Just how green are The Greens? The answer is very - and I'm not talking about deep ecology here.
I am moved to this quite depressing conclusion by the NSW Greens' decision to, in the words of a December 4 media release, "replace the BDS resolution adopted by the Greens NSW in December 2010," with a recognition that, while "BDS is a legitimate non-violent political tactic seeking to alter the policies and actions of the government of Israel," there is "a variety of views within the community, NSW Greens and the Australian Greens on the BDS," and that, therefore, "each participating individual or community group may choose whether to do so and in a way which is suitable and practical for themselves."
IOW, support for BDS has been relegated from a plank in the party platform to a conscience vote for individual party members.
What this, in fact, means is that the NSW Greens, despite all that they should have learnt regarding the power, influence and tactics of the Israel lobby and its pre-eminent Murdoch mouthpiece, The Australian, over the past year, have not understood the following:
1) There is no "variety of views within the community."
Given that, like most progressive folk, the Greens shun the Murdoch press like the plague, and so are simply not wise to its tricks, it is my feeling that they mistake its periodic crusades and beat-ups (against BDS/Greens*, Lee Rhiannon, Sheik Hilali**, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, and Muslims in general) for actual community attitudes when these are in fact propaganda tropes concocted and broadcast by Australia's Israel lobby (or Zionist Power Configuration (ZPG) to use James Petras' more accurate terminology). The overwhelming majority of fair-minded Australians (the Greens' natural constituency), even despite the pro-Israel bias that pervades much of the corporate reporting on the Middle East conflict, either 'get it' or, with a little leadership (and guidance) from the Greens, could 'get it'.***
2) The so-called "variety of views within the NSW and Australian Greens," is merely a mix of the aforementioned ignorance and confusion and the penetration of the party by Zionists whose bottom line, whatever else they show an interest in, is heading off, blunting, or at least neutralising, the adoption of pro-Palestinian policies and initiatives by the party. It is, to say the least, bizarre that an otherwise progressive and anti-racist party should tolerate the present-day equivalents of supporters of South African apartheid in its ranks.
3) The backdown on BDS will not, as the Greens no doubt hope, stem Murdoch's crusade against the party, but simply embolden it. All the NSW Greens have succeeded in doing with their new, pale green resolution is giving Murdoch and 'friends' a stick to beat them with. Nor was the beating long in coming, with consecutive 'reports' over the following two days by Imre Salusinszky, the Murdoch foot soldier charged with spearheading the anti-Greens/BDS attack in the pages of The Australian:
a) Here's Salusinszky recycling the 'received wisdom' on former Marrickville mayor Fiona Byrne's failure to win the state seat of Marrickville for the Greens:
"The Greens in NSW have backed away from the divisive policy on Israel that was widely seen as costing them a potential lower-house seat at the state election in March." (Greens shy from Israel boycott policy, 5/12/11)
The words which give Salusinszky's game away are "widely seen." But by whom? By the Murdoch press, that's whom! Further along in his piece, Salusinszky drops even this and simply asserts: "[c]ontroversy over the party's stance on the BDS cost Fiona Byrne" the seat.
b) And here's Salusinszky cock-a-hoop over the divide within the party that he has helped generate. (Note too the blatant attempt at guilt by association. This is not objective reporting):
"The move is seen as a victory for the more conservationist element among the Greens in NSW and a defeat for NSW senator Lee Rhiannon and her former state upper house colleague Sylvia Hale, who have marched and carried anti-Israel banners with controversial Muslim cleric Taj Din al-Hilali." (ibid)
But there's more:
"Three of the party's 5 NSW upper house MPs have distanced themselves from the BDS and did not oppose a motion in parliament condemning protests outside cafes of the Israeli-owned Max Brenner chain." (ibid)
"Moderate Greens in NSW have welcomed the party's decision to ditch its official support for the 'destructive' international campaign to isolate Israel... The move... is being widely interpreted in party circles as a defeat for NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon. Former state Greens MP Ian Cohen... said last night the shift represented the 'maturation' of the Greens political organisation in NSW." (Israel move welcomed, 6/12/11)
c) And, just to remind you that The Australian's not off on some lone frolic, here's Salusinszky on the relevant ZPC connection: "NSW Jewish Board of Deputies president Yair Miller said, 'We welcome this small but significant step... but reiterate that they are still wrong to argue that BDS is a legitimate tactic'." (ibid)
It's time the Greens wised up on Palestine.
To read the whole sorry saga of how the green Greens got spooked by Murdoch and the ZPC over BDS, just click on the 'The Greens' label below.
[*See my 8/4/11 post The Australian Goes on the Warpath; **See my 20/1/11 post Get the Sheikh!; ***For example, a November 2011 Morgan Poll on Israel/Palestine indicated that, while 28% of Australians surveyed supported the Palestinians and 26% the Israelis, 21% supported neither and 24% couldn't say. Surely it's not too much to expect that a forthright and principled, which is to say a pro-BDS, position by the Greens could bring around many in the last 2 categories.]