Now, as far as the mugging of Marrickville Council goes, I wouldn't like you to think that the Likud lobby and the Murdoch press deserve all the credit. Sure, they gave the mayor the hardest time, but Fairfax's belated soft cop routine deserves some of the credit too.
After all, who can forget their rib-tickling editorial Truth, justice & the Marrickville way:
"Marrickville Council is being torn apart by Middle Eastern politics. Should Marrickville, or should it not, punish Israel with a boycott for its alleged human rights violations? The question is, of course, on everyone's lips across the Middle East. The fate of nations hangs in the balance. Is a mere boycott enough? Should Marrickville send troops?" (16/4/11)
Alleged human rights violations? Ain't that a corker? And that one about troops, that's sooo Chaser!
Oh, what a coincidence, here's the latest from The Chaser team in the same issue: "Marrickville admits Israel sanctions pointless: plans full nuclear strike." Inimitable!
On a more serious note though, the Herald deserves credit for giving the floor to those lovely old dears, Aunts Gael & Janet:
"The question now is how to heal the rift... When you politicise a protracted international conflict at the local level, the rancour hits hard because it is felt not only in the chambers of government but on our streets, souring relationships between neighbours and community groups." (Councils can help Mid-East peace, Gael Kennedy & Janet Kossy, 19/4/11)
And that wouldn't do now, would it? Better for your protracted international conflict to remain sotto voce in Ozrael so the old dears can flit comfortably from their inauthentic homes in Sydney to their authentic ones in Tel Aviv, or wherever else in occupied Palestine takes their fancy, and back again, which is their prerogative as fully paid up members of The Jewish People. I mean, all that dreadful talk about occupation and settlements and dispossession and... and people might just start asking inconvenient questions like how come some people get 2 homes, albeit one not quite as authentic as the other, just because they've got the right sort of mum, while other people, who have the wrong sort of mum, don't?
And whence this rancour on our streets? That dreadful Byrne woman, of course! Aunts Gael and Janet, you see, unlike that shocking creature, "stand for peace" and "believe in a two-state solution as the only viable path towards a lasting peace.
But what exactly do they mean by a two-state solution? I mean they couldn't possibly be referring to a Palestinian state alongside Israel because at no point in their incredibly sincere striving for peace do they take Israel's ruling Likud Party, whose charter "rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan River," to task. So I guess they mean Israel and its neighboring settler state now occupying about 60% of the West Bank.
Ah, but such are their years that for them, "this conflict is extremely complex, with many different narratives and truths. There are no simple solutions..." Nah, the Israelis can't just get off Palestinian backs and out of Palestinian faces, can't simply leave the occupied West Bank to its Palestinian inhabitants. Nah... that'd be much too simple! No, complex is definitely the way to go, and complex, as the old dears say, is what makes this such a "protracted international conflict." Which is why bloody Fiona Byrne should keep her nose out of it!
Just who does she think she is anyway, trying to sort out this PIC in Marrickville of all places? No, the aunts have a better idea: "people-to-people peace building" in Leichhardt! None of that rancorous BDS crap in Leichhardt. No, in Leichhardt they have a "council advisory committee that includes nominees of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia and the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies that will focus on support for a joint Israeli-Palestinian initiative."
Wowee, Israel and the Palestine Authority in microcosm in Leichhardt! Cool! Does Ahmad Bloggs of Lakemba get to play Saeb Erekat to Vic Alhadeff's Israeli interlocutor? Does Bloggs get to say those wonderful lines from that smash-hit joint Israeli-Palestinian comedy, the Palestine Papers? Like, If somebody sneezes in Darlinghurst, I get the flu in Lakemba, or I am being executed by Jewish Board of Deputies officials and Jewish Board of Deputies negotiators on the hour, every hour in each session, or The last time we sat with you and played 'neon stupid' on our foreheads. (See my 19/2/11 post Taken for a Ride on the Peace (Process) Train)
And what's this about Leichhardt Council exploring projects?
"An example of a project being explored by Leichhardt Council is Comet ME: an award-winning environmental project developed by Israeli scientists who build renewable energy solutions in various Bedouin villages in the south Hebron hills."
As opposed to Bulldozethebloodylot ME: a record-breaking demolition (x25) of the Bedouin village of Araqib in the northern Negev by Israeli authorities who have engineered a demographic solution whereby the Bedouin, who make up 25% of the population there, have been squeezed into less than 2% of its land area. (Erasing links to the land in the Negev, Noga Malkin, Human Rights Watch, 11/3/11)