Tag: hypocrisy

How to Chill Free Speech: Defamation Down Under – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Not fit for office

In the public domain, individuals who had known a thing or two about the spiritual and physical torment of rape expressed their puzzlement over Dutton’s response. Higgins, who is seeking redress for her own suffering in this matter, found the minister’s legal response to Bazzi “baffling”. “I’ve been offended plenty.” Despite that, it still afforded “people … the right to engage in public debate and assert their opinion.” The whole case was a “shocking indictment on free speech.”

In finding for Dutton in November, Justice White ruled that the tweet had been defamatory, and that Bazzi could not resort to the defence of honest opinion. With classic, skewering casuistry, the judge found that “Bazzi may have used the word ‘apologist’ without an understanding of the meaning he was, in fact conveying.” If this had been the case, “it would follow that he did not hold the opinion actually conveyed by the words.” Let it be known: if you do no not understand the meaning of certain words, you can have no opinions about them.

Despite his eagerness to seek damages for all grounds, Dutton was only successful on one of the four pleaded imputations. Claims for aggravated damages and an injunction targeting Bazzi’s comments, were rejected. The Defence Minister’s appetite for pursuing Bazzi for his full legal bill also troubled Justice White, who had repeatedly urged the parties to reach a settlement. Why had Dutton not sued in a lower court, he asked? The reason, claimed Dutton’s barrister Hamish Clift this month, was because his client was a prominent figure requiring a prominent stage to protect his prominent reputation. “It would not be appropriate for the court,” retorted White, “to exercise their discretion more favourably to Dutton simply because of the important public and national office of which he holds.”



Source: How to Chill Free Speech: Defamation Down Under – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Suddenly, Tucker Carlson Wants Media Accountability | Crooks and Liars

Suddenly, Tucker Carlson Wants Media Accountability

19-year-old crosses State lines with a loaded weapon to attend a demonstration “without intent” and shoots 3 people in his way. No, 3 people jump in the way of his bullets. Fox News demand that he be regarded as the innocent victim.

America seems to have lost its 4th estate and with it its freedoms. When it allowed the capitalist consolidation of its media into so few corporate hands with no real Independent Public Broadcaster it became a cash for comment society.

Murdoch fled Australia for the UK because we were too small for his ambitions and he was already the dominant player of the 70s. He fled the UK in the 80s, having done the Alan Bond ” I’m too sick to old” routine and escaped jail. The UK rules were too stringent and he’d  crossed the line.

So he settled for the capitalist dream and “anything-goes” freedom of America” without giving up either the UK or Aus. America offered him the ability to apply his business growth model to become the dominant influencer in the Anglo cash-for comment global market while pretending to offer news. Murdoch single handedly polluted the grand experiment in Democracy that had started 400 years before called the USA. Capitalism was his tool he didn’t invent it but he sure as hell accellerated it with his buy into cable technology, entertainment, sport, news and cash for comment. Murdoch went even a step further and globalised it through Anglosphere turning comment in the guise of news into the biggest PR bemoth.

Now, because a white 19-year-old is waiting to see if he’s convicted of murder, Carlson is calling for media accountability to tell the truth. Watching this segment one has to wonder if he killed irony. He’s certainly killed fact-based journalism.

Source: Suddenly, Tucker Carlson Wants Media Accountability | Crooks and Liars

Fox News attacks Sesame Street for promoting vaccines — while the network practices vaccine mandates internally | Media Matters for America

screen grab

Fox News has joined the right-wing attack against Sesame Street over a TV special that ran Saturday morning on CNN to help answer kids and parents’ questions about getting vaccinated against COVID-19, which the CDC now recommends for children aged 5-11. Fox’s attacks have just served to highlight the network’s own ongoing hypocrisy — practicing safe pandemic policies internally while urging its audience to resist those measures as part of a destructive culture war.

Source: Fox News attacks Sesame Street for promoting vaccines — while the network practices vaccine mandates internally | Media Matters for America

Hypocrites At Fox News Implement Vaccine Passport For Employees | Crooks and Liars

Hypocrites At Fox News Implement Vaccine Passport For Employees

According to CNN, Fox’s email to employees said, “providing this information to FOX will assist the company with space planning and contact tracing.” Not only that, the process has been given the name “Fox Clear Pass,” and provides the following incentive for complying: “You no longer are required to complete your daily health screening through WorkCare/WorkMatters.” Waitaminute, that’s not a…not…a VACCINE PASSPORT, IS IT???

Source: Hypocrites At Fox News Implement Vaccine Passport For Employees | Crooks and Liars

McConnell Has No Trouble With Corporate Speech—as Long as It Takes the Form of Bribery


The corporate interests that objected to Georgia’s assault on voting rights had, of course, read the bill. They had also read the political tea leaves. They knew that it made sense to join with civil rights campaigners, democracy defenders, and everyone else who has recognized the Republican legislation as a “new Jim Crow” assault on the franchise that seeks to make it harder for people of color to cast ballots.

As is so often the case with McConnell, it was necessary this week to read around the doublespeak in order to get to his actual point: The minority leader has a problem with CEOs who openly and publicly object to the enactment of noxious legislation in Georgia.

Source: McConnell Has No Trouble With Corporate Speech—as Long as It Takes the Form of Bribery

Rupert Murdoch Gets Early Vaccine, Still Runs Anti-Vax Programming | Crooks and Liars

Rupert Murdoch Gets Early Vaccine, Still Runs Anti-Vax Programming

On December 18th, before nearly anyone else was eligible, billionaire Murdoch got his COVID shots. Now he rakes in the Billionaire Bucks from Fox News suckers who watch their top stars discourage vaccination.

Rupert Murdoch Gets Early Vaccine, Still Runs Anti-Vax Programming | Crooks and Liars

Boycotts are legitimate tools of protest against injustice | The Electronic Intifada

Neck-down silhouette of a person walking with a sign

Economic boycotts have been a common and effective means of protest in the US in the past century, and Americans rightly saw it as a civil and democratic way to exert non-violent pressure to effect political change.

Boycotts are legitimate tools of protest against injustice | The Electronic Intifada

A 12-month timeline of Tucker Carlson’s unhinged COVID-19 coverage | Media Matters for America

Tucker Carlson on COVID vaccine: “How are the rest of us supposed to respond to a marketing campaign like this? Well, nervously”
Meanwhile Rupert Murdoch was of America’s first to be jabbed

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Fox News has been a major source of COVID-19 misinformation and conspiracy theories — but none of the network’s personalities have attained the same level of consistency and recklessness in their coverage as prime-time host Tucker Carlson.

A 12-month timeline of Tucker Carlson’s unhinged COVID-19 coverage | Media Matters for America

The Public, the Personal, and the Utter Hypocrisy of the GOP | The Smirking Chimp

Trump and many Republicans insist that the decisions whether to wear a mask, go to a bar or gym, or work or attend school during a pandemic should be personal. Government should play no role. Yet they also insist that what a woman does with her own body or whether same-sex couples can marry should be decided by government.

The Public, the Personal, and the Utter Hypocrisy of the GOP | The Smirking Chimp

Branch stacking scandals highlight the media’s double standards

Australia is a nation of double standards. It should come as no surprise to see our politicians and our media brazenly wearing them like badges of honour. As a country, we criticise China at every available opportunity for any whiff of foreign interference, though we turn a blind eye to blatant interference coming from Israel. As many on the right say: “China has a woeful record on human rights”, as if Palestine didn’t exist. The media talked up “historic” peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. People hear the words “Middle East peace deal” and think of Israel and Palestine, yet the media have neglected to sufficiently inform the public that this dud deal that is already in jeopardy. It has not brought about peace, in fact, Gaza has seen Israel bomb their men, women and children every night for two weeks.

Branch stacking scandals highlight the media’s double standards

The hypocrisy of Israel’s alliance with the Kurds | +972 Magazine

Some 200 Israelis march from the Turkish embassy to the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, on October 15, 2019, in support of the Kurdish militants and against Turkey's incursion into Syria. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Israel’s solidarity with the Kurds is duplicitous, not only because it also arms one of the Kurdish people’s biggest oppressors, but also because it supports their independence while denying millions of Palestinians that same right.

via The hypocrisy of Israel’s alliance with the Kurds | +972 Magazine

Ita, Tim Wilson, Peter Dutton And The Water Boy… – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Anyway, I couldn’t help but feel that there was a little bit of inconsistency being shown here. I don’t just mean because Dutton is suggesting that we should be arresting our own protestors, while Wilson is disrupting traffic in another country. I’m talking about our position on China.

via Ita, Tim Wilson, Peter Dutton And The Water Boy… – » The Australian Independent Media Network

We refuse to be a ‘normal country’ if it means US-style bombings & invasions, Moscow tells Pentagon — RT World News

We refuse to be a ‘normal country’ if it means US-style bombings & invasions, Moscow tells Pentagon


It’s better not to be a “more normal country” if that means being as prone to invasions and coups as the United States, top Russian ministers have said, firing back at bizarre remarks by a new Pentagon chief.

It would be “great” if the West “could get Russia to behave like a more normal country,” Mark Esper, the newly appointed defense secretary, was reported to have claimed while visiting Paris this week.

“Otherwise, we should have been acting like the US, bombing Iraq and Libya in blatant violation of international law… We should have supported coups, violent and anti-constitutional, like the US and its closest allies did in February 2014 [in Ukraine].”

via We refuse to be a ‘normal country’ if it means US-style bombings & invasions, Moscow tells Pentagon — RT World News

Old Dog Thoughts- Hypocrisy revealed. Style vs Meaning.

Related image

Andrew Bolt’s Blog, 11/4/19; Will the REAL Andrew Bolt pls stand up; News Corp poisons the hearts of nations; What Norway’s Government is prepared to do and Australia’s not; Andrew Bolt’s podcast has silently DISAPPEARED it was unwanted Meaning without Style;;

Morrison government backs down on banning Milo Yiannopoulos in face of backlash

Abbott flipped, Coleman’s flipped, Morrison flipped the panic is unbelievable (ODT)

Unbelieveable just how gutless this government is. Yiannopoulos Came fled the country witha pocket ful of cash abd an unpaid invoice for $56,000 and and they are invinting him in to do it again. Why Australia because we have a government of suckers logged into and working for Murdoch media. This isn’t about free speech its’about fraud. (ODT)

The initial push to reject the visa was met with a furious response from pro-free speech Coalition MPs, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, and some media commentators including Sky News host Andrew Bolt.

“Of course this is a backdown,” Bolt said Saturday.

Morrison government backs down on banning Milo Yiannopoulos in face of backlash

If Jeff Bezos wants to help low-income people why not just pay them better? | Marina Hyde | Opinion | The Guardian

Illustration: R Fresson

The Amazon boss’s philanthropy fund flies in the face of the way he treats his workers. Yet he wants to be seen as a messiah

via If Jeff Bezos wants to help low-income people why not just pay them better? | Marina Hyde | Opinion | The Guardian

After Warning of ‘Large and Painful Military Operation,’ Israel Begins Massive Bombing of Gaza

“Israeli snipers shoot and kill scores of unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, including kids, then calls it self-defense. When a Palestinian sniper fires at one Israeli soldier, Israel bombs Gaza with F-16s and preps for all out war.”

via After Warning of ‘Large and Painful Military Operation,’ Israel Begins Massive Bombing of Gaza

If Obama had met with Kim Jong Un, the Republican Party would have had a Cow


The depths of hypocrisy of the Republican Party in supporting Trump’s meeting with the North Korean dictator in Singapore are hard to plumb. This is a party whose leading members adopted the Ostrich Foreign Policy Principle for decades. If you don’t like a country’s government or political and economic system, pretend it does not exist.

There was that time when Sen. Ted Cruz and other Republicans lambasted Obama for visiting Cuba while there were still political prisoners in that country. So the principle is, no talks with leaders who have prisoners of conscience in their jails? Trump has broken that principle every which way from Sunday. Sen. John McCain even compared Obama’s handshake with Castro to the Hitler-Chamberlain meeting. Seriously. That’s what he said.

via If Obama had met with Kim Jong Un, the Republican Party would have had a Cow

Free speech is dead: WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange deserved Nobel Peace Prize, not the loss of liberty — RT Op-ed

Free speech is dead: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange deserved Nobel Peace Prize, not the loss of liberty

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a speech delivered on April 13 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, insisted that disclosures about what the CIA and intelligence community are doing is a threat to the safety of Americans. He then went on to address WikiLeaks stating “We can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us.” What exactly was Pompeo referring to when he said”against us”.

via Free speech is dead: WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange deserved Nobel Peace Prize, not the loss of liberty — RT Op-ed

If Trump talks with North Korea, why should the U.S. boycott Hamas? | +972 Magazine

Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh speaks to the press upon his arrival at the Rafah border crossing, after reconciliation talks in Egypt with the Fatah movement mediated by Egyptian intelligence, in the southern Gaza Strip, September 19, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90)

North Korean Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol met with President Donald Trump at the White House this week. As part of its efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, the Trump administration is conducting negotiations with one of the world’s most brutal regimes. Human Rights Watch has described North Korea’s political prison camps as “the modern day equivalent of the Russian Gulag where prisoners are starved, beaten, tortured and worked to death.” North Korean guards club starving children to death for stealing rice, a UN report explained. Mothers have reportedly been required to observe the infanticide of their newborn babies as a form of punishment.

Despite these ongoing, egregious human rights violations, the White House is pursuing talks with Pyongyang to further U.S. interests. Washington’s engagement with Kim Jong Un makes its policy of refusing to speak with the Palestinian leadership in Gaza even more confounding. While Hamas has carried out horrific attacks, it would be hard to argue that the Islamist group’s actions, especially those in the past year, are more abhorrent than those of North Korea. If advancing U.S. interests is enough of a reason to negotiate with North Korea despite the government’s egregious human rights record, then the same logic must be considered with Hamas.

via If Trump talks with North Korea, why should the U.S. boycott Hamas? | +972 Magazine

Banking royal commission: Regulators should be sacked, Abbott

From the man who can’t keep his mouth shut, Abbott’s advice

The Abbott government’s 2014 budget set in motion $120 million of cuts to ASIC’s funding over four years, leading to the loss of more than 200 staff. At the time, the government emphasised a greater role for self-regulation instead of government intervention.

Former ASIC chair Greg Medcraft was vocal in his criticism of the budget cuts and pushing for tougher penalties for misconduct.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott.

In 2016, the Turnbull government restored the funding and boosted the regulator’s investigative powers.

via Banking royal commission: Regulators should be sacked, Abbott

Assad’s wife faces calls to be stripped of UK citizenship, but what about Blair & Cameron? — RT Op-Edge

Just when you thought the hypocrisy and mendacity of the British political establishment could not sink any lower, up pops the proposal to strip Asma Assad, wife to Syria’s President Bashar Assad, of her British citizenship.

Source: Assad’s wife faces calls to be stripped of UK citizenship, but what about Blair & Cameron? — RT Op-Edge

Pot, kettle – There’s no missing the government’s glaring hypocrisy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Coalition’s current explosion of self-righteous outrage is something to behold. Compared to the excesses of, say, Bronwyn Bishop, or the personal gifts bestowed on Foreign Minister Julie Bishop by Chinese companies, not to mention the hundreds of thousands donated to her branch of the WA Liberal party by Chinese who have business interests in that state,…

Source: Pot, kettle – There’s no missing the government’s glaring hypocrisy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Angry white men talk tough but fight with hypocrisy

A tough-talking libertarian, born into the most advantaged cohort in western society, being a highly educated white middle-class male, and a member of the governing class no less, has scurried to the apron strings of the state because he has had his feelings hurt.

Source: Angry white men talk tough but fight with hypocrisy

Hannity Praises Trump For Using A Teleprompter After Years Of Demonizing Obama For Using Them

Sean Hannity hosted Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway to praise Donald Trump’s use of a teleprompter during a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, despite Hannity’s past obsession with criticizing President Barack Obama’s use of a teleprompter.Hannity has spent years obsessively attacking President Obama’s use of a teleprompter to

Source: Hannity Praises Trump For Using A Teleprompter After Years Of Demonizing Obama For Using Them

Russia enters Syria war, exposing hypocrisy and contradictions of U.S. policy – Liberation News

Russia’s direct military intervention into Syria has dramatically changed the dynamics of a war that has raged since 2011. #antiwar #imperialism #syria

Source: Russia enters Syria war, exposing hypocrisy and contradictions of U.S. policy – Liberation News


In an effort to switch the nation’s focus from what Andrew Bolt called his “pathetically stupid” decision to knight Prince Philip, Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday delivered a press conference to announce his government’s policy on family violence. Family violence – violence committed against women and children and sometimes men by partners, ex-partners and parents – has at last become a political priority, following extended media coverage of horrific murders, including the filicide of 11-year-old Luke Batty by his father in February last year. Luke’s mother, Rosie, was instrumental in having the Victorian government set up a royal commission into family violence.

Unfortunately, Abbott’s press conference became yet another example of what is being increasingly seen as his political mismanagement and hypocrisy. As Dan Harrison observes, the initiatives Abbott announced – a national scheme for domestic violence orders, national standards for intervening against violent perpetrators and improving online safety – were initiatives he’d already announced last June. The conference was a re-announcement. And by emphasising family violence, Abbott gave critics an opportunity to highlight a number of cuts Abbott’s government has made to programs that help victims and prevent violence.

At Daily Life, Jenna Price lists some of the programs that have fallen foul of Abbott’s austerity cuts. A five-year research project in Britain recently found that most violent men who participate in reform programs completely stop physically harming their partners, but the Abbott government has defunded men’s behaviour change programs in Victoria entirely, and has cut $3.5 million from front-line domestic violence support services for Indigenous women on top of millions from community legal centres. As Abbott said during yesterday’s press conference, one woman every week is killed in Australia by her current or former partner. Why, then, has his government de-funded preventive programs?

Russell Marks
Politicoz Editor
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Asylum seekers forcibly removed from Darwin detention in middle of the night : We don’t intentionally kill them but it happens sometimes. So this government believes it has the right to criticize Indonesia. We imprison children call them people smugglers or illegals. Our government can do that to any of it’s citizens now. Yet Tony Abbott refuses to show us his legitimacy to be PM and the Immigration Department has made no moves to validate his position.

 Manus Island hunger strike

Four men were suddenly returned to detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru after being brought to Australia for medical treatment

Four asylum seekers have been forcibly removed from a Darwin detention centre where they were receiving medical treatment, and returned to Manus Island and Nauru in the middle of the night.

The men had been brought over from Manus Island and Nauru for medical treatment but their level of recovery before being returned is not know. It is believed one man suffers chronic pancreatitis.

Two asylum seekers were returned to Nauru and two to Manus Island. Guardian Australia has had the removal confirmed by separate sources, but multiple calls over several days to the office of immigration minister Peter Dutton have not been returned.

It is understood at least one detainee was able to alert advocates on Friday that he had been called for an impromptu meeting with his case officer – roundly considered a signal that he will be put on a flight that night and sent to the offshore facilities, often with no opportunity to contact legal representatives. The forced removals have occurred several times over recent months according to advocates.

Guardian Australia was told a man returned to Papua New Guinea two weeks ago had a medical condition which meant he could require immediate emergency care at some point. It’s not known if he has been returned to the Manus Island facility or is being housed in Port Moresby.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said Manus Island “is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis” and no one else should be sent there.

“These four people had been sent to mainland Australia because of medical concerns, none of them deserve to be sent back to the hellholes of detention on Manus or Nauru,” she told Guardian Australia.

“These offshore detention camps are making people sick. They are dangerous and inhumane and must be closed.”

Darwin-based lawyer John Lawrence, who has been representing an Iranian man, referred to as Martin, who has been on hunger strike for more than two months, told Guardian Australia the forced removals are “typical of the arbitrary nature which this department deals with human beings”.

Lawrence also described the transfers to Manus Island as “lunacy” considering the volatile current environment after protests saw more than 500 detainees refuse food and water, some sewing their lips together, others swallowing razor blades.

Fifty-eight detainees were forcibly removed from the facility by security and allege they were beaten. The men are now being housed in a windowless cell, despite facing no charges.

Both the Australian and PNG governments have denied using improper force.

Guardian Australia was also told some men – including two who allegedly witnessed the murder of Reza Barati during unrest in February – were placed in solitary confinement.

At least 15 more Iranian detainees inside Darwin’s Wickham Point detention centre have embarked on hunger strike protests in the last two weeks. They have all been refused refugee status but cannot be sent back as Iran will not accept involuntary returns.

“The only choice left to him is to go back voluntarily and he’s steadfastly refused to do that for the same reasons as [Martin],” Lawrence said of one 28-year-old detainee he had spoken with.

Calls to Dutton’s office about the hunger-striking detainees have also gone unanswered.

Among the world leaders who flocked to Paris to condemn the attacks were some of the worst perpetrators of repression of journalists, all too often Arab and Muslim journalists.


By Amy Goodman

The massacre at Charlie Hebdo, and the subsequent killing of a policewoman and mass murder at the Hyper Cachet kosher market, shocked the world. Young fanatics with automatic weapons unleashed a torrent of violence and death, fueled by zealous intolerance. At the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satiric newsmagazine, 12 were murdered and 11 wounded. The victims were guilty of nothing more than expressing ideas. Certainly, true to the point of satire, many of the ideas were very offensive to many people—in this case, caricatures of the prophet Muhammad.

In the wake of the violence, people from around the world expressed solidarity with the victims, and with the people of France. Among the world leaders who flocked to Paris to condemn the attacks were some of the worst perpetrators of repression of journalists, all too often Arab and Muslim journalists.

Reporters Without Borders, also known as Reporters Sans Frontieres, or RSF, is based in Paris, not far from the offices of Charlie Hebdo. Word of the attack quickly made it to the staff there. Lucie Morillon, RSF program director, was one of the first people on the scene after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo. I spoke to her in New York City, just a day after she attended last Sunday’s solidarity march in Paris, which drew more than 1 million people. She recounted the events of Wednesday, Jan. 7:

“We were having a meeting … a colleague came in, he said: ‘There’s something huge. It looks like there had been shots fired at Charlie Hebdo, and there might be people dead.’ It was just complete shock, completely surreal.”

They raced to the scene of the massacre. Morillon went on: “There were still bullets on the ground. It was just very chaotic. We were just wondering who’s dead, what happened. And a man left the office, and he just went into President [Francois] Hollande’s arms. He burst into tears, ‘Charb est mort,’ ‘Charb is dead.’” He was speaking of Stephane Charbonnier, Charlie Hebdo’s edit

On Sunday, the day of marches across France, which drew close to 4 million people, the group stated in a press release, “Reporters Without Borders welcomes the participation of many foreign leaders in today’s march in Paris in homage to the victims of last week’s terror attacks and in defence of the French republic’s values, but is outraged by the presence of officials from countries that restrict freedom of information.” The group stated it was “appalled by the presence of leaders from countries where journalists and bloggers are systematically persecuted such as Egypt, Russia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.”

Photos and video of the world leaders standing, locked arm in arm, leading the massive march, raced around the planet. Much ado was made in the United States of the absence of any high-level Obama administration official. Even though Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris that day, inexplicably, he didn’t show up for the march. Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry was there, whose government has imprisoned many journalists, most notably three from Al-Jazeera who have been held for more than a year now: Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed.

The Saudi Arabian ambassador to France also showed up at the march. Two days earlier, his government flogged the blogger Raif Badawi. He was sentenced to 1,000 lashes, but the Saudi monarchy is administering 50 lashes per week. Delphine Hagland, the U.S. director of Reporters Without Borders, explained, “They decided to divide the 1,000 lashes in different sessions because they were afraid that he would be killed.”

It has now been reported that the world leaders, locked arm in arm, were not in the march at all, but were gathered for a photo opportunity on a closed street, away from the protest, under guard. Quite simply, it was the people who led that day, not the leaders. “Je Suis Charlie,” or “I am Charlie,” was the battle cry of many. Others tweeted or held signs that read, “I am not Charlie,” condemning the violence without endorsing Charlie Hebdo’s caricatures. A Muslim woman held a sign, “Je Suis Juif,” “I am Jewish,” in solidarity with the Jewish victims. Others held signs that read “Je Suis Ahmed” for Ahmed Merabet, the French Muslim police officer who was killed outside the magazine offices.

Close to 4 million people took to the streets of France last Sunday, demanding a more peaceful society, one in which press freedom and religious tolerance overwhelm violence and hatred.

Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Opinion The ‘Jewish state bill’ doesn’t matter to us, Palestinians The ‘Jewish state bill’ will simply put on paper what is already a reality in apartheid Israel.

Palestinian women are blocked by Israeli security forces outside the al-Aqsa mosque compound [AFP]


Despite the uproar over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet passing the new “Jewish nation-state” bill, its discriminatory contents are part and parcel of Israel’s long history of marginalising and discriminating against the country’s Palestinian minority.

The bill, which still needs to be passed by Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, defines Israel as the “nation-state for the Jewish people” and enshrines the Zionist principles that the state was founded on at the expense of all Palestinians more than six decades ago.

Its defenders point out that it protects “the personal rights of all [the state’s] citizens”, ignoring that it only guarantees “communal rights” to Jews, who, regardless of their ancestral origins, have always been permitted to immigrate to Israel and gain citizenship.

Within Netayahu’s cabinet, the bill was passed by a 14-6 vote and reportedly sparked a passionate debate. As usual, that debate didn’t focus on the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up 20 percent of the total population, but centred on the state’s Declaration of Independence and founding ideology of Zionism.

For the 1.7 million Palestinians who were forced to take Israeli citizenship and continue living in what became Israel after the Nakba, this bill is nothing more than Israel finally taking off its mask in front of the world.

The debate it has thus far sparked is also nothing new: Despite our nominal citizenship, we have always been rendered second-class citizens with limited rights, for no reason other than not being born Jewish.

Discrimination from day one

Whether Netanyahu’s latest bill passes is irrelevant to Palestinians everywhere – in present-day Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories and the diaspora, where millions of refugees are waiting to return to the lands they were violently expelled from in 1948.

For those of us living in present-day Israel, the law is merely symbolic, as there are already dozens of laws that “discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel in all areas of life, including their rights to political participation, access to land, education, state budget resources, and criminal procedures,” as  Adalah Legal Centre has revealed.

Was it not already clear that Palestinians in Israel are living under the same occupation as Palestinians in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the imprisoned Gaza Strip? Treating us as a “demographic threat”, Israel champions our citizenship in front of the world as alleged proof of its democratic nature, while simultaneously attempting to limit our presence and influence in society.

Following the state’s declaration of independence, the first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, dismayed at the number of Palestinians who stayed in their ancestral lands, lamented that Israel wouldn’t be able to “clear the entire central Galilee region” of the then 100,000 remaining indigenous residents without a war.

But Israeli leaders have actually attempted to do so, even in peacetime. In recent years, a plan to demolish the Galilee village of Ramiyya and expel its people is one example of attempts to make Ben Gurion’s dream come true. As Professor Hilel Cohen of the Hebrew University said, “The project of ‘Judaizing the Galilee’ commenced when the state [of Israel] was founded and has continued in various guises to the present day.”

In the Negev region, Palestinian Bedouins with Israeli citizenship have been exposed to home demolitions and denied basic services, such as water, electricity and education. Living in more than 40 “unrecognised” villages across that region, an estimated 53,000 men, women and children face impending eviction.

Al-Araqib, for instance, has been razed by Israeli bulldozers 78 times since July 2010. Its residents, however, refuse to leave, returning and rebuilding it each time. Was it not already clear to them that Israel’s leaders viewed us as second-class citizens from day one? And can a Jewish “nation-state” bill, largely devoid of practical content, possibly make their daily lives any more difficult?

The opposition to the law by Israel’s so-called “centrists” and “liberals”, such as finance minister Yair Lapid and justice minister Tzipi Livni, exposes the whole affair as yet another case of Israel’s political establishment debating over and controlling our future without our input.

A failed project

Nonetheless, Palestinian political parties in Israel continue to sit as lawmakers in the Knesset. Ostensibly convinced that they could impact the laws being pumped out of the parliament, they continue to vie for our votes and encourage us to support them each time campaign season comes around.

But this has proven to be a failed project. Despite giving the opportunity to speak in the Knesset, they have not made our daily reality any better. The onslaught of racist laws hasn’t slowed down, the incitement from Israeli politicians has also grown and our ability to organise as a unified political force has been impeded by internal divisions and competition between the Arab political parties.

Palestinian lawmaker Hanin Zoabi was recently expelled from the Knesset for six months after remarking that Palestinians who kidnapped and killed three Israeli settlers this past summer were not “terrorists”.

Now, Netanyahu and his rabid rightwing cohorts are pushing a new bill to expel Knesset members “who in a time of war or military action against an enemy state or terror organization offers public support for military struggle”. It was aptly named the “Hanin Zoabi bill” by its sponsors.

Israel’s claim to not be an apartheid state has always relied on the fact that Palestinian citizens of Israel can vote and participate in the Knesset. Do we need any more proof that this was a facade from the outset?

With a law that outright declares that this state exists solely for the Jewish people, it’s high time that Palestinians in Israel drop the idea that participating in this theatre of absurdity that is the Israeli political process will improve our lives and further our cause.

It is time to take steps to dissolve our political divisions and build ties with our compatriots in the occupied Palestinian territories and the diaspora in order to build a joint struggle capable of posing a serious challenge to world’s last settler colonial occupation. 

Waad Ghantous is a Haifa-based Palestinian activist and a member of the Al-Awda organisation. 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

The Right’s right to be wrong

Has anyone else noticed the ever increasing drift from reality those famous bed-partners – the Coalition and the Murdoch media – have settled comfortably into? They also have some absurd idea that this new, fabulous paradise is all that exists.

Joe Hockey for example. He repeatedly bellowed that the age of entitlement was over, and followed up with a budget that showed us that the age of entitlement is of course over, except for those who are entitled to it.

Miranda Devine lives there too. ‘The Left’s race to call us all bigots

No Bigots here



Maybe Ms Devine hasn’t been reading the very paper she writes for,let’s take a random look at what her newspaper – and other media outlets – have been saying:

# Young filmmaker Kamal Saleh is optimistic for the future of Australia after his social experiment on Islamophobia but says discrimination remains an issue in the community.

# Five threatening letters delivered to Muslim businesses and ­groups in Lakemba are being investigated by police, with more incidents believed to be going unreported. Campsie crime manager detective Inspector Paul ­Albury said the material was offensive and would be to anybody in the community. “It’s degrading, disgusting and derogatory to people and their religion,” he said.

# Last week, after Bernardi’s comments, I was interviewed by the ABC for an explanatory article on the burqa, the niqab, and my choice of garment, the hijab, which covers only a woman’s hair, neck and shoulders. Bizarrely, when posted by the ABC on Facebook, the article received more comments than the ABC’s reports on the anti-terror raids themselves. The comments section is sobering reading for anyone with any doubts about the perniciousness of Islamophobia in Australia.

# Australia has emerged as a fertile environment for Islamophobia. Stereotypical representations of Muslims in the early years of the “War on Terror” – which linked terrorism, violence and Islam – gained wide currency by the mid-2000s. Sections of the news media, politicians and social media have re-activated these stereotypes. Muslim Australians are made to feel they are targets – for everything from the everyday racism encountered in schools and on the streets, to draconian counter-terrorism legislation that restricts civil liberties, to war and the preparations for war.

# In the contemporary socio-political context of Australia, Islamophobia continues to be haunted by the cycle of moral panics around the Muslim “Other.”

# Tony Abbott has been urged to speak out more strongly against Islamophobia in Australia following reports of mosques being defaced, women verbally abused on the street and death threats issued to Muslim figures. Community leaders have said they are deeply worried that Australia’s mission against Islamic State (Isis) and recent anti-terrorism raids are fuelling attacks against Muslims in Australia.

# The waves of abuse on social media has also highlighted how open bigotry has become, as if the disgust around the Islamic State has given a free pass to intolerance.

# Many Muslim women, say Ms Kay and other community members, are fearful of going out and many won’t venture far beyond their homes. Ahmed Kilani, editor of website muslimvillage.com, says some are now questioning whether Australia is still a safe and tolerant society. “My own mother rang me yesterday,” Mr Kilani told SBS, “with concern about what’s going, she said, ‘I don’t feel safe and secure.’ She made the comment to me that despite living here for 40 years which is a lot longer than she lived in Egypt. She said perhaps I need to consider moving back there and questioned whether I should go and get myself a dual citizenship in case things get really bad.” Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane has called for calm, saying, “Muslim Australians are entitled to a fair go and to be treated with respect and there is simply no place for this kind of bigotry and this kind of criminal behaviour.”

The Daily Telegraph – the very paper Ms Devine works for – even published an article titled ‘Incidents of Islamophobia‘.

I’m baffled that Ms Devine finds it necessary not only to blame the Left for Islamophobia in this country – then announces that it doesn’t exist here anyway – yet works in an industry (and a newspaper) that keeps telling us how rampant it is.

If I may borrow an old adage: who makes this shit up?

The drift from reality is almost complete. She is quickly catching up to Joe Hockey