Saturday, October 9, 2010

Only Ill-Timed?

"Ill-timed oath may torpedo talks," is the headline which introduces Middle East correspondent John Lyons' report in The Australian of 8/10/10.

The oath referred to, of course, is Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman's divisive and discriminatory loyalty oath, requiring prospective citizens of Israel - meaning primarily Palestinians wishing to marry so-called Israeli Arabs - to swear allegiance to 'the state of Israel' as 'a Jewish and democratic state'. Just passed by Netanyahu's cabinet, it is about to go before Israel's Knesset for ratification.

To clarify, this is an oath which demands of occupied or exiled Palestinians that they swear allegiance to a state that claims it belongs to every Jew on the planet, but most emphatically not to the indigenous Palestinian population whose land it has stolen. In addition, it claims to be democratic, despite some 5 million Palestinians, who should be living within its borders, being locked out of their homeland, stateless and disenfranchised for over 60 years.

For the Murdoch press, however, this oath is merely ill-timed, not ill-conceived.

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