Thursday, May 31, 2012

A minutes silence for victims of Munich

The Olympic committee are refusing to have a minutes silence for victims of the 1972 Olympic atrocity at Munich.  It is 40 years since innocent victims were murdered by Palestinian Terrorists.

A petition exists to protest the decision by the IOC

In Australia, it has been signed by both sides of parliament, including Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition leader Tony Abbot.

I urge everybody to sign this petition.

Palestinian "history"

This image shows clearly the whitewash of Jewish history in the Middle east

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Keith Locke wins Human Rights Defender award

Former Green MP Keith Locke has won a Human Rights defender award

Its great that former Keith has been recognised for his work, notably for the Syrian rights in Arab Spring.  It should be noted though that Keith is an avid defender of the Human rights only of those that he aligns to politically.  We don't see him aligning too much against his colleagues Hamas!

Haaretz on "Nakba Day"

An excellent article appeared in Haaretz - Moshe Arens on Nakba Day
So what is the Palestinian Nakba all about? Those who promote the commemoration of the "Palestinian catastrophe" have chosen May 15 - the day in 1948 on which the Arab armies invaded Palestine in order to destroy the infant Jewish state - as Nakba Day. The Arabs intended to destroy the Jewish community in Palestine, were confident that they were going to win, but in the end lost the war. That is the origin of the Palestinian catastrophe, a catastrophe the Arabs brought upon themselves.
 Puts it into perspective a little.  Although it doesn't ask too many questions on why the Palestinian refugees are the only refugees under the UN who are allowed to accept citizenship in other countries, and have no formal absorption programs.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

John Cleese appearing in Israeli film

British Actor John Cleese is to appear in a film by Israeli Writer-director Reshef Levy.  I must say, it looks really interesting and a lot of fun!

The film, written by Levy, follows Jonathan, a 12-year-old boy whose life is turned upside down after his father dies in an accident at a bank he works for. After the bank refuses to take responsibility for the accident, Jonathan decides to rob the bank with the help of three senior citizens.
This is also quite ironic when considered in relation to one of my previous posts.  Miriam Margoyles (currently touring New Zealand) called Monty Python "anti semitic".  Ms Margoyles (herself Jewish) advocates a boycott of Israeli Artists.

I would conclude that in fact, Ms Margoyles is more antisemitic that John Cleese or Monty Python!

Iranian executed for "spying" for Mossad

An Iranian was executed this week for "spying" for the Mossad.  All claims seem very dodgy, at the least.

Next time someone posts yet another petition or protest about Mordechai Vanunu, ask why this goes unanswered by the Western Human Rights campaigners.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What does it take to change your stripes?

I went to see the Melbourne Rebels play the Crusaders on Saturday night.  I again sat with the Rebel Army, and had a great time.  Its really enjoyable cheering for your home team, even if neither you nor the players grew up in the City.

There was a young guy (maybe early 20s) proudly wearing a Crusaders jumper, also sitting with the Rebel Army.  He was getting a hard time, but to his credit came up and congratulated the army after the game.  I asked him if he lived in Melbourne and he said he did.  Then I asked him why he didn't cheer for his 'home' side.  His answer was "You never change your colours.".  I asked him to look around at the motley bunch of expat NZers, South Africans, British people - some who had been waiting for decades for Rugby to come to Melbourne.  "Don't you realise that all of these people have changed their colours?  And we're all part of something here, come join us".  He thought about this a little more, and repeated again "Nope, I went through the earthquake last year, I'm Red and Black through and through.  You never change your colours."

This got me thinking.  So what does it take to change your colours?  I've supported the Hurricanes for 15 years, but only because my province, Manawatu, is part of the Wellington region.  This year when the Hurricanes dropped Manawatu's star All Black, Aaron Cruden I've actually swapped to the Chiefs.  But there's something about the Melbourne team, as I've said before. It's well organised, and a great venue, its something to belong to.  Plus, its nice to barrack for the underdogs, especially when they play so well at home.

This got me thinking about other types of teams that people support.  What about Politics?  A famous quote suggests we change in our 20s: "A man who is not a socialist at 20 has no heart;  If he is still a socialist at 30 he has no brain".  I know that I certainly changed my vote between these ages.  I once challenged a good friend of mine about Labour's policies in NZ.  He agreed with me, but essentially conceded, "They're my team, I stick with them".

When governments change, inevitably it is not just the swinging voters that decide the election, it is usually a core shift amongst people that have previously followed a pattern.  How often do you hear such stories as "My Dad voted x for 50 years, but this time he changed".  At what point, does a voter consider a political party to be their team.  Given that there are many instances of Politicians and staff defecting or setting up new parties, I would suggest that some voters more loyalty to the party than party members themselves.

I also wonder at what point does a person's region or country of origin also define their "team".  When new immigrants or refugees arrive to a country, there is a general expectation that they will "join up" - adopt the culture and customs of that country and become "Kiwis" or "Aussies".  In comparison to the Crusaders supporter above, it seems we place a double standard on those that join us, to ourselves when we migrate.   

There are many ways that people or organisations attempt to influence culture to - advertising, media and the Internet are the obvious examples.  There are many thousands employed to argue, persuade and coerce.  The power of social influence has been enhavced by Technology.  I would suggest that the process of assimilation (or changing teams to suit one's environment) is often a slow process which follows social gravitation to people within the new location. 

The world is now littered with expat New Zealanders, and New Zealand has become a home for people from around the world.  It would be interesting to measure how long it takes for New Zealanders to assimilate once they leave the shores. 

So, ask yourself, at what point would you change your team in your current setting?  Can you honestly say that you held the same political views now as 20 years ago, or that you won't change in 20 years?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nazi snapped at last night's nakba rally

Ross "The Skull" May

Well-known Australian Nazi, Ross “The Skull” May, joined with fellow demonstrators last night in chanting “In our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinians”.

In the photo below taken last night, May is the bald man wearing the checked green shirt. He is marching next to and behind yellow Hezbollah flags. Hezbollah’s External Security Organisation is a prescribed terrorist organisation under Australia’s Criminal Code (Cth).

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How anti-zionism seduced the intellectual left

A great article by Leslie Stein has been published in Quadrant - how anti-zionism seduced the intellectual left.

It would be foolhardy to think of anti-Zionism as being a distinctly Jewish problem. In essence it is employed as a strategic means of combatting western civilization. As it gathers pace it enhances sympathy and support for Hamas, Hezbollah and other Islamists, all sworn enemies of open, democratic and tolerant societies. For some years past university campuses have become bastions of prejudice and intolerance where it is not unusual for pro-Israeli speakers to be threatened with violence. By fostering a mindset amenable to fanaticism and self-righteousness anti-Zionism gives rise to a general lowering of the tone of public discourse. That alone renders it harmful to society as a whole.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Disgusting Hodgson Cartoon

Dom Post has published a disgusting cartoon to try to support a political position.

This is really sick.  

A few years ago, I actually was in contact with a childhood survivor who was part of one of Mengele's programs. Out of 1000 teenagers, she was the only to survive. It is unimaginable the horrors she faced, and it is disgusting to make such a mockery of it here.  The use of such imagery for cheap political points scoring, whichever side of politics is both cheap and offensive. If someone wishes to make a political argument, then cheap, inappropriate comparisons are not the way to do it

Al Qaeda looks for a nicer terrorism

Al Qaeda is looking for a nicer terrorism

The article encourages jihadis to practise terrorism in “his land” rather than incurring the cost and hardship of travelling, migrating, or moving to where “direct jihad” is possible. It lists politicians, media personalities and television centres as top targets. Economic targets included stock exchanges, airports, harbours, roads, power and gas installations, military bases and barracks, especially American bases in Europe and centralised computer centres. Other targets were where “Jews gather”, but avoiding synagogues, and offices of institutions such as NATO and the European Union.
It's a nicer terrorism that asks you to kill Jews away from their houses of worship.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

New Zealand month in Israel

Following on Bill Shorten's visit to Israel last week, heralding closer econmic ties between Israel and Australia, now its New Zealand's turn.

As well as Murray McCully's meeting with Netanyahu, Bob Parker attended the International Conference of Mayors.  He gave this interview to Haaretz.

Later this month the Prime Minister's chief scientist Sir Peter Gluckman is lecturing at the University of Tel Aviv and Pharmac's acting chief executive Steffan Crausaz is speaking at an international conference on bio-medicine in Israel.
The New Zealand-Israel Parliamentary friendship group will next week leave for a four-day visit of Israel.
Chaired by National MP Paul Hutchison, the cross-party group also features Labour MP Phil Goff, Greens MP Kennedy Graham and National MPs Jackie Dean and John Hayes.

What is most interesting to me is the Parliamentary "Friends of Israel".  Phil Goff's inclusion is puzzling.  he attended Yom Haatzmut celebrations, yet he also visited Arafat, and has made many strange comments in the (recent) past.

And how about Kennedy Graham?  One one hand, it is interesting and heartening to see that he views himself as a friend of Israel.  However, many in his party have stated such extremist views such that Israel should not exist, and that Netanyahu is a monster.  It really isn't clear where Dr Graham stands, but at least publicly he is involving himself in this junket fact finding mission of friendship.
One thing that we can be sure of is that at least Dr. Graham will write a report on Frogblog.  I look forward to that.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Christchurch Coffee Company - a clash of symbols

A Christchurch Coffee Company has caused some confusion - it's logo is almost identical to that of the Orthodox Union's symbol of Kashrut.

The "OU" Symbol is almost universally sought by Kosher travellers as a sign that food is produced to the standards of Kashrut.  But make no mistake, this is not a religious symbol, this is the symbol of a business. 

I feel some sympathy to the coffee company.  The Jewish community is virtually non-existent in Christchurch, and they probably had no idea that this was a registered trademark.  But ignorance is not really a defence - imagine if they used the Golden Arches, for example.

I'm sure that common sense can prevail, and Underground Coffee could modify their logo - perhaps to add Serif marks, or a "G" that makes it different enough to be easily distinguished.

More information listed here at Fairfax.  It's clear that damages are not being sought, but OU is a worldwide trademark.  If Underground started producing Coffee for supermarkets, or exporting, then this could be a major headache for consumers.