Avi Yemini from Rebel News spoke at a rally to support Israel against Palestine at King George Square in Brisbane today, 19 November 2023. He described how he usually stuck to reporting, but had not been able to resist this invitation to speak because of the loyal presence of Maori supporters from Brian Tamakis Destiny Church. (https://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/brian-tamakis-anzac-men-command-respect-across-the-world/3999/.) Indeed, Maoris seemed to make up something like a third to half those present at this rally of maybe two or three hundred people.
Unfortunately the sound on the video is very poor. I have tried to get the gist of it because it was an interesting and unusual event. Avi had just come back from Israel, where he had travelled in response to footage he had seen on tv.
AVI YEMINI: “I’m speaking here as a tiny - a very tiny, compared to you guys [big Maoris] – Jew, a grumpy Australian, who has seen what has happened in Australia since October 7 the majority of Australians [?have sided] with the majority of the Muslim world for reasons – whether it’s the far left because of anti-racism or something like that or it’s the far right which has somehow found allegiance with both the jihadis and the crazy antifa left, but all of a sudden the jews are under this attack, and the only people that seem to actually strike fear in the enemy at the moment are a group of Destiny Church, a group of Maori warriors […] and I know some of the most popular videos I’ve shared on line have been of you guys doing the [searches for word, which someone in the audience supplies] - Haka, but those videos have gone round the world and I’ve seen […] where Jews have become empowered and emboldened by your strength. And you should know you’re doing that, because standing for what is right takes a lot of courage, especially when [unclear] is so unpopular. You’ve just got to go look at the comments, when anyone posts that stands with Israel.
Now I came back from Israel about a week ago. [speaks of how he was in Australia when he saw] … live footage of Hamas attacks … I phoned my brother … I said to my brother, ‘What’s going on?’ And he didn’t really know. There was a line under the screen saying that Israel was under attack … There are a lot of questions that have to be answered … Nobody really knew what was happening …
I discussed with my boss whether I should go there, to Israel. No person with a heart could watch the footage fed by Hamas. Nobody with any sense of morality could not stand with Israel in that moment – and they did. The majority of the world … [except] extremists … did stand with Israel for a very short time. But I said to my boss, ‘I know this narrative, I know this story,’ – but even I was shocked at how quick … within 48 hours within 2 or three days – suddenly, when Israel fights back, the world is going to be standing against that, because the world loves to feel sorry for the Jews [unclear] … but they never have their backs when they fight back.”
CANDOBETTER COMMENT: This assessment seems a little inaccurate in light of US-NATO’s immediate response, which has been to send its president, other politicians and billions of dollars and arms to help Israel ‘get rid of Hamas’, by annihilating Gaza, and the mainstream press’s response which has promoted the Israeli government version of what happened, whilst mainstream social media, with the exception of X, has suppressed much of the other side, which is, however, escaping via alternative media.
AVI YEMENI: “Then I decided that I had to drop everything and fly there. And I can tell you my personal experience on the ground. I arrived in Israel … and no-one was on the streets. There was military, there was reservists, there was people going back to the army, there was police, but the average citizen locked himself in the house because Israel was in shock. The average civilian across the country was in fear [unclear] under attack […] They were finding terrorists ... terrorists found daily that had gotten out, managed to escape the southern border, and so people were genuinely in fear. They did not know how it had happened. They couldn’t believe […] under Hamas control […] [place name] somewhere I was personally deployed [? under military service] was where they butchered soldiers, went house to house, hunting Jews, butchering, raping kidnapping, putting babies in ovens, beheading – yes, sorry, they didn’t behead 40 babies – so now you’re going to excuse … the others that were beheaded … If anyone questions it -”
[Interjection from the audience.]
“What was that? I can’t hear you mate. Yes, there’s no evidence of the 40 babies. Come here, let’s talk about it. There’s no evidence of the 40 babies - […] One second, I’ve got to do my job.” [Avi runs through crowd towards the edge where the person who has interjected is.] Slight disturbance in the crowd near the interjector. End of speech.
I found Avi’s speech interesting because I felt that he was responding sincerely to events as he perceived them, but he did not appear to be aware of the suffering of the Palestinians and the history of their persecution, nor of how people naturally respond to the shocking fact that the Palestinians are currently being trapped and exterminated by the Israeli Defense Force. He seemed only able to see that his ‘side’ had been attacked, but not inclined to ask why, nor whether the Israeli response, was proportionate. (It is not.) And he did not seem to be aware of the reports by Israeli news paper, Haaretz, contending that deaths at the festival on 7 October were the result of shelling by helicopters and tanks, not ground fire. This would point to Israeli Defence Force, not Hamas, having caused most of the deaths. (Max Blumenthal, Grayzone, "October 7 testimonies reveal Israel’s military ‘shelling’ Israeli citizens with tanks, missiles," October 27, 2023, https://thegrayzone.com/2023/10/27/israels-military-shelled-burning-tanks-helicopters/ and "Bombshell: Max Blumenthal accuses Israel of lies and deceit over Gaza bloodbath on October 7," interview by Afshin Rattansi on Going Underground, RT, November 18th 2023 https://www.rt.com/shows/going-underground/587500-israel-killing-its-own-civilians/)
Perhaps, if he had not sped out into the crowd, he might have addressed some of these problems. We will never know. I decided not to stay for the Maori Haka, and went on to the much bigger Pro-Palestine rally, which was several blocks away.