An unattributed Age story (12/5) on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails stated that a “fifth of all Palestinians living under occupation – some 700,00 people – have served time in Israeli jails, according to activist groups.”
Although the article did not include the origin of the claim of 700,000, it is a number pushed by the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a Palestinian NGO, and is not credible. Blogger Elder of Ziyon says accepting the 700,000 claim means that since 1967 “there were, on the average, over 23,000 new prisoners a year…or 500 a week… Even during the height of the intifada, the number of these prisoners never reached 10,000….Almost certainly the past eight years have seen the largest number of … prisoners in Israeli prison history because of the intifada. Yet even if you assume that each prisoner is detained for only a single year and only arrested once, these past eight years add up to less than 50,000 prisoners; extrapolated to 1967 it would add up to under 200,000…Even those assumptions are ridiculous.”
Likewise, in an op-ed in the Australian (15/5), Izzat Abdulhadi, the Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, claimed that “Since 1967, more than 600,000 Palestinian men have been imprisoned in Israeli jails, a staggering 40 per cent of the male population.”
Bergs of a feather
Israel-related references cropped up in the Herald Sun journalist Nui Te Koha’s (13/5) “interview” with Sacha Baron Cohen’s new alter ego – Middle Eastern dictator Aladeen.
Aladeen said he was forced to make his movie “with the Zionist Hollywood machine… The way they distort reality is almost criminal – did you see Titanic, the film about the ship sunk by Israel in 1912? They blamed it on an iceberg! Everyone knows it was really a Goldberg that did it.” And when asked “who have been the great romances of your life?” Aladeen replied, “I once spent a weekend in Jerusalem with Golda Meir. She was an insatiable lover. To this day, whenever I think about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I break out in a cold sweat”.
Clive Hamilton was unimpressed with the Melbourne Theatre Company production of Richard Bean’s play The Heretic, which centres on a scientist who doesn’t believe in climate change. On The Conversation website (9/5), Hamilton suggested Bean write “The Heretic 2… in which the maverick academic David Irving, lone defender of the truth, uncovers definitive evidence that the Holocaust never happened. Sent to Coventry by his fellow historians – a spineless lot who have for years been manipulating the evidence to protect their funding and their reputations – David is in the end vindicated; the Holocaust was a Zionist plot after all. Staging that would be courageous.”
A comparison many people would find offensive, given the actual murder of six million Jews, as opposed to the climate change debate regarding the prediction of future events and trends.
Israeli novelist A.B. Yehoshua absurdly suggested in the Australian (8/5) that Israel can solve the Iranian nuclear question by resuming “the peace process…and achieve the goal of two states for two peoples…Israel should stop the expansion of existing settlements and dismantle illegal ones. Iranians would then be forced to abandon their inflated rhetoric and their evil threats.”
But of course the Iranian leadership is not merely opposed to Israeli settlements, but the Jewish state itself.