By Vacy Vlazna
Israel and Australia’s joint projects normalizing Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity has sunk deeper in the degenerate mire of hasbara (propaganda & lies);
“So projects that constitute normalization are not about freedom, justice or liberation, but about numbing our minds to the horror of the occupation, so we accept it as normal, as permanent, as an unchangeable fixed reality”! (1)
In May, Australia Post and Israel Post collaboratively issued two stamps commemorating the Australian Light Horse and the WWI Battle of Beersheba in Palestine. The $2.60 stamp features contemporary images of Australian Light Horsemen. The 60c stamp features the statue of an Australian Light Horseman in the Park of the Australian Soldier, funded by the Pratt Foundation, at Beersheba.
ANZAC heroic courage and endurance warrants commemoration but the issue of the stamps entailed a cynical rewriting of Australian war history that deflects ANZAC honor to deodorize Israel’s stinking reputation around the world; the recent BBC’s 2013 Country Rating Poll places Israel squarely amongst North Korea and Pakistan as the world’s most negatively viewed nations
The stamps’ description on the Australia Post shop site states:
“The capture of Beersheba allowed British Empire forces to break the Ottoman line near Gaza and then advance into Palestine, a chain of events which eventually culminated in the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.”
Connecting the ‘capture of Beersheba’ to ‘the establishment of the state of Israel’ is an outright lie. Australian Communications minister, Steven Conroy, showing off his ready dexterity to bend over backwards for Israel, shamelessly repeated the lie:
“I don’t have any role in choosing what’s on stamps, but I do support this – it’s a wonderful tribute to the 4th Light Horse Brigade and recognizes a chain of events that eventually culminated in the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.”
The real chain of events began in 1895 with the Zionist ambition to take over the whole of Palestine for a Jewish homeland which was accelerated in 1947 by Plan Dalet’s systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestine that destroyed over 500 villages, slaughtered thousands of villagers and forcefully deported over 700,000 indigenous Palestinians. Israel then unilaterally declared an independent state in breach of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, still binding, that guaranteed independence for Palestine.
The Australian Zionist lobby has inflated the ANZAC lies. The Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce announcing the special boardroom lunch to celebrate the launch piled on the hasbara:
“During WWI, Australian troops fought alongside the British army to conquer Israel from under ottoman rule…. The friendly Australian soldiers were remembered fondly by residents of the Jewish colonies of Israel. Warm ties were also formed with the Australian soldiers who were stationed in Israel during WWII.”
Fact: In 1917 (and during WWII) Israel did not exist. World War I and II were fought on Palestinian soil.
The claim by Australia Post managing director, Ahmed Fahour is highly questionable, “The Battle of Beersheba is something close to the hearts of both Israelis and Australians” when it was Palestinian fighters who helped the ANZACs …
“Defending the west and south west of the town, the 27th Division’s 67th and 81st Infantry Regiments, were deployed in the fortified semicircular line of deep trenches and redoubts strengthened by barbed wire. These regiments consisted mainly, of “Arab farmers from the surrounding region, and although inexperienced fighters they were defending their own fields.”(Massey, Graeme (2007). Beersheba: The men of the 4th Light Horse Regiment who charged on the 31st October 1917. Warracknabeal, Victoria: Warracknabeal Secondary College History Department.
… while Palestinian villagers struggled to survive the dire economic impact on their land and livelihoods of the mounted armies of the Imperial and Ottoman forces. The Turks had demolished orchards and all the cavalries ‘drank out wells and grazed their horses on standing crops’. Palestinian foodstuffs and livestock were requisitioned by the British military and consequently there was a shortage of basic food and commodities with awful disruptions to daily life.
One generation later, the same villagers were forcefully routed by Jewish terrorist militias to Gaza where they remain in desolate refugee camps under the illegal and inhumane Israeli siege.
The decision to include the image of the statue of an Australian Light Horseman in the Park of the Australian Soldier was Machiavellian sleight of hand. The Park professes to be “a permanent memorial to those who died in battle for the Jewish state.”
The Park funded by the Pratt Foundation was set up by Zionist Richard Pratt, the Australian Visy Industries billionaire who ripped off Australian customers by fixing prices and market sharing with the rival Amcor group. Visy’s underbelly has been linked to the Hells Angels reputed to have ties to criminal organizations in Australia and overseas.
Nevertheless, Australian political luminaries like Ex-PMs Kevin Rudd and John Howard have attended fundraisers at Pratt’s Melbourne mansion, Raheen; Bill Shorten- now a Minister in the Gillard government- was married there, and others such as exPM Bob Hawke, exPM Gough Whitlam, exPM Malcolm Fraser, ex state premier Nick Grieiner, former police commissioner Mick Miller have been on the Zionist’s lucrative payroll as consultants. Anthony Pratt, Richard’s successor hosted in July 2011, an Australian speaking tour of Israel’s darling, Tony Blair, the supposedly neutral envoy for the Middle East Quartet.
The Park of the Australian Soldier is included in ‘The Anzac Trail from the Be’eri Badlands to Be’er Sheva’ which is a project of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) which seizes Palestinian properties in East Jerusalem and razes, over and over, villages on the ancestral lands of impoverished Bedouins.
If you think that the hijacking of the rising sun’s glory is a preposterous fancy you may change your mind when you scratch the surface of the key-players, to find the web of corporate affiliations to Israel’s military and illegal occupation.
Ahmed Fahour Australia’s highest paid public servant, $2.78 million pa, prior to Australia Post, had a long executive career with Citigroup and its website ‘boasts the largest presence of any foreign financial institution in Israel and offers corporate and investment banking services to leading Israeli corporations and institutions, and global corporations operating in Israel’ including equity offerings for Delek.
Haim Elmoznino, CEO of Israel Post was deputy CEO of Delek Israel Fuel Corporation which supplies Israel’s military-industrial complex. Delek also fuels US warplanes. Delek was the exclusive distributer of Ford in Israel and according to Who Profits, “Ford F550 trucks were retrofitted by Hatehof for the Israeli army to armored personnel carriers for use by the IDF in the West Bank….and its vehicles are used by the ‘Caracal’ military … a combat unit which patrols the occupied section of the Jordan Valley, in the West Bank areas close to the Separation Wall and on the Israeli-Egyptian border.’
Sasi Shilo, Chairman of Israel Post, was, CEO of Netivei Hayovel in which Danya Cebus, a construction firm has a stake. Danya Cebus is a subsidiary of Africa Israel Investments Ltd:
“Africa Israel Chairman and founder Lev Leviev and his brother are responsible for the settlements of Zufim (Tsufim) and Zufim North on land belonging to the village of Jayyous in the northern West Bank. They are being built by a Leviev company called Leader Management & Development. The villageës water wells, greenhouses, and most of its agricultural land have been confiscated for these settlements. Among the largest investors in Africa Israel are Barclayës Global Investors (which has been purchased by BlackRock), and the Vanguard Group. In August 2009, Blackrock made a decision to divest from Africa Israel due to its involvement in the occupation.” (2)
Attending the stamp launch was Yaron Razon, Director of Israel Philatelic Service. who in a past life was CEO of Ma’ariv Magazines. Ma’ariv, according to The political line of Israeli papers (a reader’s guide) in +972, 2010, “ is extremely hostile to the Arab population and to human rights organizations, and recently, it shows a hospitable attitude to the settlement project (a recent double spread all but invited people to live in Tapuach, a settlement formally known as the stronghold of Kahane supporters). Among Israeli papers, Maariv is the most supportive of Avigdor Lieberman’s policies”
Also attending was Australia’s Attorney General Mark Dreyfus whose Zionist colors are for all to see in his 2012 speech (3) to the Zionist Council of Victoria where he reiterated the Australian governments ‘enduring support for Israel’ and pointed out how PM Gillard supported Israel’s wearisome mantra of its right to defend itself by perpetrating war crimes against Gaza in 2008/9 and by voting against the UN Goldstone Report which Dreyfus falsely declared was discredited.
Concerned Australians have bombarded the Postal Ombusdman, Australia Post and Minister Conroy with protests against the government’s commandeering of ANZAC and Palestinian history for the whitewashing of Israel state terrorism and demanding the withdrawal of the stamps because young ANZAC soldiers did not sacrifice their lives to give the stamp of approval to Israel’s impunity to daily violate international law and wreak inhuman suffering on Palestinian men, women, children and the elderly.
– Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.
(1) Samah Sabawi, Colonization of the Mind: Normalize This!
(2) Interfaith Peace Initiative.
(3) Mark Dreyfus Speech to Zionist Council of Victoria.