Monday, October 26, 2009

When Bibi Met Kevi

"Israel's international spokesman, Australian Mark Regev..." (Regev upbeat on Mid-East peace, Rowan Callick, Sydney Morning Herald, 15/10/09)

Oh, so he's Israel's international spokesman and Australian too? Isn't that nice? If you're Mark Regev, you can have your cake and eat it too. Even though you were born and raised here as Mark Freiberg, you can take advantage of that amaaazing little Israeli Law of Return, which grants Israeli citizenship to anyone, anywhere, providing he's got a Jewish mother, while retaining your prior citizenship. But, if you're a Palestinian, and you're unfortunate enough to have a Muslim or a Christian mother, even with the weight of international law on your side (in the form of the right of all refugees to return to their homes), you're going nowhere. No, Israel (occupied Palestine) is reserved exclusively for those with the right bio-theological connections - people like Mark Freiberg/Regev.

"Back home in Melbourne..." (ibid) That's right, two homes! Pretty neat, eh? And it looks like it's a working holiday because he's had his back scratched by Philip Adams* and he's talking non-stop to anyone who'll listen about - you guessed it - Iran.

[*"He started his brilliant career as a student at Mt Scopus, Melbourne, and when I lived in Melbourne I used to do fundraising for Mt Scopus and clearly Mark has been a beneficiary. Mark, how does a bright young fella from Mt Scopus finish up in this lofty position?" LNL, 14/10/09]

"We think multilateral action is required on Iran. Its leadership should be given a crystal clear instruction: you can't have business as usual and a nuclear program at the same time." (ibid)

Really? Surely if the country for which you officially spruik can have both business as usual and a few hundred nukes, why can't Iran have a nuclear program? As our Kev might say, in any other context, fair shake of the sauce bottle, mate!

Now did the bright young fella from Mt Scopus say multilateral action? Meaning? Well, let him finish: "'But if it proves impossible to get a UN Security Council resolution with enough teeth to make a difference' he raised the prospect of enlisting 'enough countries which do agree, who are important players in the world, to do so'." (ibid)

Whoa! Run that past me again. If the Security Council doesn't do it for Israel, then Israel's going to whistle up its mates and get them to give Iran a right thumping. Right. And just who might these mates of Israel be? Brace yourself: "During a recent visit to New York for the UN General Assembly, Mr Netanyahu held meetings with just 4 other government heads besides the US and Palestinian leaders; those of France, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Kevin Rudd, he said, made a favourable impression, with his firm grasp of the Middle East." (ibid)

OK, could the lingering effects of Bibi's heady pheromones be the cause of Kevi's current flexing of his rhetorical pecs on the subject of asylum seekers? You know - all that jazz about being tough and hard-nosed? And that firm grasp of the Middle East? Eww! Is it, like... by the throat? Anyhow, you can be sure something was passing between those two in New York in September. After all, Kevi and New York go back a long way. Strange urges overtake him there. The last (?) time he was there, in 2003, wasn't he kicked out of a nightclub called Scores - Scores for Kevin's sake! - for laying hands on the dancers?

OK, steady on, MERC, keep it under control, let's stick to Rumsfeld's known unknowns, shall we? Now we all know that Rudd is a genetically-engineered organism, OK? (Well he did once say that support for Israel was in his DNA, didn't he?) So how could he not have attended Bibi's award-winning performance at the UN, right? Maybe that's it then, it was probably one of the ripping yarns (penned by the bright young fella from Mt Scopus?) with which Bibi regaled his American, French, Canadian, and Australian audience, that did it for Kevi.

Could it have been this one perhaps?: "The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust. It was charged with preventing the recurrence of such horrendous events. Nothing has undermined that central mission more than the systematic assault on the truth. Yesterday the President of Iran stood at this very podium, spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants. Just a few days earlier, he again claimed that the Holocaust is a lie. Last month I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee. There, on January 20, 1942, after a hearty meal, senior Nazi officials met and decided how to exterminate the Jewish people. The detailed minutes of that meeting have been preserved by successive German governments. Here is a copy of those minutes, in which the Nazis issued precise instructions on how to carry out the extermination of the Jews. Is this a lie? A day before I was in Wannsee, I was given in Berlin the original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Those plans are signed by Hitler's deputy, Heinrich Himmler himself. Here is a copy of the plans for Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were murdered. Is this too a lie? This June, President Obama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp. Did President Obama pay tribute to a lie? And what of the Auschwitz survivors whose arms still bear the tattooed numbers branded on them by the Nazis? Are those tattoos a lie? One-third of all Jews perished in the conflagration. Nearly every Jewish family was affected, including my own. My wife's grandparents, her father's two sisters and three brothers, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins were all murdered by Nazis. Is that also a lie? Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries. But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency? A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies that the murder of six million Jews took place and pledges to wipe out the Jewish state. What a disgrace! What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations! Perhaps some of you think that this man and his odious regime threaten only the Jews. You're wrong. History has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually end up engulfing many others."

Or this one?: "This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries. In the past 30 years, this fanaticism has swept the globe with a murderous violence and cold-blooded impartiality in its choice of victims. It has callously slaughtered Moslems and Christians, Jews and Hindus, and many others. Though it is comprised of different offshoots, the adherents of this unforgiving creed seek to return humanity to medieval times. Wherever they can, they impose a backward regimented society where women, minorities, gays* or anyone not deemed to be a true believer is brutally subjugated. The struggle against the fanaticism does not pit faith against faith nor civilisation against civilisation. It pits civilisation against barbarism, the 21st century against the 9th century, those who sanctify life against those who glorify death."

[*"Gays and lesbians are sick people. It's definitely a disease. They haven't invented a cure for it yet, but I hope they will." Eli Yishai, Deputy Israeli PM, quoted in Eli Yishai is just Jean-Marie Le Pen with a beard, Gideon Levy, Haaretz, 26/10/09]

Perhaps this one?: "The most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Are the member states of the United Nations up to that challenge? Will the international community confront a despotism that terrorizes its own people as they bravely stand up for freedom? Will it take action against the dictators who stole an election in broad daylight and gunned down Iranian protesters who died in the streets choking in their own blood? Will the international community thwart the world's most pernicious sponsors and practitioners of terrorism? Above all, will the international community stop the terrorist regime of Iran from developing atomic weapons, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world? The people of Iran are courageously standing up to this regime. People of goodwill around the world stand with them, as do the thousands who have been protesting outside this hall. Will the United Nations stand by their side?"

Or the whole damn kit and kaboodle? Hey, what's not to like if support for Israel has been spliced into your DNA?

But maybe Bibi's rippers were really just the softening-up process. Maybe, just maybe, it was more up close and personal than that. Maybe it really was down to those irresistable Israeli pheromones I've already alluded to. After all, as ABC Radio National's Sabra Lane reported at the time, "this afternoon [Rudd]... also... had a chat with Benjamin Netanyahu... And it's quite funny during the stage the cameras were allowed in to capture images of the two leaders talking, Benjamin Netanyahu sort of had a little bit of fun with the Prime Minister saying that either Australia had to move or the UN had to move. He was sort of making fun how far and distant Australia is from New York." (Rudd takes place on world stage, The World Today,, 24/9/09)

Hm... That "either Australia had to move or the UN had to move" line that Sabra Lane thought was just Bibi making fun, I reckon she got it all wrong! You know what? I reckon Bibi was telling Kevi that either he or the UN had to move... on Iran.


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