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Posts Tagged ‘Australia

Brendon Lee O’Connell, Anti-Zionist Or Plain Racist?

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I can’t make my mind up about the Australian racist, Brendon Lee O’Connell:

“A man who posted a video of himself on the internet in which he refers to Judaism as a “satanic death cult” has been found guilty of six of the seven racial harassment charges brought against him.

Brendan Lee O’Connell has been found guilty of publishing racist material online after a two week trial which was centred around a video he made of himself arguing with Jewish man Stanley Keyser at a Friends of Palestine protest against the sale of Israeli oranges at a South Perth supermarket in 2009.

In the video O’Connell calls Jewish people racist and homicidal.

Written words super imposed over the footage include: “See how the lies roll off the Judiac’s tongue?” when Mr Keyser is speaking.

After the incident, which ends with O’Connell yelling at Mr Keyser to “get a good Jewish lawyer,” he went to the Bell Tower and filmed himself calling Judaism a “death cult.”

The jury took seven hours to reach the verdict of guilty on all but one of the seven charges which related to the video of the argument, the argument itself, and several blog posts. “

Is he just an Anti-Zionist or a Far Right bigot?

You might think that it would be easy to determine which is which.

I would hope that there should be clear blue water between Anti-Zionists and Far Right bigotry, but it’s not so clean cut when you examine the issues and people around the Brendan O’Connell case.

Firstly, he was arrested at a Friends of Palestine event against Israeli oranges in Perth.

Secondly, I had looked for a notice or something on the web, supposing that Friends of Palestine in West Australia would want to distance themselves from O’Connell, and only if you really, really search can you find something:

“Given members of Friends of Palestine WA are shown and identified in the video in question, we feel it is incumbent on you to point out to your readers that we as an organisation cannot be held responsible for the racist views expressed by a rogue individual who unfortunately happened to attend one of our protests.

Furthermore, we feel it is incumbent on you to make it known to your readers that we are unequivocally opposed to the vile racist views expressed by Mr O’Connell in his execrable video.”

That’s after the event, and Friends of Palestine in West Australia have an unforgivable taste for that nasty racist play, Seven Jewish Children.

Thirdly, the picture is further confused when you look at O’Connell’s main supporter, Jeff Kerr’s MySpace page, you see plenty of “anti-Zionist links”, for example, the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, James Petras, and palestineremembered.com

Fourthly, there is nothing on the main Australians for Palestine site, but there is a certain shared taste for some web material, Alan Hart’s, the well known racist, Steve Lendman, Jonathan Cook and Deir Yassin Remembered (which readers will remember is run by a Holocaust denier, Daniel A. McGowan).

Fifthly, Brendon O’Connell’s blogger profile suggests he likes a few racist sites, Michael Hoffman’s Revisionist Review and Whitelaw Towers, a White supremacists blog with a love of the Blood and Honour neo-Nazis.

He certainly gets a lot of support from the Far Right, and his friend’s main blog is littered with a mixture of “anti-Zionist” and Far Right links, e.g. Zundelsite and Adelaide Institute. Although, again, Alan Hart and Gilad Atzmon get a look in. Even Fred Toben, infamous Holocaust denier, lends O’Connell his support too.

Sixthly, scanning the earlier entries of O’Connell’s blog, before he passed it over to Jeff Kerr, it is clear he’s not playing with a full pack of cards.

O’Connell was an occasional poster on Indymedia, Perth for years. His posts and material there suggests that he’s clearly on the Far Right and that his antisemitic views are well known.

Finally, as J-Wire reports:

“An eye witness in Perth’s Distric Court told J-Wire: “O’Connell’s reaction was to shout ‘Free Palestine and Free Iraq and he said ‘Netanyahu will appear in the dock one day’.”

So it seems probable that Brendon O’Connell was a Far Right provocateur, who was swept along in all of the Anti-Zionist activities that went on. I can’t be 100% sure as there’s a lot of material to surf through, but that seems likely.

I do find it surprising that Anti-Zionists in Australia did not make more of an effort to distance themselves from O’Connell, and that they and his Far Right supporters often share a similar taste in reading material.

Irrespective of who Brendon O’Connell is and what weird racist views he holds, it is less than coincidental that outpourings of animus towards Israelis are frequently linked to anti-Jewish racism.

So often the two go hand in hand.

Maybe Australian Anti-Zionists should reflect on that fact.

PS: I would like to apologise to readers for including in some links to questionable sites, this was unavoidable in this instance.

Update 1: I should remind, those neo-Nazis, thickos and their mates (yes, you know who you are, eh ? Bill In Ohio), that I do not post your racist filth, as per my comments policy. Try reading it, if you can. Your filth will remain confined to the moderation queue.

Children Of The Empire.

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The recent news of forced migration of children to the colonies will come as a surprise to most people, particularly the British, who probably haven’t heard of this appalling practice until now.

The Australian Prime Minister’s apology, after much external pressure, is also soliciting change within the British government.

Despite the fact that forced migration had gone on for some three and a half centuries the British government adopted William Pitt’s maxim, let sleeping dogs lie.

Notwithstanding the horrendous ramifications for the people concerned, nothing much was said. Until the politician’s arm was forced up their back and even then they dragged their feet.

The Common’s Select Committee on Health reported on this issue in 1998, 11 years ago, and here’s a small extract :

”Introduction

1. “It was barbaric; it was dreadful. We look back on it in our organisation with shock and horror.”[1] This was the comment on the child migration programmes made by the Chief Executive of Barnardo’s when he, along with representatives of other sending agencies, gave evidence to us on 11 June 1998. Child migration was a feature of British social policy for many years. Legislation allowed children in the care of voluntary organisations to be transported to Commonwealth countries. In total it is estimated that some 150,000 children were dispatched over a period of 350 years—the earliest recorded child migrants left Britain for the Virginia Colony in 1618, and the process did not finally end until the late 1960s.[2] Exact statistics are difficult to come by. Today many former child migrants continue to face serious difficulties in establishing their actual identities and contacting members of their natural families who are still alive. The absence of a medical history is also a significant problem for some. In many cases child migrants suffered emotional and physical hardship and abuse, of a kind which has had damaging consequences for their health and well-being for the remainder of their lives.

2. Responsibility within the British Government for matters relating to the welfare of former British child migrants now rests with the Department of Health (DoH). This is therefore an issue which falls within the Health Committee’s order of reference. At our first meeting in the present Parliament, in July 1997, we decided to inquire into aspects of child migration, a subject which until recent years has received shamefully little attention. One explanation for this seeming disregard is that until the advent of the Child Migrants’ Trust in 1987, individual former child migrants had no organisation to represent their interests or co-ordinate their activities. They were, and are, widely dispersed across Australia and other Commonwealth countries, and often lack any ready means of gaining access to opinion-formers or to the media. Mr Tom Luce, Division Head of the Social Care Group at the DoH, commented that:

“We have a very strong impression that before the middle to late 1980s there were very few inquiries, complaints, applications for records”.[3]

The agencies involved in child migration appear at this time to have been less than co-operative in dealing with requests for information. Former child migrants were a group whose fate had largely been forgotten.

So next time someone talks about British greatness and the Empire, remind them of the real history, the real Empire, and what it consciously did to small children.

Update 1: The Child Migrants Trust is a useful resource.

Update 2: BBC radio covered this issue in 2003, their programmes are available (as Real media), Programme One – Children of the Empire, Programme Two – Good British Stock, Programme Three – Nobody to Trust and Programme Four – Searching for Identity.

Update 3: Again from the Beeb:

“Australia’s Roman Catholic Church publicly apologised on Thursday to British and Maltese child migrants who suffered abuse including rape, whippings and slave labour in religious institutions.”

Update 4: From 1999,

“British officials have been involved in a “top level cover-up” over the forced migration of vulnerable children, a Labour MP claimed on Wednesday.
David Hinchliffe, chairman of the Commons Health Select Committee, told the House of Commons that 150,000 children in care had been shipped to Australia and New Zealand as part of an experiment in child migration which he called “Britain’s most shameful secret”.

The practice of shipping orphans to Britain’s former colonies began in 1618 and only ended in 1967.”

Update 5: From the Australia’s Parliamentary Library, ‘Forgotten Australians’ and ‘Lost Innocents’: child migrants and children in institutional care in Australia.

“Under the Empire Settlement Act of 1922 and 1937, the British Government assisted private organisations to help people who wanted to settle in ‘His Majesty’s Overseas Dominions.’ Although not specifically aimed at assisting child migrants, this legislation allowed non-government organisations to send child migrants to various parts of the British Empire. The scheme intensified after the war when child migrants were sent under the Children’s Act 1948. Although non-government organisations had direct charge of most of the children at the recruitment stage, during their passage, or after their arrival in the receiving countries, they received encouragement and financial backing from British governments and governments in receiving countries. About 150 000 children with an average age of eight years and nine months emigrated from the United Kingdom, the majority to Canada, until the scheme ended in 1967.[4] A key motivation for child migration was to maintain the racial unity of the Empire and populate the Dominions of Canada, Rhodesia, New Zealand and Australia, with ‘good white stock’.”

Update 6: The Torygraph, 2001 “The Roman Catholic Church in Australia apologised yesterday to British child migrants who were sexually abused… “

Written by modernityblog

15/11/2009 at 22:14

Not So Slack.

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Slackbastard has good posts on neo-fascists in NZ and Australia.

I’d never realized that they were so numerous down-under, but then again thinking about the treatment of the Māoris, the whole settler mentality and Anglo-Saxon racism, etc it shouldn’t be too surprising.

Slackbastard’s stuff on the Roma and how they are being targeted is well worth a read.

His Francis De Groot Brigade guide is good.

Written by modernityblog

24/10/2009 at 14:31