Olmert, War Criminal, Gets Three Years

Ehud Olmert got three years for corrupt behaviour this morning but not even an hour, not even ten minutes, not even one minute, not even one minute of community service, for killing two hundred children, some with phosphorous bombs on kindergartens, in the short war with Gaza in January 2009.

He should be extradited to The Hague and charged with war crimes there. These would include bombing to smithereens a civilisation that had no defensive weapons, starving the survivors and preventing reporters from talking to them, and killing thirteen hundred people who had done him and his country no harm.

His crimes that month are even worse when it is considered that he had already resigned as Prime Minister when he did it — he was already up on corruption charges — and was waiting out the compulsory time before the next election. For a man so placed to have warmaking powers is an awesome strangeness possible only in Israel.

Does anyone disagree with this?

I require discussion.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Israel a country of awesome strangeness? Sounds about right.

    A place where misogynistic old men who haven’t shaved in 130 years get to participate in government, taking as their source of authority an ancient book written by a performer of miracles.

    Where the strangeness of orthodoxy coincides with the confronting chaos of modernity and at the fault lines we see such things as the black clad men in ringlets circling a female victim and then subjecting them to the nauseating trauma of being spat on a 1000 times.

    A place that has contemptuously thumbed its Jewish nose at international conventions for the past 60 years and kept its nuclear secrets close to its chest, jailing or killing those who sought to reveal the extent of this apocalyptic potential.

    A place that ignores civil behaviour when it comes to those who it claims are not its people but demands full accord in regard to its own.

    A place that commits war crimes and crimes of terror again and again, while the rest of the world waits for some sort of appropriate retributive justice to emerge.

    A place of love, of god’s presence on earth, where Jesus walked with his disciples, now drenched in blood and sorrow.

  2. Bob you are walking on dangerous thin ice here. Your own party welcomes “war criminals” and even heartily applauds them in parliament.


    Are you saying your beloved ALP is wrong on this issue? Are you now a far left Greens supporter?

  3. Israel can be seen two ways: as the refuge of victims of a monstrous crime committed by Europeans; and as a foul colonial imposition by Europeans combined with false and lunatic ideas of history (almost all the Hebrew bible’s history Abraham-Egypt-Promised Land-David-Solomon-etc is now known to be largely imaginary)

    It’s a parallel to the story of
    Australia, but raised a couple of powers. Our diseased history plays out especially in our paranoid criminality over boat people; Israel’s past taints the present on wider fronts

  4. hudsongodfrey

    I find the Israeli attitude most vexing in that I think we view them as a nation on more of a cultural and intellectual par with ourselves, prejudicial of others though that view may seem. A first world civilised group of people, and indeed a nation of friends. And we would like to be able to ask these friends of ours, why are you behaving like such arseholes towards your neighbours?

    Granted all of the history and the fact that nobody is condoning these neighbours behaviour or kidding ourselves that they’re faultless. But anyone who understands what it is to be civilized ought to be at least able to recognise the value of peaceful détente over sheer antagonism.

    A very moderate chap who goes by the name of Jello Biafra once described Sharon as a “Fucking Nazi”. This may be unhelpful. But it speaks to the level of frustration and our inability to understand how the people of the holocaust came to erect their own facsimile of the Berlin Wall.

    It comes to the point where our friendship is strained by the fact that this killing cannot be allowed to go on. Because at some point friends have to be honest with one another even when the truth is unpleasant.

  5. An atheist of a non-Jewish family background, I reject utterly every supposed religious justification for land or peoples based on ancient (mostly fictitious or apocryphal) texts.
    I cringe, however, when I see the same old half-baked rot about Israel, the same old talking points expressed everywhere in ‘progressive’ circles and that includes most of the illogical stuff here today.

    ‘Imposing’ Israel on these arabs isn’t so bad, many Jews were there for thousands of years and have as much right to a part of it as the others I think (especially the recently- defined “Palestinians” – read ‘Jordanians’). There is a sort of delicious nature to the imposition of Israel there. Surrounded by those who agreed with the feelings behind the original holocaust and who threaten and actually act-out similar feelings today everywhere in the middle east, Israel stands there as the visible and immoveable answer to their views.

    I also wonder what would have happened if the democratic state of Israel hadn’t been encircled by the still NON-democratic arab states AND if Israel had not been constantly under attack from even before Day One? And how those tears shed by even Bob Ellis about those Hamas terrorists sheltering their weapons amidst the schools and housing areas and leading to needless extra deaths (no matter how much Israel might have tried to prevent them)?
    No, no fresh insights here.

    • ‘Delicious’, you say. A land grab and demolition of thousand-year-old towns is delicious, you say.

      Was the poisoning of a hundred thousand Aborigines delicious?

      How can any systematic displacement, exile and killing of scores of thousands of women and children be delicious?

      Was it delicious when my ancestors — not yours — were ‘relocated’ into Babylon, by whose waters they sat down and yearned for their lost holy places, as Arabs do now?

      Delicious, you say.

      What kind of monster are you?

      Please answer this.

      • First of all, if you can’t see what I mean by my seeing it as poetic justice for having the state of Israel lobbed into the middle of those - from the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem down - who loved the holocaust and Hitler for doing what he was doing, then there is no point trying to explain it to you.

        As for the rest, taking into account your usually amusing (not this time though), over-the-top way of accentuating every point you try to make, I will deal with your more irrelevant arguments first (because this is a serious topic and already the language of anti-semitism is coming out here in posts, whether intended that way or not – particularly the usual exaggerations in criticism).

        Demolition of 1,000 year old towns? Ridiculous point, unless destroyed for the sake of it and if in battle, nowhere near the disinterested way in which certain inhabitants destroy their own. Taken a look at Libya lately? Remember Dubrovnik or Mostar or Vukovar or Krajina? Buddhas in Afghanistan? Been watching Mali lately? Seen the destruction of churches and mosques, palaces, museum collections and archives? Israelis did all that did they? Stop using such a spurious argument please. These innocents you worry about would (and did in Gaza after the withdrawal) destroy everything they could get their hands on. Churches are bombed Copts under attack, non-Muslim faiths in a war of survival against these same ‘innocents’ encircling and constantly threatening Israel.

        Our Aborigines have nothing to do with it (they weren’t in Jerusalem in 1948 were they?).

        What happened to your now-rejected people in Babylon has nothing to do with today. It is history. ‘Ethnic cleansing’ is older than a millennium or four, not least practiced by Arabs and that is a fact of life and history.
        As for Israel, it is no more artificial than other “countries” all over the middle east which were created by the same people who created Israel. And no greater injustice has been done than to the Kurds who have no “country” at all and who are victimised and killed by those very same peoples who constantly threaten Israel and Jews everywhere, particularly in Arab and Persian lands. Worse, Kurds have amongst their ancestors the greatest Arab of all, the one who was once the Arab hero. And he was better at dealing with other faiths than ANY “leader” in the middle east today. So much so, that if he was alive today he would be on every Islamist’s kill list – Salah Al-Din.

        The kind of “monster” I am is one who strives to look for context and also one who resolutely determines to seek truth and closely inspect shades of grey. I am a “monster” who will never run along with the pack, will never ’go along’, never just repeat what someone else wants to hear or read. I can change my mind when facts and nuance are presented. Anyone from Trotsky to Churchill can range from hero to monster when looked at in depth.

        • M Ryutin,

          To me the tone of what you said seems to be making light of the suffering of others in a way that I think anyone would regard as uncalled for.

          I think reference was being made to the use of white phosphorus on a hospital in Gaza where it is claimed “innocent” children were killed.

          Sadly I know there are always other atrocities that we could all think of that are as bad or worse, but that kind of calculus justifies nothing. To try and argue it only makes things worse.

          The link with the Aboriginals in my view is the idea of Terra Nullius. The Arabs who did not exist, like the indigenous people of Australia have steadfastly failed to lay down and die.

          So the idea that imposing Israel on the Arabs wasn’t so bad is like any argument about dispossession. If it were you in your home? What have the Romans ever done for us still resonates. Even if they did bring any number of civilising influences the fact remains that people’s identity is tied to their homeland, without one and without a political voice their oppression will always be manifest. Like it or not it is just not possible to dismiss that.

          And yes it is valid to understand that by now Israeli people have made their home in the Middle East so that we cannot expect to force another mass exodus. Making peace between fractious neighbours seems to be the only solution and the only way to achieve it seems to be to say something like that old adage “fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity”.

          ‘Scuse the French but what else is there?

          • At least this is a more even-handed way of looking at this issue, although taking about a ‘facsimile of the Berlin Wall’ when that wall completely stopped the suicide bombers who were deliberately targeting (indeed boasting about targeting ) teenagers, amongst other civilians and rather gratuitously throwing the word ‘nazi’ in there doesn’t quite jell with that.
            I am not into false relativism as a debating point so the bit about making light of attacks on hospitals is drawn falsely. Inverted commas for ‘innocents’ in no way refers to real Innocents killed or harmed in bombings or other attacks, but the fake ‘innocents’ who deliberately place their weapons and fighters amongst civilians to try and divert attacks but, as in the case of any real war, really openly condemns them to danger of death and when the fact of death provides to the ‘innocents’ yet another propaganda tool. They were (and always are) ‘expendable’ to such people. The actual claims about the shelling and ‘destruction’ of the Al Quds Hospital have been used and abused to further this propaganda war (just Google it and see for yourself). Even if you (or many others) had not heard of the press campaigns by willing media confederates to further such claims - such as the bombed Palestinian ‘ambulance’, the ‘killing’ of the boy Mohammed Al Dura and so on.
            As for a “people’s identity is tied to their homeland” are you talking about Palestinians/Jordanians or just about when they were actually trying to overthrow the government and people of what is “official Jordan”? It did result in the mass killings involved in the Black September reaction of the Jordanians but did get Arafat back to “Palestine”. I think it is a questionable argument to talk about “homeland” if the concept is so flexible.
            Now, where the Palestinians are now they deserve the rights to live in peace with neighbours, including to be left alone by Israel, for the settlements to be dismantled on the West Bank or else true land swaps allowed. When Jordan foolishly joined in the mass Arab plot against Israel in 1967 it crossed its Rubicon which lost Jerusalem forever it seems to me. Trying to reverse that fact of life is like trying to persuade Saudi Arabia to open up Medina or Mecca to non-Muslims. Religious fanatics of all kinds are a danger to everyone and the ongoing attempts of even this current Israeli government to distance itself from Jewish religious demands is promising and the recent mandate for religious Jews to serve in the armed forces of Israel is a good start. Hopefully it will be followed by more moves to ensure that religious Jews pull their weight economically in Israel.
            Blame is on both sides, but to paint Israel as a straight forward villain is not only a mistake it is intellectually dishonest.

            • hudsongodfrey

              So that’s a no to peace then?

              What else is there?

              The thing about false innocents is an egregious lie. You should rescind it.

              Israel is not a straightforward villain. That’s the problem that we have when there a villains on both sides who are more or less equally ruthless and mendacious. We forget that there are good people on both sides too. Which is a pity because we can only have peace by talking to the good people of Israel and of Palestine.

              At the end of the day even being intellectually honest is impossible and fruitless if we’re not emotionally vested in a just peace.

              The point I would like to make then, when we speak to Israel as friends, is that they have the upper hand and as such can generate the impetus for peace. Something has to change in order for peace to be achieved and it is Israel who I think are in control of whether it is able to progress or not.

        • Wouls have been more ‘delicious’ if the new Jewish state had been round Berchtesgarten, I think. Or Vienna.

          Unlike you I’ve been to Israel, and I’m better aware than you of the ruins of towns levelled in the cause of Israel’s ‘terra nullius’ and the rage of Arabs to be back in them, rebuilding them, will last two hundred years.

          • If anyone seriously thinks that the ‘Right of Return’ for Palestinians will ever be realised you had better be ready for disappointment (and lots more of this killing) . And if you are, as you say, a self-loathing Jew, you will be noncommittal about Jews being cleaned out of Europe even as we wrongly talk about terra nullius and grossly exaggerate about 200 year re-building programs in Israel? Building will recommence all over Arab lands when they stop killing each other AND Jews.

  6. I have always said that the the biggest lesson out of the 2nd world war for the jews was how to persecute people correctly. They did learn from professionals & show the techniques to prove it.

    They make sure they are the ones wearing the jackboots now. All that rage from the 2nd world war still pervades their society & drives their hatred of the Palestinians.

    The Israelis, take what land they want or just move the borders until they have it, kill anyone that objects, thru a bullet or starvation. Ignore international opinion entirely.

    humm sound more like the nazi SS than the true thing.

    Should anyone try to hold them to account you are instantly antisemitic & holocaust denier.

    • People might not accuse of you of being an anti-semite or a holocaust denier. However, some might feel justified in calling you a blockhead for rendering a complex situation into a stick-figure cartoon.

      The Israeli/Palestinian conflict seems to share certain characteristics with Northern Ireland: two groups of people, both of whom have very valid reasons for seeing themselves as victims; both of whom are determined to hang onto their victimhood come hell or high water.

      None of this is to deny Israeli intransigence, particularly over the settlements (which should be removed) or their willingness to use their fire-power indiscriminately and brutally.

      Having said that, it probably would have been helpful if the most important Palestinian leader up until 1966, Haj Amin al-Husseini hadn’t been an ally of the Nazis, photographed standing on a balcony with the Fuhrer while the SS marched past underneath. It might also be helpful if the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were not freely available throughout the Arab world, carrying on in zombie fashion the sinister plans of the Okhrana.

      What is definitely not helpful is people approaching the situation on the basis of goodies and baddies, black hats and white.

      Condemn an obscenity like Cast Lead by all means - but seriously attempting to put the proposition that ‘…the biggest lesson out of the 2nd world war for the jews was how to persecute people correctly’ is beyond dumb.

      I wouldn’t accuse anybody on this thread of being anti-semitic - although I do find phrases like “…contemptuously thumbed (their) Jewish nose at international conventions’ somewhat curious.

      • Polybius, I used to think it was a complex situation, after so many decades I am now conviced it is a stick figure cartoon, Itchy and Scratchy to be exact. I don’t see any need for it to stop, it has its own momentum, destiny on wheels, we should encapsulate it beneath a big glass dome and the rest of us should visit it like a zoo.

        It is the living example of the existence of perpetual motion, it is the Godless particle par excellence.

    • It is a little dangerous, as T.S. Eliot found, to spell it ‘jews’.

      Please don’t do that again.

  7. Well, any discussion of Israel brings forth a lot of big words and grand concepts, and a lot of ideas originating in old-style European anti-Semitism as seen above (whether or not the reproducers of those ideas are anti-Semitic is irrelevant)

    That’s all obviously enjoyable, since so many do it.

    But, as with Australia, and as with Ireland, perhaps the answer will lie with enough ordinary people becoming sickened of where their fear has led them. Recognising that he who has power is taking the path of insanity if he tries to use that power to crush others absolutely in the pursuit of that delusional bunyip “absolute security”.

    Less big concepts, less grand historical vistas and more simple humanity is the recipe well wishers of all sides should discuss and promote.

    In Australia this means less obsessing over hordes massing beyond the horizon, and more thought for men women and children trapped in horror on our doorstep, today.

  8. johnsalmond, what a heart-warming post.
    “Less big concepts, less grand historical vistas and more SIMPLE HUMANITY….”

Leave a Comment

* Copy this password:

* Type or paste password here:

44,914 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress

NOTE - You can use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>