Saturday, August 25, 2012

Israel Now Core NSW Government Business

Who could have predicted that when the O'Farrell government came to power in NSW some 17 months ago rooting for Israel would come to rival the core government business of slashing and burning the state?

Who could have predicted that the Premier would be threatening to sack a Sydney Council over its brave decision to boycott Israeli goods and services?

Who could have predicted that NSW parliamentarians would be falling over one another to denounce BDS in the parliamentary bear pit?

Who could have predicted the formation of a NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel with a Green on its steering committee?

Who could have predicted that NSW Police would be going to the Supreme Court to head off a Nakba commemoration?

 Who could have predicted that state politicians would be aping their federal colleagues by embarking on pilgrimages to Israel?

And now this: "Premier Barry O'Farrell delivered the keynote speech at the official foundation event of the Liberal Party Friends of Israel (LFI), held at Parliament House last Tuesday night. Over 100 attendees - comprising ministers, MPs, councillors and community members - were in attendance to launch the group, which has been set up to provide a forum for Liberal Party supporters to join their parliamentary representatives in supporting Israel." (NSW Liberal Friends of Israel launched, The Australian Jewish News, 24/8/12)

LFI's chairman (and NSW Jewish Board of Deputies vice-president) Yaron Finkelstein spoke of the launch as "a perfect marker in a calendar that will be filled with ongoing activities to strengthen the bond between the State of Israel and those that support the Liberal Party," and added that "[i]n time we hope that this will be a group that attracts members from right across NSW, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to stand in support of Israel." (ibid)

And Premier O'Farrell had these passing strange words to say at LFI's launch: "We use grassroots as a word in politics, but I'm talking to people whose nation is only there because of grassroots action over a very long time that led up to the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948... And it's grassroots action that continues day in day out within the boundaries of Israel to ensure that it continues to exist in an environment, in a neighbourhood that is incredibly, incredibly important." (ibid)

Now I don't know about you but for the life of me I've never before heard ethnic cleansing described as "grassroots action."

So what can we expect when LFI's up and running?

"The groups's program will include intelligence and policy briefings, visiting speaker functions and ongoing Australian-Israeli political exchanges, among other activities." (ibid)

Ah, but that's just the beginning. Just wait till they drop 'Parliament' for 'Knesset', open a Max Brenner outlet inside, hang portraits of Theodor Herzl in both chambers, turn the visitor entry into an Israeli-style checkpoint, kit the staff out in IDF uniforms and Uzis, and run the Scar of David up the flagpole.


Peter D said...

What they really need to do next, now they've got the basics covered, is bring Elie Wiesel out for a tour. He could visit a session of parliament, and all the parliamentarians could give him a spontaneous, rousing, heartfelt standing ovation when the Speaker acknowledged his presence in the chamber. It'd be most effective if it started off slow, with just a few sparse determined claps here and there, and then slowly built up to a deafening crescendo. That would be great. Almost everyone would have lumps in their throat due to the sheer poignancy of the occasion.

MERC said...

God, I've got a lump in my throat just thinking about it!

Anonymous said...

How about changing the name Liberal to Likud ?