Saturday, September 15, 2012

Christine Milne & A Matter of Principle

The attacks on Greens senator Lee Rhiannon, the only federal Greens politician with the guts to stand up for Palestinian rights, continue:

"The government was yesterday forced into an embarrassing retreat after voting down an opposition motion condemning the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement to protect the Greens. Labor joined with the Greens in the Senate to oppose a motion by NSW Liberal Arthur Sinodinos noting comments by NSW Green Lee Rhiannon that her party lost votes in inner-Sydney Marrickville in Saturday's council elections because of its support for the BDS movement*, which equates Israel with apartheid-era South Africa**. The motion noted that Marrickville Greens candidates had continued to offer support for BDS and called on the NSW party to explicitly reject any policy of BDS." (Labor has second thoughts after saving allies in BDS motion, Christian Kerr, 13/9/12)

[*I'm aware of no such comments. **This is an embroidery by Christian Kerr. Sinodinos' motion (based on Imre Salusinszky's attack on the Greens in the Australian of September 7 - See my post of the same date, No Thanks, I'm Choosy Who I Talk To) made no mention of apartheid.]

Sinodinos and his fellow Liberals, of course, get a real kick out of playing games like this. This is because they know they can exploit Greens leader Christine Milne's cowardly failure to put principle first in this matter. Thus we get:

"Greens leader Christine Milne attacked the motion, saying supporting BDS was not NSW nor Australian Greens policy." (ibid)

(Typically, the Australian has omitted the only fighting words in Milne's response: "... for the benefit of Senator Sinodinos and the Australian.")

The question arises: would Sinodinos (or any other of his mob) have bothered to move such a motion if he'd known that Milne would reply confidently and unapologetically thus:

BDS? Yes, as a party of unswerving principle, standing for a just peace in the Middle East, the Greens are committed to it 100%. As you should know, the BDS call is for Israel to 1) end its occupation and colonisation of all Arab lands [occupied in 1967] and dismantle the wall; 2) recognise the fundamental rights of the Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and 3) respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties, as stipulated in UN resolution 194. Principle mandates support for all 3 demands, and BDS is simply a strategy that enables people of conscience outside occupied Palestine to exert pressure on the Israelis to comply.


Anonymous said...

Noam Chomsky has ridiculed BDS as a racist movement. Norman Finklestein also condemns it

MERC said...

"Ridiculed BDS as a racist movement," eh? I'm big on accuracy here at MERC, so please feel free to cite chapter and verse said "ridicule of BDS as a racist movement." No need to be shy. I mean, you do know what you're talking about, don't you?