Monday, October 3, 2011

Witches Brew 4

Hard right Catholic Liberal MLC, Marie Ficarra, once described by former premier Bob Carr as "like Bronwyn Bishop without the delicacy," was all hyperbole in her most interesting 'contribution' to September 15's NSW Legislative Council 'debate' on BDS. For Ficarra BDS is just plain...

"Evil will continue to flourish if good men and women do and say nothing. We are elected to speak out on behalf of the many silent citizens who find this thing abominable."

"I make a prediction now that BDS will become one of the most evil acronyms we know. It is already tainted with evil."

In addition to her Savonarola routine, Ficarra demonstrated an interesting approach to research:

First, grab a quote (from an Israeli, of course) to butress your case (such as it is), but don't bother with quotation marks or acknowledging your source. And here it is, lifted word-for-word from Meretz MK slams boycotts, binational state as 'recipe for civil war',, 18/10/10:

"A member of the Israeli Knesset, Nitzan Horowitz, spoke in England about his opposition to the boycott of Israeli citizens and institutions and slammed the idea of a single bilateral nation as a recipe for failure and civil war. He stated: 'I am against boycotts. I don't think this is a positive way to act'."

Second, ignore the following contrary evidence for Horowitz's stance on boycotts in general and BDS in particular:

1) "In 2009, [Horowitz] announced that he would boycott all the events in Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Israel, saying that in his opinion, the pope bears a message of 'rigidness, religious extremism and imperviousness'." (Wikipedia: Nitzan Horowitz)

2) "The Knesset - Israel's parliament - passed into law a bill allowing citizens to seek civil damages against individuals or organizations that campaign for economic, cultural, or academic boycotts against Israel or the settlements. Passage of the bill marks a major setback for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to pressure Israel to recognize Palestinian sovereignty and end the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Nitzan Horowitz, a member of the Knesset from the Meretz party, blasted the law. 'We are dealing with a legislation that is an embarrassment to Israeli democracy and makes people around the world wonder if there is actually democracy here', he said." (Israel passes controversial anti-boycott bill amidst heated debate in Knesset,, 11/7/11)

Will the real Nitzan Horowitz please stand up?

A little more tripe about citizens being "bombarded, intimidated or prevented from entering" Max Brenner outlets, a salute to the master(s) of ceremonies in the gallery - "I also acknowledge Yair Miller and Vic Alhadeff from the Jewish Board of Deputies for their strong contribution to democracy and justice" - and the ritual back-to-the-thirties reference - "We must never forget the evils of Nazism or bend to anti-Semitic racism. We must take every opportunity to speak out against it and to act against it" - and Ficarra was done.

A noble sentiment indeed, that last one. But then just how seriously can you take someone who wouldn't know a racist mob in full cry if it was strutting its stuff on her very doorstep?:

"We do not want our fellow citizens to feel so disempowered, alienated and frustrated that they need to take action en masse, as some did on the streets of my home suburb of Cronulla in 2005 - in fact, outside my front balcony on North Cronulla Beach." (Inaugural Speech LC, 5/6/07)

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