Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Myth Is Born

A Zionist myth is being born: namely that The Greens failed to win the NSW seat of Marrickville because Greens candidate, Fiona Byrne, supported the boycott of Israel. And, sadly, certain key Greens are unwittingly helping to deliver the baby:

"The former Greens MLC Ian Cohen said the party's support for a boycott of Israel may have contributed to disappointing results in Balmain and Marrickville... Fiona Byrne of the Greens has not yet conceded in Marrickville but the former Labor deputy premier Carmel Tebbutt... looks set to retain the seat. Cr. Byrne, who supported a boycott of Israel as mayor of Marrickville, made a series of contradictory statements over whether she would bring the boycott to Parliament if elected... MLC David Shoebridge, who was re-elected, said 'the results were a victory... the most progressive party in NSW politics has not only held onto our vote but grown our vote to a historic high'.* But Mr Cohen, who is retiring, took a different view, calling the inability to secure either of the lower house seats a 'huge disappointment'. He said the Israel boycott had likely contributed. 'Electorally it could have made the difference in both those seats', he said, though he believed the party was right to take a principled stance. The Greens' federal leader, Bob Brown, said the boycott would certainly be looked at in the debrief. 'I'm picking up from the electorate that it was a matter of concern', he said." (Party puts on a brave face despite failing in its campaign to win a seat in the lower house, Josephine Tovey, Sydney Morning Herald, 28/3/11)

[* 10.3% - Lower House; 11.14% - Upper House]

Could you please speak up, Ian? What was that about the party being right to take a principled stance? And Bob - I'll leave my questions for you until after I've quoted this bit of Murdoch fishwrapper:

"The Greens' post-mortem of their NSW election result will consider whether the party failed to win the seat of Marrickville because of candidate Fiona Byrne's support for a boycott of Israel... Federal Greens leader Bob Brown admitted yesterday that voters were upset by Ms Byrne's repeated misleading statements over her decision... to support a motion boycotting goods and cultural exchanges from Israel. Ms Byrne said early in the campaign that if elected to parliament she would push for a statewide ban. However, she subsequently labelled her comments a 'falsehood' when they were reported by The Australian. Ms Byrne later denied she had 'pushed' for the motion, but was revealed to have been planning to speak at an anti-Israeli apartheid rally this week. Asked yesterday whether Ms Byrne's actions, which plagued the latter days of her campaign, had contributed to her failure, Senator Brown said: 'I think it had an effect on it - that's my feedback from the electorate and it's no doubt something that the NSW Greens will be looking at'." (Anti-Israeli stance focus of Greens review, Matthew Franklin & Amos Aikman, The Australian, 28/3/11)

Bob Brown admitted... voters were upset by Ms Byrne's repeated misleading statements is The Australian's spin on Brown's 'I think it had an effect on it - that's my feedback from the electorate...'

Still, if you think about it, despite The Australian's construction, Brown's comments raise more than a few questions about Brown himself. Questions such as: What feedback, Bob? Are you aware you're passing ammo to the Murdoch press, Bob? Are you perhaps undermining your NSW colleagues, and the courageous Fiona Byrne in particular, Bob? What about the swastikas drawn on Fiona Byrne's posters, Bob? Why aren't the federal Greens supporting BDS, Bob? Why do you share a platform with Michael Danby, Bob?

So Ms Byrne's actions... plagued the latter days of her campaign. Really? In fact, it was the Murdoch press and certain swastika-daubing elements* (amounting perhaps to an Australian version of the late Rabbi Kahane's fascist Jewish Defense League) which plagued the latter days of [Byrne's] campaign. [* See my 27/3/11 post A Very Ugly Turn Indeed]

No, I'm afraid I can only accept the myth that BDS was an electoral liability for Fiona Byrne if its propagators are prepared to swallow the idea that NSW Labor's promise of a bilateral trade agreement with Israel* was an electoral liability for the Labor government. [See my 22/3/11 post To Boycott or to Bed?]

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