Sunday, June 30, 2013

Matt McCarten subverts Mandela for his own lies

How low can a person go?  Matt McCarten has no morals, and has shown that there are no depths that he will not plunge.

With Nelson Mandela gravely ill in hospital, McCarten chooses to exploit this to push his political agenda.  An agenda to villify an entire nation of people.

Nelson Mandela lies on his deathbed, rightly honoured for his sacrifice in fighting the evil of apartheid.
Unfortunately that doctrine still lingers - in Israel. It's a pity we in New Zealand were reminded of that in the week Mandela started to slip away.
Two events highlight the plight of the Palestinians. A Palestinian from Gaza, Mohammed Assaf, won the Arab Idol singing contest. He had trouble crossing borders and arrived late, but climbed a fence and convinced someone else to let him take their place. On news of his victory, jubilant crowds took to the streets throughout the Occupied Territories. Even fun-hating Hamas saluted him.
Assaf used his 15 minutes of fame by naming himself an international ambassador, calling for an end to the split between Hamas and the secularist Fatah Party. He also called for the end to Israel's occupation.
I suspect the Israelis feel deeply guilty about their abusive role and but just can't confront the reality that their treatment of the Palestinian people is similar to how their forbears were treated by others.
Israel resigns itself to blaming the victims and walling off the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and pretending they don't exist.
Mandela called it for what it is, a form of apartheid. How else would you describe a land of 11.5 million people where 6.5 million with a certain bloodline get full citizen privileges, the few Palestinians living within Israel's recognised borders live under separate laws, and the remaining millions banished to the Occupied Territories get no rights?
Well, for a start there is no apartheid in Israel.  No separate bus stations or bus stops for Arabs and Jews.  Jews aren't allowed in other Arab countries, but McCarten neglects to acknowledge this.

Suggesting Israelis have guilt?  For what, allowing their children to be murdered in the name of Allah?  He supports anti-semitism from extremists like Hamas.

And what a lie it is.  Here's a quote from Mandela himself:

"I cannot conceive of Israel withdrawing if Arab states do not recognize Israel, within secure borders."
He visited Israel, and even recognises the right of Israelis to live securely in their borders.  Again, McCarten chooses to subvert this for his own lies.

I just wonder if why New Zealand Herald continue to employ him.  They must be so desperate to sell papers that they can print this kind of unsubstantiate rubbish as 'opinion'.  Since the Press dumped John Minto, how long before they realise that this weekly rubbish actually drives paying customers away, and brings down the tone of the entire paper.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Review - Arafat In Therapy

Jeremie Bracka's one man show "Arafat in Therapy" was released last year, but he is now taking it on a return season, with a tour through Australia, New Zealand and Israel.  If, like me, you missed it the first time, this is a great opportunity to catch up.  This is Jeremie's third one man play, his two previous being "Lox, Shmocks and Two Smoking Salmons" (2005-06), and "Enough about me... Let's talk about Jew" (2007-08).

Unlike the suggestion of the title, this is not a fictitious story about Arafat, but actually the story of Jeremie himself.  Jeremie is a Jewish boy that grew up in Caulfield that worked for Israel's Permanent Mission to the United Nations, and as a project manager for Ambassador Uri Tavir (Israel's Chief negotiator at Oslo).  As part of the experience he witnesses that the Israeli and Palestinian peoples are "joined at the hip", but unable to even talk to each other without fighting.  He has a dream that Arafat, and later Shimon Peres are in "couples counselling".

Any viewers expecting this to be a totally one-sided lampooning of political views will be disappointed.  Nobody is safe from Jeremie's sharp wit and brilliant imitations.  He starts with his own family - his Polish Mother and Jewish Egyptian Father, and then branches out to his aunts and uncles.  This generated a lot of empathy with the audience at our performance in Melbourne many of whom related quite easily to these characters.  He then turned on his Grade two teacher, Mora Tzipi "It is because of you not dancing the Hora that I can tell that you hate Israel", El Al and their uninterested security staff, and then his employer Tavir.  Along the way he tells how rebellious it was that a Jewish Boy from Mt Scopus "rebelled" by going to Morocco for three months to study Arabic.  Here we here he's never been to Melbourne's Western Suburbs, let along the West Bank, and that to him, Doncaster (a Jewish community in Melbourne's North) are the settlements.

Whilst working for Tavir, he needs to visit two people in the West Bank weekly, and Arab and a Jew.  He impersonates both in turn, and can't help notice that instead of just talking to him, its like they are talking to each other.  They both have more in common with each other than they realise.

During the play, there is a video interlude, which shows a "news" segment, with all characters on screen played by Jeremie.  Here he gives some hilarious lampooning of Shimon Peres and Saeb Erekat being interviewed by a news reporter.  There is also a brilliant segment "Socialites without Borders", where a South African lady runs a "humanitarian organisation" for Palestinians.  "I Coorn't bolieve it, the Israelis stopped me at the border and were so rough.  I mean, they asked me if I packed my own bags.  I WOULD NEVER pack my own bags!".

He then continues with the live performance, and this time lampoons the UN.  The Ghanan delegation want to insert an anti-Israel clause into a completely unrelated resolution, and we get to see how crazy the inner workings of the UN are, with lampoons of delegations from around the world, including Ireland, Italy, Russia, Japan, and the delegations of Canada, Australia and New Zealand (CANZ), which hilariously Tavir can't pronounce.

It then returns to the West Bank, where a Suicide Bomber has blown himself up, and everything changes.

This is a brilliant play.  Not everybody will relate to all the characters, especially the Melbourne representation, but anybody will easily understand the messages and jokes Jeremie is putting across.  Nothing is sacred and no stone is left unturned.  Highly Recommended!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Second Man found guilty of Auckland Grave desecrations

A second man has been found guilty in court of the Jewish grave desecrations in Auckland

Christian Landmark, 20, was charged with being a party to intentional damage after it was discovered the gravestones in a central Auckland cemetery were defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas in october last year.

The graffiti included "f*** Israel" and "don't f*** with us".

In a police interview played at his trial in Auckland District Court, Landmark initially told Detective Sergeant Phillip Cox he had been shown a photo of the graffiti by a friend but said he didn't know anything about the man responsible except that his name was "Rob".

But after Mr Cox said police had spoken to a friend of Landmark's, he suddenly came clean.

"Ok, I think we should restart the interview. It wasn't me who did it. I was there at the time, I was absolutely drunk at the time, out of my mind with Rob."
He said he thought the graffiti was "stupid"and he was not anti-Semitic.
This is interesting - some of the graves were marked with "88".  I actually did not know this was a reference to "Heil Hitler".  Landmark must have had a lot more involvement with Neo Nazis than he is letting on.

"I would have told you everything but I felt bad for him but, man, I've had a s**tty day."

Landmark admitted being at the graveyard but said it was Rob who did the tagging.

"I didn't realise the severity of his views until he went and did that."

Earlier the court heard from Rob, whose full name is Robert Moulden.
We also know that Moulden gave evidence against his 'friend'.  Moulden was offered support by the Jewish community in a form of Restorative Justice.

He said he and Landmark had been drinking at their inner-city hostel when they decided to go out tagging.

Moulden told the court there was no plan to tag the Jewish gravestones but that's where they ended up.

"I'd say it was Chris' idea but it was probably 50/50."
That's the most lame way to try and absolve guilt.
He said they took turns spray-painting the graves and at one point Landmark took pictures.

But under cross-examination from Landmark's lawyer Tudor Clee, he confirmed that Landmark did not suggest spray-painting swastikas.

"I think in the graveyard where me and Chris were - a Jewish graveyard - a swastika was the first thing that came to mind in terms of being offensive ... I'm pretty sure he was thinking the same thing."

Mr Clee also took him through a number of text messages sent between the pair on the days following the graffiti attack.

In one of the messages, Moulden texted Landmark telling him: "awesome derailment of all the s**t you call 'fascist fantasy bulls**t'."

Moulden agreed that his message implied Landmark did not believe in fascism but did not recall sending the message and could not be sure what he meant.

Mr Clee also asked about a text message Moulden sent to Landmark after Landmark tried to sell photos of the graffiti to the media.
Taking pictures and then forwarding or trying to sell them??  These guys are clearly not rocket scientists.
Moulden texted him saying: "How dare you hijack my s**t for money".

Mr Clee pointed out that Moulden was claiming ownership for the attack.

But Moulden said he was referring to his identity.

"... It would have clearly endangered me and I would've been in trouble."
Lets hope this ends another nasty saga.  And lets hope it never happens again

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Some simplified graphics for a simplified argument

The BDS people love to through around the word "apartheid".  It's easy.  A one word demonisation which is based upon a system from South Africa where whites and blacks had to sit on different seats on buses and go to different beaches.

Well here both an Israeli Arab and a South African minister explain for us.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Metiria Turei shows how to complain against racist cartoons

In her recent Frogblog post, Metiria Turei has showed us exactly how we can complain over racist cartoons.

This is my complaint to the Human Rights Commissioner. I emailed it to the HRC at 12.26pm and received an acknowledgement at 2.26pm. I’m not sure what information the HR Commissioner was using when she said her office had received no complaints by 1pm, especially as the Mana Party had also complained and received acknowledgement of it before that time. I’m also unclear as to how she can make a determination that the complaints are without substance without first reading them, giving consideration to the content of the complaints and considering the applicable law.
Bloody dismal, frankly
Dame Susan Devoy
Human Rights Commission
P O Box 6751
Wellesley Street
Auckland 1141
30 May 2013
Tēnā koe, Dame Susan
We respectfully request the Human Rights Office to address the publication of two cartoons appearing in both the Marlborough Express and The Christchurch Press today.
The cartoons concern the Government’s recently announced Food in Schools programme.
Specifically the cartoons depict a Polynesian family using the breakfast in schools programme as a method to save money for cigarettes, alcohol and gambling. I believe this cartoon may infringe the Human Rights Act, specifically section 61 which makes it unlawful to publish material which is threatening, abusive or insulting and likely to incite hostility against a group of people on the grounds of their colour, race or ethnicity.
I strongly believe in a free and independent press, whose critique of government policy is crucial to our democracy but that freedom comes with a responsibility not to incite hatred against people, let alone breach the law.
I believe that this public attack on families in need will incite hostility against New Zealand children, growing up in poverty and who will benefit from the Breakfast at School programme. It encourages the public to view them and their families, particularly Maori and Pasifika families, in a derogatory frame. This is harmful, irresponsible and unlawful.
We understand that under the Bill of Rights, offensiveness of a race related comment is not sufficient on its own to constitute an offence. Our understanding is that the comment must also be a probable cause of ethnic hostility or contempt. We believe this to be the case in this instance.
In March this year the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination welcomed the government’s recognition that structural discrimination is partly responsible for the persistent poor outcomes that the members of the Maori and Pasifika communities experience in the fields of employment, health and the administration of criminal justice.
The Committee recommended that the government intensify its efforts to improve the outcomes of the Maori and Pasifika in the fields of employment, health and in the administration of criminal justice by, among other things, addressing the existing structural discrimination.
This type of publication encourages the underlying racial prejudice that can drive structural discrimination.
Given the public interest in this matter we would appreciate a response at your earliest convenience
Yours sincerely
Metiria Tūrei
Green Party Co-leader

Now, I actually agree with Metiria here.  As some may know, I actually grew up with Metiria, she visited our house on many occasions as she was friends with my sister.

I also have the following three cartoons I would like to complain about that have been published in New Zealand newspapers from Malcolm Evans, Tom Scott and Hodgson.

I will lodge a complaint, and see if I too get a response.