29 Nov 2012

Labor Matures On Foreign Affairs

By Ben Eltham
Julia Gillard got rolled over the Palestine question, but she should see it as an opportunity. The Labor caucus is getting serious about world affairs in light of our Security Council seat, writes Ben Eltham
Julia Gillard had some uncomfortable moments in the Labor party room this week.

Given the blanket media coverage afforded the AWU non-scandal, you'd be forgiven for thinking the backbench revolt was due to nervous MPs demanding some kind of circuit-breaker on the controversy.

But it wasn't. Instead, the revolt was about a vote in the United Nations on Palestinian observer status.

The vote, which is about raising the status of the Palestinian territories to "non-member observer" status, will not actually recognise a Palestinian state. But it will elevate the Palestinian territories to the same observer status as, for instance, the Vatican.

Perhaps more importantly, the vote recognises Palestine under the 1967 borders. That's critical, because Israel now occupies large swathes of that territory. Given the red-hot tensions around the issue, the vote is being seen as an historic step towards fully fledged statehood for the Palestinian Authority.

The importance of the vote can be seen by the way Israel and US are trying to forestall it. Indeed, Israel has made public threats to destabilise Abbas' government if the vote succeeds. But with world support now swinging behind the Palestinians, Israel is looking increasingly isolated. As Barak Avid argues today in Haaretz, "while the ruling party in Israel is moving to the right, the international community, including Israel's friends, is moving to the left. They are no longer willing to accept Israel's occupation of the West Bank."

There are also divisions with the Palestinian movement. This vote is being championed by West Bank leader, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah party. But Fatah does not control the Gaza strip, which is of course home to the more militant Hamas movement, recently involved in another short war with Israel.

It looks as though Abbas will win, with many Western democracies backing it, including France, Switzerland and Spain. Only the US, Israel and a handful of Pacific micro-states are expected to vote against the resolution. The UK has signalled it will abstain.

In Canberra, the divisions with the ALP were all about whether Australia would also abstain, or vote against the Palestinians, as we often have in the past.

It's a little surprising, to say the least, to discover that a vote on Middle East foreign policy has caused deep divisions in the Labor caucus, a body more used to arcane factional manoeuvres and disagreements over bread-and-butter domestic issues like carbon pricing or fiscal policy. But the many media reports about the issue suggest that there really was a showdown between Foreign Minister Bob Carr and the Prime Minister over the issue.

Troy Bramston has a very good piece about it in today's Australian, in which he reads the tea leaves of Labor's internal dissent over the vote. It appears to have divided both Cabinet and many factional caucuses, with the Prime Minister backing down after it became clear that she would be rolled in the party room.

Many Jewish groups are unsurprisingly opposed to the vote. Mark Liebler of the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council argues that "the true purpose of the move is to enable the Palestinians to launch a new campaign of diplomatic and legal attacks against Israel in various UN forums and elsewhere, particularly the International Criminal Court — and to do so as an alternative to direct negotiations with Israel".

The victory for pro-Palestinian factions in the ALP shows that public sentiment in Australia is shifting on this thorniest of international issues. The Zionist lobby has long been highly influential in Australian politics, and continues to enjoy a lot of sway with members of Parliament such as Michael Danby in Victoria and Malcolm Turnbull in New South Wales (Danby has had a swipe at New Matilda in the past, in fact, over our comments policy — you can see the background here.)

These changing views in the community on the Palestinian question are beginning to change Labor MPs minds. There is growing sense among many MPs representing western Sydney that their increasingly diverse electorates are very sympathetic to the Palestinian cause — a sympathy encouraged by the recent war, in which a dominant Israeli air force bombed many civilian targets. And many Left-leaning Labor members, like Andrew Leigh in the Australian Capital Territory, also want statehood for Palestine, reflecting their own deeply held beliefs.

Former Labor foreign minster Gareth Evans has also been prominent in the debate, telling the media this week that, "My very strong view was that to vote 'no' on this resolution would be not to help the cause of peace, not to help Israel and to be putting Australia absolutely on the wrong side of history in terms of our region and in terms of our capacity to be a credible and effective performer on the Security Council over the next two years".

Evans' point about Australia's future on the Security Council is an important one. The government — which could well be led by Tony Abbott by the end of next year — will have many difficult decisions to navigate once we take up our place on the Council. This will allow Australia a bigger opportunity to participate in global affairs. But it was also place us in some difficult spots, as we seek to reconcile our national interests with those of our allies like the United States.

For his part, Carr has been reiterating the value of Australia's membership of the Council, and our capacity to pursue an independent line on foreign policy. Carr calls the abstention, "a signal to the world that Australia, with an independent foreign policy, can carve out a position that meets our assessments and meets our needs and our interests."

Labor backbenchers should get ready for further debates on issues like Palestinian statehood in the near future. Australia's new role on the UN Security Council means there is suddenly a lot more at stake.

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lukeweyland
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 14:44

Apparantly Labor "says it best when it says nothing at all"!
Wouldn't a yes be stronger than simply abstaining?

anthonynoble
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 14:53

It is interesting that the ICC and UNHCR to do their job of providing oversight of the actions of a party to war are apparently "diplomatic attacks on Israel" ...hmmm

anthonynoble
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 14:55

It is interesting that asking the ICC and HRC to do their job of providing oversight of the actions of a party involved in a war are apparently "diplomatic attacks on Israel" ...hmmm

GrantD
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 15:29

I don't think the UN is in need of more 'fence-sitters' - abstaining shows Australia is not yet ready to make decisions and therefore probably doesn't deserve a seat on the council. Hopefully we'll 'grow-into' the role. Making decisions will be difficult and force Australia to develop a sense of vision for our part in global leadership. We won't always make the right decision but a number one rule for survival is to keep making decisions.

Geofferoo
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 16:03

Abstaining is at least better than just lining up behind the US and Israel with a 'baa, baa, baa'.

It is also refreshing to see a PM forced to take the views of other members of the government into account. More likely under a Labor government than the three-year dictatorship you get under the Coalition.

Think of how hard Hawke had to work to convince cabinet to support deployment to the Persian Gulf in 1990/91. Then contrast it with the next Iraqi escapade, where Howard told Bush we were going, and that was that. No further discussion need be entered into.

douglas jones
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 16:11

douglas jones
Now as an American acolyte which way should we vote, after all it is all about power position and advantage.
The fact that the UN has demanded much change in behavior a nuclear free zone and much more including withdrawal by Israel to original boundaries agreed 1948 and our even thinking of not doing what we can to bring back justice against the Zionist belligerent demand for all of what was Palestine under the British empire. The British Empire found it to hard so walked away we by then had already walked away in favor of the USA. We continued to ignore the body set up in the hope of stabilizing foreign designs, bit like the Bretton Woods was to stabilize the monetary world with admittedly much less people trauma than setting up the UN (less leadership too) even indulging an illegal war (no retribution of those involved or deceit of the Australian public) Iraq which in turn contributes to our unwanted refugees---oops I meant people smugglers!
So vote for territory and water removal aggression and all we say we dislike!

denise
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 16:32

The vote looks like it will carry anyway. But which Palestine is it for?
The West Bank and Gaza may as well be two different countries, as they are run by two entirely different parties, with two different leaders.
This is a very messy solution, because until the two Palestines are totally united with one voice, one Palestine can commit war crimes, while the other side prosecutes Israel for violating UN resolutions.
Hopefully this move to establish a Palestinian international identity will also have the Palestinians accept the already well established identity of the state of Israel.

geoffdb
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 16:34

It's little surprise this Australian foreign policy policy recalibration (not a major shift) is being challenged by our Liberal party opposition, as may be expected given their mindless compliance with American policies on any international issue including any wars on offer. They have nothing to add to this debate.

Similarly the local pro-Israel lobby, which continues to treat the
Israel-Palestine problem as a zero-sum game which only Israel should manage - and thus objects to any multilateral approach, such as from the UN or other
third party mediator. And so their complaints arrive on cue ...

This has been a week where Australia seems to at last respond like a sovereign
nation with its own foreign policy.

AbhothTheUnclean
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 17:31

So maturity is allowing the majority view to prevail. Gillard accepts that which she cannot change and regarding which she has no options and this is maturity? I would have said pragmatic myself or even pathetic since all the song and dance and expense of the seat on the security council, all the trumpeting of having our own opinion and not necessarily voting with the US, and when it comes down to the first opportunity ......... We abstain. Well done what maturity!

AbhothUnclean

spotter1@intern...
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 19:42

Stan1

A yes vote would have been better for a number of reasons including the ethical one. What affronts me about this article is the references to the recent "war". This was nor a war. It was a massacre similar to Cast Lead.

Gaza is a huge prison from which the inhabitants, people kicked out of their homes in the West Bank and what is now Israel, cannot escape because their borders on land and sea are controlled by Israel. They have no army or air force, no shelters and no means of resistance except some mainly home-made rockets which have caused little damage.

Rockets from Gaza were not the cause, they were a response. Ahmed Jabari had a long-term peace agreement in his pocket when he was assassinated in his own land by an Israeli Drone. This followed the killing of a mentally disabled man and two kids playing football. These provocations naturally brought about a response in the form of rockets.

A good excuse for another massacre by Israel which refers to these attacks as "cutting the grass".

bladeofgrass
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 21:09

Gillard's Zionist leanings have come back to bite her on her ample rump. I hope her political career is drawing to a rapid close.

Rocky
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 21:29

Is the real Labor party finally re-appearing after decades of torpor?

bladeofgrass,

Unfortunately the end of Gillard's career would probably mean the start of Abbott's prime ministership and Coalition politicians are usually even worse Zionist poodles.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 23:50

It was good to see pro-Zionist and slavish US lackey Julia "AWU slush fund" Gillard rolled on the Palestine issue,. However the "abstain" vote is a testament to the cowardice of the pro-Zionist, US lackey Labor Party.

Indeed The Sydney Morning Herald polled its readers and found 61% said Yes, 31% said No and only a miserable 9% supported the cowardly, pathetic "abstain" vote (see "Humiliating defeat forces Gillard to back down over Palestinian vote", SMH, 28 Novemebr 2012: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/humiliating-defeat-forces-g... ).

For the Israeli connections of those behind the US-backed, foreign Mining Corporation-supported, pro-Zionist-led Coup against PM Kevin Rudd see "Middle East reality Check: I've been to Israel too": http://middleeastrealitycheck.blogspot.com.au/2009/03/ive-been-to-israel... ;
"Pro-Zionist, Pro-war, Anti-Asian Australian Labor Government
Threatens Anti-racist Jews ": http://www.countercurrents.org/polya150312.htm ;
Antony Loewenstein's "Does the Zionist Lobby have blood on its hands in Australia?": http://antonyloewenstein.com/2010/07/02/does-the-zionist-lobby-have-bloo... ;
Francis Enden, “Treating Australia with contempt”, Countercurrents, 4 December 2010: http://www.countercurrents.org/enden041210.htm ; Gideon Polya, "Pro-Zionist-led Coup ousts Australian PM Rudd", MWC News, 29 June 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/politics/3488-pro-zionist-led-coup.html ;
Gideon Polya, “US & Zionist perversion – Labor is finished Downunder”, MWC News, 26 February 2012: http://mwcnews.net/focus/politics/17132-zionist-subversion.html .

Zionism is genocidal; racism and its adherents, supporters and fellow travellers should be sidelined from public life as have been Nazis, neo-Nazis, Apartheiders and KKK. For decent Australians it means vote 1 Green and put Labor last until it reverts to decent values (the Liberals are worse but don't know any better - Labor actually knows that supporting racist Zionism is wrong)

Peace is the only way but Silence kills and Silence is complicity.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. foxtalbot
Posted Friday, November 30, 2012 - 00:13

@bladeofgrass
Your political views and anger are understandable, but your comments about the person of the Prime Minister are beneath contempt.

spotter1@intern...
Posted Friday, November 30, 2012 - 00:59

Stan1 I hope we grow up soon and take our place in the world as an independent, moral voice contributing to greater world peace and understanding. (Wouldn't that be nice?)

jjb
Posted Friday, November 30, 2012 - 08:45

Ben Eltham you can do better than this. As someone who missed the original story of what Gillard, did and therefore what she was rolled over,I only surmised in the second last paragraph that Carr was in favour of abstaining while Gillard must have wanted to vote with the US??!!!

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Friday, November 30, 2012 - 09:29

Cartoonist Leunig (The Age, Melbourne) has made an incisive comment on Zionist-beholden Lib-Lab Australian cowardice over the Palestinian Genocide, taking his cue from Pastor Martin Niemoller's famous poem:

"First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
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Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me."

Leunig: "First they came for the Palestinians and I did not speak out because I was not a Palestinian ...

Then they came for more Palestinians and I did not speak out because I feared hostility and trouble ...

Then they came for even more Palestinians and I did not speak out because if I did, doors would close for me, hateful mail would arrive , bitterness and spiteful condemnations would follow ...

Then they came for more and more Palestinians and I did not speak out because by then I had fallen into silence to reflect on the appalling, disgraceful and impossible aspects of human nature."

For details of the Leunig cartoon and commentary by humanitarian and anti-racist Jewish Australian Harold Zwier ( executive member of of the Australian Jewish Democratic Society) see "Leunig's cartoon deserves a more thoughtfiul Jewish response", The Age, 30 November 2012: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/leunigs-cartoon-des... .

Harold Zwier: "There is an almost universal view in the leadership of the Victorian Jewish community that Leunig's cartoon is anti-Semitic. The media release from the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission ... [presented] the following arguments to support that claim.

'''First they came …" introduces a celebrated statement attributed to German pastor Martin Niemoller about the apathy of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and their gradual elimination of certain groups. 'They' of course referred to the Nazis. In Leunig's cartoon, however, it is the Israelis who are the Nazis.

''And Leunig's second anti-Semitic theme? That anyone who supports the Palestinians will immediately be besieged by the all-powerful Jewish lobby, similarly jackbooted, treading on all who oppose them, closing doors in their faces, spiteful, hateful and bitter. In Leunig's black-and-white world, Palestinian/Arab/Muslim lobby groups are muzzled and The Age would never dare to publish an article (or cartoon) critical of Israel.''"

Cowardly, Zionist-beholden, US lackey Labor is anti-Arab anti-Semitic (complicity in the post -1990 Zionist-backed US Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide, 12 million Muslims killed by violence or from violently-imposed deprivation) and anti-Jewish anti-Semitic (through sidelining and ignoring outstanding anti-racist Jews, supporting genocidally racist Jews to the exclusion of outstanding anti-racist Jews, and through essentially identifying Israel with ALL Jews and hence falsely identifying decent, anti-racist Jews with the appalling crimes of genocidally racist, nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel).

Decent anti-racist Jewish, Christian, Muslim and non-religious Australians will NOT vote for an anti-Arab anti-Semitic and anti-Jewish anti-Semitic Australian Labor Party (ALP) that has become an Apartheid Labor Party, an Apartheid Israel-supporting Labor Party, the Australian Laboral Party, the Alternative Labor Party, Another Liberal Party, the American Lackey Party, the Anti-semitic Labor Party, the Anti-Arab anti-semitic Labor Party, the Anti-Jewish anti-semitic Labor Party, the Anti-Palestinian Labor Party and the Australian Lying Party.

Of course the corporatist, neoliberal Coalition are just as bad but corporatist, neoliberal Labor actually KNOWS how far it has fallen from Whitlam era decency.

Abstention over Palestinian UN representation and human rights by cowardly Labor has put it well and truly on the wrong side of history.

Peace is the only way but Silence kills and Silence is complicity.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. dazza
Posted Friday, November 30, 2012 - 12:42

Indeed, Dr. Polya, and how is it that you did not get CENSORED out of existence by New Matilda for even mentioning The Jewish Lobbies.
Brave Ben Eltham for venturing where others are NOT allowed to tread, by NM.
I read the Fairfax Article today, and one yesterday, and wondered that Fairfax is now so far ahead of New Matilda in it's allowed coverage of Palestinian/Jewish affairs.
My twopence worth on a previous article in NM by Joseph Wakim disappeared without trace to the NM CENSOR, when I said that the much talked abut Two State Solution was utter garbage, that the israeli Jews had made sure that no such thing can EVER happen, by turning what remains of Palestine into small, non-viable blocks, divided by roads that Palestinians are NOT allowed to travel on, by walls that bar them from their own farming lands. Everybody KNOWS this, we are just now starting to speak about it. Even Obama and H.Clinton know it, because of how many times Obama has asked, so nicely (almost on bended knee) , that Netanyahu stop building israeli settlements on Palestinian lands, and got spat in the eye by Netanyahu in reply, because Netanyahu KNOWS that the American Jewish Lobbies are ALL-POWERF UL, and the American Congress is in israeli pockets.
Only now is it becoming possible to even talk about the Palestinians and the israelis in Australian Media, with the ABC Radio National even mentioning that the Palestinian Cantons enforced by israeli jews made it IMPOSSIBLE that any Two State Solution is ever possible.
Sure, the recognition by the UN General Assembly despite tremendous pressure from israel and America, of Palestinian existence has made it possible that the War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity performed by the israeli jews against Palestinians can be reported to the Hague. This is one tremendous advance.
Netanyahu and his thugs made war against Gaza to get re-elected. Just as they did last time. Maybe, just maybe, there are enough jews in israel who have a conscience to give him his come-uppance, and get rid of the Monster. Do a service to humankind.
Maybe even the American and Australian Jewish lobbies will step back and take a look at themselves, and see where they have led 'their' israel, with their blind and subservient backing of the worst of Likud monsters. Maybe. Maybe they will allow conversation in Australia and America about the whole situation, not stomp heavily on all mention. Maybe they will stop pressuring on line Magazine such as New Matilda to toe THEIR line on all matters israeli/jewish. Maybe WE can stop being CENSORED for all mention of such matters.
Dazza.

denise
Posted Friday, November 30, 2012 - 13:32

Abstention places Australia in unique and refreshingly honest position and it's not totally aligned with the US or Israel.
This decision helps strengthen Australian identity on the world stage in the light of our new position on the Security Council.
Of course the PM like me can probably see the folly of recognising a state that is so sharply divided and that it has two different ruling authorities. So which Palestine has the recognition by the UN, the Palestine ruled by Fatah in the West Bank or the one in Gaza ruled by Hamas?
The recognition of Palestine will be a useless exercise in attempting to create a new identity for Palestinians, unless there is full cooperation between the two Palestines and a coordinated political approach between them towards Israel.

Ashar
Posted Friday, November 30, 2012 - 13:32

Some food for thought:

"Since the issue of Palestinian national rights in a Palestinian state reached the agenda of diplomacy in the mid-1970s, 'the prime obstacle to its realization', unambiguously, has been the United States government, with the [New York] Times staking a claim to be second on the list... the NYT refused -- the word is accurate -- to publish the fact that through the 1980s, Arafat was calling for negotiations which Israel rejected... The US remains alone in blocking a diplomatic settlement...In actual history Arafat repeatedly offered negotiations leading to mutual recognition, while Israel -- in particular the dovish "pragmatists" -- flatly refused, backed by Washington." Chomsk,Noam (2004) "Reshaping History" (read in it's entirety: http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20041118.htm )

The amount of lies peddled in the western media around Israeli-Palestinian "peace negotiations" is profound. It is a firm reminder that history is written by the winners, and often to cover their own atrocities to paint them as "the good guys."

"We must expel Arabs and take their places."
-- David Ben Gurion, 1937, Ben Gurion and the Palestine Arabs, Oxford University Press, 1985.
Ben Gurian Prime Minister of Israel 1949 - 1954, 1955 - 1963

"There is no such thing as a Palestinian people... It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn't exist."
-- Golda Meir, statement to The Sunday Times, 15 June, 1969.
Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel 1969 - 1974

"We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!"
-- Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.

"The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized .... Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever."
-- Menachem Begin, the day after the U.N. vote to partition Palestine.
Menachem Begin
Prime Minister of Israel 1977 - 1983

"(The Palestinians) would be crushed like grasshoppers ... heads smashed against the boulders and walls."
-- Isreali Prime Minister (at the time) Yitzhak Shamir in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988
Yizhak Shamir Prime Minister of Israel 1983 - 1984, 1986 - 1992

"Israel should have exploited the repression of the demonstrations in China, when world attention focused on that country, to carry out mass expulsions among the Arabs of the territories."
-- Benyamin Netanyahu, then Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, former Prime Minister of Israel, speaking to students at Bar Ilan University, from the Israeli journal Hotam, November 24, 1989.
Benjamin Netanyahu Prime Minister of Israel 1996- 1999

"The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more"....
-- Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel at the time - August 28, 2000. Reported in the Jerusalem Post August 30, 2000
Ehud Barak, Prime Minister, 1999-2001

"Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours...Everything we don't grab will go to them."
-- Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of the Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, Nov. 15, 1998.
Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister, 2001-2006

Israeli leaders want peace with the Palestinian peoples you say? I think nothing is further from the truth in that regards. So why have our media colluded with the lie? Why have our leaders put others interests above representing ours?

denise
Posted Friday, November 30, 2012 - 13:53

In 1948 the Palestinians were offered a state, they refused statehood and instead the Arab states chose to attack the newly formed state of Israel. That was the Palestinians first and it appears almost fatal mistake.
Hamas who rules Gaza still does not recognise the state of Israel, despite its existence for over 60 years.
So if there is recognition of a Palestinian state by the UN which Palestine is it?
The West Bank ruled by Fatah, who at least recognise the rights of Israel, or Gaza ruled by Hamas, who do not!

Venise Alstergren
Posted Friday, November 30, 2012 - 14:41

Another excellent article BEN ELTHAM: Going on the evidence of most Australian PMs -and their advisors-and the MSM, we seem engaged in a permanent state of self-censorship in order not to offend America.

Yes, we have a Jewish lobby but, unlike America, our pro-Israel Jewish lobby has not got the weight to define our international policies. We can afford to think for ourselves, and if it's respect our governments look for, we would probably earn it from America if we did have the guts to formulate our own ideas.

Something our Jewish lobby fails to mention is that there are many Israelis who are not Zionist. Benjamin Netanyahu is a man of the past; he flails about inciting the maximum amount of fear possible, in order to make sure America keeps funding his militaristic ambitions. This is not what Australia should be on about. Keeping Palestinians in a state of living in a ghetto is immoral and not to be tolerated.

spotter1@intern...
Posted Friday, November 30, 2012 - 15:01

Stan1

Denise

"So if there is recognition of a Palestinian state by the UN which Palestine is it?"

Which Israel is recognised by the UN? Israel doesn't have any borders.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Friday, November 30, 2012 - 15:03

@ dazza - my detailed response to the recent article by Joseph Wakim about Palestine was also censored out (albeit a relatively rare event for me on NM).

Apartheid Israel has now ethnically cleansed 90% of the land of Palestine and so the 2-state solution is no longer viable - the only solution now is a One State solution and the dismantling of Apartheid Israel akin to the dismantling of Apartheid in South Africa and likewise associated with justice and reconciliation.

The racist Zionists - like the neo-Nazi Afrikaaner nationalist fanatics - will just have to accept what decent, non-racist people everywhere else accept as a matter of course, specifically equity, justice, non-racism and 1-man-1-vote for all the inhabitants of a country regardless of colour, ethnicity or creed.

If the racist Zionist Israelis don't like it they can always go live in numerous delightful places in the racist US like Evanston , Illinois, where the Schwartzim (the blacks) and indeed even the more obvious white Goyim are excluded.

Of course the backing of the democracy-by-genocide racist Zionists by the Lib-Labs is a real problem for decent Australian voters - before we get into the nitty gritty of economic and welfare policy, decent Australians will surely only vote 1 for politicians who believe in 1-man-1-vote and that means putting the anti-democratic, pro-Zionist, anti-Arab anti-semitic, anti-Jewish anti-Semitic, racist Lib-labs last.

As a longtime Labor voter who now votes Green, my preference is to put racist, pro-Zionist Labor last because it has utterly betrayed decent Labor voters and cowardly "abstaining" by racist Labor is possibly worse than "no" by the racist Libs.

Peace is the only way but Silence kills and Silence is complicity.

Rocky
Posted Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 10:03

Ashar,

Very revealing of the true nature of Zionism.

K Brown
Posted Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 12:05

Foreign Minister Bob Carr's response to Israel's announcement of a further 3,000 homes being constructed on the West Bank statement is the typically limp wristed statement we have come to expect from Australian Governments when dealing with Israel. "The spread of settlements simply makes a two-state solution all the more difficult.....It complicates enormously the task of eventually creating a Palestinian state" contains not a word of condemnation.

Compare this to the PM's 16 November press statement on the Gaza Conflict; "The Government condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip and calls on Hamas to cease these immediately." http://www.pm.gov.au/press-office/conflict-middle-east. Why does the Government not use similar language to condemn Israel's past and ongoing program of West Bank settlement and immediately cease theses blatantly provocative settlements that are obstructing peace talks.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 15:26

Well the vote has been taken and the 138 pro-democracy, anti-racism countries of the UN General Assembly (notably inlcluding our cousin New Zealand) voted Yes to statehood for Palestine, one of the world's oldest civilizations dating back thousands of years to the dawn of agrarian civilization.

However below are the anti-democracy, anti-Arab anti-Semitic, racist countries with which Australia has now been again associated by the Gillard Labor Government:

(1). 9 anti-democracy countries that voted No:

Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Panama, and United States of America.

(2). 41 anti-democracy countries that Abstained:

Albania, Andorra, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Estonia, Fiji, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malawi, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Poland, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Vanuatu.

(3). 5 countries that ignored the seriousness of the proposition and were Absent for the vote:

Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, and Ukraine.

Fundamental to democracy and self-determination is commitment to 1-man-1-vote regardless of nationality, ethnicity, race or religion, and politicians not unequivocally supporting this fundamental proposition are simply anti-democratic and hence simply not fit to be elected.

Decent, anti-racist Jewish, Muslim, Christian and non-religious Australians, and especially decent, traditional Labor voters, will vote 1 Green and put Labor last until Labor reverts to decent values (the Coalition is just as bad but unlike neoliberal Labor has not actually betrayed decent Labor voters).

Zionism is genocidal racism in awful theory and in horrible, war criminal practice. The racist Zionists and their anti-democracy, racist supporters must be sidelined from public life as have been like racists such as the Nazis, neo-Nazis, Apartheiders and KKK.

Decent anti-racist folk around the world must (a) inform everyone they can and (b) urge ands apply Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Apartheid Israel and against all people, politicians, parties, countries and corporations complicit in Apartheid Israel’s ongoing Palestinian Genocide.

As that wonderful Palestinian humanitarian Jesus Christ stated “Whoever is not with me is against me” (The Holy Bible, Matthew 12:30). There must be zero tolerance for racism and its ultimate expression, genocide such as the ongoing Palestinian Genocide (for details see Gideon Polya, "138 nations voted YES for Palestinian statehood - BDS for 9 NOs & 41 Abstainers!", Bellaciao, 1 December 2012: http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?article22345 .

Peace is the only way but Silence kills and Silence is complicity.

K Brown
Posted Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 15:59

I call on the PM Gillard to condemn Israel's settlement program in the Occupied Territories and urge them to abandon plans to construct a further 3000 houses in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Foreign Minister Carr's pronouncement on this matter contained not one word of condemnation which stands in stark contrast to her 16 November statement on the Gaza conflict when she said “The Government condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip and calls on Hamas to cease these immediately.”

The PM should use similarly strong words to condemn this latest Israeli provocation. Their recalcitrant attitude to Jewish settlements in Palestinian land has sabotaged peace talks with the Palestinian Authourity and threatens the viability of a Palestinian state which is necessary to remove one of the grounds for Islamic extremism that continues to threaten Australia's national security.

The fact that Israel and the US could only muster 9 "No" votes for UN recognition of Palestine shows the World has lost patience with Israeli intransigence.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Rockjaw
Posted Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 22:29

The principle reason this publication is entitled to far more financial support than we, the supporters and contributors of NM have managed to provide, has been the lack of censorship of those views which we have been able to publish here. Supporters of NM have generally been able to present their views whether or not those views are hated, opposed, shared or enthusiastically supported by others. Anything less and I, for one, will retract what little support I am presently able to afford in support of this publication.

It is often very difficult to agree with Dr Polya's views and often those views are expressed in ways which are not "pleasant", and neither are mine, but if Dr Polya's comments have been censored, well then, in the absence of a proper explanation, perhaps it is time to review continued support of this publication.

On the topic of Australia's immature foreign policy approach to the "Middle East", Australia, along with almost the entire English speaking world, has supported and immorally backed the enthusiastic murder and ethnic cleansing of millions of Muslims across the globe in an apparent justification for the illegal occupation of Israel.

Clear thinkers across the globe wonder at the reactions of these "Israelis", whatever that means, in the form of their bombings and other attacks we have now come to call "anti-terrorist" actions in our inadequate "News Media".

Typical of the aims of those who would commit the crime of ethnic cleansing, the term "terrorist" has now come to mean "Arab" or "Muslim" or "Palestinian" in the language of the English news media. In a word we have become "Islamophobic".

But it cannot be denied that "Islamophobia" in the Western world is a concept which has appeared at the same time as the Zionists' claim to Israel, and it is one of the primary weapons of propaganda used by the Israelis. Thankfully this weapon has begun to show the signs of achieving the opposite effect to the one desired, namely that it has strengthened the resolve of a people outraged by the willful attempt of the West to destroy their way of life.

Israel is not worth risking the future of the entire western world in a gamble on a duel to the death with the huge nuclear armed muslim population aided by Russia and the emerging powers in Asia.

Not only that, but as an Australian I believe it is in the interests of all Australians to carefully reassess our views of the Israeli regime and our demands on the Muslim world with a specific reference to the interests of Australia and our citizens. This is the least we can do to ensure that our future generations of Australians are never called upon by an afflicted and offended people to pay for the sins of this generation of Australians.

It is in this respect that it is obvious that the Gillard government lacks not only the maturity but also the wisdom to step up the plate and make the right decisions for Australia.

Venise Alstergren
Posted Sunday, December 2, 2012 - 15:01

Last week on the ABC-was it Lateline? There was an item about young Jewish people going to Israel to fight against the Palestinians. This moved me to ask, 'Why devote a whole program to the subject?' and "It is to be hoped they would be as anxious to fight for Australia if we got attacked?'

K Brown
Posted Monday, December 3, 2012 - 09:33

Rockjaw - I lived in the Middle East and visited Israel occassionaly in the 1980's and never encountered Islamophopia until after the 9/11 Twin Towers attack. Islamophobia has existed at various times well before the advent of Zionism in the 1890s. The Moorish conquest of Hispania in 711, the era of the Crusades, and the Ottoman wars in Europe culminating in the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 are cases in point.
Zionism was a basically racist and colonialist movement that propounded the idea that the biblical land of Israel within the Ottoman Empire was an unproductive region peopled by nomadic Bedouin people with scant attachment to the land and no political affiliation. These attitudes were scarcely unique at the time. Arguably, the Jews had a more valid claim than the European powers who colonised the region after the defeat of the Turks. The Jews at least had an historical link, contemporary religious affiliation and a lot of Jewish people living in the area that time.

Al-Qaeda and fellow Salafist groups are in my view primarily responsible for the emergence of Islamophobia in the last two decades followed by the rapid expansion of Muslim refugee communities in Western countries. The Islamic values these refugees have brought with them challenge Western secular liberal thinking including gender equity, female emancipation and equality before the law.

Your claim that Zionism is the cause of Islamophobia is a "red herring". Zionism has been of little, if not nil consequence to the phenomenon. The words and actions of Salafist's and Islamist's within Muslim society are responsible.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. dazza
Posted Monday, December 3, 2012 - 11:42

I listened to 'our' (more likely a US pawn) Foreign Minister Carr rant on about "A Two State Solution' on ABC TV the other night, and almost did a Yankee thing, shot the TV!
But in truth, all these 'goyim israelis', blind backers of Apartheid, racist israel just CAN NOT look anywhere else but their totally discredited 'Two State Solution' , which even they must know is totally impossible due to israeli occupation and road, wall and settlement building. An absolutely deliberate ploy by the israelis, to make damned sure that Palestinians can NEVER have a true State.
Now I read that israel has robbed the Palestinians of Taxes that israel collects from Palestinians, as a punishment for getting UN Observer Status. Also, allowed more than 3,000 new houses to be built for Jews on Palestinian lands, in East Jerusalem.
This is really spitting in the face of the World. And shaming Obama and his piss-weak Administration.
If these 'goyim israelis' had to look and see reality, there is only one answer to the occupation of Palestine. A ONE STATE SOLUTION. How about that! Words to scare the very Hell out of all Zionists the world over. A State, be it called Palestine or israel, where religion does not make for voting rights, ALL are citizens with equal rights, those Palestinians who were forced from their lands at gun point by the Zionists back in 1948 and ever since to be allowed to return to their OWN lands, and any Zionist who would not be able to live and let live with these arrangements can go to the United States and make life Hell for most over there. Wherever they go, they will be trouble for evermore, probably for everyone.
But first, we have to have the majority of the World come to grips with reality, and KNOW that ONLY the One State 'Solution' is even remotely possible.
Bob Carr, any chance you can accept reality? Somehow, I doubt it. Certainly, Julia Gillard can not.
Come on Australia, get with it. Accept reality, tell the USA and Obama to go play with themselves, and become a part of the Real World. Zionist israel as it is, is a CANCER in the Middle East, and will remain so as long as we all give it blind and unthinking support. Cleanse the Cancer, Support Palestinian Human Rights.
Dazza.

Olivier
Posted Monday, December 3, 2012 - 12:03

Palestine deserves to not only be recognised as a state, but also receive a sincere apology from Israel (and Britain) for stealing their most valuable land after WW2.
Israel and all its neighbours deserve peace, and they will only get peace after Israel stops settling and otherwise dominating Palestine. As the wealthy, european, Judaic, invader Nation, it falls to Israel to swallow their pride for peace.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Rockjaw
Posted Monday, December 3, 2012 - 18:42

K Brown, my reference to Islamophobia was to the era of the more modern "Western World", and not the pre Dark Age era to which you refer.

By the way, the place was not called "Hispania", it was called "Iberica" and, besides, the Moors present in Western Europe subsequent to the invasions of the 7th and 8th centuries formed Europe's most important military resistance to continued and subsequent invasions from the Islamic world.

Indeed, those same Moors were arguably the princinple catalyst for Europe's "Renaissance" and, to this very day, that same Moorish culture and influence has formed an important, integral and very well accepted part of Iberian culture, both in Spain as well as Portugal where you will find the vast majority of those Western Europeans to be fiercely proud of their Moorish history.

You are also very fortunate not to have "encountered Islamophopia until after the 9/11 Twin Towers attack", but most of the rest of us have witnessed a rapid rise of Islamophobia dating back to 1948. The hysteria of the 911 attacks caused no more than an acceleration of the same Islamophobia we have witnessed for decades already.

And no, the "Jews", as you put it, and in particular, the Eastern European Jews, have never had greater title to the lands known as Palestine. Those "Jews" are principally the offspring of Mongoloid tribes who converted to Judaism during three mass conversions even before the "moorish invasions" which you speak of in Western Europe.

With respect, your ignorance is typical of our present western attitudes, especially as you go on to blame the victims of your prejudice and bigotry for our prejudice. We see this sort of warped and ignorant justification in most bigotry.

Apart from the "Western World's" obvious motivation to rob the Islamic world of a hydrocarbon empire, we cannot also claim any "higher moral ground" as you appear to attempt to do in your argument. As recently as last month the world had to witness how we Australians have even stooped so low as to deny our minor children the right or access to legal representation of their own choice in judical hearings where their civil rights are adjudicated.

Show us all, K Brown, how superior our morality is that we are entitled to dictate law and right to self determination to the remainder of the world.

Your implied presumption that "we are morally superior to the Muslims" is based on that same measure of ignorance which typifies any bigot.

Red Herring or not, it is the "West" which finds itself invading and threatening the Islamic world, and not, as you mistakenly claim, "the Salafists and Islamists within Muslim society" who are responsible. Regardless, this invasion by the West has been "justified" by similar claims as yours, that "the muslims" are morally corrupt and that they "deserve" to be invaded and occuppied by "us".

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Rockjaw
Posted Monday, December 3, 2012 - 19:10

@ Venise

I wonder whether the ABC would dedicate the same time to people who go back to the same territory to fight for the return of lands stolen by Israel?

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - 08:54

Well said, dazza.

It is no coincidence that my great great grandfather (a Budapest glovemaker) had exactly the same name as the greatest 19th century rabbi, Samson Raphael Hirsch (see "Samson Raphael Hirsch ", Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samson_Raphael_Hirsch) . Like other Orthodox Jewish rabbis he was strongly opposed to Zionism as heretical, blasphemous as well as racist.

The important Orthodox Jewish group the Neturei Karta (Aramaic for "Guardians of the City” ) opposed the establishment of and retain all opposition to the existence of the so-called "State of Israel". The group was founded in Jerusalem, Palestine in 1938, splitting off from Agudas Yisroel (which was established in 1912 for the purpose of fighting Zionism but eventually surrendered to Zionism) (see: http://www.nkusa.org/aboutus/index.cfm ).

Neturei Karta on the blasphemy of the Zionist State: "The founding of the Zionist State is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Torah, which forbids the establishment of a Jewish State and commands Jews to remain in exile until released from that exile by G-d Himself without any human intervention. At which time all Nations of the world will live together in peace. Two thousand years ago, at the time of the destruction of the holy Temple, the Jewish people were commanded by the Creator (kesubos 111a) not to go up en masse to the land of Israel; not to rebel against the nations; and not to in any way attempt to end the exile. Torah faithful Jews are to behave in a civil, honest and grateful manner towards their host nations throughout the world. The Zionist intervention against G-d’s will by establishing the ‘State of Israel’, represents a direct rebellion against G-d and the Torah, a rebellion which has generated untold pain and suffering, to Jew and non-Jew alike” (see Neturei Karta, “Israeli Independence Day”: http://www.nkusa.org/activities/Statements/20090429IID.cfm ).

All decent anti-racist Jews - from the anti-racist Orthodox Jews to the anti-racist secular Jews - reject Zionism as racist and genocidal (see "Jews Against Racist Zionism": https://sites.google.com/site/jewsagainstracistzionism/ ).

Peace is the only way but Silence kills and Silence is complicity.

MazelMan
Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - 12:25

Andrew Bolt captures the truth of this scurrilous behaviour by the Labor government (refer http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/vindictive-mps-sell-out-their-prime-...). In case you cannot get access to what Bolt said I summarise:
He says MPs didn't simply force an unwilling Julia Gillard to betray Israel at the United Nations. They forced the Prime Minister to change our foreign policy to win Muslim votes in Labor's Sydney seats.
Media reports have focused on how Gillard was humiliated by most of her ministers and backbenchers when she tried to insist on voting in the UN against granting state observer status to the Palestinian Authority.
Giving Palestinians a UN foothold does nothing for peace, which is why Israel and the US wanted Australia to vote against it.
Gillard agreed, but Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr helped whip up an internal revolt that humiliatingly forced her to back down and abstain on the vote.
Many MPs have told reporters why they rolled the Prime Minister and their reasons run from wishful thinking to the puerile.
Some claimed they wanted to encourage Palestinians to make the peace they won't or that they didn't want Australia "on the wrong side of history".
Others were angry at an alleged increase in Israeli settler violence - although they don't seem equally fussed by Hamas rockets.
Government Whip Joel Fitzgibbon reportedly didn't want us to look "a puppet of the US" - as if seeming the puppet of Islamists is better.
Incredibly, The Australian reports some Labor MPs were cross "a Right-wing Israeli prime minister ... backed Mitt Romney over Barack Obama".
Of all reasons given, the worst and most repeated was as the Daily Telegraph said: "NSW Right MPs ... were more concerned a no vote at the UN would offend Middle East and Muslim communities in their fragile southwest Sydney seats." The Sydney Morning Herald heard the same: "Many MPs in western Sydney, who are already fearful of losing their seats, are coming under pressure from constituents with a Middle East background."
Labor has actually sacrificed our wider interests before to placate Muslim voters.
In 1986, Chris Hurford, immigration minister in the Hawke Labor government, tried to deport Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali for overstaying a tourist visa and preaching a violent hatred of Jews.
But Hurford was overruled by Labor chieftains Paul Keating and Leo McLeay, who had growing Muslim communities in their western Sydney seats of Blaxland and Grayndler.
Since then, Hilali hs settled at Sydney's Lakemba mosque, has called suicide bombers heroes and the September 11 attacks "God's work against oppressors". In 2010, he led an anti-Israel protest, leading chants of "Down, down, Israel".
Would Australians have agreed to take in so many Middle Eastern migrants had we been told beforehand we'd have to change our foreign policy to keep sweet the ill-assimilated?
Would we have agreed had we been told we'd have to abandon democratic Israel, snub ally US and let pass a UN motion, which pro-terrorist Hamas this week called "a new victory on the road to the liberation of Palestine"?
To have warned then this would be a price of Muslim immigration would have meant damnation as a racist.
To have Labor now do it is a betrayal of voters and our national interest. It is a surrender to tribalism that warns of worse to come.

Rocky
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 13:12

MazelMan,

The reason that the Government has changed it policies has probably nothing to do with sinister conspiracies between Moslems and the Labor party, but is a result of simple moral repugnance at Israel's policies and behaviour. How long this will last only time will tell. Of course on the basis of that argument the number of Moslems in the country would be immaterial.

As to some Palestinians regarding terrorist murderers as "heroes", that is hardly unprecedented, some Zionist terrorist murderers became national heroes and enjoyed rather successful political careers, didn't they?

Why is it in our national interest to support Israel?

denise
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 16:06

It seems it is impossible to find anyone with anything positive to say about our robust democracy or the Palestinian/Israel situation.
Had JG got her way some would have called her a dictator, now some people seem to think democracy is supposed to protect egos and facilitate leader's wishes against the majority in their party.
This is not a weakness on her part, she didn't get rolled, the party room behaved in a democratic fashion and made what I believe to be the correct decision.
40 other countries thought the same and voted in abstension and while nine countries were totally against the inclusive move, the vast majority of nations approved the move.
And now the world needs to respect that UN decision and give the Palestinians the chance to use this as an opportunity to consolidate their statehood.

spotter1@intern...
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 16:12

Stan1

MazelMan
I don’t find Bolt a reliable source of information as his view is one-sided.
The pro-Zionist Julia Gillard betrayed Palestine, not Israel, for abstaining in the vote to recognise Palestine.
That the ALP forced her into not voting with a ‘no’ vote could be for reasons other than you/Bolt suggest.
Abbass has leant over backwards to negotiate with Israel – a bit like a mouse trying to negotiate with a cat. Israel keeps saying it wants meaningful negotiations and at the same time keeps building homes for settlers on Palestinian land. This has made it unlikely that there will ever be a two state solution.
Thankfully Australia at last has seen the futility of this and as a matter of principle has stopped just doing the same as the US. It is a lack of moral conviction that it did not vote ‘yes’