How to define farce?
The Australian media’s coverage of Israel/Palestine and BDS.
Palestinians and Arabs remain largely absent from discussion, lest they infect people’s minds.
Instead, today we have a litany of articles that say nothing about the Middle East apart from craven white people desperate to pray at the altar of Zionist “democracy”.
Right-wing union boss Joe de Bruyn has joined a backlash of trade unionists angry at a decision by Greens councillors to impose a commercial boycott of Israel.
As NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell warned Sydney’s Marrickville Council of possible consequences if it did not rescind the ban, Mr de Bruyn said the proposal was further evidence the Greens were an “extremist party”.
The national secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Union said a boycott of Israel was not in the union’s interest.
“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East,” Mr de Bruyn said. “To put a boycott on Israel sounds to me to be totally the wrong way around.”
De Bruyn is the enlightened soul who opposes gay marriage.
The Sydney Morning Herald shows that even supposedly principled Greens can sometimes prefer rhetoric to action, especially when it comes to Palestine. Courage is sorely lacking:
Marrickville’s controversial boycott of Israel is on the verge of collapse after a Greens councillor withdrew his support yesterday. Any boycott will now rely on the support of Labor, which is in doubt.
As the Foreign Affairs Minister, Kevin Rudd, joined a growing response of condemnation and the Premier, Barry O’Farrell, threatened to sack the council, the Greens councillor Max Phillips confirmed he would vote against putting the boycott into practice.
It also emerged that the Greens mayor, Fiona Byrne, had received death threats. The NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said Cr Byrne had received the threats and the council’s stance on Israel had shown courage.
Mr Phillips said that although he supported Palestinian human rights he did not think the boycott was the way to go. ”I had unease initially about the [boycott] when first moved in December, and this unease has grown in listening to the local community,” he said.
”I will not be voting for any kind of boycott at the meeting on Tuesday night. This issue must be put to rest.”
He expected at least one other Greens councillor to join him.
The policy was adopted in principle at a meeting in December with the support of five Greens, one independent and four Labor councillors. Two independents voted against it.
On Tuesday the council will vote on what practical form a boycott would take. Any motion supporting the boycott will now need Labor support to pass.
One Labor councillor, Emanuel Tsardoulias, has already confirmed he will not support it. Yesterday he said he expected his counterparts to join him at a weekend caucus meeting, though they could not be reached to confirm this.
Cr Phillips said local Greens groups had drafted a proposal to the NSW Greens calling for support for the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel to be rescinded, pending a review.
”With the benefit of hindsight there should have been a much more thorough debate on this issue before it was adopted by the NSW Greens and moved on Marrickville Council,” he said.
The Herald’s editorial is seemingly written by a five-year-old child. Advocating for Palestine is a joke, you see, and Zionist occupation will simply disappear by writing countless meaningless articles about a “peace process”:
Marrickville Council is being torn apart by Middle Eastern politics. Should Marrickville, or should it not, punish Israel with a boycott for its alleged human rights violations? The question is, of course, on everyone’s lips across the Middle East. The fate of nations hangs in the balance. Is a mere boycott enough? Should Marrickville send troops?
Other Sydney councils, strangely enough, have not followed Marrickville’s principled example, and its lone voice – although important and widely respected – may not be enough to persuade members of the Israeli government to stop whatever it is they have been doing. Marrickville boots on the ground would certainly show them that Sydney’s inner west is not to be trifled with. On balance, though, we think that in the first phase, diplomacy deserves a chance before Marrickville lives are put in harm’s way. As a back-up, the municipality might show a hint of steel by stationing a taskforce comprising the entire waste disposal department off the Israeli coast, ready to bang Israeli bins together at a moment’s notice. Services in Marrickville may be disrupted, but ratepayers can be confident they will be keeping the Israelis awake at night.
At least a Palestinian is heard, albeit briefly, in today’s Australian:
Instead of trawling the internet to find new ways to demonise Lee Rhiannon, would it not be more prudent to focus on the real issue?
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions call is a non-violent and moral way to advance peace and deliver justice and security.
Its tenets are simple: Recognise the inalienable rights of the Palestinian refugees; end the illegal military occupation; end discrimination of Palestinian citizens within Israel.
The longer Israel obfuscates its responsibilities vis-a-vis the question of Palestine, the longer it will have to defend the indefensible.
Moammar Mashni, Australians for Palestine, Melbourne, Vic
Real issues over Palestine? What a crazy idea. Read this latest Haaretz feature to see why BDS is so essential. Israel runs a racially discriminatory system of apartheid in the occupied territories. But I guess that makes me anti-Semitic.