Get Real!

Blow me down in a cyclone!

‘Some key Israeli figures — including President Reuven Rivlin, Diaspora Minister Naftali Bennett, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and opposition figures Avi Gabbay, Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid — have followings that are more than 60% artificial.’

Be assured that I do not indulge in desperate fake follower tactics – here’s the proof.

Twitter Audit

You can obtain your own free audit at twitteraudit dot com – let me know how you go @Jinjirrie or comment on this post.

Similarly, my blog doesn’t buy fans though encouragement and support for my consistent effort over the years writing political content and poetry are greatly appreciated, either intangible or tangible. Donations to fund my writing are happily accepted – scribes cannot dine on their own words alone!

@Israelconsulate responses : Government PR on Twitter

IndignityAs promised, here’s the responses I received to questions posed to Israel’s Consulate in New York, represented by Consul @DavidSaranga in a governmental world first public press conference on Twitter today.

One of the aims appeared to be pushing a slick vidcast ad about life under Hamas bombing in Sderot complete with petition – perhaps in the interests of global citizen’s democracy and balance, the Israelis will turn the power back on in Gaza so its hapless populace can prepare a glossy vid of their own.

Though one couldn’t say real twittering rapport was achieved, the flood of questions from round the planet kept the Consul’s fingers hopping! Twitter is probably not the best medium to conduct open press conferences that are likely to attract large numbers of participants – still, I gained a few interesting followers and was pleased some of my questions were answered, albeit with nothing particularly unpredictable – where information delivered was questionable, I took the trouble to reply with correct links where applicable.

JIN:

@IsraelConsulate what is your understanding of the word “apartheid“? [link]

IC:

@Jinjirrie: There are no Israelis are living in Gaza so there is no segregation. the only solution is a 2 state solution #askisrael [link]

JIN:

@israelconsulate gaza effectively occupied by israel , yet without rights enjoyed by israelis … justification? #askisrael [link]

JIN:

@israelconsulate why not aim for a wonderful 1 state solution? sooner or later demographic facts will make this inevitable surely #askisrael [link]

JIN:

@IsraelConsulate why did Israel break the ceasefire with Hamas with incursions in November? http://is.gd/e7c0 #AskIsrael [link]

IC:

@Jinjirrie: Hamas decided to break the CF: http://tinyurl.com/3v4gkl #askisrael [link]

JIN:

@israelconsulate better source for cf here http://is.gd/dTEH – hamas offered to renew truce, on very reasonable terms – comment? #askisrael [link]

JIN:

@IsraelConsulate why is Israel attacking a civilian mercy ship? #AskIsrael #gaza http://is.gd/e8n6 [link]

IC:

@jinjirrie During CF 3 ships were let in. Due to escalation, we have decided to keep the ships out of harms way 4 their safety.#askisrael [link]

JIN:

@israelconsulate how is ramming an aid ships & firing round it keeping ‘them out of harm’s way’? #askisrael [link]

SETH:

@israelconsulate Ur reply to @jinjirrie disingenuous.Aid ship blocked 4 its own safety? Imagine they know risks http://is.gd/eds8 #askisrael [link]

IC is now spinning the story on its site, saying the Dignity rammed an Israeli vessel. Those on the boat however say the Dignity was in fact rammed – three times.

The captain of the Dignity told Penhaul he received no warning. Only after the collision did the Israelis come on the radio to say they struck the boat because they believed it was involved in terrorist activities.

The captain and crew said their vessel was struck intentionally, Penhaul said, but Palmor called those allegations “absurd.”

“There is no intention on the part of the Israeli navy to ram anybody,” Palmor said.

“I would call it ramming. Let’s just call it as it is,” McKinney said after the boat docked in Lebanon. “Our boat was rammed three times, twice in the front and one on the side”

“Our mission was a peaceful mission to deliver medical supplies and our mission was thwarted by the Israelis — the aggressiveness of the Israeli military,” she said.

The incident occurred in international waters about 90 miles off Gaza.

Followup questions I asked pursuant to replies received by others:

IC:

@anotherpundit Isr. only targets mil. installations. Unfortunate damage 2 civ. targets occurs. Hamas purposely puts civ. at risk. #AskIsrael [link]

JIN:

@israelconsulate why does israel bomb civilian police stations & universities if it ‘only targets military installations?’ #askisrael [link]

IC:

@realprince IL is pro ceasefire, but due 2 R exp. these R used 2 strengthen Hamas. we’d rther negotiate than fight. #AskIsrael [link]

JIN:

@IsraelConsulate ‘rather negotiate than fight?’ why a different tune from you to israeli politicians http://is.gd/ediV #askisrael [link]

IC:

@jranck crossings r open. 2day 33 trucks of aid & 5 ambulances. Among them r: UNRAW, MSF, ICRC & WFP. In the last 6 mnts: 17,000 @askisrael [link]

JIN:

@IsraelConsulate UN says 600 lorry loads of food & medicine needed daily & israel allows in 33 .. discrepancy??? #askisrael [link]

IC:

@xylem we believe talking is the best way, but we’ll talk only to factions that accept our right to live. a right Hamas denies #AskIsrael\ [link]

JIN:

@israelconsulate http://is.gd/edAy hamas conditns for accptig israel were clear & reasonable esp. ending the illegal occupation #askisrael [link]

And lastly, my remaining unanswered questions, which I hope will be addressed at a later date:

JIN:

@IsraelConsulate when did the psyop warning phone calls to gazans start after the initial Cast Lead surprise? #askisrael [link]

JIN:

@IsraelConsulate how long before abbas stops being a suitable ‘partner for peace’ like all the others before? #askisrael [link]

JIN:

@IsraelConsulate 5000 palestinians koed by israel & 14 israelis koed by rockets in 7 yrs – when will the illegal occupation end? #askisrael [link]

A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity – Nelson Mandela

Israel on twitter

Boing Boing posts an alert that Israel is utlising Web 2.0 to interact with the world, with an inaugural citizen’s twitter conference to be held today between 1 – 3 pm EST.

If you are twitter shy, you can follow the conference here and here.

Our questions?

@IsraelConsulate what is your understanding of the word “apartheid“?

@IsraelConsulate why did Israel break the ceasefie with Hamas with incursions in November? http://is.gd/e7c0 #AskIsrael

In contravention of international maritime law, Israel is compounding its criminal travesties with an assault on civilian emergency supply ship Dignity.

So we’ve asked another question:

@IsraelConsulate why is Israel attacking a civilian mercy ship? #AskIsrael #gaza http://is.gd/e8n6

Israel Go Home NowIsrael’s current massacre in Gaza has been characterised by United Nations regional envoy, Richard Falk “as a massive violation of international law because it was punishing an entire population for the actions of a few” – thus an extension of the collective punishment of the blockade inflicted on the civilians in Gaza over the past year.

Falk also accused Israel of “targeting civilians and of a disproportionate response to the threat posed by Hamas’s equally illegal rocket attacks on its southern border.”

Israeli Foreign Minister and electoral hopeful Tipsy Livni’s response, backed by the usual muppets in the US administration? The attacks were needed “to change the reality on the ground. That reality … was one where Hamas continued rocket attacks on the people of southern Israel without retaliation.”

Yet it was Israel which deliberately broke the ceasefire with Hamas last November after which were rockets fired in retaliation that Israel then used as propaganda in a transparently deceitful attempt to justify the present pogrom against the people of Gaza, further claiming spuriously that civilians are not being targeted.

From Jews for Justice for Palestinians:

“The Israeli government steadily sought to break down the ceasefire, not just in Gaza since early November, but also in the West Bank. Israeli forces have carried out an average of 33 incursions, 42 arrests or detentions, 12 woundings and 0.84 killings a week in the West Bank during the ceasefire. The tactic has been to continue attacking Hamas and other militants in the West Bank, provoking responses in Gaza, and to use the responses as the pretext for the massive attacks of the last 24 hours.”

Israel rejected Hamas offers for an extension of the cease fire:

“On 23rd December Hamas offered to renew the ceasefire if Israel would undertake to open border crossings for supplies of aid and fuel, and halt incursions. For those of us appalled at the collective punishment involved in the ongoing siege, and concerned that Israelis should not fear death or injury from Qassam rockets, that seems a truly reasonable response.

For Israel to reject it bespeaks a bankrupt body politic especially since the army and the politicians are acting against the wishes of the Israeli public. It is after all the civilians on both sides who will bear the brunt of this dangerous folly.”

Other sources indicate the planning of Israel’s attack on Gaza occurred over several months, so it’s fair to assume the Israeli incursion provocation in November formed part of the strategy to exonerate the Zionist enterprise from blame.


Israel is refusing any truce with Hamas
and has foreshadowed weeks more collective punishment. Does this mean its government believes its propaganda campaign is working and they can continue to bomb Gaza with impunity, with little to no censure from the international community?

What does Israel really hope to achieve with its abominable slaughter and destruction of Gaza’s infrastructure?

In an excellent dissection of the issues, Hugo Foster discusses the counter-productivity of Israel’s attack on Gaza:

The assumption that hurting Palestinian civilians, either through air strikes or through starvation and power cuts, will make them rebel against their leaders is farcical. Hamas is a religious nationalist movement that above all aspires to defend Palestinian land and security, something that the majority of Gazans believe is worthwhile. This has been shown to be so time and time again.

The EU, France, Russia, UN and belatedly Britain have condemned the ongoing air strikes. But the US, the one power with any real hold over Israel, has shamefully refused to follow suit, urging Israel simply to avoid civilian casualties. As one Jerusalem Post commentator writes, ‘The [US] State Department’s reaction seemed to be a repetition of the one we heard two years ago [regarding the July war in Lebanon], but with Hamas replacing Hezbollah and Gaza standing in for Lebanon: the war is Hamas’s fault, Hamas should stop shelling Israel with rockets, Hamas is a terror organization, the people of Gaza are suffering because of Hamas’.

This kind of nonsense, in ignoring the true dynamics of the Arab-Israeli conflict, will in the long run do nothing for Israelis or Palestinians. Our leaders should remember that most of Gaza’s inhabitants are children of refugees, the sad legacy of protracted conflict in the Middle East, and a reminder that all attempts to date to produce a military solution to the Palestinian question have fundamentally failed. And any government not yet convinced as to just how explosive the issue of Palestine is across the Middle East need only look at the ripples of civil unrest reported in just about every capital city in the region in the last three days.

Nir Rosen describes the counter-productive consequences of Israel’s hideous, masochistic strategy:

The democratically elected Hamas government was targeted for destruction from the day it won the elections in 2006. The world told the Palestinians that they cannot have democracy, as if the goal was to radicalise them further and as if that would not have a consequence. Israel claims it is targeting Hamas’s military forces. This is not true. It is targeting Palestinian police forces and killing them, including some such as the chief of police, Tawfiq Jaber, who was actually a former Fatah official who stayed on in his post after Hamas took control of Gaza. What will happen to a society with no security forces? What do the Israelis expect to happen when forces more radical than Hamas gain power?

A Zionist Israel is not a viable long-term project and Israeli settlements, land expropriation and separation barriers have long since made a two state solution impossible. There can be only one state in historic Palestine. In coming decades, Israelis will be confronted with two options. Will they peacefully transition towards an equal society, where Palestinians are given the same rights, à la post-apartheid South Africa? Or will they continue to view democracy as a threat? If so, one of the peoples will be forced to leave. Colonialism has only worked when most of the natives have been exterminated. But often, as in occupied Algeria, it is the settlers who flee. Eventually, the Palestinians will not be willing to compromise and seek one state for both people. Does the world want to further radicalise them?

In the Independent, Robert Fisk makes some comparisons between Israel’s atrocities in Gaza and British responses to the IRA:

We hear the usual Israeli line. General Yaakov Amidror, the former head of the Israeli army’s “research and assessment division” announced that “no country in the world would allow its citizens to be made the target of rocket attacks without taking vigorous steps to defend them”. Quite so. But when the IRA were firing mortars over the border into Northern Ireland, when their guerrillas were crossing from the Republic to attack police stations and Protestants, did Britain unleash the RAF on the Irish Republic? Did the RAF bomb churches and tankers and police stations and zap 300 civilians to teach the Irish a lesson? No, it did not. Because the world would have seen it as criminal behaviour. We didn’t want to lower ourselves to the IRA’s level.

Yes, Israel deserves security. But these bloodbaths will not bring it. Not since 1948 have air raids protected Israel. Israel has bombed Lebanon thousands of times since 1975 and not one has eliminated “terrorism”. So what was the reaction last night? The Israelis threaten ground attacks. Hamas waits for another battle. Our Western politicians crouch in their funk holes. And somewhere to the east – in a cave? a basement? on a mountainside? – a well-known man in a turban smiles.

The plight of the Gazan people inflicted by the 18 month long blockade and the perfidy of exceptionalist Israeli propaganda is further highlighted in the video below.

@KevinRuddPM Tweetwatch Cockatoo

Our Kevvie’s recent incoming and associated twitbites make for fun reading … here’s some favs to date – the characteristic laconic, down-to-earth verging on shameless Aussie lingo is alive and twittering.

rogers: @KevinRuddPM Frosty handshake? Why didn’t you sock that arsehole in the guts…?

hortovanyi: @fang mate, I’m always well behaved on here .. the only person I’m not sure about is @KevinRuddPM

grodscorp: @KevinRuddPM Would’ve thought you wouldn’t need to do dishes at White House dinner, Kevvie.

ninjamoeba: I love @KevinRuddPM ‘s bio: “PM.” Surprisingly succinct.

After Kev’s first, very muted, ‘vpod’ offering:

jimbiosis: @KevinRuddPM Sir, “growing the cake” is a mixed metaphor.

owenhodda: What is this vpod @KevinRuddPM speaks of? I am not down with the cool kid lingo

jamesfehon: @KevinRuddPM you mean a vlog?

lenier: @KevinRuddPM Re: “vpod”. You may have developed a term where many already exist. Welcome to Web 2.0! You’re fitting right in.

chrissylvester: just watched @KevinRuddPM’s vpod about the G20 and wanted to let you know he wished we’d sent @TurnbullMalcolm instead – chrissylvester team

Several commentators express concern about correct twitgrammar:

calvinccc: @KevinRuddPM My first thought was: wow the PM’s twittering in the 3rd person

danupoyner: Shock! @KevinRuddPM has changed from 1st to 3rd person. I like to think that it is actually still Kevin, just talking in 3rd person 🙂

iusebiro: am pretty disappointed that @kevinruddpm isn’t even pretending that it’s my beloved KevOhSev tweeting 🙁

cinema_monster: do you think @KevinRuddPM is actually the one updating his twitter? i’m kind of getting the image of my dad trying to work the dvd remote…

Digs at Conroy’s profoundly idiotic attempts to censor the Australian internet:

alexrzem: @KevinRuddPM That’s nice that you recorded a message for us. But how do you know that in the future it wouldn’t be blocked by your Firewall?

SilkCharm: @KevinRuddPm Hi Kev, thanks for your video G20 email http://twurl.nl/hon8lp – Please enjoy our #nocleanfeed video http://twurl.nl/06dsl3 🙂

Other tweets are disappointed with Kev’s autistic twitter demeanour, particularly in comparison to the more experienced twitterer @TurnbullMalcolm:

Mediamum: Gee, @KevinRuddPM has over 2000 followers and hasn’t had a conversation with anyone yet! FAIL

perkler: @KevinRuddPM just emailed me to say he looked forward to ‘our continuing dialogue’. I didn’t know we were having one. I got the email tho

jedwhite: @TurnbullMalcolm Great to see your genuine engagement through twitter. Very positive contrast to @KevinRuddPM. Hope u r finding useful.

@KevinRuddPM is now Number 8 on the Aussietwit list, yet it seems some followers are dissillusioned.

a_lil_spaz: The novelty has worn off now. Defollowing @KevinRuddPM & others people of political note. Sick of big shots not using Twitter appropriately.

caitabee: @KevinRuddPM I just unfollowed you. Fuck yes.

TWITFLASH!

We have liftoff! @KevinRuddPM is responding – and the cat is cool 🙂

@KevinRuddPM in a Twatty Twitter

Pipped at the post by @TurnbullMalcolm by several weeks, @KevinRuddPM is getting off to an embarrassing, stumbling start. A couple of hours after we first followed Kevvie, all his followers were wiped clean – in a supposedly inexplicable Twitter crash. We readded ourselves quickly, yet were not followed back. In fact, we had to delete then add ourselves again later so Kevvie would follow us, after his Twitter Team announced all followers were to be automatically followed. Democratic governments are the servants of the people, not the other way around, after all.

Unlike Malcolm’s constant, urbane twitterings which are written by none other than the man himself and which include direct, pertinent responses to his followers, Kevin and his Twittering Team have managed just 7 flaccid, dead fish declarations, and no public responses. Twice, his eager followers have been reminded, groan, that Kevvie is off to the G20 in Washington. Has Kevvie no mobile with him on the plane to Washington whereby he could ameliorate his limp Twitter image? Should we infer that he is too busy collecting his thoughts for that great occasion and being a man can only think about one thing at once? With Conroy continuing to make a dill of himself with his unworkable, unpalatable internet censorship proposals, Kevvie is adding insult to injury with his inept handling of the powerful social networking and communication tool Twitter has become – creating the distinct impression Kevvie and his team just don’t understand the internet at all.

Surely his media advisers had studied @BarackObama and @DowningStreet prior to launching into the twitterverse? Get it together Kevvie – why didn’t you set up another identity a while back and practise with your friends to avoid being labelled a Twitter noob?