ABCTV News24 on climate change and Gaza flotilla 2

Last night I was on ABCTV News24’s The Drum (video here) talking climate change policy and the Gaza flotilla.

I argued that dwindling public support for real action on climate change was because too many of its backers refused to seriously engage with the general public and denigrated opponents. Labeling “deniers” akin to Holocaust deniers is not the way to win the argument. Besides, as somebody who recognises the damage caused by climate change, it’s heart-breaking to see the Australian government so utterly incapable of prosecuting an argument, speaking of “reform agendas” without being able to convince the public that lack of action is too dangerous for our future. Inner city folk spend too much time speaking to each other (and yes, I live in the inner city).

There’s a false discussion in Australia about which major political party is a better economic manager when in fact they both subscribe to the same neo-liberal policies that have only entrenched the divide between rich and poor. Little dissent from this line is ever heard, and the media perpetuates the lie.

The Gaza flotilla was discussed and I supported the right of global citizens to highlight Israel’s illegal blockade and occupation of Gaza. Thanks to Sydney reporter Kate Ausburn for transcribing some of my comments:

”¦there are profound restrictions on equipment getting in [to Gaza]. ”¦ the idea somehow that the Flotilla is designed to support Hamas, which is exactly what the Israeli government say, is nonsense. It is about highlighting to the world, in a way where governments have failed, that Israel occupies Gaza, and more importantly continues to persecute people collectively, which is illegal under international law for that very reason.

Speaking on Israel’s threat to journalists taking part in the Flotilla to cover the story that they could have their equipment seized and receive a ten year ban on entering Israel:

I think the issue of the journalists being threatened is very clear. It is because they are petrified of a different narrative emerging. Last year when there were countless activists who were filming what happened, all the equipment was taken and destroyed, or at least not given back, and the idea this time is they only want to have one narrative which is that Israel has the right to board the ships. You shouldn’t forget one final thing, Israel boarded the ships last year in international waters, so which is essentially an act of piracy.

Israel has reversed the ham-fisted policy of banning reporters but it’s the sign of a Zionist state that only knows how to threaten (here’s yet another recent example of an Israeli hoax, this time a gay man supposedly opposing the flotilla, that has turned into a complete Israeli PR debacle).

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