS Big Ideas Forum even when, presumably, he'd taken notes. Loewenstein's Ronald Green notes were, according to Loewenstein, taken down up to 20 minutes after the fact. That makes them memories, not notes.

At this point someone should ask Loewenstein how it is he traveled all the way to Israel to research his book, eventually including the views of various lefties, but the only Israel advocate he apparently spoke to at length was Ronald Green.

No matter, Loewenstein's problems with Green are just part of the burden borne by the fearless dissenter. Those broad shoulders will handle the load.

Update: Ronald Green has a question of his own for the publisher of Loewenstein's My Israel Question:
You are by now aware that not only did I not give Loewenstein permission to quote snatches from a family dinner, but that I had no idea he would do so. I am interested to know whether you were aware of these facts when you saw the manuscript.

Lest my question be misunderstood, I wish to make it clear that I am not questioning your opinion as to whether the quotes were accurate (and for the record, they were decidedly not), since I do realize that it is your job to support a book that you publish.

My question is - and I repeat - whether you knew that Loewenstein did not request nor receive permission from me.
The email, dated 22 August, remains unanswered.

If Loewenstein's dealings with Green were totally above board and transparent why were Green's comments reconstructed later rather than taken down as he spoke them? The answer would appear to be obvious.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


A Pakistani couple have been killed as a matter of honour:
The attackers stormed the couple's house early yesterday morning killing them and three other family members including a three-year-old girl, said [a police officer investigating the case].
Three year-olds know no respect.


Palestinians in Gaza are venting their frustrations by attacking one another:
Thousands of young Palestinian men belong to armed militant groups. The militarization of Gazan society makes it more likely that otherwise harmless scuffles will turn deadly.

In a personal conflict, "they end up using the weapons that they have to defend against the occupation against each other," said Abu Thaer, a spokesman for the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade militia.
Even doctors are joining in the tension releasing fun:
In May, a 59-year-old man suffering from heart failure was brought into the Khan Yunis hospital's emergency room. When informed of the man's death, his family "went crazy and trashed the emergency room…. Anyone wearing a white coat was beaten," said Dr. Nasser Azaar, the emergency room director.

Three months later, Azaar remains shocked by the fact that several local doctors related to the man participated in the frenzied destruction.
Sounds to me like a perfectly reasonable reaction.


Wal-Mart is shutting down its stores in Germany. What went wrong?
German customers were turned off by the enforced friendliness of its employees...
The friendly approach just doesn't work on Germans.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Not that it will discourage those wanting to carry out God's will but a Sydney Court has come down hard on a convicted terrorist plotter:
In sentencing in Sydney today Justice Anthony Whealy said even though Lodhi's plans were only in a preliminary stage, any successful attack would have instilled terror in the Australian people, and any sentence should be seen as a deterrent.

He said even if the 20-year maximum term given to Lodhi does not deter those with fanatical beliefs, a stand had to be taken to try and protect the community against the madness.

Lodhi will be eligible for parole in 2019.
At least this clown will be out of circulation for a while.

Update: Lefties are bound to raise a ruckus about Lodhi's conditions of confinement:
While he awaits for a possible appeal, the convicted terrorist will be living under extremely strict conditions as a AA prisoner - a special classification for people considered a serious threat to national security.

He'll be videoed 24 hours a day, have to change cells every second week and be shackled any time he's moved around the prison.
How long before accusations of torture start flowing?

Update II: Having had plenty of time to think about their upcoming executions, unrepentant, confessed Bali bombers Amrozi Nurhasyim, Ali Gufron and Imam Samudra have decided martyrdom is way over-rated.


Back in May computer teacher Tim Lambert compared his traffic to Tim Blair's:
I suppose the dividing line between "rarely viewed" and "super popular" must be somewhere between 3,577 and 10,403.
That dividing line now sits somewhere between Lambert's 1,049 and Blair's 13,218. If this trend continues it won't be long before Lambert's down in my territory.

Hey, maybe a lame-arsed attack on Tim Blair will generate some traffic...

Monday, August 21, 2006


Hedge-fund manager and anti-malaria campaigner Lance Laifer on enivronmentalists and DDT:
"It's the best thing in our arsenal," he says. "We have a prodigious supply, it's cheap and we know it works. Our world leaders need to legalize DDT, and people in America need to get mad about this. . . . We need to have people walking around with signs that say, 'DDT saves lives, environmentalists take lives.'"
Unfortunately, USAID isn't sold on the virtues of DDT:
"It is a fact that USAID is not encouraging Kenya to reintroduce DDT into its anti-malaria programmes. However, the agency does support efforts by Kenya to use the best, most cost-effective chemicals available, balancing public health and environmental concerns as it battles this killer disease."
Remember, there is no DDT ban, de facto or otherwise.


As noted earlier, in My Israel Question Antony Loewenstein uses his cousins, the Green family, as the primary example of Israelis' typically "bellicose views" on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He takes this one step further at his blog, describing Ronald Green as "anti-Palestinian, racist, anti-German and anti-Arab", as suffering a "sickness ", with a memory that is "woefully inaccurate". To round out the picture of his apparently close-to-insane cousin Loewenstein adds this:
Frankly, I suspect he hasn’t even read the book (and is a failed novelist himself.)
The irrelevant reference to Ronald Green as a failed novelist is nothing more than a gratuitous slam. Loewenstein should more than suspect that Ronald Green has not read the book; but more on that later. Right now let's take a look at Loewenstein's self-servingly unethical treatment of his cousins.

By Loewenstein’s admission Ronald Green is a friendly man who welcomed the aspiring author into his home. Unfortunately for Green, his kindness was repaid with betrayal.

Green was well aware that Loewenstein was at the time researching a book but was never told that his casual comments, many passed informally over the dining table, were “on the record.” Not only did Loewenstein not notify Green that his comments might be used in the book, at no time did he take notes or otherwise contemporaneously record conversations. The quotes in his book were reconstructed at some point after the fact. Their accuracy, compounded by the fact that they are offered out of context, is highly questionable. (Even had Loewenstein taken on-the-spot notes, the accuracy of his reporting would still be suspect – he can't sit in the audience taking notes and get two and three-word quotes right.)

So, what's Loewenstein up to here? If the reporting in his book is indicative, during last year's first ever visit to Israel Loewenstein spent almost all of his research time talking to those with anti-Israel views similar to his. To give the book an air of balance he included Ronald Green’s “vitriolic” and “violent” pro-Israel views. So much the better that Green is a cousin: it shows the perverse pro-Israel mindset, even within his own family, with which the noble Loewenstein is doing battle.

Loewenstein need not identify the Green family by name. He and his editor must have discussed the hurt to be caused. That Loewenstein can so cavalierly betray members of his own family, no matter how distant, is truly disgusting. This is hardly the conduct expected of a reputable and ethical journalist and author. It also reflects badly on the book’s editor and publisher but does add a dash of zest to an otherwise tedious read.

Finally, Loewenstein is well aware that Ronald Green has not read My Israel Question, Loewenstein having promised a copy that was never delivered.

Postscript: Information regarding Loewenstein’s stay with the Green family was provided by Ronald Green, who is very upset at having been ambushed. Regardless, Ronald Green’s behaviour has been gentlemanly throughout. He has made no attack on Loewenstein: he simply wants the facts known.

During his visit Loewenstein asked Ronald Green if would participate in an "on the record" interview. Green agreed but Loewenstein never followed through. The reconstructed quotes are apparently in lieu.

Update: A reader has asked Loewenstein if he informed Ronald Green his remarks were "on the record" but Loewenstein refuses to answer. His commenters are, however, on the offensive:
Don’t be stupid, the converstaion was being recorded by his relative, or didn’t you notice? It was his relative that reported on the conversation, not Anthony. The relative does not appear in the book at all. Stop with these ridiculous moronic arguments!
Moronic arguments, indeed.

Update II: While visiting Israel Loewenstein expressed the hope that his book would be a big hit internationally, enabling him to escape the Australian backwater. So it's true, he does hate Australia. I credit John Howard.

If he does get out, I hope he goes via Pakistan – a good old fashioned Robert Fisk-style beating might enlighten him. Then again, probably not.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Cetaceans – fish-like mammals for the dumb-arsed RWDBs who read this blog – aren't so smart after all.


As noted earlier, the French are big on talk but not much on action:
France led the diplomatic charge for the truce in Lebanon, calling for a cease-fire almost immediately. It played a central role in crafting the resolution that would send a UN force of about 15,000 to help the weak Lebanese army control the south and stop arms shipments to Hezbollah.

France, one UN official said, was supposed to be the backbone of the force, leading it and contributing significant numbers of troops.

But then came a splash of cold reality, a bracing reminder about why the words "France" and "backbone" rarely appear in the same sentence. On Thursday, after much diplomatic arm-twisting, France pledged a shockingly paltry 200 more troops, a doubling of its force there.

The inexplicable and inexcusable French retreat threw the military planning into disarray, endangering the fragile truce and discouraging other countries from contributing forces to a vital mission in the Middle East.

There's been plenty of knee-jerk French-bashing in this country since the debate over the Iraq war. Remember the "freedom fries" in the U.S. House cafeteria--a reflection of anger at France for its opposition to the Iraq war? Well, this isn't about fighting a war. It's about fighting for peace.

The French can't expect their diplomatic efforts to be taken seriously if they're not willing to back talk with commitment.
If you're on the same side as the French, you're on the wrong side.


Theodore Dalrymple on crime and the lack of punishment in Great Britain:
An unholy alliance between politicians and bureaucrats who want to keep prison costs to a minimum, and liberal intellectuals who pretend to see in crime a natural and understandable response to social injustice, which it would be a further injustice to punish, has engendered a prolonged and so far unfinished experiment in leniency that has debased the quality of life of millions of people, especially the poor.
As with everything written by Dalrymple it's a great read, so read it.


Journalist and author Antony Loewenstein responds very aggressively to his cousin Ronald Green's rather mild letter to the Australian Jewish News:
Green, on the other hand, is my cousin (which he doesn’t disclose in the letter). It’s an odd forum - in the Australian Jewish News of all places - to engage in a family slanging match, but perhaps it’s not surprising. I portray Green and his family in the book as anti-Palestinian, racist, anti-German and anti-Arab. It was painful to see one’s family, however distant, display such traits. Frankly, I suspect he hasn’t even read the book (and is a failed novelist himself.)

Ronnie Green is beset with this sickness [hatred of Arabs]. Within Israel, his attitude is sadly not uncommon. His recollections of my time with his family are woefully inaccurate, but then, he does accuse my book of containing “Jewish conspiracy theories.”
Loewenstein obviously subscribes to the notion that a good offence is the best defence. His commenters are right in there supporting the noble author against his nasty family:
Glenn Condell: It’s sad, but you must have been prepared for these sorts of reactions. They’re so tired and predictable you could almost have scripted them yourself.

Roonaldo: As Glenn said above, you have to be prepared for these kinds of reactions - even from people who are extended family members. It’s all part of the deep psychological trauma that comes with supporting a State that routinely abuses human rights and can only function through repressive military or police action against its neighbours or fellow citizens. Same abuse was suffered by those who lived in the southern US and supported the civil rights movement and those who lived in South Africa and opposed apartheid.

Andrew Worssam: Having read about Ant’s background in My Israel Question, I feel that I understand his journey (sorry to use that word!) and I can understand some of my Jewish friends a bit better too. I wish they would change, but I don’t hold out much hope...

Addamo_01: Behind the facade of intellectual and moral superiority resides their own deep seated rascism and extremism, that they keep well guarded, but which usually slips out inadvvertently with time.
Ronald Green is right though, Loewenstein does have accuracy problems.

It's interesting that Loewenstein describes his cousin as "anti-Palestinian, racist, anti-German and anti-Arab" when he is himself avowedly anti-American and anti-Israel – on page 29 of his books he speaks of his growing "antipathy towards Israel".


Journalist and author Antony Loewenstein attended the recent Big Ideas Forum hosted in Sydney by The Centre for Independent Studies. He summarised the event in a post at his blog titled Small minds unite – later slightly reworked and published by Crikey (no link available). Here's what Loewenstein had to say about Mark Steyn's presentation:
Steyn’s speech was peppered with jibes at Islam, Muslims and the West itself, but strangely devoid of any sense that he had actually spent time with any Muslims to form his prejudiced views. For him, Islam is the enemy within, a religion that is insidiously undermining Western “values” and must be challenged and stopped. Islam is the “ideology du jour”, he joked. Multiculturalism is “based on lies” and is a “suicide pact.” As he progressed, his so-called insights became more ludicrous but the aging audience lapped it up.

He lovingly recalled English imperialism and its attitude towards the natives. They at least realised that some cultures were superior to others, Steyn said. “Islam hates other cultures”, he offered, without a whiff of evidence for such a preposterous claim. Perhaps he should have added that some Jews hate Arabs, but of course, Jews are now the favoured people of the Right.

Steyn rambled on about the West destroying fascism and communism, “but it will be much more difficult to combat multiculturalism.” He then concluded his speech with this: “The Western blessings since 1945 must be maintained. The freedom’s we’ve enjoyed since then will not continue unless we fight for them.” His profound hatred of anything or anybody non-Western was revealed, and yet he wore this badge proudly. He had no problem with the West humiliating or exploiting other cultures for his pleasure because, after all, we all want to maintain our cosy lives since 1945.
Loewenstein has accuracy issues. "Based on lies," "suicide pact," "Islam hates other cultures" and “but it will be much more difficult to combat multiculturalism” do not appear in the CIS transcript. The "Western blessings since 1945" quote actually reads as follows:
We don’t understand that the world we’ve lived in since 1945 is very precious, very unusual, and very rare and is at odds with most of human history. And if we want our world to continue, if we want our children to grow up in the kind of society we’ve lived in this last half-century, then we have to understand the blessings we enjoy are not an accident. If we don’t value it, we won’t have it.
Loewenstein also gets it wrong in describing a question from the audience:
One question, from Sydney lawyer, commentator and Muslim Irfan Yusuf, asked Steyn how much he actually knew about Islam and whether he’d simply updated The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, such was his belief in a Muslim conspiracy to take over the West and destroy it from within.
Here's the actual question:
G’day. Um, I’m Australian and I also happen to be Muslim, and I’m second and third generation Muslim, and I just wanted to ask Mark Steyn this: In the event that what you’re saying is correct about all the second and third generation Muslims, that they’re all involved in this huge conspiracy to destroy Australia from within, and in the event that these people need to be expelled from the country, who would carry that out given that our immigration policy is the public servant who enforces that, and that is a gentleman by the name of Abul Rizvi who is a second or third generation Muslim, and who’s gonna finance that given that one of our largest banks, the National Australia Bank, the CEO (sic) is a second or third generation Muslim. Is it really a problem of Muslims or is the problem the fact that really what you’re talking about is or should be written in a book form and named ‘The Protocols of the Learned Mullahs of Tehran’?
It was Steyn, in his answer, who mentioned The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.

Journalist and author Loewenstein can't sit in the audience over a few hours, take notes and get it roughly correct. Jeez, just imagine the errors the guy would have made in speaking to lots of people over the course of several years spent researching My Israel Question. His next book is, by the way, about the problems of journalism. Hell, he could write a book about the problems with his "journalism".

Doesn't this reflect rather badly on Melbourne University Publishing?

Update: Last night while I was putting this post together I had a really big decision to make: should I continue typing or watch the footy on TV? The TV was on in the background and Port Adelaide was making a comeback so I decided to devote my full attention to the game. Well, son-of-a-bitch if Collingwood didn't pull out a last minute win, mostly due to a questionable mark and goal by Nathan Buckley. The mark was questionable because Buckley used his hands to get a boost off the shoulders of the Port Adelaide defender but Buckley being the big star that he is, the umpires didn't see it my way. Anyway, back to the Big Ideas Forum.

As mentioned above, Loewenstein has trouble accurately reflecting Steyn's presentation. Here's Loewenstein on Steyn:
He lovingly recalled English imperialism and its attitude towards the natives.
That's a rather simplistic misrepresentation of what Steyn actually said:
Two hundred years ago, in a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of Sati—that’s the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husband. General Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural. He said: ‘You say that it’s your custom to burn widows, very well. We also have a custom. When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their neck and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it my carpenters will build a gallows; you may follow your custom, then we will follow ours.’ As it happens, my wife’s uncle was named after General Napier which I guess makes me a British Imperialist by marriage. But India today is better off without Sati. And what’s so strange about the times we live in is that even to say that is to invite accusations of cultural supremacy. If you don’t agree that India is better off without Sati, if you think that’s just dead white-male-euro-centricism, fine, but I don’t think you really do believe that. Non-judgemental multiculturalism, cultural relativism, is an obvious fraud and I think it’s subliminally accepted on that basis.
Steyn's citing of cultural change forced by hanging is hardly a loving recollection. Perhaps Loewenstein subscribes to a non-interventionist policy that would see widows cremated alive with their dead husbands.

Back to Loewenstein:
Steyn’s speech was peppered with jibes at Islam, Muslims and the West itself, but strangely devoid of any sense that he had actually spent time with any Muslims to form his prejudiced views.
The word Islam appears in Steyn's presentation only twice with Muslim mentioned six times.

Here's a suggestion, read Loewenstein's post, compare what he wrote to what was actually said and then decide for yourself if the guy's a journalist, or nothing more than a partisan hack.

Update II: Loewenstein's accuracy problem is causing family strife.


But in this instance I'm behind them 100%:
Animal rights activists have described as "sick" a live art performance involving a naked woman cradling a dead pig for four hours.

"As Miss O'Reilly seems to depend on the shock of using a murdered pig as a prop, perhaps lacking the talent to make it as a proper artist, may we suggest she take up a day job instead to pay the bills."

Friday, August 18, 2006


The French have pretty much decided to surrender before their troops are even on the ground in Lebanon:
French president Jacques Chirac pledged in the UN on Thursday (17 August) to send 400 troops to the region after talks with UN secretary general Kofi Annan.

The offer, much less than the overall commitment of up to 5,000 troops that the UN had been hoping for - came after French daily Le Monde on the same day published an article saying that France only planned to send 200 soldiers.

France took the diplomatic lead in drafting a UN Security Council resolution on a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah but has become increasingly concerned about the exact rules of engagement for the troops.

According to Le Monde, Paris wants "guarantees" for its soldiers and is worried it will face reprisals from Iran and Syria - supporters of Hezbollah.
The French are so, well... French.


The following letter appears in the 18 August 2006 Australian Jewish News:

I was under no illusions that Antony Loewenstein’s book would turn out to be fair, or indeed accurate, after hosting him in Israel when he did his “research”.

I place the word in inverted commas, since it was all too apparent that Loewenstein was interested in hearing only what motivated his personal agenda.

A typical example was when he returned after a day out and announced that the people he spoke to had told him that Israelis made life very difficult. When I asked him who gave him this information, he told me that the people were “Arabs in East Jerusalem”.

On another occasion, when I asked him if he had seen a certain newspaper article, he told me that he “didn’t read the Jerusalem Post because it was too right-wing”!

I would have expected a “journalist” to at least look at differing opinions.

It was not just intellectual dishonesty that struck me, but an abysmal lack of knowledge about the history of the area. I was astounded that someone with so little knowledge about his subject would have the temerity to write a book, and even more so that a publisher would agree to lend its name to the finished work.

If the world needs another anti-Israel/anti-American diatribe replete with Jewish conspiracy theories, they have it in Loewenstein’s book. This particular book is even less accurate than the others.

It is not, of course, surprising that Robert Fisk endorsed Loewenstein’s book, but it does tell us what to expect of an author who hitches his star to the likes of Fisk and John Pilger. Perhaps that is the greatest service the book does: it thoroughly discredits the author from the word go.

Ronald Green
Ramat Hasharon, Israel
Ronald Green's letter is really quite mild considering the savaging the Green family – Loewenstein's cousins – gets from Loewenstein in My Israel Question. Here's Loewenstein's take on the Greens:
Ronnie and Lilly Green, both in their sixties, welcomed me into their home. Ronnie is a warm, gregarious man with a strong English accent. I told myself it would be best to avoid mentioning the conflict, but he knew I was researching a book. I offered the briefest of explanations of its likely content. 'Your book will have the wrong views', he told me. Over the coming two days, I experienced a barrage of Ronnie's vitriol. Some 'highlights' [edited for brevity]:
Germany is the devil. I've never been there and never will. And my children, luckily, share the same view.

You can't be pro-Palestinian without being anti-Israel. But you can be be Pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian.

I've never read in the Israeli press any incitement or hatred of Arabs. Never.

We should be harder on the Palestinians... Only force will make them understand.

The world hates Jews and hates Israel.

I don't care if the Palestinians are suffering. We must come first.

The checkpoints, the wall and bypass roads are all necessary...

I don't know of any Arab or Palestinian academic or protester or individual, except for a few, that don't hate Israel and Jews.
His passion was violent and astounding.
Loewenstein obviously found the Green family threatening:
Other members of the family were invited over for a Sabbath meal. Ronnie and Lilly's daughter, Danielle, was equally confrontational...

I was mildly reassured when Ronnie told me that, despite our disagreements, 'Blood is thicker than water. We're family'.
What does Loewenstein want his readers to think? Perhaps that he feared his cousins might roll a grenade under his bed as he slept?

In researching his book Loewestein spent over a month in Israel. During that time he met with a number of leftists whose views he features prominently. The Greens on the other hand are the only Zionists whose views get more than passing mention. He is exploiting his own family – who welcomed him into their home – in a shameless effort to score political points.

I'd also like to know if he took notes or recorded the conversations and if the Greens were made aware their comments were "on the record". Or, did he reconstruct the conversations after the fact?

Finally, what is it with Loewenstein and his dislike of the elderly? Could this have anything to do with the tendency of people to become more conservative as they get older?

Update: When posts get as long as this one Blogger gets pretty sluggish and even sometimes makes spotaneous formatting changes. I've therefore removed the update on Loewenstein's faulty take on the Big Ideas Forum that was here and posted it separately here.

Update II: Loewenstein's very nasty response to Ronald Green's letter is discussed here.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Probably the longest quote spoken to and taken down by Antony Loewenstein in My Israel Question is from a cousin who corners the "rebel" author in a public men's toilet [I am relieved to learn he uses the men's toilet - ed.] (page 36):
Your work is influential and read by many people and I just think you should think about what you're writing and the effect that it has. If there is trouble for your paents you'll know why. After all we've been through. You write well but your work is ignorant. I know many Jews and non-Jews who find your work appalling. It's discussed and that's what many people think.
"Influential", "read by many", and "you write well" are relative terms that might well be disputed by those outside Loewenstein's family. But a family member's opionion of Loewenstein and his work isn't what I find interesting: what I want to know is, how did Loewenstein capture this quote? Did he wear a "wire" to the family outing? Or did he perhaps scrawl verbatim notes on the wall above the urinal while taking a leak? Who cares, the incident just doesn't ring true.

True or not, this is the only notable example of dissent sifling abuse offered up by Loewenstein. Sure, he talks about the "hornet's nest" (page 32) he has descended into but he fails to offer up any significant examples of the attempted silencings he so often refers to on his blog. Loewenstein's a self-promoting cry baby.

Correction: I was incrrect to describe this as "probably the longest quote spoken to and taken down by Antony Loewenstein...". Probably the longest quote, also from a family member, is here.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Thoedore Dalrymple on irrational hatred:
Muslims are hardly the only ones, either in the past or the present, who experience difficulty in relinquishing their most cherished ideas and presuppositions. It is a normal human trait. (Darwin, in his Autobiography, tells us that when he came across a fact that threw some doubt upon the theory he was developing, he wrote it down, for otherwise he was sure to forget it.) But when a system of ideas and set beliefs claims eternal validity and infallibility, when people adopt that system as their primary source of identity, and when into the bargain those people find themselves in a position of long-standing and seemingly irreversible technical and economic inferiority and dependence vis-à-vis people with very different ideas and beliefs, resentment is certain to result. Not wishing to relinquish their cherished ideology—their only possible source of collective pride and accomplishment—they seek to explain the technical and economic superiority of others by different kinds of denigratory mental maneuvers. They may claim, for example, that the West has achieved its preeminence by illicit use of force and pillage, by exploiting and appropriating the oil of the Muslim lands, say.

The justice of a criticism does not depend upon the motive that lies behind it, of course. But the claim about the exploitation of oil is not merely self-serving; it is patently absurd. If anything, the direction of the exploitation has been precisely the opposite, for merely by virtue of their fortunate geographical location, and with scarcely any effort on their part, the people of the Arabian peninsula and elsewhere have enjoyed a high standard of living thanks entirely to the ingenuity of those whom they accuse of exploitation and without whom the oil resource would not be an economic resource at all.
You really should read the whole thing.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


The over-nourished now outnumber the under-nourished:
There are now more overweight people across the world than hungry ones, according to experts.
Lefties naturally want government to do something about this:
He said food prices could be used to manipulate people's diets and tilt them towards healthier options.
Gee, why not solve the problem by crediting pay packets straight into government accounts? Workers could then be given vouchers for the appropriate foods, cars, etc. It makes sense to me.


In his latest post lefty Australian academic Tim Lambert tries to knit together four topics he loves to write about: Andrew Bolt, sock-puppets, creationism and DDT. His effort is decidedly lame – here's the whole post so no one can accuse me of tricky editing:
I've stated before that folks who peddle the DDT ban myth tend to be those who don't believe in evolution and hence don't believe that mosquitoes can evolve resistance to DDT. One or two commenters felt that I was trying to tar those folks with the creationist brush.

Jonathan Sarfati was Andrew Bolt's source for his nonsense about bedbugs and DDT and also showed up in comments to accuse greens of banning DDT to "solve" the overpopulation problem. Jonathan Sarfati is a Young Earth Creationist. Using a sockpuppet named Socrates he wrote:
In some cases, insects required resistance, and naturally this was touted as "evolution in action" as though it proved evolution from goo to you via the zoo and refuted biblical creation. The resistance was already present. When DDT was applied, only the few resistant forms survived, with a severely genetically depleted population.
The Bolt link ultimately leads, via a prior Lambert post, to a Bolt blog post reading in whole:
Before World War II, bedbug infestations were common in the U.S., but they were virtually eradicated through improvements in hygiene and the widespread use of DDT in the 1940s and 1950s…

The National Pest Management Association, which represents many of the country’s pest control companies, says the number of bedbug reports have increased fivefold in four years.

(Thanks to Jonathan Sarfati)
Readers can draw their own conclusions as to what Bolt is implying. Sarfati is involved only as the referer: he is not Bolt's source. Lambert has misrepresented this in an effort to score points: Sarfati is, after all, a dreaded creationist.

Lambert then falsely accuses Sarfati of sock-puppetry. It is not sock-puppetry to post under a pseudonym, especially when the pseudonym is publicly acknowledged – at a link provided by Lambert:
Dr. Sarfati posts at TheologyWeb under the screen name "Socrates" with the habit of referring to himself in the third person.
Lambert's very fluid on the sock-puppetry issue: if a lefty uses a pseudonym it's Okay; if anyone other than a lefty does it, it's deception. This post is a classic example of Lambert misrepresentation.

Here's a thought, if Lambert wants to talk about DDT, he can go here and address the points raised by David Tribe (scroll down). Nah, when the going got tough he ran for it and isn't about to return.

One last thing, Lambert says those who support the notion of a DDT ban tend not to believe in evolution. Well, I'm an atheist evolution believer who thinks there has been a de facto DDT ban. The big headed fool can't get anything right.


Federal Labor MP Michael Danby is critical of Australian academics he sees as displaying anti-Israel bias:
Mr Danby said Dr Vincent was the only person he knew to join the prime minister's Muslim reference group in demanding that Hizbollah be delisted as a terrorist organisation.

He also said that Israel possibly murdered former PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

Mr Danby said Dr Saikal had last year accused Israel of using disproportionate force to contain terrorism, which included suicide bombing.

"I don't know how many people outside the august halls of academy at the ANU regard suicide bombing anywhere as other than terrorism," Mr Danby said.

Dr Saikal also said Iran had developed a sort of democracy that may not accord with western ideas but provided a degree of mass participation, political pluralism and assurances of certain human rights.
One of the left's finer minds opposes Danby's calling it like he sees it:
What he really wants, of course, is blindly pro-Western, pro-US and pro-Israel propaganda pumped into the classroom from dawn until dusk. Thankfully, many finer minds don’t share Danby’s ignorance of plurality. His concern for graduates is touching though his utopia, already occurring in the US, should be vigorously opposed.
Someone's dictionary must be broken.

Update: He of the "fine mind" is frightened of old, white men who speak out – the old bastards must be silenced!
The evening proved that many Western conservatives have a strong desire to replace one “evil” - communism - with a 21st century version. Enter Islam. Steyn and his fellow travellers speak eloquently about Western civilisation on the verge of collapse, but the kind of world they imagine is not one that I either recognise or want. Thankfully, his “vision” is likely to die with the Bush administration. Likewise the elderly types at last night’s event probably still fondly remember the White Australia policy. They’ll be dead soon enough.
Hey, let's turn the old fuckers into Soylent Green and feed the world's poor.

Monday, August 14, 2006


In the introduction to his book Antony Loewenstein states his intent:
My Israel Question reframes the Israel-Palestine conflict from a very personal perspective.
This simply means everything that follows is from a lefty perspective; anything that doesn't conform is either omitted or manipulated to suit.

The section of the book cryptically titled 2003: SBS in the gun is a good example. The focus is on the intimidatory effect on SBS of a 67 page AIJAC report alleging and documenting SBS bias. I'm far too lazy to type out long excerpts from the book but the gist is contained in the referenced Webdiary post – Closing down dissent, by AIJAC and SBS.

In the Webdiary post it's noted early on that AIJAC's report is 67 pages but this is omitted from the book and, unlike many other referenced online sources, no web address is provided. This leads me to believe Loewenstein has determined to conceal the long and detailed list of complaints in the report. In any event, AIJAC didn't exactly shout its allegations from the public rooftops. (No one I've asked about this has heard of the AIJAC report.)

In treating the AIJAC report Loewenstein notes that it contains several factual errors and even discusses two of them. It is therefore safe to assume that, factually, the report is overwhelmingly correct.

Loewenstein's problem with AIJAC in this instance is that it issued a report that might prompt SBS to reflect on its Middle East reporting. Now I'm not certain of this because I know next to nothing about SBS and AIJAC, but I bet AIJAC has a much smaller budget and staff than does SBS. In my mind this makes AIJAC the brave David challenging the much larger, and government funded, Goliath. How is dissent a bad thing?

In the end nothing much came of the AIJAC report with SBS doing much bobbing and weaving not mentioned by Loewenstein. As when SBS responded to questions from the Senate Estimates Committee:
Senator Santoro asked:

I understand that the SBS received a complaint about the following on SBS World News from February 19, 2001: Reporter Richard Mason said “America and Israel are going ahead with their provocative Patriot Missile tests.”

The complainant quite rightly pointed out that this was commentary and not news. The patriot is a defensive missile and it does not become objectively provocative because some people choose to allege that it is.

The complaint was summarily dismissed, why?


SBS is unable to identify the complainant and therefore the complaint in question from the AIJAC report “SBS-TV and the Middle East”, which the Senator’s office has advised is the source of this question.

Senator Santoro asked:

The SBS also summarily dismissed a complaint from February 20, 2001 in relation to this coverage: "Ariel Sharon’s rule has seen both sides lock horns in a spiralling war of attrition” even though the complainant pointed out Mr Sharon had not even taken office and decisions were being taken by the caretaker Prime Minister Mr Barak.

Why was this complaint dismissed?


SBS is unable to identify the complainant and therefore the complaint in question from the AIJAC report “SBS-TV and the Middle East” which the Senator’s office has advised is the source of this question.
That's dissent-stifling bureaucratic maneuvering if ever I've seen it but Loewenstein isn't about to attack SBS because it so consistently pitches the lefty line.

In the book Loewenstein is critical of SBS for giving in to the "intense" AIJAC pressure and then lying about it (page 196):
My SBS source also informed me that SBS management had placed on hold certain documentaries and current affairs segments on the Middle East question that were thought to be too sensitive. When I questioned SBS management about this, they said they were 'not aware of any programs being placed on hold'. But investigating further, I discovered that SBS management had several times rejected documentaries, films and current affairs programs that critiqued the actions of the Israeli government and military.
His reference for this is the same Webdiary post above.

If you click on the Webdiary link above and scroll to the bottom you'll find this note:
DISCLOSURE: SBS Dateline has been working on a story about dissenting Jews in Australia who speak out against the Occupation and the Sharon government. I am featured on this program. At the time of writing, this program has been placed on indefinite hold due to the perceived concerns and sensitivities of pro-Zionist groups.
I can certainly see how Loewenstein might be a bit upset with AIJAC for, you know, prompting SBS to reconsider promoting his attention seeking, fearless, dissenting Jew nonsense.

This brings me to today's my My Israel Question question: is it appropriate for someone with a conflict of interest to reference his own past writing citing information from unnamed sources?

As an aside, SBS might well have decided against showing three documentaries but it did air Jenin, Jenin, much to the chagrin of the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC). Here's Loewenstein's take on the ensuing kerfuffle (page 199):
The film told the story of the of the IDF invasion of the Palestinian town of Jenin in 2002 and claimed that excessive tactics [sic] were used and numerous citizens were murdered by the Israeli army. Robert Fisk told me in February 2005 that he hadn't called Jenin a massacre at the time, but given the information he now had, 'I should have'. Jenin, Jenin undoubtedly painted a disturbing picture of the Israeli invasion – though it did contain some errors, including a reference to a western wing of a hospital being shelled when the hospital did not have a western wing – and was the first film banned in Israel in 15 years. (The ban was later overturned by Israel's High Court.) Being controversial, however, was surely no reason for a film to be consored in Australia.
This is from the BBC report on the High Court overturning the ban:
Despite rejecting the ban, the court described Jenin, Jenin as a "propagandistic lie" which falsely accused Israeli soldiers of intentionally killing children, women, the disabled and the mentally ill.

Delivering the original Supreme Court ruling last November, Justice Dalia Dorner said: "The fact that the film includes lies is not enough to justify a ban."
Israel's High Court is not wrong to have doubts about the film:
A Palestinian filmmaker who produced a documentary alleging Israeli troops committed war crimes in a refugee camp admitted in a deposition last week to falsifying scenes, using inaccurate information and obtaining financing for the project from the Palestinian Authority, WorldNetDaily has learned.
When asked by the Senate Estimates Committee about airing Jenin, Jenin SBS responded:
In addition to the matter noted in 1 and 2 above, SBS advises it has since broadcast the documentary “Jenin – Massacring Truth” (on 10 May 2005) as a counterbalancing program. This program examines the widespread misreporting of the confrontation between the Israeli Army and Palestinian militants in Jenin. It looks at the misrepresentation by the media of events at Jenin. SBS notes that three formal complaints were received in relation to this documentary claiming it had shown insufficient balance. SBS considers that over time a range of perspectives has been presented on the subject.
If you're relying on Loewenstein as a source of information you're making a mistake.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I have been reading the "fearless" Antony Loewenstein's My Israel Question intending to eventually review it. This is not a full blown review; rather, it's a look at something interesting I believe deserves further exploration.

On getting the book one of the first things I did was take a look at the sources cited. With the notes section at the end of the book occupying pages 260-319, my immediate thought was: Wow, this guy has done his homework. As it turns out, quantity does not ensure quality.

While reading Loewenstein's take on the political influence wielded in Congress by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) I encountered a reference (page 128) to a report by Jeffrey Blankfort on "the unconditional support for Israel" offered by politicans in exchange for "large amounts of money... from Zionist sources". The note for this reads: Jeffrey Blankfort, 'Mirror, mirror on the wall, who says they love Israel most of all?', MELB Congressional Report, vol. 3, no. 4, summer/fall 1992.

MELB does not appear in the book's list of abbreviations. So, I went online to discover that MELB is the Middle East Labor Bulletin, the "official" publication of the apparently defunct Labor Committe of the Middle East, co-founded by Jeffrey Blankfort. The top result for a Google of "Labor committe of the Middle East" is a Counterpunch article by Blankfort on how capitol police treated Representative (and Jew) Tom Lantos and Representative (and African-American) Cynthia McKinney differently in similar circumstances. Naturally, Blankfort arrives at the appropriate lefty conclusions. The promo blurb at the end of the article describes Blankfort as a radio program producer for KPOO in SanFrancisco and a "pro-Palestinian human rights activist since 1970".

I never did find Blankfort's Congressional report but did find out enough about him to have serious doubts about him as a reputable source. Naturally, I also started to have my doubts about Loewenstein's judgement in deeming such a source appropriate. My doubts were soon confirmed.

On the very next page Loewenstein cites as "evidence of AIPAC's continuing influence... the case of Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney". According to Loewenstein:
Her pro-Palestinian line cost her her seat in 2002 after five consecutive terms (though she regained her Congress position in 2004).
Oddly, Loewenstein's reference is a Stephen Zunes Common Dreams article titled Don't Blame the Jews for Cynthia McKinney's Defeat. In the article Zunes downplays KcKinney's support for Palestinian rights as a factor in her defeat. Loewenstein's referencing had now gone beyond dubious to be outright weird, maybe even intentionally deceptive – had he decided to pad out his references to give his book a cachet it doesn't deserve?.

At the end of the section on McKinney is the weirdest of all:
Indeed, it is increasingly important to Zionist groups that they win over the leaders of the Latino and Black communities, and this priority is reflected in the consistent pro-Israeli votes of congressional delegations, despite the fact that these votes provide no benefit to their constituents.
Loewenstein's reference is to an article by Tom Tugend in The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles titled Israel Tourism Drive Focuses on Latinos:
The campaign is a key part of a program outlined by Daniela Aharoni, the recently arrived director of the Israel Government Tourist Office for the Western United States. With Hispanics/Latinos making up nearly half the population of Los Angeles County and one-third of the state, this demographic will be of ever-growing importance in the years to come.

“We have found that Latinos are free-spending tourists, with a strong religious interest in the Holy Land,” said Aharoni, sitting in her office with an expansive view of midtown Los Angeles.
“Tourism is absolutely vital to Israel and its economy,” she said. “For every additional 100,000 visitors, 4,000 new service jobs are created.”
The article mentions neither influence nor congressional voting records.

Granted I've covered only three references over two pages of the book but it does seem to me that a clear pattern of misrepresentation has emerged. This brings me to my "My Israel Question" question: How did a reputable publisher come to publish this book?

As an aside, Loewenstein notes that some Americans believe the power of the Zionist lobby is overstated, citing American Jew Mitchell Plitnick as the only example. He could have cited Chomsky as well, but for some reason failed to mention that one of his heroes – Loewenstein's dog is named Chomsky, I believe – thinks the power of the Israel lobby is grossly overstated.

Update: The latest on the fearless anti-Israel crusader is here.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Syed Soharwardy, of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and founder of Muslims Against Terrorism is unhappy with Bush referring to recently arrested terrorist suspects as "Islamist fascists". According to Soharwardy Bush and Co. are turning happy Muslims into malcontents:
"The reality is that the overwhelming majority of peaceful people see Mr. Bush and his neo-cons as the biggest fascists, terrorists and extremists," Soharwardy said in a statement that was further backed up in an interview.

The terrorists, along with Bush and his "neo-cons" including British Prime Minister Tony Blair are the root cause of terrorism, he said, adding that both of these "mafia-like organizations" should be condemned and brought to justice.

"It has been proven Mr. Bush and his neo-con mafia are responsible for producing more terrorists and more destruction," said Soharwardy, speaking on behalf of the Islamic council, which has 13 chapters across the country and represents 50,000 Muslims.

"The war against terrorism is a factory that is producing terrorists on a very large scale. Mr. Bush and the neo-cons are managing this factory," he added. "Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair are as much responsible as the terrorists for killing innocent civilians."
It's one big anti-Muslim conspiracy:
Also, Soharwardy said the United Kingdom terror plot is an effort to divert the world's attention from "the genocide in Lebanon" a reference to the ongoing war between terrorist group Hezbollah and Israel.
The IDF better get with the program if it's going to pull off a genocide.


"Ordinary British boys" is how those who know them describe the young British Muslims arrested on terrorism charges. Ordinary British boys they might have been but now they are men: the worry is that they're ordinary Muslim British men.


Apparently unable to kill enough Palestinian civilians using conventional munitions, the IDF is now using mysterious outlawed weaponry in Gaza:
The Palestinian ministry of health revealed on Monday that the Israeli army has used a new type of explosive in its offensive on the Gaza Strip. These explosives contain toxics and radioactive materials which burn and tear the victim's body from the inside and leave long term deformations.
This sort of thing has happened before.

Update: The horrible truth is revealed:
OK so the US is experimenting with DU (That’s DEPLETED uranium stoopid, no radiation dumbo? read my LIPS!) (Ignore them - the Ihatemuslims[-at-]MarkSteyn afficionados) and paying them to see what it does to little girls ovaries in the long term - ok , ok some die entirely but a percentage live, so this is SCIENCE. Nurenberg. What? Hahhahaa.. I spit on your face with Monty Python accent.
Mmmm, nuked ovaries.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


With the number of Antony Loewenstein posts I've written it's obvious I have this "thing" for the guy. So, what gives?

Before getting into my motivations a bit of background is in order. In the south Texas ethnic German enclave where I grew up in the 1950s Jews were, to say the least, rarely encountered. My paternal grandmother, a tough and outspoken woman, was of the "Hitler had the right idea" school of thought. My parents weren't nearly so bigoted but did subscribe to the Jews-are-money-hungry stereotype. As far as I know not one of my primary and high school classmates was Jewish. The same goes for the period I was at university. I did, however, get to know a Jew who turned out to be a very nice guy who just happened to be doing his basic military training at the same time as me. At the moment I can't think of a single Jew I know personally. I get neither assistance – financial or otherwise – nor encouragement from any Jews or Jewish groups.

I blog Loewenstein for the same reason I blog Tim Lambert: they're both attention seeking self-styled experts who more often than not write nonsense that begs to be challenged. Both of them ban me commenting at their sites so I can either ignore their drivel or post on it here.

In criticising the stuff they write I'm not suggesting their stuff shouldn't be read: on the contrary, I want as many people as possible to read them. No one with any sense will be persuaded.

Take a Loewenstein post from today as an example. He puts his impressive journalistic skills to full use in researching and then slamming foreign members of the IDF:
When a dual Australian national was recently killed in Lebanon fighting for the IDF, he was virtually hailed a hero by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer. While his death was tragic, he was fighting illegally in a sovereign nation. He had no right to be there.
Loewenstein probably knows no more about the soldier in question – Sydney man Assaf Namer – than I do but since he was a member of the baby-killing IDF Loewenstein assumes he can't be a hero. As for Downer hailing Namer, here's the whole of his comment in the linked article:
"He was in the last month of his national service, so it's particularly sad circumstances surrounding his death," Mr Downer said in Kuala Lumpur.
Did Loewenstein intentionally mischaracterize Downer's comment or is he incapable of reading a short news item and drawing appropriate conclusions? Who cares, either way he's got nothing to say that I need to hear. But I'm going to keep on reading his stuff; it's very entertaining. Oh yeah, buy Ant's book... and give it to someone you hate.

Update: David Marr speaking at My Israel Question's Sydney launch:
Lowenstein’s verdict – if I’ve got him right – is that the lobbyists of Australia are rougher than any in the world.
Yep, with Ant it's often impossible to tell exactly what he's on about. Marr also has something to say about those Jewish-only Israeli roads:
Antony has been pilloried over the last few weeks for referring to “Jewish roads” in the occupied territories. Well that’s what Jews call them too. And, sure, Israeli Arabs can use those roads as well. But this is just a barrage of flak to keep the public from the point that matters here: Israel is building roads across the occupied territories that Palestinians can’t use.
The fact may be wrong but Ant's still right. Ant is loath to admit he's wrong on this so he is now resorting to slippery language:
As a human being first and a Jew second, I can’t fully support an alleged democracy that occupies another’s land, builds roads specifically for Jewish settlers, erects roadblocks that prevents pregnant Palestinian women giving birth in local hospitals, allows settlers to destroy Palestinian olive groves without sanction and imposes apartheid-like restrictions on movement between towns and villages. I’ve seen much of this with my own eyes.
Loewenstein's trying to establish himself as a credible source but he isn't going to make it. Quantity is no substitute for quality.

Update II: His book is flying off the shelves so quickly a second printing is in order but Ant's begging for cash:
Independent journalism takes time and effort. It also requires money. Every now and then, I ask readers of this site and my work to consider whether they’d be able to contribute financially. Any donations would assist in the further running of my blog, book writing and freelance work.
Keeping himself outfitted in velour jackets can't be cheap.

Update III: Ant's also begging people to attend next week's Macquarie book launch:
Ignore the [August 11] RSVP date on the flyer above. If you missed the recent sell-out at Gleebooks in Sydney, this will be a wonderful opportunity to hear the book’s issues discussed.
People paid money to hear Loewenstein talk?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Would be West Australian school teacher Samuel Siddall has gotten himself into a bind by giving his girlfriend's toddler some "fun":
Siddall's lawyer Ronald Smith said Siddall would often give Mia "wizzies'', when he would hold her hands and spin her around.

Mr Smith said when Mia spilt some medicine on her top, he took her into the laundry to dry it.

"All of a sudden he had a thought: she likes wizzies, she would probably like a wizzy in the dryer,'' Mr Smith told the court.

"His only thought at that stage was to give the child a fun time.''
Siddall, who has no criminal record, had not acted out of anger or malice, Mr Smith said.

"He did not think of the ramifications, all he was going to do was give the child a wizzy,'' Mr Smith said.
So, what could possibly happen to child confined in a really hot, spinning, confined space?
Mia's mother, Marnie Jowett, who had left the toddler in Siddall's care while she visited a gym, returned home to find the toddler shaking with pain from burns to her hands, feet and back, and bruises to her face and spine.
Siddall initially told police he had no idea how the little girl was injured. Unfortunately, all too many universty students have "no idea".

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Self-styled Middle East expert Antony Loewenstein's twaddle seems to be everywhere of late. This has not stopped frequent Loewenstein blog commenter Glenn Condell claiming a Jew-led conspiracy to silence the fearless author:
Antony, I have just come back from a shopping expedition to Bondi, one of Australia’s foremost Jewish suburbs and I can tell you it appears to be an Ant-free zone. Tried Dymocks, A & R and (ugh) Borders. None had My Israel Question though some said they did have a few which they’ve sold. More on order of course, any day now it seems. Am I being tinhatted about this or is there scope for industry shenanigans? They’re probably just clueless but nothing would surprise me.
With Jews controlling the government, controlling the book stores is a snap.

Update: According to Loewenstein, high profile Jews are simultaneously all powerful (in controlling Australia's foreign policy) yet impotent (in failing to silence dissenting views):
Once again, the leadership of the Jewish community prove utterly irrelevant beyond their parochial little patch.
Go explore his archives; they're a hoot.

Update II: Here's Loewenstein on bullying by Australia's sinister Jews:
In Australia, the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) is the prime instigator of slander and intimidation against anyone who dares challenge the hawkish Zionist agenda in the US, Australia or Israel.
Thus, Loewenstein is one brave bloke for challenging this sinister cabal, right? Not according to Loewenstein:
Generally speaking, Zionist criticism is about as effective as being slapped across the head with a wet lettuce leaf.
Jeez, all that money and power and Australia's Jews can't even intimidate one guy. Pathetic.

Update III: A couple of weeks back on Lateline Loewenstein reiterated his claim of apartheid-like Jewish-only roads in Israel. When challenged on this by Ted Lapkin, who said there were indeed Israeli-only roads but no Jewish-only roads, Loewenstein refused to back down. Loewenstein recanted in a later article, however:
How are Australia’s interests served by the uncritical support for a state that builds roads only Israelis are allowed to use and which isolates Palestinians inside walls, military cordons and their own towns.
Way to fearlessly hold your position, Ant.

Update IV: Loewenstein's "moderate" public larvatus hasn't helped his book achieve stratospheric sales figures so he's trying to generate a bit of controversy at his blog by endorsing the views of George Galloway. You know, the view that Hezbollah are really nothing more than misunderstood freedom fighters tired of being bullied by mean old Israel:
George Galloway reveals some home truths about the Middle East to an unsuspecting Sky News audience.
The link is to Galloway's recent interview on Sky News in which he fields the trademark Galloway shouted-offence-is-the-best-form-of-defence rant.

It's in a later post, however, that Loewenstein stoops to a new attention seeking low in stating that Israel is using the Holocaust to justify the intentional killing of civilians:
Why does the Israeli air-force kill civilians?

It’s the Holocaust, stupid.
Here's an excerpt that puts the linked item in perspective – an Israeli air force colonel is being interviewed:
COLONEL A: I encourage my people to talk about their feelings, and we talk about the consequences of the thing that we... now, the case of Qana, for example, I personally. when I saw on the television, those photos of children and old people, I felt like it's hurting myself, like it's hurting... I immediately thought about my kids.

But I felt the same when I saw the guys from Haifa, and from... that were buried under the building two nights ago. We are often those civilians.

DAVID HARDAKER: Let me just ask, you've had to stop yourself there from almost crying. Why... is that what you have to do in real life?

COLONEL A: No, I don't know why you think that I had to stop myself from crying.

DAVID HARDAKER: Well, you certainly looked like it.

COLONEL A: Okay. No, we are professional pilots, okay? But we are human. I want to tell you something. My mother, she is a Holocaust survivor. She was born in Poland and she lost all her family in the Holocaust. She was a child.

So I understand my mission. And in other times in history, we didn't have military power to protect our people.

Now, Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad are saying, all over the world, that their purpose is to eliminate the state of Israel. This is their purpose.

So when your enemy has a purpose to eliminate your country, it's very clear to you that you are protecting first and foremost, your own people. This is your mission.
At least Ant got the title of the post right: Why we do what we do. To make sure history doesn't repeat.

Update V: Frequent commenter and Loewenstein defender Addamo_01 reacts to the notion Hezbollah has genocidal goals:
Genocidal goals? Where did you read that you moron? They are a resiatance movement who specialise in kicking IDF arse.
He also has an interesting take on the faked Reuters photographs coming out of Lebanon:
It is clear this whole storm in a tea cup is a plant, designed to discredit and censor the images comming out fo Lebanon that were ruining Israel’s image. The maniulatino of those pictures was so bad that it was almost begging to be picked up on.

Just a typical mossad type operation. Worked well. Now the IDF can do what it does best, do back to killing children and no one will be there to report it.
Like my dear departed Pappy always used to say, "Be careful who you hang out with; if you hang out with idiots, eveyone will think you're an idiot too". The older I get, the smarter that man was.