My thoughts on Ean Higgins and Imre Salusinszky's Tight-lipped on the BDS taboo in today's Australian:
"For Greens running in inner-Sydney council elections tomorrow, the first rule is: don't mention the war. Even for Greens candidates who firmly believe in it, the pro-Palestinian campaign to boycott business with links to Israel is one topic strictly taboo when it comes to talking to the mainstream media."
Note the conceit here: Murdoch's extremist, Zio-conservative Australian is the mainstream media.
"The Greens were stung at the NSW election last year when The Australian exposed Greens Marrickville mayor Fiona Byrne's support for the international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against the Jewish state."
IOW Fiona Byrne had a dirty little secret and was stung when a truth-seeking, investigative journalist from The Australian exposed it. I'm sorry, but this isn't journalism. (Salusinszky doesn't do journalism.) It's a Zionist vendetta waged against a courageous woman who dared to stand up for Palestinian rights.
"Ms Byrne's position, from which she tried to back away as the election drew closer, destroyed her otherwise good chance of seizing the state seat of Marrickville, held by Labor's Carmel Tebbutt."
Part of that vendetta has been to assert that BDS stood in the way of a Greens victory in Marrickville and so suggest that it is electoral poison. In fact, bucketloads of ink have been squandered in propagating this myth: See my 4-post series, A Myth is Born, 29/3/11 - 31/3/11).
And don't you just love the word "seizing." The reason why it's been used here instead of winning is that Carmel Tebbutt's on the 'right' side. (Why, there she is now in the latest issue of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies' newsletter At the Board, a glass of whatever in hand, standing between Peter Wertheim AM (ECAJ) and Jeremy Jones AM (AIJAC/ECAJ) at the launch of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel group.)
"Since then, strategists appear to have given their candidates in the 'green zones' of the inner city councils the instructions along the lines of the Irish folk song: 'Whatever you say, say nothing, when you talk about you know what.'"
Now if, and I repeat if, this is indeed current Greens strategy, they deserve all they get. The only correct strategy to adopt when journalists from The Australian heave into view is this: Whatever you say, say nothing, when you're talking to The Australian.
"When The Australian this week approached Marrickville Greens councillor Marika Kontellis, who is running for re-election tomorrow, she said: 'I have no comment at all on BDS.'"
If (and I repeat if again and again and again, this being The Australian) Ms Kontellis did say this, then she's unwittingly played into Murdoch's hands, and what she should have said was: No thanks, I'm choosy who I talk too.
Now bypassing some padding here (Oh my goodness, Vic Alhadeff's popped up! What a surprise!) we come to this:
"[T]he party has chosen a hard-line anti-Israel campaigner as one of its prospective incoming candidates in Marrickville. Karel Solomon, who grew up in South Africa, last year branded Israel a racist state. 'As someone who suffered under apartheid, it is all too clear that what exists in Israel today is apartheid'... Mr Solomon said in a speech last year when he presented a letter from South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu supporting BDS to Ms Byrne. 'People were forcibly removed from their homes and dumped into refugee camps based on one criterion and one criterion alone - by race, by an accident of birth. When Israel demands to be recognised as a state that is defined by race, then it is an apartheid state. (It is) a racist policy."
Now isn't that just typical of The Australian: a man who was raised in apartheid South Africa and who, like Archbishop Tutu, knows it when he sees it elsewhere, is casually written off by a hard-line pro-Israel newspaper as a "hard-line anti-Israel campaigner." The only opinions that matter in this rag are those of Israel lobbyists such as Alhadeff, Wertheim, Jones and Rubenstein who have the run of its opinion pages.
It'd be verging on the tedious to cite the rest of the piece, with one Greens candidate reportedly (or misreportedly as the case may be) saying that "she was 'absolutely not' talking about BDS to her constituents," and another reported (or misreported as the case may be) as "avoid[ing] direct questions about BDS."
OK, assuming for the sake of argument that these Greens candidates have not been misquoted, wouldn't it be better for The Greens not to engage representatives of The Australian on any subject?
After all, no self-respecting member or supporter of the party - in fact, no presentable member of the human race even - actually buys the bloody thing as it is. So why not just extend this de facto boycott of the product to include those who have a hand in producing it? Seriously, how hard is that? All together now, Greens candidates: NO THANKS, I'M CHOOSY WHO I TALK TO.