Thursday, April 7, 2011

Murdoch Spooks Faehrmann on Palestine

NSW Upper House Greens MP Cate Faehrmann has unfortunately joined the Australian Greens leader, Bob Brown, in spreading the myth that the NSW Greens' adoption of a pro-BDS position prior to last month's state election was responsible for the Greens' failure to win the seat of Marrickville and a less-than-expected surge of support for the Greens in the rest of the state. She complains that:

"... more than a few of us are feeling a little flat about the overall result. That is because the success in Balmain was not repeated in Marrickville, and our statewide vote was expected to be significantly higher, " and goes on to assert that "If we are to reach our potential within the next couple of elections, we need to be honest about our mistakes and learn from them." (Greens won't get much further if we repeat poll blunders, Sydney Morning Herald, 7/4/11)

It could well be the case, of course, that given the ingrained conservatism and ignorance of the Australian electorate generally, she and her colleagues had unrealistically high expectations. However, Cate entertains no such idea. No, she wants a simple explanation, and blindly reaches for the one hatched by the Israel lobby and flogged mercilessly by its mouthpiece the Murdoch press:

"The party's handling of the boycott, divestment and sanctions policy against Israel was an unnecessary distraction from issues relevant to a state election."

Now for any halfway politically savvy individual, it's really quite simple: if the Murdoch press are saying it, it's simply wrong, a lie, a falsehood. Always. You are a person of conscience, one who cares about more than just getting ahead, and you want to know where to stand on an issue that might at first blush seem a little difficult to grasp? Easy. Just read The Australian and take a diametrically opposed position to whatever lie(s) it happens to be peddling at the time. Never fails. If only Cate (and Bob) had followed this simple rule, she wouldn't have been sucked in in the way she has. She writes lamely that:

"Like all Greens, I strongly support the rights of the Palestinian people, but I watched dismayed as the issue was elevated to national prominence."

Who elevated the BDS issue to national prominence? The Murdoch press, of course, and the Israel lobby which determines its editorial line on the Middle East conflict. So why doesn't Cate say so? Is she not aware of the connection? And what evidence does she bring to show that BDS was elevated to national prominence among voters? The answer, in a word, is none. Cate was simply taken in by yet another Murdoch beat-up, essentially falling for the notion that, because The Australian is a national paper, its beat-ups automatically achieve national prominence in the minds of voters. The reality is that the vast majority of people simply don't read The Australian.

"Parts of the print media and right-wing radio commentators treated us roughly, but it should not have been surprising that they smelt blood, and we were ill-prepared for the avalanche of ridicule that followed."

Again, what is this parts of the print media nonsense? Is Cate afraid to call a spade a spade here? It's M-U-R-D-O-C-H, Cate. As for right-wing radio commentators, surely it isn't some kind of revelation that their listeners wouldn't vote for the Greens even if Bob Brown married a good Christian woman and attended Hillsong on Sundays or took up bushbashing in a hummer with a few gun-toting mates. And that avalanche of ridicule, that's a worry. Surely Cate is not blissfully unaware of the threats, the swastikas, and the vandalised car (See my 31/3/11 post Kahane Down Under?)? Why is this vile intimidation not referred to, and unequivocally condemned, anywhere in her opinion page whinge?

"In an election that should have been fought on local issues, public transport and integrity in politics, the Greens in Marrickville unwittingly found themselves the bandwagon for a motion on a foreign policy issue that was rejected by the Australian Greens National Council little more than a year ago."

Should have been fought on local issues? Well, hasn't Cate just taken the words right out of Carmel Tebbut's mouth! And then the suggestion that the Greens should be just another top-down party like LibLab. Right. Good one. And the notion that Fiona Byrne and her fellow Marrickville Greens were somehow duped really doesn't reflect well on one so easily sucked in by Murdoch and friends.

"... we must prepare and avoid providing our opponents with fodder for attacks as best we can."

Time to practise what you preach, Cate.


Rob said...

Watched "the Drum" on ABC,they had Tim Whatsit, the tame[lame] Liberal councillor from Stonnington.His take on the BDS issue:tantamount to an attack on the legitimacy of Israel and stoutly defended Israel as a "democratic state".I waited in vain for Waleed Aly to retort:"oh I see,Israel is DEMOCRATICALLY in breach of international law,democratically stealing Palestinian land,democratically,building illegal colonies in Occupied territory,democratically killing children[100s of them] with sniper shots to head,neck and chest etc" but no.Asked directly if he thought BDS was valid and why he said "it's complicated".No it is not Waleed,it is in fact pig simple;the now 44 year long illegal occupation and murderous oppression of the Palestinian territories is at the very core of the issue and must end.

Anonymous said...

Most days I don't read The Australian, but I happened to read it and visit their website yesterday. There wasn't just one article lambasting the Greens for the pro-BDS views held by some of them, there were three. And Cate Faehrmann seems to have written a similar article for the SMH yesterday.

I will say, the pro-BDS Greens were caught out in that they never should have fallen for the trap of supporting or appearing to support a blanket boycott of all things Israeli. Or at least they should have been better prepared for the inevitable attack. (Hell, the Greens who don't support BDS should have been demanding that the pro-BDS Greens prepare to be attacked in/by the mainstream media. How could any of them not have seen this coming?) The only dignified way out for them is to persist with a pro-BDS policy but make it clear that the non-negotiable core of it is that illegal/unethical Israeli activities should be boycotted/actively discouraged(businesses located on Palestinian land, businesses aiding the Israeli takeover of Palestinian land, etc).

It's amazing how on any other issue the media favours individuals acting according to their conscience rather than toeing the party line, but the're busy painting the Greens as a mickey mouse party because conscience voting is built into their party structure.

Peter D

MERC said...

Unfortunately, Waleed Aly's a knowledge-free zone when it comes to the profoundly UNDEMOCRATIC (because the bulk of the indigenous population was booted out in '48, leaving a predominantly Jewish colon rump behind, who could then claim that the Zionist entity was both Jewish & democratic) apartheid state.