Australian media on Palestine; ignore the Palestinians

Satire is clearly dead.

Weeks of media coverage of Israel/Palestine in Australia and the BDS campaign pushed by the NSW Greens and Sydney’s Marrickville council and not a peep from Arabs or Palestinians. I mean, why should they be heard? It’s only about their land in the Middle East but let’s not focus on details. It’s clearly too much to expect journalists to actually, you know, call people who aren’t white and Anglo.

Last night’s ABC Radio PM (no Arabs there), today’s Murdoch Australian (obviously no Palestinians here or here), nothing on ABC news today (except Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd just saying BDS is “nuts”, clearly a man who gets his talking points from the Israeli Foreign Ministry) and another story on ABC radio this morning; nobody supporting the Palestinians.

A lone and brave voice:

Greens senator-elect Lee Rhiannon says she will continue to advocate for a trade boycott on Israel, despite being reprimanded by her party’s leader, Bob Brown.

Ms Rhiannon backs the so-called BDS policy – boycott, divestment and sanctions – which is also backed by several Greens councillors on inner Sydney’s Marrickville council.

Senator Brown says a trade boycott of Israel is not party policy and says the issue cost the Greens votes at the recent New South Wales election.

But on Sky News, Ms Rhiannon has defended her position.

“It’s not an anti-Israel position at all. It is about a boycott to bring forward policies that will work for Palestinians because at the moment, Palestinians just don’t have a lot of the human rights we take for granted,” she said.

Ms Rhiannon acknowledges there is a difference between her stance and that of some of her federal colleagues.

But she says the issue has only been highlighted by News Limited newspapers to try to damage the Greens.

Another version of this interview features Rudd’s instructive comments on BDS:

Kevin Rudd has branded as “nuts” a NSW Greens call for a boycott of Israel, as Greens senator-elect Lee Rhiannon vowed to continue to support the policy.

Amid a growing split within Greens ranks on the issue, Ms Rhiannon backed the Marrickville council’s proposed Israel boycott, which could see the Sydney council sacked by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell.

Mr Rudd said the council should focus on removing rubbish and cleaning local parks.

“The action by the Greens frankly is just nuts. The bottom line is that any local authority in the country should get on with the business of what they are paid by ratepayers to do,” Mr Rudd told the ABC.

“Foreign policy is the province of the national government and for any element of the Green party to go out there and call upon the nation’s government to engage in a campaign to boycott goods and services, be it from Israel or China or any other country, is as I said plain nuts.”

But Ms Rhiannon said she would not abandon the policy, which Greens leader Bob Brown recently condemned as a mistake which had cost the party votes at the NSW election.

“Yes, we have that position in New South Wales and I’ll support the New South Wales position. But it’s not something we’re taking to the federal parliament. There are clear priorities,” Ms Rhiannon told Sky News.

She said while Senator Brown was the party’s foreign affairs spokesman, she would continue to advocate the policy.

She said it had a long history in various Australian communities, with the Wollongong council pursuing the policy in the 1970s.

Courage is sorely lacking in our political and media elites.

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