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About this website

SydWalker.Info is a personal website. I live in tropical Australia near Cairns. I oppose war, plutocracy, injustice, sectarian supremacism and apartheid. I support urgent action to achieve genuine sustainability and a fair and prosperous society for all. I rely upon - and support - free speech as defined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see below).

with the dawg

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers"

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Unless otherwise indicated, material on this website is written by Syd Walker.

Anyone is welcome to re-publish material sourced from this site, as long as the source is acknowledged with a hyperlink.

Material from other sources reproduced here is presented on a 'Fair Use' basis. I try to cite references accurately. Please contact me if you have queries, comments, broken link reports, complaints - or just to say hello.

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Canberra's Upside-Down View of Bethlehem
Dec 5th, 2008 by Syd Walker

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

–  W.B. Yeats The Second Coming, 1919

The Israeli Apartheid Wall at Bethlehem

Australia has more sheep than any other country on earth. Nearly 20 million of us are bipedal.

Several hundred two-legged Australian sheep, with better superannuation packages than most, meet regularly in Parliament House in Canberra. Today they are all off for well-earned holidays. Another session of the Australian Parliament is coming to an end. It’s time for the Christmas break!

Another session is closing, in which the tragic and deepening plight of the Palestinians has not been seriously discussed. Indeed, it has barely been mentioned at all. As usual.

When Members conclude their business later today, exchanging pleasantries about Christmas goodwill in the improbable setting of a sweltering Canberra summer, the odds are nobody will mention the walled-in residents of Bethlehem or the shivering masses of Gaza.

Many of our elected politicians pray from the Christian Bible, but no-one will utter a word about the beleaguered Christians in the Holy Land. No-one will demand an end to the very un-Christian siege of those parts of Palestine not already under the thumb of the Israeli military or their collaborators. No one will say: enough!

End the Siege of Gazas - a Protest by Orthodox JewsWhy is this?

Are the people in Australia’s Parliament completely ignorant about these matters? Are they cruel? Do they share the view of many Israelis that Palestinians are less than human? Is Evil now Canberra’s official religion?

Honour Without Respect
Nov 22nd, 2008 by Syd Walker

Peres = War CriminalIn a case of life imitating the blogosphere, since I began writing the previous article about Shimon Peres, there been ‘breaking news’.

Apparently the President of the Apartheid State in Palestine (ASP) has been honoured by Queen Elizabeth II.

Now he is a knight commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, no less!

I had no idea this was in the offing, but apparently so – for some time.

Peres meets MadonnaIt isn’t just crazed pseudo-Kabbalist tinsel-queens like Madonna who shake his hand. Mr Peres gets to schmooze with real Royalty!

There are indications that the Palace was bullied and/or embarrassed into granting this ‘honour’ to Peres.

See Queen to Snub Israeli Knighthood Bid by the Daily Express’ royal correspondent, published on November 3rd 2008 – and as of today still retrievable from Google’s cache.

The original of this article has been scrubbed from the Daily Express online edition. Not surprising really. It suggested that the Palace stood up to Israeli stand-over tactics and rejected Peres’ unseemly ‘hints’. As it has turned out, it eventually caved in to Israeli / Jewish pressure.

Here’s an extract from the Daily Express report earlier this month:

“THE Queen has been drawn into an embarrassing diplomatic wrangle with Israel after Britain snubbed efforts to have the Jewish state’s President Shimon Peres knighted.

“She will meet Mr Peres, the architect of several stalled Middle East peace plans, when he begins a three-day official visit to Britain on November 18.

Softball on 'HardTalk'
Nov 22nd, 2008 by Syd Walker

HardTalkSome TV is pure shock and awe.

Take the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)’s internationally-broadcast current affairs interview program ‘HardTalk’.

In times past, Englishmen had a reputation for politeness and reserve. It’s possible that was really just another smug self-serving Anglocentric myth – but there did seem to be some validity to the stereotype – at least on the BBC. Politeness was normal. A generation ago, interviewers like Richard Dimpleby combined incisive interview technique with courtesy. His son maintains the tradition.

But politeness is no longer at the cutting edge, if HardTalk is any guide. These days, the brightest and best British interviewers have an extra talent to offer viewers. They can shout louder than anyone else. This especially applies if they interview foreigners.

In the unlikely event I ever get interviewed on this marvellous program, I shall certainly take a megaphone along. These guys are experts at shouting down their guests! Steven Sackur of HardTalk

A couple of years ago, the Chief Shouter was Tim Sebastian. But the BBC has been going through generational change.

In 2008, Shouter No 1 is Steven Sackur. It’s a hard call, but I think he may be an louder shouter than Tim. His lung capacity is probably greater. One of these days, there really should be an International Shouting Competition between Britain and the USA. Perhaps the USA will field Bill O’Reilly. It would be a match well worth watching – a clash of titans. I’d bet a Euro on Sackur to over-shout even the Beast of the ‘No Spin Zone’.

Pass the Mop, James
Nov 20th, 2008 by Syd Walker

The furor over the appointment of Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff has, for many, cast a pall over the Obama Presidency before it has begun.

I argued in this blog several days ago that there are real concerns that Emanuel could be an Israeli agent. In that case, Obama has just appointed a foreign spy as his Chief of Staff; at the very least, it’s clear he’s appointed an utterly biased pro-Israeli partisan. Either way, Emanuel’s appointment as Obama’s Chief of Staff should be unacceptable to the great majority of Americans.

The appointment should be reversed, without delay.

This issue has provoked quite a lot of debate around the world – although you wouldn’t guess that, of course, from coverage by the mainstream western media. But this is 2008. It’s not 1992 or 2000. A LOT more people now are aware of the extent of Israeli influence on the American body politic (and on other the political process in other western countries, from Canada to Australia). More and more people are getting the word out and demanding real change on THIS specific front – not just a wink and a brush off.

I was disappointed, although not really surprised, to see James Zogby, founder and president of the Washington, D.C.-based Arab American Institute, springing so quickly and uncritically to Emanuel’s defense.

Writing in the Huffington Post, Zogby’s apologia reads as though it was drafted by one of Emanuel’s staff. Would it be uncharitable to speculate whether Zogby is vying for a cleaning contract at the White House?

Open Appeal to Kevin Rudd about the Gaza Crisis
Nov 17th, 2008 by Syd Walker

The Hon Kevin Rudd
Prime Minister of Australia
Parliament House, Canberra 2600

Dear Prime Minister

I am writing to you about the situation in Gaza and the urgent need for the world community – including Australia – to require Israel to relieve the immediate humanitarian crisis.

It may be objected that Gazans are, in some way, to blame for their own appalling plight. That is false for several reasons.

First, such a claim betrays utter contempt for democracy. The Hamas leadership in Gaza won government through the ballot box, by a solid majority in elections widely acknowledged as free and fair. It ill-behooves ‘democratic nations’ such as Australia to reject the democratic choice of others..

Second, the root cause of continuing conflict in Palestine (including Gaza) is continuing occupation and control by the Zionist regime. There is a long-established principle that resistance to occupation is legitimate. Australia applauded the French Resistance during Word War Two – who opposed, often with violence, a less brutal and much more short-lived occupation. Why the double standard?

Third, the inequality of power relations between the Israel State and the Palestinian people is extreme. There is no question which people suffer more: the Palestinians. That disparity has been worsening for more than 60 years. Seven decades is an exceedingly long time to wait for justice and basic human rights.

I call on the Australian Government to embark on a full-scale, fundamental and open review of this country’s middle eastern policy.

Open Letter to Australia's Opposition Leader
Nov 12th, 2008 by Syd Walker

Dear Malcolm Turnbull,

I was disappointed to learn of your recent attack on the Rudd Government’s small – yet significant – shift in stance on Palestine in the UN.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports: “Opposition Leader, Malcolm Turnbull, criticized the Government for supporting resolutions which contained “grave allegations” about Israeli actions.”

Mr Turnbull, I had (perhaps naively) imagined you a man of principle, willing to stand up for human rights and fair play.

Now it appears you cast principle to the wind for tawdry political advantage.

Do you seriously believe that ‘grave allegations’ about Israeli actions are unmerited?

If so, here are some things you should know.

The website If Only Americans Knew keeps a succinct, well-documented score-sheet on its homepage. It gives a factually-based overview of Palestinian and Israeli suffering in recent years.

The statistics are clear. There is a huge disparity. It is the Palestinians who are by far the greater victims, while Israelis are the principal aggressors.

I need hardly remind you that all people are people. All people have human rights. That includes Palestinians.

The suffering of an Israeli Jew is not worth more than the suffering of a Palestinian. Is it?

Why help bolster blatant falsehoods, such as:

  • responsibility for conflict rests mainly with the Palestinians
  • Israeli suffering is the biggest problem
  • Israel’s behaviour is essentially blameless?

Regarding the Israeli settlements, they are illegal under international law and have been illegal ever since construction commenced. Surely you know that already?

Obama's Rahm Emanuel Dilemma: the Solution
Nov 10th, 2008 by Syd Walker

All Barak Obama needs to do to resolve the furore over the Rahm Emanuel’s appointment is to submit the application to FBI scrutiny and ensure the security-risk assessment process is thorough and fair.

There’s so much evidence that the pro-war Emanuel has unacceptably close links to a foreign power that any honest assessment woud easiy knock out his application for a White House security pass – let alone the Chief of Staff job.

Obama can then turn to the Zionist lobby and say: “Sorry guys, your man didn’t get clearance. (Not my fault)”

Then Obama can pick someone who would.

Sweet!

But will he do it?

Perhaps Michelle Obama could whisper encouragement during some pillow talk?

It may be the only time Obama’s communications aren’t bugged.

Mossad Measuring the Drapes?
Nov 10th, 2008 by Syd Walker

At last, some real dirt on Barak Obama!

He has terrorist connections!

No, I don’t mean the endlessly recycled, tenuous connection with Bill Ayers, an elderly academic with a colorful past. Nor do I have in mind Barak’s links with the Rev Wright, one of the more honest preachers in America today.

Those people are in Obama’s past. I imagine both will get more calls from Fox News than they receive from President Obama in the coming years. Probably a lot more…

Rahm Emanuel gets in Barak Obama's earMore central to Obama‘s future is Rahm Emanuel, his newly-appointed Chief of Staff. Now there’s a guy with terrorist connections…

At the time his appointment went beyond rumor to confirmed fact, Emanuel made a special point of noting that his parents are both still alive and able to appreciate their son’s success.

It’s a beautiful sentiment – one of those times when the political intersects with the personal. A short clip of Rahm’s remark has been shown around the world.

But who are Rahm’s parents?

His father is Benjamin M. Emanuel, a US pediatrician. Like many other successful Americans, he emigrated to America from another place. Actually, he came from Palestine.

In fact as a young man, Benjamin was a terrorist based in Palestine. So the father of Obama’s new anchor man was a Palestinian Terrorist!

No, not that kind of Palestinian Terrorist! Benjamin Rahm was a member of the Irgun in the 1940s.

Building the Great Australian FireWall, brick by brick
Nov 1st, 2008 by Syd Walker

Like Tony Blair a decade earlier in Britain, it’s reasonable to infer that Kevin Rudd cut deals with powerful lobbies before he came to power in 2007.

These presumably helped him – and the ALP – to get elected. They may have helped secure fair treatment from powerful elements within the mainstream media in the run-up to the election. Of course, that such deals took place is speculation. If they were done, they were done behind the scenes. But perhaps on occasion they may be inferred?

A probable example of such a deal, in this author’s opinion, was the bizarre announcement made by Kevin Rudd, pre-election, that in office an ALP Government would seek to prosecute the Iranian President in the International Court of Justice.

Palestine Wiped Off the Map...At the time, Rudd explained the ‘crimes’ of President Ahmadinejad as he saw them. These included the Iranian President’s alleged statement that Israel should be “wiped off the map“.

This claim was based on a blatant mistranslation of the Ahmadinejad’s words. In fairness to Rudd, the same error is obediently repeated on an almost daily basis by ‘Your’ ABC and the SBS (not to mention the commercial mass media), so in Australia only independently spirited internet users were likely to know that. Such is the bias and conformism of our ‘mainstream media’ – and such is the potentially liberating force of the Internet,

Ahmadinejad’s other major alleged ‘offence’, according to Mr Rudd, was that he has queried aspects of Second World War history. Rudd did not explain why he saw this as an Australian foreign policy priority.

Australia's Chums, the Cluster Bombers
Sep 10th, 2008 by Syd Walker

Cluster Bombs

Cluster Bombs

Cluster Bombs are a particularly vile weapon. Murderous on impact, they remain lethal long after fighting ends.

In recent years, there have been moves to ban the use of cluster bombs. Successive Australian Governments have played some role in this. The Peace Organization of Australia explains…

“In May 2008 the text for a treaty banning cluster munitions was concluded in Dublin, Ireland, at a meeting of 111 states. The treaty bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions and places obligations on countries to clear affected areas, assist victims and destroy stockpiles. It is the most significant treaty of its kind since the ban on anti-personnel landmines in 1997.

Like the Mine Ban Treaty, this new treaty is likely to have a powerful effect in stigmatising cluster bombs, so that even those countries that do not sign the treaty will not be able to use them without being subject to international condemnation.

The Peace Organisation of Australia urges the Australian Government to sign and ratify the Cluster Munitions Convention when it opens for signature in December.”

Developing international momentum for an effective ban on cluster bombs has been like a twin-track obstacle race for (genuine) proponents.

The most obvious problem were States that simply didn’t show up at Dublin. These include Russia and China, India and Pakistan. But the USA and Israel are also on this list. They are nations that currently refuse to sign any kind of ban.

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