Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Neturei Karta

Neturei Karta (NK) are orthodox Jews opposed to the establishment and existence of the so-called “State of Israel”.

Founded in Jerusalem in 1938 after a split from Agudas Yisroel, Neturei-Karta is Aramaic for “Guardians of the City”. Agudas Yisroel were “…lured by money and…sold out to the Golden-Calf of Zionism…” according to NK.

The name, Neturei Karta, was given to the Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem who refused, and still refuse, to recognize the existence or authority of the so-called “State of Israel” and continue to publicly demonstrate their position of “unadulterated Judaism”.

So it is not true to say that all Jews, even all orthodox Jews, support the state of Israel. Furthermore, according to NK spokesperson, Rabbi Weiss, NK maintain the so called state of Israel is not in keeping with Judaism and Judaism runs contrary to the idea of Zionism that created the so-called state of Israel.

He goes on further to say that it is not just NK who oppose the state of Israel but it is “…Judaism that is totally contradictory to the idea of Zionism…”

Rabbi Weiss believes “Judaism is a religion subservient to God” and that “…Zionism is trying to transform this concept into a base material concept of nationalism…”. He makes it very clear that “…this is not what Judaism is in its essence…”

Judaism is a religion that dates back millennia while Zionism is a mere 100 years or so old, considered to have been fathered by Theodor Herzl in 1897.

Rabbi Weiss believes the state of Israel could not have been brought into being without the backing of Jews and non-Jews around the world. He believes when they created the concept of nationalism they wanted to “…estrange themselves from God entirely…”

He feels that Zionism has “corrupted the idea of Judaism” to justify the establishment of Israel. He goes further and claims “…Theodore Hertzel and Ben Gurion, all these guys were non religious…”. These are the so-called fathers of Zionism.

These men hijacked Jewish identity for the purposes of establishing the state and were not even clear about where that state should be having considered establishing the state of Israel in Patagonia and Uganda, according to the Rabbi. They simply hijacked Jewish identity to make the foundation of a state, any state, an acceptable idea.

From a theological perspective, Rabbi Weiss believes the Jewish people are forbidden from creating a home and cannot create a home until God instructs them to do so, which has yet to happen. Furthermore, the crime of founding a Jewish state in Palestine is compounded by the fact that it was a land already inhabited and inhabited by their friends.

Zionism claims that the foundation of the state of Israel is God’s will. Despite this religious stance, most religious Jewish communities around the world do not fly Israeli flags as they do not accept Zionism.

Indeed Chief Rabbi Yosef tzvi Dushinsky, in Jerusalem, in a declaration to the United Nations in 1947 expressed his opposition to the establishment of a Jewish state “…in any part of Palestine…”.


Frank Ryan

Check out audio here – PART 1 – PART 2 – 

From our history of fighting autocratic rule and the devotion of many to a religion, Ireland and Spain have a lot in common. In more recent times, through economic crisis, this common ground became more common and less grounded. A crisis we allowed ourselves be duped into by ‘hard-working’ European nations. These ‘hard-working’ Protestant nations, and their apologists, with much racial glee, rubbed our ‘lazy’ Catholics snouts in it. Not just with words but also with debt burden.

Statistically Spain’s predicament would appear much worse than Ireland’s. Overall unemployment stands at 26% with youth unemployment at 50%. A statistic leading some companies to exploitation of student interns. 110% and 50 year mortgages leading some to rent their homes to tourists, tom pay a portion of the mortgage, and rely on the kindness of friends for accommodation. A peak of 500 house evictions and 8 suicides per day and where the OECD reports that the Spanish poor have been hardest hit.

Despite these alarming statistics, both crises are similar as they are characterised by a property collapse, high unemployment, emigration, Government spending cuts and increased taxes. Similar again is the ease with which both our politicians produce favourable statistics to claim ‘things are getting better’. But things are far from improving in any meaningful way.

When this notion that ‘things are getting better’ was put to Spanish people in Dublin and Madrid, including politicians, business people and trade unionists, it met with absolute derision. Most believing the crisis and its effects will last at least another 10 years. In addition to high unemployment, Spain has lost a lot of its industry.

This is a gloomy picture. Add to this the arrest of protesting trade unionists, allegations of politically motivated journalist dismissals, and violence on the streets during the March 2014 protests. In this light Spain has passed the ominous point of no return.

But this would be far from an accurate portrayal of Spain or the Spanish. While more subdued than May 2011, the Spanish are fighting back and writing their own future. Recent anti austerity marches brought one million Spaniards onto the streets, regions of Spain are beginning to re-discover their identity, new political movements and parties have emerged and those affected by the mortgage crisis are becoming empowered. Spain may be in the grip of austerity but they are inching towards a bright future.


PAH (Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca – Movement of Mortgage Victims)


People dealing with the ill effects of Spanish austerity is where the greatest hope lies. These are people who unselfishly give up their time, knowledge and resources to tackle the crisis and are attempting to build a new community. Groups and movements such as PAH are among the most noteworthy.

While not necessarily a political movement, PAH work with victims of the housing crisis. Their main aims are;

1. Cancelling of the mortgage debt upon handover of the property to the bank
2. Immediately stopping of evictions
3. Transformation of homes in the hands of financial institutions into social rents.

But these are not just aspirational demands, they are realistic. PAH volunteers meet regularly each week and assign volunteers to work with mortgage victims. Part of this work involves empowering mortgage victims to deal with the banks and mortgage re-payments.

Representative of PAH, Marie Cristina, said that in the early years PAH were working mainly with immigrants yet today they assist more and more Spanish people. While this change in profile has occurred, Ivan Tesoreria of PAH, says that they mainly still assist women as men fear the public admission of not being able to provide for their family. They suffer from what he describes as “…macho evicted…”.

In spending time with PAH, at a victims support meeting in the south of Madrid, I met a number of mortgage victims, where I discovered there was a lot more to the crisis in Spain than people simply finding it difficult to pay their mortgages. Some of whom ended up homeless, others with family while many occupied the many empty apartment buildings built during the boom years. Empty apartment buildings similar to Ireland’s ghost estates.

I met people who were to be evicted from these abandoned apartments, by the local council, and those who have lived in social housing for several years. Social housing that was sold, at a fraction of its original cost, to companies owned by Goldman Sachs, Blackstone Real Estate and the Bank of Scotland.

One of these was a Roma family, who were given a two day eviction notice by the Madrid City Council, despite having lived in one such abandoned building for five years. The father of this family has certified health problems and four young children. Yet they still have to leave the accommodation with life on the street as the only alternative.

Another lady, Marie Sol, has been living in a council house for 17 years. She had a lifetime contract on this house with Madrid city council yet recently had this reduced to a one year contract after it was sold to a private investor. She now lives in uncertainty as she is informed that this is a unilateral contract that could change any time.

Changes that could include upward rental fees or even eviction from her home of 17 years as these new owners sell on the property for a substantial profit. I contacted IVIMA (Instituto de la Vivienda de Madrid), who are responsible for such matters in Spain but I did not receive a response.

While part of the anti austerity movement, PAH do so much more than protest. They work with these people on a daily basis to empower them to take control of their own lives. They are filling a void left by a disinterested political class.

Other Movements

Spain Puerta del Sol

Opposition to austerity in Spain appeared to be most energetic in 2011 as it was in May of that year that the group 15M came to prominence. They lead the protests that culminated in Puerta del Sol, the symbol of Spanish resistance to austerity. These protests seemed to peter out as Spaniards became worn down by the relentless Spanish Government austerity, blamed on German insistence.

It was not until 22 March 2014, that 15 M’s successor 22M, came to the fore. Once again the Spanish took to the streets yet this time there was to be violence which many believe was instigated by the police. There are reports, from ordinary Spanish citizens, that Spanish police infiltrated the protestors on the day.

The 22M movement call for a cancelling of the debt, a shift of responsibility towards the rich and away from the poor and an end to TROIKA.


Other movements such as Movimento per la Democracia, wish to bring about change and an end to the cosy corruption between big business, the political system and the media. This group is working on a charter, in some ways similar to the Magna Carta, as a basis for a new constitution for Spain as explained by one of its organisers, Raúl Sánchez Cedillo.

Raul feels the need for change and takes aim at the media, where he feels there is “…a strong corruption between political power and big media…”. He feels this can be challenged through effective use of social media.

He believes groups such as PAH have a very important role to play. He believes they are, in their own way, fighting the excesses of naked capitalism and the vested interest of the financially very wealthy in Spain. Without groups such as PAH Raul feels things would be much worse as there would be no obstacle whatsoever to privatisation.


Ireland held elections in 2007 while Spain did so in 2008. In Ireland Fianna Fáil (FF) won a third successive election while the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE – Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) also retained power.

Identically, Ireland and Spain held elections again in 2011 and identically changed Governments. Significantly though for FF, who are one of the most successful political parties in the World, they lost 75% of its seats to a Fine Gael (FG – Christian Democrats) and Labour (Social Democrats) coalition. The PSOE lost around 35% of their seats to the Partido Popular (PP – People’s Party, a Christian Democrat party).

Why did FF took a bigger hit than the PSOE is a matter for debate? Is it as Professor Figerola, of Nebrija University, explains Spanish “…Civil War politics…”? Well does that not exist also in Ireland? Or is it as Jesus Gallego, of the trade union UGT explained, down to the Spanish electoral system that favours the larger parties? However, it does not really explain why the PSOE only lost 9.5% of the vote and FF lost over 24%.

It may be hard for Irish people to dredge up any sympathy for FF. However, why they suffered greater than the PSOE does need to be examined further.

Whether through ideology or lack of choice, both Ireland and Spain chose Christian Democrat parties in 2011. Ireland, however, also chose a social democrat party as the minor coalition party in its Government. A party which is now feeling the wrath of the Irish people who believed they would save them from austerity.

It would appear to make little difference then which party leads Government. Hasn’t it always been like this? So the question then is not about FF or Labour. The question is about why the electorate demonstrate such faith in people and organisations that continuously disappoint and achieve little more than the inevitable and the predictable.

Strangely then, despite sitting in opposition for over three years, FF do not show any signs of sitting in government any time soon while the PSOE are still very much alive in Spanish politics. In fact it can be seen that it is the PP who are under fire. In fact they are suffering an internal crisis as a new party, Vox, has emerged from their ranks. A new party that is attempting to move Spanish politics further to the right. Vox – Latin for voice – are attracting disillusioned PP voters. How long they will last beyond the upcoming European or even the 2015 general elections, remains to be seen.

This has not come to light in Ireland. With the exception of the Reform Alliance, a political force established by a handful of disgruntled pro-life FG et al members, no new political parties have emerged in Ireland. Vox are also a pro-life and family values party. They favour a low tax regime and, unlike the Reform Alliance, they support Spanish unity.

Other similarities between Vox and the Reform Alliance is that they both have connections to a fascist past. Family of senior members of Vox served under the Franco regime while the Reform Alliance, through its recent connections to Fine Gael, are connected to Ireland’s fascist movement of the 1930s, the Blueshirts. The Blueshirts fought alongside Franco during the Spanish Civil war where they were effectively wiped out.

Another new group calling itself Partido X has emerged. Choosing the name X as they are not a political party in the conventional sense – despite fielding candidates for the 2014 European elections. They claim to be “…an anti-party party…” as explained by Ruban, one of the ‘party’ activists. They claim to be a citizen network that wants to change the way politics is being understood as the traditional political parties are no longer useful for the purpose intended. They believe citizens need to have control over their institutions and there is a need transparency and participation in creation of the laws as Spanish citizens do not possess the ‘right to vote’.

Partido X, according to Ruban, wants citizens to be able to vote directly on laws that concern them and participate in the way laws are made. When asked to explain the first law they would change, Ruban replied ‘how decisions are made’. They stand for principles that nobody could deny – and end to corruption and greater citizen involvement in how their institution are run. Yet they vague light on how this would be implemented.

Interestingly the crisis has done nothing to dampen the spirits of those seeking independence for the Basque Country and Catalonia. The Basque town of Etxarri-Aranatz held an independence referendum on Sunday 13 April with 94% of voters saying “Yes” to independence. Jon Inarritu, MP from the Amaiur coalition, believes the Basque Country will thrive as an independent state as it already has its own industry and institutions in place.

Alfred Bosch of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (a pro-independence republican left wing party in Catalonia) believes Catalonia will also survive and that the referendum on 9 November will be successful. This is despite the Spanish parliament rejecting the idea of devolving powers to Catalonia without its consent. Despite this, he believes people will still vote on 9 November and that they will vote yes as the people of Catalonia are “…very resentful of the fact that the tax level is very hard…” and that “…half of the taxes that leave for Madrid, never come back…”. The crisis means people there are “…feeling the pinch…” but insists that freedom is the main driving force and not economical.

Furthermore article 8 of the Spanish Constitution which states, ‘the Army’s mission is to guarantee the sovereignty and independence of Spain, to defend its territorial integrity and the constitutional set up’. In theory this article could mean Spanish troops on the streets of Barcelona should Catalonia proceed with the referendum and pursue a successful ‘Yes’ vote.


Spanish Crisis 4

During the 1 May protests speakers condemned the erosion of employment rights underway in Spain since the crisis begun. Indeed it is the very erosion of these rights that has been cited, in certain quarters, as the reasons for slight improvements in the Spanish economy.

Jose Luis Carretero, of the anarchist trade union the Solidaridad Obrera (Workers’ Solidarity), discussed the dilution of employment rights in Spain. These include;

• Employers need not seek government permission to make large numbers redundant.
• Probationary period has been extended from 6 to 12 months, during which, an employee can be dismissed without reason or compensation being paid.
• Individual bargaining is given preference by law to collective bargaining.
• Temporary contracts are the order of the day so employees feel no security that they can make ends meet and enjoy their lives.

Despite the grave difference in statistics, the Spanish crisis is the same as Ireland’s and indeed any other part of the world. However, it is not a financial, economic, political or banking crisis. It is much more personal than that. These four sectors are a mere representation of who we are or who we thought we were. In that sense this crisis has been positive as we can see that we are not these and never were.

However, it will be a negative experience if we do not learn from it and act. And learning and acting does not necessarily involve the establishment of a new political party or movement. In time they will do just as their self serving predecessors with innocent bystanders left, once again, scratching their heads asking “how did that happen”.

What I noticed, and this is not a Spanish or Irish phenomena, is that most political parties and movements thrive on fear. Established political parties generate fear over jobs, new movements generate fear over the establishment. Understandable yet unjustifiable and ultimately unsuccessful.

There is no political movement or system of living that has not been thought of. Yet very few have been put into practice as they were meant. Effectively they all failed. They failed as they did not adequately address people’s fears, anger and inability to trust. As long as this blind practice continues, failed systems and movements will also continue.

Solutions are more likely to be found through the work of groups like PAH. The selfless offering of one’s time and efforts to empower people, demonstrates what we are capable of. PAH are not trying to change Spain or change the world, instead they are working with their fellow man, in a very simple way, to say we are here for you. It shows us that no matter what any corrupt group of people throw at their fellow man, that we will stand together to empower people and build an empowered community.


Biden Son

What are we to make of this? Is this so predictable that it is even beyond comment? I hope not.

As this article points out, Vice President Biden has rebuked Russia for its apparent involvement in Ukraine and has pledged to support a reduction on Russian dependency.

Can we believe the ousting of Yanukovych was anything other than a coup?



Three months ago today (8 June 2014) flight MH370 vanished with 239 people on board. As the mystery continues several theories abound. Relatives of those on board have become so desperate and disillusioned with rescue efforts, they decided to launch an effort to raise $5 million for investigations and a “whistle blower” reward.

Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist, Dr. Kevin Barrett, has put forward the idea that Israel may be involved as a means of instigating war with Iran.

According to investigative Journalist and author of “Solving 9-11: The Deception that Changed the World” Christopher Bollyn, a replica of the airplane has been in a hangar in Tel Aviv since November 2013 –

Bollyn believes the official story could run along the lines – Iran hijack Malaysian plane and fly into Tel Aviv skyscraper. Israel would respond by waging war on Iran and, under the cloud of this war, according to other theorists, wipe out the Palestinians –

In reality, Iran would have nothing to do with it. Israel would either have crashed or hijacked the real plane, thereby killing all passengers or incarcerating them at the US military base in Diego Garcia.

Meanwhile the identical plane, from the hangar in Tel Aviv, would be flown into a skyscraper in Tel Aviv, Iran blamed and a war against them commenced. The images of two Iranians on the flight would add credence to this story.

Fortunately this is not how things panned out and Bollyn believes his publicising of this theory, defanged the possibility of another false flag terror attack. He feels he therefore helped to prevent something terrible happening.

Other theories surround the rumour that Chinese patent holders, of a new microchip with military applications, were on board the flight. As this flight was heading to China it is believed that some people did not want these particular passengers to make it there where they may wish to share or sell their information with Chinese officials.

With these Chinese nationals out of the way the Chinese would not get this technology or, if the flight was diverted to Diego Garcia, the technology would fall into the hands of the Rothschild’s.

Who knows if any of this stacks up. It would appear that both Israel and the Rothchild’s are at the bottom of almost every single conspiracy theory out there. Several serious questions do remain unanswered though.

One such question is why, of the 26 nations involved in the search for MH 370, have Malaysian authorities not sought the help of the Maladives. Inhabitants of the Maldives, claim to have seen a “low flying jumbo jet” on the day the flight MH 370 disappeared.

The account of the Maldives inhabitants, could quite possibly add credence to the notion that the plane was diverted to Diego Garcia.

Another such question is why, New Zealand oil worker Mike McKay, lost his job for simply reporting sight of the missing Malaysian plane crash into the sea, whilst ablaze.

A book, by author Nigel Cawthorne, claims the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was shot down during a joint Thai-US military training exercise. Cawthorne believes the families of MH370’s passengers will “almost certainly” never be sure what happened.

Cawthorne’s book supports the eye-witness testimony of McKay, that it was shot down shortly after it stopped communicating with air traffic controllers.

In addition to these unanswered questions, theories behind its disappearance include;

  • Shot down in a military training exercise
  • Flown north and shot down deliberately, prompting cover-up
  • Flown north in the ‘shadow’ of another plane
  • Tried to land on a desert island beach
  • Landed at a US military base
  • Headed for a remote airport in Langkawi, Malaysia
  • A fire throughout the plane
  • An explosion in the cockpit
  • A struggle at altitude
  • A botched hijack attempt
  • Pilot suicide
  • Sabotage – for a life insurance scam or corporate attack
  • A CIA cover-up

Check out here for more on these ––and-what-happened-to-it-9455120.html

Wherever flight MH 370 may be, it seems implausible that it cannot be found. Technology abounds yet this plane remains uncovered. You get the feeling it will remain so for some time and I fear not even $5m, will entice the utterance of a breath never mind the blowing of a whistle.

Read Dr. Kevin Barrett’s article here: 

Celtic Sands Wallace 

Labelling ‘war’ as ‘crime’ and ‘revolutionaries’ as ‘terrorists’ depends completely upon who takes charge of the facts. Yes I am sure there are several UN definitions of what ‘War’ is and what is required before it can take place and all of this must comply with regulation XYZ from the Geneva Convention and so forth.

Fact is, if someone feels fear or the need to defend, there is no written document in the world that will stop them taking action.

Does a parent carefully peruse Bunreacht na hÉireann (Irish Constitution), as a burglar is making their way through their baby’s room, to establish whether they are a burglar or not before tackling them or dialling 999? Did the Poles check Adolf Hitler’s credentials as he entered Gdansk before they decided to defend themselves?

On the flip side, did the US and The UK/Britain/England (whatever term they use to avoid responsibility and detection) wait to get clearance from the UN before entering Iraq?

In all of the above, it’s an emphatic NO. Whether through fear or self-defence, human beings will take whatever action is necessary to defend themselves or to protect what they feel is theirs.

No amount of labelling or relabelling will change this so attempts at doing this are devious and even clichéd. But worst of all such attempts seem to be part of a malicious agenda.

The southern Irish media employ this agenda when it comes to ‘war’ in Ireland. They do so in line with the age old British tactic of demonising descent. Divide and conquer in another form.

According to British authorities and their Irish ‘Government’ lackeys, the IRA/British war, from 1969 to 1997, was not in fact a war. It was only a bit of ‘Troubles’. How quaint. Nothing to see here folks, it’s all quite normal. We’re not like those savages in the Middle East. We are civilised mature Europeans. None of that going on here.

Unlike Iraq of course, which they believe is a war while the rest of the planet knows it is not.

In fact, according to the southern Irish media, what happened in the 6 Counties from ’69 – ’97 was instigated by some trouble making Taigs (for God sake will they not keep their heads down and shut up, things are grand) against some boisterous Orangemen (sure don’t you know what they’re like, why don’t you just keep away from them).

Well things weren’t grand. And those boisterous Orangemen were only boisterous because they had full protection, no matter what they were involved in, from the British Government. The Irish Government was reluctant and too scared to say or do anything. The furore over the arms trial and the Dublin-Monaghan bombings put paid to that sort of talk. The Brits knew our leaders would always take the line of least resistance and would in fact lock up their own people when attacked from outside. They were right. The Irish Government did not let their bosses down.

Well the Orangemen are still boisterous but the tide has definitely turned. The desire and ability of the British state to cover up for Orange thuggery is waning and will wane further still. The reality of southern involvement in Northern affairs has finally dawned. So too has the southern Euro on the Orange Order who have availed of funding through the ‘Europe’s Peace Three programme’. So too have the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Of course these are points that go unnoticed in the southern Irish media. The southern Irish media who rightly report on expense scandals south of the border yet ignore the fact that a sectarian, sexist organisation and police force avails of Irish taxpayer funds north of the border.

Instead the southern Irish media present endless examples of how members of the IRA are ‘criminals’. Forgetting of course that the IRA’s very existence, as it is deemed ‘illegal’ by the state, had already made them ‘criminals’. If you oppose the state, what difference does it make how they label you? If they deem your organisation illegal, did you really think they would stop there? Why does that piece of irony go unnoticed?

Has it also gone unnoticed that Tone, Emmet, Collins and all that went before were also ‘criminals’? If you rise up against a group of unjust people (the State), does it not stand to reason that they will continue to behave unjustly? Is this not the reason you stood up against them to begin with? The labelling and relabelling is therefore predictable and irrelevant.

Then we come to the most tiring of all arguments – the ‘old’ IRA (good) and the ‘new’ IRA (bad). Yet nobody can demonstrate clear differences between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ IRA. Why? Because there are no differences.

Terrorist Army

Of course they will tell you that the ‘new’ IRA are involved in drugs, racketeering, robbing banks etc. Even when there is insufficient evidence to support all these claims. The Northern Bank robbery being one such example.

Even when there has clearly been involvement of British agents in such acts. The Little-johns being one such example.

The IRA/British war is thankfully long over. However, the southern Irish media are still waging theirs. Such was the case in Darragh MacIntyre’s ‘The Disappeared’, aired on RTE in late 2013.

A title, also part of this labelling campaign, which attempts to place the IRA alongside the right-wing Thatcherite dictator, Pinochet among many other such delightful characters.

MacIntyre’s piece shamelessly exploited the emotion of hurt families who tragically lost loved ones. Tragically lost during a war, which RTE relabelled ‘The Troubles’.

Of course their colleagues in the BBC took a slightly different approach when Panorama looked into the British Government death squads in Ireland in the early 1970s. Death squads that randomly killed several civilian Catholics. I chose to label them as random as the vast majority of those they gunned down were not members of the IRA.

One of these death squads was called the MRF. Panorama endorsed the work of the death squads by allowing the ‘brave’ members of these death squads to sum up the investigation. One member of the death squad said “I am proud of what I did and I would do it all again in the morning”. Another ‘brave’ candidate dismissed his killing as necessary in a “dirty war”. Panorama did not challenge this and were happy to leave their investigation on this chirpy note.

These ‘brave’ men said they were apparently proud of what they did yet, only three of the eleven they contacted agreed to appear on TV. These three ‘brave’ souls all disguised their faces and used voiceovers to disguise their voices. One of the remaining eight ran for cover when the BBC went to visit him at his home in Australia.

Undoubtedly the families gunned down by these ‘brave’ British death squads are also hurt and have also experienced great pain – physical and psychological. Yet Panorama did not exploit this in the same way or to the same extent as MacIntyre did. Indeed it was the exploitation of their pain upon which MacIntyre’s message rested.

Without exploiting their pain MacIntyre would have to relabel this ‘crime’ as ‘war’ and then, of course, he too would have to investigate the British death squads.

As MacIntyre’s piece said, the punishment given out to informants “…is the same the world over…”. So what then makes the IRA executions so different?

Fact is, IRA executions are sadly like so many others  the world over – no better and no worse. In this light executions all around the globe must be condemned in the same way and with the same intensity. Sadly they are not. Sadly Catholics who defend their neighbourhoods are ‘terrorists’ and British and American soldiers who kill and maim thousands all around the world are ‘heroes’.

The deliberate killing of any living being, without just cause, is always completely wrong. Likewise what just cause do informants have to pass on information that will also lead to killing? Their actions put the lives of their own community in danger and in fact they do their work in the full knowledge that their community will be harmed by death.

Of course RTE and the southern Irish media are aware of this. They are deliberately altering the narrative and succumbing to the British policy of normalisation. They are playing their own game which, unfortunately for them, is outdated and falling on deaf ears. Fortunately access to factual information is available for anyone who chooses to go looking.

Listening, watching and accepting the word of the mainstream is no longer an excuse, laziness is no longer an excuse, not having the time or the money is not an excuse. The facts are freely available whenever you chose to read up. The only issue is, whose facts will you read and what labels will you chose?

Near FM’s suspension of ‘International Politics’ and the Government funded radio documentary ‘Understanding Muslims in Ireland’ remains in place. Near FM say it will remain so until at least mid January 2014. No firm date has been given despite my hearing and making several requests.

Thus far I have still not received a valid reason as to why the suspension began or remains in place. Near FM state (on their Facebook page but not to me) that I have been suspended for “serious infringement of Near fm policies and procedures”.

Talking to the national press and through social media about volunteers is also a “serious infringement of Near fm policies and procedures” yet the management team remain in place.

It must be remembered that Near FM did not suspend the show until 23 days after the 6 November show. During this time the matter had been resolved internally. It is unfortunate that Near FM, who had done great work in the community for the past 18 years, suddenly decided to be used by Israel to censor human rights issues.

Thank you once again for ensuring the voice of Palestine is heard and Israeli Mc Carthyism challenged

International Politics

The reluctance of the Israeli embassy to accept any criticism or questioning of their state is shocking and undemocratic. It is outrageous that Israel is using heavy handed tactics to attempt to silence and censor criticism, particularly against a community volunteer. A community volunteer whose mission it is to give a voice to the unheard, promote human rights and give access to different perspectives. Israel is attempting to silence such a voice. This is undemocratic, intolerable and ultimately Israel fails.

While I enjoy a professional relationship with the Israeli embassy, who are forever welcome on my show, if I upset them on the topic of Gaza and the treatment of the Palestinian people there and in the West Bank, I consider my work as a human rights activist to be done. What I have seen happening first hand in the West Bank is appalling, human rights abuse and we must speak about it and speak about it until it is resolved and justice for the Palestinian people achieved.

The Israeli embassy, and contacts I have made through the embassy, have been on my show on a number of occasions. The Israeli embassy have even written to me, on more than one occasion, to congratulate me on the fairness and quality of other shows. I will not take extreme measures, nor indeed any imbalanced measures, to prove this further. Particularly when doing so would mean the unheard would not get a voice and that such demands would be unending. It would merely lead to a continuation and promotion of such demands. You would in effect become their slave, as so much of the Irish media has already become.

I very much respect the BAI and understand they have a job to do in ensuring fair reporting. I have been fair at all times over all my shows in ensuring, as best I can, that everybody gets a voice. The number of Israeli voices on the show who have all been given an open forum, since its inception in January 2013, bears testament to this.

My criticism of the BAI is that their scope is too narrow – to simplify they require balance in one show or two shows that occur within two months of each other. When reporting on something like Gaza it is laughable to demand ‘balance’ in one or two shows. The situation in Gaza is already incredibly imbalanced. It is completely tipped in favour of Israel and its allies. The BAI position of balance in relation to Gaza and other similar places is a nonsense. The demand for balance in Gaza is imbalance in itself. How can you demand the same standards for balance those under the boot of oppression as you do for those wearing this boot?

When we covered Kristallnacht on Near did we interview surviving Nazis? When we interviewed Amnesty International about Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to Ireland did we interview a member of the Burmese Junta? Of course not, that would be ridiculous. Likewise with Gaza.

The severity of the situation in Gaza must be taken on board. It must also be taken on board that the unchallenged opinions on 26 March were those of experts that were on the ground. Experts of academic, national and international standing.

Azizi, who was a guest on the 6 November show, is a political comic character and everything he says must be seen in that light. He performed a comic piece, which is clear from the laughter in studio. Unfortunately a comic piece about a very serious topic but a comic piece nonetheless.

I was only informed of the content of the BAI announcement, read out before the 6 November show, 10 minutes before going on air. The interaction between myself and my guest Azizi was therefore spontaneous and unplanned.

Had sufficient time been given to making me aware of the content of this BAI statement and making me aware of how the show should therefore be conducted, then the content of 6 November show would have been utterly different. The response from myself and my guest would have been utterly different.

That being said the show took place and what happened happened and cannot be taken back. Regrets are unproductive. What is productive, is that you learn from your experience and be better next time round. I have learned, from 26 March show, that programming needs to be balanced and objective, regardless of what is happening on the ground of the subject matter nor anywhere else in the outside world.

What this really means is that the real flaw on 6 November show was that it gave the Israeli embassy a mandate to silence democratic debate and discussion. The style and delivery of the 6 November will therefore not be repeated.

The response on 6 November was as a result of an outpouring of emotion on an extremely emotional topic – Palestine and Israel. Is there really a more emotional political topic internationally? I do not believe so.

My subsequent suspension and banishment from Near, by Near, is not justified nor was Near’s distancing itself from me in the national media. I felt abandoned and alone by this treatment, which is unjustified in any circumstances and particularly when my record had been exemplary one. So what is needed now is for Near to lift this suspension and banishment immediately and allow the show back on the air to ensure human rights violators continue to be challenged.

6 November was an emotional time for all concerned, guests, presenter and Near FM alike. It is therefore not fair to assess people with a rational set of criteria. What is rational is to ensure it is not repeated. Repetition hands victory to the oppressor, balance exposes them. Chose balance.