Continuing my dissection of the NSW Legislative Council's anti-BDS emissions of September 15...
The Hon. Shaoquette Moselmane, Labor:
"Like my colleagues, I was not aware that this motion [condemning the targeting of Max Brenner outlets by BDS protesters] was to be debated today."
But our two broadly-grinning Israel lobbyists in the gallery knew it was on. It didn't catch them by surprise.
"I support paragraph (d) of the motion and condemn all forms of discrimination, anti-Semitism and racism... I ask the mover of the motion not only to condemn anti-Semitism but also to follow my lead in condemning the cheap political motivation behind the rest of the motion. I do not believe that the rest of the motion is genuine."
Too right! You've been caught up in what is essentially a shameless, American-style swearing of fealty to the Lords of the Lobby. So why then did you not push an amendment along these lines: That this House stop wasting its time with what is transparently nothing more than an attempt to smear and stifle legitimate dissent over Israel's serial violations of Palestinian rights?
But no, you wimped out with this tiresome reiteration of Anthony Albanese's pronouncement that "Foreign policy is a fair way outside of the parameters of Marrickville Council..."*:
"Just as we argued that Marrickville Council should not interfere in international politics, we in this House also should not interfere in international politics."
The Labor line has to be toed - always. Too bad that it always leads back to Lobby Land.
[*See my 18/1/11 post A Rising Tide of Pro-Israel Bias at the ABC.]
Then comes this:
"I do not know Max Brenner but I offer him my best wishes. I have not eaten the chocolate or the waffles that his shops offer. However, I wish him the same success that I wish any Australian business operators who are doing the best they can for their family."
As in, I've never met the Australian businessman Ronald MacDonald but I offer him and his family my best wishes?
You are taking the piss here, aren't you?
"I also know nothing about the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, but I do know that the politics motivating the movement should be condemned. Although that movement is shameful, this motion is designed simply to drive a wedge between members of this House."
Let's get this clear: You know nothing about the BDS movement (despite toeing the party line on Marrickville Council) but you condemn its politics. Pure genius! Alhadeff and his mate in the gallery must've been in stitches!
Next comes what appears to be a real cris de coeur:
"I cannot support what the Israelis are doing. I come from southern Lebanon, which the Israelis have invaded many times. I was there when the tanks rolled in and the jets roared overhead. My family was there when 10 of my father's first cousins in a car were the victims of an Israeli missile attack and 8 were killed. The Israelis have occupied southern Lebanon for 25 [sic: 29] years and created a southern Lebanese army of mercenaries whose job it is [sic] to punish the local people. That must also be condemned. I support the comments made by Dr John Kaye and Mr David Shoebridge to the extent that people who have suffered under the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon or elsewhere - leaving aside the Palestinians at this point - must have a say and their rights must be recognised. The Palestinians, who have been made homeless as a result of the Israeli state for the last 60 years [sic: 63], must be recognised. They are human beings who have rights. They have as much right as Israelis, and everybody recognises that. In my inaugural speech I said that Israelis and Palestinians have a right to exist side by side. The Israelis must have their state, as should the Palestinians. They are, like you and me, human beings who have a right to live in their homeland. Although it has been 60 years, some of them still have keys to their homes and wait for the opportunity to return."
OK, I see you're big on Palestinian rights. Well, what do you think BDS, which you've described as "shameful," is all about if not securing Palestinian rights? Let's run through BDS 101 for you. Paying attention?:
"For the Palestinian people to exercise its right to self-determination, Israel must end its 3 forms of injustice that infringe international law and Palestinian rights by: 1) ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands [occupied in 1967] and dismantling the wall 2) recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality 3) respecting, protecting, and promoting the rights pf Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties, as stipulated in UN resolution 194." (BDS: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights, Omar Barghouti, 2011, p 6)
Yet you "condemn the politics motivating the BDS movement"?
OK, moving along:
"It is not [too] much [to ask] for people to be able to protest, to have a say democratically in a non-violent way. People can protest on the streets here if they wish. I am happy for them to [do] so as long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others. I do not think these protests will infringe upon the rights of others. I do not support targeting a business, but there is a principle behind this, human beings are behind this and the Palestinian people have suffered for so long. I call on the Israeli state to make peace with the Palestinians, to give them their rights and to allow Palestinians a homeland. If it does not do so, we will continue to have this debate for many years to come."
But wait a minute, didn't you just say that the "politics motivating the [BDS] movement should be condemned"? And here you are, calling on Israel to "make peace with the Palestinians" after invoking the Albanese line that only the feds have the right to deal with foreign policy issues.
"In conclusion, I respect the Hon. David Clarke. I have had good relations with him since becoming a member of this Chamber. I call on him, as he condemns anti-Semitism, to move motions to condemn the vilification of the Muslim community in this House and outside. I ask the Hon. David Clarke to move a motion condemning all forms of anti-Muslim sentiments happening here in this House."
Oh, I see! You've just expressed support for key-carrying Palestinian refugees denied their right of return by Israel for over 60 years now, but you respect David Clarke, who spoke out strongly against the Palestinian right of return because it might mess with Israel's "Jewish character." (See Witches Brew 1). Then you're calling on the man, whom the openly Islamophobic Fred Nile called a "fearless and uncompromising leader on moral and Muslim issues," to move a motion against Islamophobia. (See my 19/9/11 post Friends.) ???
OK, I could put up with your contradictions if you'd at least voted for John Kaye's amendment opposing Clarke's motion, but what'd you do? Why, vote it down with the rest of your LibLab pack of course. Cris de coeur and Palestinian rights:0 - party line: 1.