It warms the cockles of one's heart, it truly does, to see our hardworking NSW parliamentarians taking time off from mismanaging The Premier State to devote themselves to what is arguably the human rights issue de jour - the foul kidnapping and even fouller imprisonment of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Kidnapping? But of course! I don't care whether this brave young man was in uniform or armed to the teeth. Nor do I care whether he was engaged in the garroting of Gaza. He's Israeli, OK? So he cannot be described as having been abducted, right?
Seriously though, here's the drum from The Australian Jewish News: "Calls for Shalit's release have been made by Liberal frontbencher Mike Gallacher in the NSW Legislative Council, and by shadow minister for intergovernmental relations Chris Hartcher in the Legislative Assembly... The opposition gave notice that it will call on the NSW Government to condemn Hamas for its 'inhumane treatment' of Shalit since he was kidnapped in Gaza [whoops!] in June 2006..." (Liberals stand with Shalit, 25/9/09)
No, nobody put them up to it! It was all sooo utterly spontaneous: "'My colleagues and I did our research and discovered other parliaments across the world had carried resolutions [and] that this was an important humanitarian issue', Hartcher told The AJN... Shalit is an innocent person being held in severe conditions. It's appropriate that all people of goodwill work for his release'." (ibid)
Thought you'd be impressed. But hang on! Ron Wiseman, Vice-president of the State Zionist Council of NSW, revealed, in a party-pooping letter to The AJN on 2/10/09, that - well - things weren't quite as spontanous as Mr Hartcher had made out. There had actually been some prompting: "On September 8, at the initiative of the State Zionist Council (SZC) of NSW... the Alan Dershowitz film, The Case for Israel, was shown to NSW parliamentarians... at the theatrette of the NSW Parliament. The reaction of many of the MPs was one of surprise and interest. They had intimated they had not been aware of many of the facts [!!!] surrounding the history of the events leading up to the creation of the State of Israel... In addition, information about the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit, including the SZC's 'Blue Ribbon Appeal for Gilad Shalit', was made available. As a result, Chris Hartcher and Mike Gallacher initiated a motion against the kidnapping of Shalit and called for his immediate release. The motion was carried unanimously without debate."
Unanimously, eh? And you thought they were all just a bunch of bagmen, adulterers and incompetents. Shame on you!