How interesting. Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott makes what must surely be one of the most hyperbolic and fatuous statements of his political career, namely, that 'We are all Israelis', and it's been ignored both by the ms media and his own website! Work that one out.
Abbott's revelation of our supposed Israeliness (Israelianity?) came in a speech he gave at Sydney's Central Synagogue on March 9, the only source for which is The Australian Jewish News:
"In so many ways, [Israel is] a country so much like Australia, a liberal, pluralist democracy... A beacon of freedom and hope in a part of the world which has so little freedom and hope'. He added that Australians 'can hardly begin to comprehend' the existential threat Israelis live under. 'It is so easy for us in Australia to get moral qualms, if you like, when we read about Israeli actions in - on the West Bank for instance - or Israeli involvement in Lebanon. And yet, we are not threatened in the way Israel was and is, and if we were threatened in the way Israel was and is, I am sure that we would take actions just as strong in our own defence. When Israel is fighting for its very life, well, as far as I'm concerned, Australians are Israelis. We are all Israelis in those circumstances'." (Abbott: We are all Israeli, 16/3/12)
Now if this isn't the biggest load of old cobblers from the mad monk to date, I'll eat my computer. Two points:
First, Israel is not a liberal, pluralist democracy. It's a Jewish ethnocracy based on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine's majority non-Jewish population, who live in refugee camps in neighbouring countries and who would love nothing better than to return and take part in a genuine, post-apartheid election, on an equal footing with Jewish Israelis, Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, and Palestinians currently under military occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Then and only then will Palestine/Israel amount to a liberal, pluralist democracy.
Second, the only threat, whether existential or actual, that's ever existed in Palestine/Israel from 1917 until today has been that directed against the Palestinian people by the Zionist colonisation of their homeland.
So, if it's a matter of Australians identifying with those under threat, as it should be, then as far as I'm concerned - to rephrase Abbott's words - Australians are Palestinians. We are all Palestinians in those circumstances.