Australia and Israeli share the values of embracing occupation and racism?

The American Jewish establishment cares little about Palestinians and prefers to talk about easy access to Zionist paradise. Some, like Peter Beinart, recognise the crisis and the effect of a decades-old Israeli occupation. Rather bad for the Zionist brand.

But not to worry, Australia’s Prime Minister sails on regardless, giving the same talking points that have been re-hashed hundreds of times. Naturally, the Australian Jewish News places the “news” on its cover:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to Israel at a NAB Yachad Scholarship Fund luncheon on Friday last week.

“A just and secure Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people is an indispensable part of a just and secure world,” she said.

The scholarship fund was established in 2002 and award grants to Australians to undertake study in Israel in areas such as education, environment and technology.

Gillard addressed the capacity crowd, which included Australian Jewry’s top brass, at the Maia function centre at Docklands in Melbourne and spoke of the global importance of a secure and viable Israel.

We are two countries separated by distance, but united by values. Liberal democracies that seek freedom and peace,” Gillard said.

With the recent Executive Council of Australian Jewry report into anti-Semitism finding an alarming spike in incidents, Gillard looked forward to a time of tolerance and peace for worldwide Jewry.

“In the common era there has never been a century where the Jewish people have known safety. May this century be the first. May this be the time when people of good will, Israelis and Palestinians alike, sit together at a table and find a lasting peace.”

Israeli Ambassador to Australia Yuval Rotem spoke of an Israel that transcended politics, depicting a trailblazing nation at the vanguard of technology, culture and education.

“Today we are reminded more strongly than ever that the story of Israel is defined by much more than mere politics. Our nation is painted with stories of innovation, creativity and discovery,” Rotem said.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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