Australia expels Israeli diplomat

Australia has ordered the explusion of an Isreali diplomat over the use of fake passports in the assassination of a senior Hamas commander in Dubai in January.

Australian investigators say Israel was responsible for forging four Australian passports that were used in the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel.

“These investigations and advice have left the government in no doubt that Israel was responsible for the abuse and counterfeiting of these passports,” Stephen Smith, the Australian foreign minister, told Australia’s parliament on Monday.

Smitth said that the operation to kill Al-Mabhouh was not the first time Israel had forged Australian travel documents. He did not elaborate on previous incidents.

Australian investigators concluded the fake passports were the work of Mossad, Israel’s state intelligence agency.

“No government can tolerate the abuse of its passports, especially by a foreign government,” the foreign minister said.

“This represents a clear affront to the security of our passport system.”

Australia and Isreal had been close allies prior to the incident.

Furore

The scandal over the use of fake passports erupted after the January 20 murder of the Hamas commander.

Police in Dubai identified dozens of people involved in the assassination, who entered the country using fraudulent British, Irish, French, German and Australian passports.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Dubai police are also seeking the arrest of another British man in connection with the assassination.

Interpol is understood to have issued an arrest warrant for Christopher Lockwood, a 62 year old British national, following a request from the Dubai police.

Britian expelled an Israeli diplomat in March after also concluding that Isreal was responsible for forging 12 British passports to facilitate the killing.

In February, Avigdor Lieberman, the Isreali foreign minister, said there was no evidence to link his country to the assassination.

Ref: Al Jazeera

VIDEO: Media war (how US CAPTIAL master minded the invasion)

Disturbing new evidence suggests the CIA fed faulty intelligence to handpicked journalists to win support for the war against Iraq.

The defection of Iraqi engineer Adnan al Haideri in 2001 was a massive coup for the White House. “He was probably the single most significant defector who came out of Iraq,” states an INC spokesman. Al Haideri claimed to have been hired by Saddam Hussein to build facilities for testing WMD. His story was widely circulated and used to justify the war. Unfortunately, it now appears that his remarkable testimony was a lie. Not one of the hundreds of bunkers detailed by him has been found. “Al Haideri’s evidence is a perfect example of the kind of garbage that was disseminated by Ahmed Chalabi,” states former weapons inspector Scott Ritter. New information has also emerged about the way Al Haideri’s story was leaked to the media. “They misled us,” states Ritter “Thousands of innocent Iraqis perished in a war that didn’t need to be fought.”

A celebration that ignores the plight of Palestine

“IF YOU will it,” wrote Theodore Herzl, the founding father of the Zionist movement, in 1902, “it is no dream.”

The dream to which he referred was the establishment of a Jewish state in the Arab country of Palestine.

To realise the dream, he insisted, the Jews must be willing to seize the reigns of history by renouncing the classical Jewish tradition of pacifism and collaborating with European anti-Semites who supported the Zionist movement as a means of ridding Europe of its “Jewish problem”.

Ultimately, the indigenous population of Palestine would have to be forced from the country.

In 1948 the dream was realised with the establishment of the state of Israel and the flight of the Palestinians from almost 80% of their homeland. Though some Zionist apologists have insisted that Israel did not practice a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing, the displacement of the Palestinians was an indispensable part of the Zionist dream.

In a country that was overwhelmingly non-Jewish it would have been impossible to establish a Jewish state without the expulsion of its native population.

While the transformation of Palestine into a Jewish state was a sudden and violent event, however, Israel’s subsequent transformation into a Jewish-Palestinian entity has been a gradual and predictable process.

In 1967 Israel conquered the remainder of Palestine, comprising of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Because of the speed of the victory, the Israeli army was unable to carry out a comprehensive program of ethnic cleansing but nevertheless began colonising its newly occupied territories with Jewish settlers.

In 1973 Ariel Sharon boasted that Israel would “make a pastrami sandwich” of the Palestinians by building strips of settlements throughout the West Bank. In 1983 the former head of Israeli military intelligence, Professor Yehoshafat Harkabi warned that Israel’s continued colonisation of the occupied territories would lead to the transformation of Israel into an Arab-Jewish state and the consequent “Belfastisation” of the area.

Today 450,000 settlers dominate 40% of the West Bank, while the ratio of Palestinians to Jews living between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River is nearing one to one.

Last year Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned that without a two-state solution the Palestinians would eventually opt for a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights and Israel would be finished as a Jewish state. His vision of a two-state solution, however, is unconvincing.

The Realignment Plan, which formed the platform upon which Olmert was elected, calls for the consolidation of Israel’s Jewish majority by the unilateral annexation of all of “Greater Jerusalem”, the Jordan Valley and all of the West Bank settlement blocs.

If this plan is realised the “state” remaining to the Palestinians will constitute a patchwork of reservations, surrounded by Jewish settlements, subdivided by “bypass roads” (which Palestinians are banned from using) and totally dependent on Israel for their electricity, water supply and access to the rest of the world.

Last time such an arrangement was tried was in 1980s South Africa, where the government endeavoured to conceal the ugly reality of apartheid by creating the fiction of “Bantustans” or “Black Homelands” for its black population, while maintaining total control over the country’s natural resources and road network.

Israel’s strategy for dealing with criticism of its colonisation of the occupied territories has been to keep the issue out of sight and off the agenda. The core issue, its advocates claim, is that Arafat/Hamas/the Palestinians refuse to renounce violence and recognise Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

Leaving aside the proposition that an occupied population must renounce violence while they are being violently dispossessed by an occupying power, the argument raises some interesting issues for a state that claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East.

According to the American Declaration of Independence, governments are instituted among men to secure the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to abolish it.

This contradiction, however, is unlikely to intrude upon the festivities of those gathering in Jerusalem to celebrate Israel’s 60th birthday. In March Kevin Rudd invoked the memory of the Holocaust when he moved a motion in Parliament commending Israel for its “commitment to democracy, the Rule of Law and pluralism” and pledging Australia’s friendship, commitment and enduring support.

Following the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, the British historian Arnold Toynbee described the Western powers’ insistence that a non-Western people should be made to compensate European Jewry for a crime of which they were completely innocent as a “declaration of the inequality of the Western and non-Western sections of the human race”.

Sixty years later the Palestinians are still paying for the Nazis’ crimes.

Ref: The Age

Michael Shaik is the public advocate for Australians for Palestine. Antony Loewenstein is journalist and co-founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices.