Sunday, July 25, 2010

Me, A Zionist? How Very Dare You!

At uni she snuggled up to them:

"A fellow student activist says [Julia] Gillard has always been 'very much on the pragmatic side. She was always that way in politics. She was more inclined to deal with the Liberals, the Zionists and various right-wing groups than she was with the Left'." (She's got it, Stevenson & Banham, Sydney Morning Herald, 5/7/03)

But then she swore blind she wasn't one:

"A recently unearthed document [MERC: Who did the digging & why?] showed Prime Minister Julia Gillard has faced accusations of pro-Israel bias since her student days... In 1984, when Gillard was president of the Australian Union of Students (AUS) - a precursor to today's National Union of Students - she reported extensively on a particularly vicious debate about the group's Middle East policy. During that debate, Gillard wrote 'It was alleged by some sectors of the 'Left' either that I was a Zionist or was actively collaborating with Zionists', at the same time 'AUJS (Australian Union of Jewish Students) representatives were treating me with total suspicion and distrust'. Continuing with the report, Gillard hit back at those who labelled her a 'Zionist'. 'It seems to me the height of ridiculousness that people I had never met could form this unshakable belief that I was a Zionist', she wrote. 'I can only say to them that any rational person would believe opinions formed on the basis of little or no fact are not worth much'. She even went so far as to 'use any legal remedy available to me' to put the allegation to rest. 'I do not intend to have the tag of 'Zionist' follow me around for the rest of my life simply because of the particular brand of play-pen politics that pervades some sections of AUS'." (Back to the future: Gillard deflects Zionist slurs, The Australian Jewish News, 23/7/10)

But today... ?

"Shown the document last week, a spokesperson for Gillard told The AJN, 'In the 1984 student union report, Ms Gillard was writing about a dispute over procedural motions. She was simply refuting claims of bias'. She confirmed the PM's current stance towards the Jewish State. 'The Prime Minister said earlier this month her interest in and support for Israel were longstanding and that remains firmly the case'." (ibid)

Zionism/Shmionism - yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever it takes.

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