As Gaza burned, and the shattered bodies of men, women and children lay all around, you might remember Sydney Morning Herald columnist Paul Sheehan putting the boot in thus: "Women, living under sharia law*, are used primarily as breeding stock." (It's too easy to blame the Jews, 12/1/09. See my 13/1/09 post Oriana Fallaci Meets Israeli PR at the SMH) [*Needless to say, Gazans do not live under sharia law.]
I was reminded of Sheehan's smear when I read the recent comments of Israel's housing minister, Ariel Atias. Alarmed at what he called an "Arab [demographic] takeover" of the Galilee, Atias revealed that his "national mission" was to Judaise the area by bringing in ultra-Orthodox Jews (Haredim) whose "birth rate - estimated at 8 children per woman - is twice that of the Muslim population." (Israel calls on ultra-orthodox to 'save' Galilee, Jonathan Cook, antiwar.com, 6/7/09) And again, when I read the reference, in yesterday's Australian, to "cases of Haredi being accused of neglecting children, including an incident in which a large family forgot one of their children when they boarded a plane." (Clashes reveal Israel identity crisis, John Lyons)
Now could you ever imagine Sheehan writing: 'Women, living under halachic law, are used primarily as breeding stock'? Silly question.
Not that Sheehan would have the faintest about either sharia or halachic law. I mean, here's a guy who confuses the hijab with the chador: "Bankstown, the heart of Keating's electorate, now has one of Australia's largest concentrations of non-English speaking background (NESB) immigrants. Bankstown Plaza is filled with East Asians, Muslims and Pacific Islanders. The chadore [sic], headcover for Muslim women, is common at Bankstown Square." (Among the Barbarians: The Dividing of Australia, 1998, p 97)
That must be Bankstown Square, Tehran. Hilarious.