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On 10 December 1918 Australian and New Zealand soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) massacred about 100 Palestinian men in the village of Surafend and a nearby Bedouin camp and then burned the Palestinian dwellings. The atrocity was committed as revenge for the death of a New Zealand soldier at the hands of a fleeing thief he had apprehended, and marks the beginning of violent killing of Palestinians in the ongoing Palestinian Genocide  that is now associated with 2.3 million Palestinian deaths from violence, 0.1 million, or from imposed deprivation, 2.2 million, since the British invasion of Palestine in WW1.

Wikipedia summarizes the Surafend Massacre thus: “The Surafend affair … was the premeditated massacre of many male inhabitants from the Arab village of Surafend (now the area of Tzrifin in Israel) and a Bedouin camp in Palestine by soldiers of the ANZAC [Australia and New Zealand Army Corps] Mounted Division on 10 December 1918. The massacre, believed to have been in response to the murder of a New Zealand soldier by a villager, was mostly overshadowed by the military achievements of the division, although it caused a significant rift between the Division and its [British] Commander-in-Chief, General Sir Edmund Allenby… Early in the evening, around two hundred soldiers entered the village, expelling the women and children. Armed with heavy sticks and bayonets, the soldiers then set upon the remaining villagers whilst also burning the houses. Somewhere upwards of about 40 people may have been killed in the attack on Surafend and the outlying Bedouin camp. The casualty figures depend upon the testimony from the reporting authority. There is no certain figure and one account puts the figure at more than 100. There were also unknown numbers of injured villagers who were tended to by the field ambulance units… No one was charged for the massacre, but in 1921 Australia paid £515 to Britain, as compensation for the destruction of the village. New Zealand paid £858; and the British government paid to authorities in Palestine £686 due to a small number of Scottish soldiers who had participated” [1].

Tim Elliott writing in the Sydney Morning Herald nearly 90 years after the atrocity: “To Reginald Messenger, it was “just something that had to be done”. He was a trooper in the [Australian] 6th Light Horse Regiment at Beersheba in 1918 when he took part in what is emerging as one of the darkest, and most overlooked, chapters of Australian military history… The incident occurred shortly after the end of World War I, and has been all but obliterated from the official record. Just three pages of H.S. Gullet’s 844-page official war history mention it, and neither the NSW Returned and Services League nor the Light Horse Association had heard of it. A new book, called “Beersheba”, by the journalist Paul Daley, re-examines the Surafend massacre, and the long shadow it cast over the legend of the Light Horse, famed for their 1917 cavalry charge at Beersheba” [2].

Australia has sought to blame New Zealand forces but the Australian War Memorial contains documentary evidence of Australian involvement [2-4]. Australian journalist  and researcher Paul Daley has commented thus on the 100th anniversary of the Surafend Massacre: “The premeditated nature of the revenge attack that was planned after the Arab chiefs refused to surrender the thief/murderer on the day of the 10th. The reprisal was carefully planned for 7pm on the evening of the 10th, and the men – including a good many Australians – determined to arm themselves with bayonets, axe handles and sharpened sticks, to get all of the women and children out of the village, to kill all males over 16 and to burn the village. Afterwards they also killed men at the nearby Bedouin camp and torched it. The Scots blamed the New Zealanders. The New Zealanders blamed the Australians. The Australians blamed the New Zealanders and the Scots. The official inquiries were a whitewash, so comprehensively did most of the men lie to protect one another. Accounts vary as to the death toll. The evidence suggests it was between about 40 and 100. No Anzac or Scottish soldier was ever held responsible for the murders at Surafend or the Bedouin camp, or for the destruction of the village” [4].

Of course forgotten in all of this is what happened to the “women and children” spared from the bayonet by the gallant Anzac soldiers – it takes little by way of empathic imagination to consider  happens to impoverished people living at the edge of survival when they are suddenly deprived of their menfolk, homes, meagre possessions, food, water and domestic animals. Such deprivation amounts to a sentence of death through deadly deprivation, a genocidally racist phenomenon familiar to the Australian and New Zealand Anzac perpetrators through the Australian Aboriginal Genocide and the New Zealand Maori Genocide, respectively.   In the Australian Aboriginal Genocide the Indigenous population dropped from circa 1 million at the time of the British  invasion in 1788 to 0.1 million a century later, variously through  violence, dispossession, deprivation and introduced disease [5]. The last massacre of Indigenous Australians was the Coniston Massacre in Central Australia in 1928  [6]. For similar reasons, in the Maori Genocide the Indigenous Maori population dropped from 0.1 -0.2 million in 1800 to 40,000 in 1893 [5].

The Surafend Massacre can be seen as the first violent act in the century-long Palestinian Genocide in which 2.3 million Palestinian have died from violence (0.1 million) or from violently-imposed deprivation (2.2 million) since the British invasion of Palestine in WW1 [7-10]. However the first non-violent mass killing of Palestinians in the ongoing Palestinian Genocide was in the WW1 Palestinian Famine in which an estimated 100,000 Palestinians died from deprivation occasioned by the British and their Australian and New Zealand lackeys bringing war to Palestine [7-10]. Note that genocide is defined  thus: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” [11].

The Surafend Massacre and the Palestinian Genocide of which it is a part must be seen in the context of horrendous European colonialism, genocide  and genocide denial. Thus Australian writer John Docker: “In this reading of Indigenous history I will look at what is not there, what is disregarded, minimised, and deflected … Surafend has long been referred to as an incident, the usual term for it in Australian military history. I suggest, however, that for Australian history the significance of the massacre and burning of the Indigenous Palestinian village and camp is as a displaced allegory of the settler colonisation of Indigenous Australia. A potent reason, that is, why information, discussion, and memory  have been so repressed is that Surafend questions heroic narratives both of the Australian Light Horse in Palestine and of white settlement in Australia. In even more far-reaching terms, Surafend is an allegory of all settler colonialism which, in Raphaël Lemkin’s view, as I have contended elsewhere, necessarily involves genocide and massacre as a technique of genocide. For the Palestinians, the massacre was a harbinger of more massacres to come, of a tragic history” [12].

War is the penultimate expression of racism and genocide is the ultimate realization of racism. Variously as UK lackeys or US lackeys Australians have invaded 85 countries as compared to the  British 193, France 82, the US 72 (52 after WW2), Germany 39, Japan 30, Russia 25, Canada 25,  Apartheid Israel 12,  China 2  and North Korea arguably none [5, 13-19]. Of these 85 Australian invasions about 30 have been associated with genocide [19]. The dimension of the Palestinian Genocide (0.1 million Palestinian deaths from  violence  and 2.2 million deaths from imposed deprivation) [7-10] is similar to that of the Australian Aboriginal Genocide (0.1 million Indigenous Australian  deaths from  violence  and about 2 million deaths from imposed deprivation) [20]. The Palestinian Genocide and the Australian Aboriginal Genocide are both similar in the order of magnitude of the carnage to the WW2 Jewish Holocaust  (5-6 million Jews killed through violence or imposed deprivation) [21, 22].

The Palestinian Genocide is part of a wider and ongoing Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide (32 million Muslims killed through violence, 5 million, or imposed deprivation, 27 million, in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9-11 false flag atrocity [23, 24].  Similarly, the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million killed) was part of the appallingly ignored WW2 European Holocaust (30 million Slavs, Jews and Gypsies killed through violence or imposed deprivation) [5] which is part of the overall 100 million victim WW2 Holocaust that also includes the “forgotten” WW2 Chinese Holocaust (35 million Chinese killed under the Japanese in 1937-1945) [25] and the “forgotten” WW2 Bengali Holocaust (WW2 Indian Holocaust) in which 6-7 million Indians were deliberately starved to death by the British with Australian complicity for strategic reasons [26-28].

History ignored yields history repeated.  Massacre ignored yields massacre repeated, Genocide ignored yields genocide repeated.  Holocaust ignored yields holocaust repeated [26].  Searches of the ABC (Australia’s taxpayer-funded equivalent of the UK BBC) for “Surafend massacre” or “Surafend” yielded zero (0) results. A Search of the UK BBC for “Surafend massacre” yielded scores of results for other massacres but  yielded zero (0) results for the Surafend Massacre per se. A BBC Search for “Surafend” yields zero (0) results for the Surafend per se. An Advanced Search of the Australian War Memorial for “Surafend massacre” yielded zero (0) results”( “Sorry no results found”). However a Search of the Australian War Memorial for “Surafend” yields 2 results relating to articles in the Australian War Memorial Library that mention the Surafend Massacre but are not accessible on-line [29, 30]. In addition, the Australian War Memorial has 35 items, mostly photographs,  relating to “Surafend”. A Google Search for “Surafend Massacre” yields 350 results. However a Google Search for “Palestinian Genocide”  fails to elicit  the website of the same name that records the views of numerous anti-racist Jewish and non-Jewish scholars who refer to the ongoing catastrophe in Palestine as a Palestinian Genocide – yet a Bing Search elicits  this “Palestinian Genocide”  website as item #1 on page #1 out of 16,000 results. This is further clear evidence of egregious anti-Arab anti-Semitic censorship by  Google, the board of which is about 50% Jewish Zionist [31-40].

 

Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK  and the US, countries that make up the “5 eyes” Anglosphere intelligence-sharing club, are just now concluding  a WW1 Remembrance Centenary year that concluded with the 100th observance of Remembrance Day that commemorates the  conclusion of the WW1 Armistice  on 11 November1918. However jingoistic Australia has gone overboard in committing over A$600 billion to the commemorations as well as committing a further A$500 to improving the  Australian War Memorial (a memorial that resolutely ignores the 0.1 million Indigenous Australians who were violently killed  defending their land from genocidal British invaders).  James Brown on the cost to Australia of WW1 remembrance: “ All told, the centenary will cost Australian state and federal taxpayers nearly A$325 million. With an additional A$300 million expected in private donations, commemorating the Anzac centenary might cost as much as two-­thirds of a billion dollars” [41, 42]. The racist, war mongering, jingoistic, US lackey and Zionist-subverted Coalition Australian Federal Government in 2018 agreed to spend a further $500 million on improving the Australian War Memorial. Many people, including Australian veterans, have suggested that these huge amounts of money spend on jingoism would be better spent on the health needs of Australian veterans of whom about 80 commit suicide each year. We  honor all those who risk their lives in serving their country. However we must condemn immoral and war criminal politicians who commit their countries to  immoral and illegal wars. Mainstream journalist, politician and commentariat presstitutes ensure that the politicians get away with their criminal warmongering, jingoistic political exploitation of their servicemen both living and dead, and deadly betrayal of their traumatized veterans of whom about 80 and 8,000 suicide annually in Australia and the USA, respectively [43].

Notwithstanding this enormous Australian commitment of over A$1 billion to jingoistic  war  remembrance,   I have  found only one (1) Mainstream Australian analysis of the Surafend Massacre on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of this Anzac atrocity, specifically an article by Surafend Massacre expert Paul Daley and entitled “The moment that forever changed my perspective on Anzac mythology” [4]. Paul Daley must be lauded for his decency and for his courage. Thus on Australia’s sacred, war dead-remembering Anzac Day in 2017 ,  Muslim, feminist  social advocate and  humanitarian  journalist  Yassmin Abdel-Magied (who worked for Australia’s  ABC) posted on her Facebook page: “Lest we forget (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine)”. Monstered  by public outcry, Yassmin Abdel-Magied rapidly deleted the post and apologized. The ABC also apologized and about a month later stopped Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s TV program. Yassmin Abdel-Magied left Australia for London [44]. Similarly on Anzac Day in 2015 the Australian taxpayer-funded Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) sacked sports journalist Scott McIntyre over anti-war tweets [45]. The posts were correct and the  silencing of these decent journalists   by rabid jingoists is a stain on Australia and an attack on free speech.

Final comments

History ignored yields history repeated. Massacre ignored yields massacre repeated, Genocide ignored yields genocide repeated.  Holocaust ignored yields holocaust repeated. Human rights abuse ignored yields human rights  abuse repeated. Indeed 10 December 2018 is the 70th anniversary of the  adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly [46]. However 100 years after the Surafend Massacre, the sorely oppressed Occupied Palestinians (50% children, 75% women and children) are excluded from all 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [47].  The most fundamental human right is the right to life, whether that right is threatened by violence or by violently imposed deprivation. All that decent humanity can do is to (a) inform everyone they can, and (b) urge and apply Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all those violating human rights, and notably the right to life.

References.

[1]. “Surafend affair”, Wikipedia:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surafend_affair .

 

[2].  Tim Elliott, “Anzacs’ atrocity had to be done: digger”, 25 July 2009, Sydney Morning Herald: https://www.smh.com.au/national/anzacs-atrocity-had-to-be-done-digger-20090724-dw5x.html .

 

[3]. Paul Daley, “Beersheba: A Journey through Australia’s Forgotten War”, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2009.

 

[4]. Paul Daley, “The moment that forever changed my perspective on Anzac mythology”, The Guardian, 10 December 2018: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/postcolonial-blog/2018/dec/10/the-moment-that-forever-changed-my-perspective-on-anzac-mythology .

 

[5]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, that includes a succinct history of every country and is now available for free perusal on the web: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/  .

 

[6]. “Coniston Massacre”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coniston_massacre .

[7]. Gideon Polya, “70th anniversary of Apartheid Israel & commencement of large-scale Palestinian Genocide”, Countercurrents, 11 May 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/05/11/70th-anniversary-of-apartheid-israel-commencement-of-large-scale-palestinian-genocide/ .

[8]. Gideon Polya, “Israeli-Palestinian & Middle East conflict – from oil to climate genocide”, Countercurrents, 21 August 2017: https://countercurrents.org/2017/08/21/israeli-palestinian-middle-east-conflict-from-oil-to-climate-genocide/ .

[9]. Gideon Polya, “End 50 Years Of Genocidal Occupation & Human Rights Abuse By US-Backed Apartheid Israel”, Countercurrents,  9 June  2017: https://countercurrents.org/2017/06/09/end-50-years-of-genocidal-occupation-human-rights-abuse-by-us-backed-apartheid-israel/ .

[10]. “Palestinian Genocide”:  https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/ .

[11]. “UN Genocide Convention” : http://www.edwebproject.org/sideshow/genocide/convention.html .

[12]. John Docker, “Epistemological vertigo and allegory: thoughts on massacres, actual, surrogate, and averted – “Beersheba”, “Wake in Fright”, “Australia””: http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/p70821/pdf/ch0349.pdf .

 

[13].  Gideon Polya, “The US Has Invaded 70 Nations Since 1776 – Make 4 July Independence From America Day”, Countercurrents, 5 July, 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya050713.htm .

 

[14]. Gideon Polya, “British Have Invaded 193 Countries:  Make  26 January ( Australia Day, Invasion Day) British Invasion Day”, Countercurrents, 23 January, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya230115.htm .

 

[15]. Gideon Polya, “As UK Lackeys Or US Lackeys Australians Have Invaded 85 Countries (British 193, French 80, US 70)”, Countercurrents, 9 February, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya090215.htm .

 

[16]. Gideon Polya, “President Hollande And French Invasion Of Privacy Versus French Invasion Of 80 Countries Since 800 AD”, Countercurrents, 15 January, 2014: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya150114.htm  .

 

[17]. “Stop state terrorism” : https://sites.google.com/site/stopstateterrorism/ .

 

[18]. “State crime and non-state terrorism”: https://sites.google.com/site/statecrimeandnonstateterrorism/  .

[19]. Gideon Polya, “Review: “The Cambridge History Of Australia” Ignores Australian Involvement In 30 Genocides”, Countercurrents, 14 October, 2013: https://countercurrents.org/polya141013.htm .

[20]. “Aboriginal Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/aboriginalgenocide/ .

[21]. Martin Gilbert, “Jewish History Atlas”, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1969.

[22]. Martin Gilbert “Atlas of the Holocaust”(Michael Joseph, London, 1982.

[23]. Gideon Polya, “Paris Atrocity Context: 27 Million Muslim Avoidable  Deaths From Imposed Deprivation In 20 Countries Violated By US Alliance Since 9-11”, Countercurrents, 22 November, 2015: https://countercurrents.org/polya221115.htm .

[24]. “Experts: US did 9-11”: https://sites.google.com/site/expertsusdid911/ .

[25]. “Backgrounder: China ’s WWII contributions in figures”, New China, 3 September 2015: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-09/03/c_134582291.htm .

[26]. Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 1998, 2008, now available for free perusla on the web: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ .

[27]. Gideon Polya, “Bengali Famine”, Ockham’s Razor, ABC Radio National, 21 February 1999: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/bengali-famine/3556698#transcript  [transcript of ABC radio broadcast].

[28]. Gideon Polya, “Australia and Britain Killed 6-7 Million Indians In WW2 Bengal Famine”, Countercurrents, 29 September, 2011: https://countercurrents.org/polya290911.htm .

[29]. Lachlan Coleman, “A proper soldier’s vengeance?”, Wartime : official magazine of the Australian War Memorial.: 2007, volume 39, pages 62 – 63.

 

[30]. T.H.E. Travers, “From Surafend to Gough: Charles Bean, James Edmonds, and thr masking of the Australian Official History”, Journal of the Australian War Memorial.: 1995, volume 27, pages 15-25.

 

[31]. Gideon Polya, “Zionist subversion, Mainstream media censorship”, Countercurrents, 9 March 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/03/09/zionist-subversion-mainstream-media-censorship-disproportionate-jewish-board-membership-of-us-media-companies/ .

 

[32]. “Who controls America? Who controls Google?”, The Zog: https://thezog.wordpress.com/who-controls-google/  .

[33]. WSWS, “Google’s new search protocol is restricting access to 13 leading socialist, progressive and anti-war sites”, WSWS, 2 August 2017: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/02/pers-a02.html .

[34]. Gideon Polya, “Google censorship & Zionist constraint on effective free speech threaten planet”, Countercurrents, 9 August 2017: https://countercurrents.org/2017/08/09/google-censorship-zionist-constraint-on-effective-free-speech-threaten-planet/ .

[35]. “Censorship by Google”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_by_Google .

[36].Graham Vanbergen, “The Truth War is being lost to a global censorship apparatus called Google”, Global Research, 4 August 2017: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-truth-war-is-being-lost-to-a-global-censorship-apparatus-called-google/5602578 .

[37]. Mick Meaney, “Google’s Censorship Of Independent News – Rinf Becomes Latest Victim”, RINF, 6 April 2017: http://rinf.com/alt-news/editorials/goolges-censorship-independent-news-begun/ .

[38]. Eric Zuesse, “Google now threatening Alt-news websites”, Off-Guardian, 21 April 2017: https://off-guardian.org/2017/04/21/google-now-threatening-alt-news-sites/ .

[39]. Robert Epstein, “The New Censorship. How did Google become the internet’s censor and master manipulator, blocking access to millions of websites?”, US News & World Report, 22 June 2016: https://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-06-22/google-is-the-worlds-biggest-censor-and-its-power-must-be-regulated .

[40]. Gideon Polya, “Do Bing Searches to circumvent mendacious , pro-Zionsit Google censirshipo –Bingit!”, Countercuruents, 30 April 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/04/30/do-bing-searches-to-circumvent-mendacious-pro-zionist-google-censorship-bing-it/ .

 

[41]. James Brown, “Anzac’s Long Shadow: The Cost of our National Obsession”, Redback, 2014.

 

[42]. James Brown, “Anzac’s Long Shadow: The Cost of our National Obsession”, The Monthly, 17 February 2014: https://www.themonthly.com.au/blog/james-brown/2014/02/17/1392601420/anzacs-long-shadow-cost-our-national-obsession .

 

[43]. Gideon Polya, “Jingoistic, US lackey Australia’s deadly betrayal of its traumatized veterans”, Countercurrents, 18 May 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/05/18/26768/.

 

[44]. Gideon Polya, “Yassmin Abdel-Magied censored on Anzac Day – jingoists trash Australian free speech”, Countercurrents, 28 April 2917: https://countercurrents.org/2017/04/28/yassmin-abdel-magied-censored-on-anzac-day-jingoists-trash-australian-free-speech/ .

 

[45]. Gideon Polya, “Australia trashes free speech – SBS sacks journalist Scott McIntyre over anti-war tweets.”, Countercurrents, 4 April 2015: https://countercurrents.org/polya040515.htm .

 

[46]. “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights .

[47]. Gideon Polya, “Apartheid Israel Excludes Occupied Palestinians From All Provisions Of  The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights”,  Countercurrents, 20 May, 2012: https://countercurrents.org/polya200512.htm .

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/australian-complicity-in-iraq-mass-mortality/3369002#transcript

) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/  ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine  ;  Gideon Polya: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/home  ; Gideon Polya Writing: https://sites.google.com/site/gideonpolyawriting/ ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_Polya ) . When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/  .

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