Thursday, December 6, 2012

Julia the Downhearted

Cry me a river:

"One of the things that I suppose has made it very difficult for me is that I am just so downhearted about the absence of any progress towards peace... Whether it [the UN resolution] was carried or whether it was lost, nothing is going to change on the ground and nothing is going to change in the peace process and that is what is so downheartening about it all... Have a look at the Congress legislation and what is self-actuating out of this... It's not President Obama's choice. What happened in UNESCO when they passed the Palestinian resolution [last year] was that they [the US] stopped funding UNESCO... That is why I actually think that this doesn't strengthen the hands of the moderate Palestinians. I actually think it will do the complete reverse which is why I am kind of downcast about it." (Quoted in Defiant PM digs in on Palestine, Geoff Kitney & John Kerin, The Australian Financial Review, 30/11/12) 

Downhearted? What bullshit! A person with no heart describing herself as downhearted? Give me a break: "Julia Gillard has declared the best way to help people on Newstart was to provide a strong economy after 2 Labor senators broke ranks with a majority Senate report and called for a boost to the single rate of the dole." (PM dodges commitment to Newstart boost, Lanai Vasek, The Australian, 3/12/12) [On the subject of Gillard's 'heart' see my 16/10/11 post What You See Is What You Get.]

Nothing is going to change on the ground? If only! Surely, as Prime Minister, Gillard cannot possibly be unaware that her soulmate in Jerusalem gave the thumbs up to another 3,000 settler homes in and around the city in retaliation for the UN vote. Or that prior to that "the [Israeli] government had issued tenders for the construction of 2366 units in 2012, more than twice the number built in the previous 3 years combined."* (See Israel's growing settlements are fast approaching 'point of no return', Jodi Rudoren, New York Times/Sydney Morning Herald, 3/3/12)

And if, solely for the sake of argument mind you, Gillard was really so downcast about events on the ground in occupied Palestine, did she ever speak to any of her Zionist soulmates about the matter? Did she, for example, have a word with Albert Dadon while supping with him in his flash new Italian restaurant in St Kilda in June?* Or take it up with Netanyahu minister Avi Dichter, while dancing the Hora with him in Sydney in December 2009, when he told there was no way, Jose, Israel was returning to the 1967 borders?** Or with the organisers of the Jewish National Fund Gala(h) Dinner that she attended in Melbourne in June 2008?*** Or...

Have a look at Congress? Can she be serious? Does Gillard really not understand what drives the US Congress in this matter? Such ignorance alone would be enough to render her unfit for leadership. The only other interpretation possible is that she's playing dumb, an equally damning state of affairs for a prime minister. Whichever direction she's coming from - sheer stupidity or guile or both - we're presented here with the incredible spectacle of a politician who is as putty in the hands of Australia's Israel lobby (her claim of coming to this matter "with my own perspective" notwithstanding) telling the public to look at another bunch of politicians who are as putty in the hands of their own Israel lobby - as Mearsheimer & Walt's classic, The Israel Lobby & US Foreign Policy makes clear:

"Not only does [the Israel lobby] exert significant influence over the policy process in Democratic and Republican administrations alike, but it is even more powerful on Capitol Hill. The journalist Michael Massing reports that a congressional staffer sympathetic to Israel told him, 'We can count on well over half the House - 250 to 300 members - to do reflexively whatever AIPAC wants.' Similarly, Steven Rosen, the former AIPAC official who has been indicted for allegedly passing classified government documents to Israel, illustrated AIPAC's power for the New Yorker's Jeffrey Goldberg by putting a napkin in front of him and saying, 'In 24 hours, we could have the signatures of 70 senators on this napkin.' These are not idle boasts. As will become clear, when issues relating to Israel come to the fore, Congress almost always votes to endorse the lobby's positions, and usually in overwhelming numbers."

No, she can't possibly go there for obvious reasons. And so she blames the Palestinians instead: "I actually think the adoption of this resolution will create further problems in terms of the peace process."

Allow me to conclude by drawing your attention to the following highly perceptive letter in Monday's Sydney Morning Herald. It encapsulates beautifully the mess that a leader can get herself into when, for whatever reason, she subordinates her country's interests to those of an apartheid state in full swing:

"So the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, averted a 'public humiliation' by abandoning her position on the Palestinian Authority's application for observer state status at the UN, demonstrating her 'poor judgment and feeble authority' within her party ('PM lives to fight another day', December 1-2). If this circumstance was a 'rare and real humiliation' for the Prime Minister, imagine then the scale of her humiliation and that of our government had they opposed the Palestinian proposal, only to wake-up to Saturday's announcement by Israel that it is proceeding with the expansion of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank with the construction of another 3000 housing units. It would seem that the Prime Minister should not only be eternally grateful to the Labor caucus for having saved her from being on the wrong side of history, but also for having prevented her further humiliation at the hands of Israel, as a result of its latest attack on the Palestinian people's struggle for self-determination and the so-called 'peace process'." John Richardson, Wallagoot

[*See my 7/6/12 post Spilling the Cannellini Beans; **See my 11/12/09 post Just Do It, Bitch!; ***See my 29/6/08 post Soft on Israel]

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