Rambam (v): To be sponsored by smooth-talking Israel lobbyists in Australia on a grooming session by tough-talking PR people in Israel with a view to the sponsored adopting the missionary position for Israel when required in Australia. Usually said of Australian politicians, media hacks and other serviceable community misleaders.
Rambam Fellowship, Journalists Mission etc: Formal designations given to the process of rambamming. (From MERC's Dictionary of Zionist Discourse)
It's amazing what a little bit of rambamming can do to an Australian politician. Take our Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, for example. She was a bit of an unknown quantity for the Israel lobby prior to her rambamming in 2005 [See my posts Rambammed (23/2/08) & Ram Bam Thank You Ma'am (19/2/08)]:
"[Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) president Philip] Chester said the fact that he had 'never heard [Julia Gillard] say a word about the Middle East' was no indication of any lack of support for Israel, but added that he was more comfortable with Gillard filling the deputy role having been to Israel, which she visited for the first time last year." (Rudd 'good for the Jews', but Gillard still untested, The Australian Jewish News, 7/12/06)
But that was yesterday. This is today:
"Julia Gillard has brought a new abbreviation to the world of politics. In Canberra's corridors of power she is now simply referred to as DPM, a contraction of her position in relation to Kevin Rudd that ignores her other responsibilities as Minister for Education, Social Inclusion, Employment & Workplace Relations. She also appears to be wavering in her habit of acknowledging traditional land owners at the beginning of her speeches. Addressing the Jewish National Fund in Melbourne on Wednesday evening, she acknowledged Albert and Debbie Dadon, Michael Danby, David Ben-Gurion and Mark Dreyfus before giving a nod to the Wurundjieri people and their past and present elders." (Shortcuts for Gillard, DD McNicoll, The Australian, 6/6/08)
See what I mean? The DPM's still reeling from her rambamming back in '05. She's become a soft touch, mere putty in the hands, like so many of her rambammed colleagues. She just can't say no, and now finds herself the guest of honour at the Australian chapter of the JNF.* As she rises to speak to the assembled fundies, she can be heard muttering to herself, 'I don't know what's come over me'. She begins her speech in the customary way, "I would like to acknowledge the...," only to find herself saying, "the Jewish people, the traditional owners of the land of Israel on which we met..." Why, Julia's so out of it she's even seeing the ghost of Jewish elder, David Ben-Gurion, sitting between Danby and Dreyfus! And, will you look at that! Danby's giving a knowing wink to Dreyfus through the shade of Ben-Gurion himself, as if to say, 'That's our girl!'
But seriously now, what the **** is going on here? We have the DPM, whose leader has just formally apologised to the indigenous people of this country "for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these fellow Australians," addressing a meeting of one of the key Zionist colonial institutions responsible for inflicting similar profound grief, suffering and loss on the indigenous people of Palestine, and giving the approving nod to none other than the Lord High Ethnic Cleanser and Architect of the Palestinian Nakba himself, David Ben-Gurion.
Just to put a bit of perspective on this, allow me to quote at length from that honest exponent of gun Zionism, Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880-1940), who bequeathed to us a veritable conga line of Israeli Likudniks such as Begin, Shamir, Sharon, Netanyahu, Olmert, and Tzipi Livni. Jabotinsky wrote in 1923: "Any native people - it's all the same whether they are civilized or savage - views their country as their national home, of which they will always be the complete masters. They will not voluntarily allow, not only a new master, but even a new partner. And so it is for the Arabs. Compromisers in our midst attempt to convince us that the Arabs are some kind of fools who can be tricked by a softened formulation of our goals, or a tribe of money grubbers who will abandon their birthright to Palestine for cultural and economic gains. I flatly rejected this assessment of the Palestinian Arabs. Culturally they are 500 years behind us, spiritually they do not have our endurance or our strength of will, but this exhausts all of the internal differences... They look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and true fervour that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux looked upon his prairie... This childish fantasy of our 'Arabo-philes' comes from some kind of contempt for the Arab people, of some kind of unfounded view of this race as a rabble ready to be bribed in order to sell out their homeland for a railroad network. Colonization has its own explanation, integral and inescapable, and understood by every Jew and Arab with his wits about him. Colonization can have only one goal. For the Palestinian Arabs this goal is inadmissable. This is in the nature of things. To change that nature is impossible. If it were possible (and I doubt this) to discuss Palestine with the Arabs of Baghdad and Mecca as if it were only some kind of small, immaterial borderland, then Palestine would still remain for the Palestinians not a borderland, but their birthplace, the center and basis of their own national existance. Therefore it would be necessary to carry on colonization against the will of the Palestinian Arabs, which is the same condition that exists now. Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population - an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy. In this sense, there are no meaningful differences between our 'militarists' and our 'vegetarians'. One prefers an iron wall of Jewish bayonets, the other proposes an iron wall of British bayonets, the third proposes an agreement with Baghdad, and appears to be satisfied with Baghdad's bayonets - a strange and somewhat risky taste - but we all applaud, day and night, the iron wall." (Quoted in Lenni Brenner's The Iron Wall: Zionist Revisionism from Jabotinsky to Shamir, pp 74-75)
The advocates and practitioners of gun Zionism, of course, spend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to divert the world's attention from the bloody bayonets of their colonial enterprise in Palestine, but without them they would not have been able to realise their goal of wiping Palestine from the map and creating an ethnically pure nation state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. That Gillard, Rudd & C0 either cannot see - or refuse to see - the Israeli colonial-settler project for what it is, inevitably casts doubt on the sincerity of their apology for "past mistreatment" of Australia's own indigenous population.
To underline Labor's schizophrenia here, the Rudd government is reportedly "considering erecting an official memorial in Canberra commemorating indigenous Australians killed in the so-called 'Aboriginal Wars'... The submission [to do so, from the Labor-aligned Canberra Institute,] nominates a number of conflicts to be commemorated, including the Pemulwuy-led Hawkesbury and Nepean Wars from 1790, the Black Wars of Tasmania, the Port Philip District Wars from 1830 to 1850, the Kalkodoon Wars of North West Queensland 1870 to 1890, and the Western Australian Conflict of 1890 to 1898... [In addition] the Federal Government yesterday announced the inclusion of the Myall Creek Aboriginal massacre site, near Inverell, on the National Heritage List at a 170-year memorial service." (A memorial controversy, Call to honour 'Aboriginal Wars', Sunday Telegraph, 8/6/08)
I'm getting confused. Isn't armed resistance to foreign occupation and dispossession by indigenes officially branded 'terrorism' these days? Surely the Rudd government isn't toying with the idea of an official memorial commemorating a bunch of Aboriginal terrorists? Those who tried to drive us into the sea? Those who spurned our generous offers of baubles and beads? Those who refused to be partners for peace? Those with the blood of our innocent pioneers on their hands? Those who hated us not for anything we allegedly did to them, but simply for being the wonderful folk that we were (and still are)?
How is John Citizen expected to cope with the cognitive dissonance created by commemorating Aboriginal resistance to colonial invasion and dispossession here, while his political representatives condemn it in Palestine as terrorism? How can he be expected to accept an apology for the bloody deeds of his pioneer forbears here, while his political representatives insist on turning Australia's federal parliament into a forum for celebrating the bloody deeds of Israel's pioneers in 1948? (See my 14/3/08 post, The Israeli Occupation of Federal Parliament 3)
Australian explorer Edward John Eyre wrote in 1845 about Australia's indigenous 'terrorists': "It is true that occasionally many crimes have been committed by them, and robberies and murders have too often occurred; but who can tell what were the provocations which led to, what the feelings which impelled such deeds? Neither have they been the only or the first aggressors, nor has their race escaped unscathed in the contest. Could blood answer blood, perhaps for every drop of European's shed by natives, a torrent of their, by European hands, would crimson the earth." (An Account of the Manners & Customs of the Aborigines & the State of their Relations with Europeans)
What Eyre wrote over one and a half centuries ago resonates today in Palestine.
[*I'll deal with the JNF at length in my next post.]