Saturday, September 15, 2012

Reality Overboard in the NSW Knesset?

On June 12, I posted Goings On in the NSW Knesset, in which I reported that NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell announced at an Israel Independence Day function that he would be establishing a parliamentary committee "to examine how the government can strengthen racial vilification laws in NSW." I went on to speculate that he could actually be moving to criminalise criticism of Israel by defining it as anti-Semitism.

If this sounds a little far-fetched, allow me to draw your attention to Resolution HR 35: 'Relative to anti-Semitism', passed just last month by a vote of 66 to 80 in the California State Assembly, the lower house of the state legislature. HR 35 defines not only the daubing of swastikas and Holocaust denial as anti-Semitism, but the following:

* "language or behavior [that] demonizes and delegitimizes Israel;"
* "speakers, films, and exhibits" that indicate that "Israel is guilty of heinous crimes against humanity such as ethnic cleansing and genocide;"
* describing Israel as a "racist" or "apartheid" state;"
* "student- and faculty-sponsored boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns against Israel;"
* "denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination;"
* "applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation;" and
* "actions of student groups that encourage support for terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah."*

[*Taken from California passes resolution defining criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism, Tom Carter,, 4/9/12.]

This bill, of course, has absolutely nothing whatever to do with combating genuine manifestations of anti-Semitism, which would be quite rare in any case. Rather, it is aimed squarely at anti-Israel activism on college campuses, in particular such campaigns as Israeli Apartheid Week and the BDS strategy. As such it not only criminalises free speech but gives official sanction to the discredited and false narrative and ideology of political Zionism.  It is akin, if you will, to the state coming to the rescue of the flat earth brigade, with the exception that the latter, if they still exist, are mere harmless eccentrics.

Certainly, if this kind of sleight of hand, or a variation thereof, is in fact what is being contemplated by the O'Farrell government (in collusion with the Labor opposition of course), it will be a black day indeed for free speech and open debate in this country. And, it should never be forgotten, if it ever finds its way into law, it will constitute a quantum leap in the already advanced Zionist process of gutting the term anti-Semitism of meaning by conflating it with principled opposition to Zionism and its crimes in Palestine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the Zionist Lobby inspired laws, as represented by the current collection of compradors in the N.S.W. Parliament, would ever pass a High Court challenge?

The court found that the Constitution implied a right of free speech many years ago.

The Constitution allows the federal Parliament to 'make special laws' for 'people of any race'
Section 51 (xxvi)but political Zionism is not a 'race', no matter how hard its fanatical adherents try to conflate the issue.

The Australian Constitution was designed to limit the power of politicians,particularly the power of the comprador variety,for very good reasons.