When it comes to Australian politicians going on propaganda tours of Israel, a phenomenon I refer to as 'rambamming', the Australian mainstream media is invariably missing in action, in large part because it too is in on the act.
Should a politician go somewhere else, however, then he/she is fair game. For example, while the case of South Australian Labor MP, Michael Wright, who reportedly "spent $14,000 of taxpayers' money on a 19-day European tour with his wife, just 5 months after Premier Jay Weatherill set rules restricting spousal travel," has found its way into the papers,* a 21-day junket to Israel, involving 10 NSW politicians and their consorts, has not.
Not particularly newsworthy perhaps? But what if it had been enthusiastically announced and promoted by a premier who has reportedly banned his ministers from venturing overseas for longer than a week as electoral poison?** Then, of course, there's the question of the cost, if any, to the tax payers of NSW.
[*See MP's $14,000 Europe trip raises perks query, Sarah Martin, The Australian, 23/1/13; **See my 13/11/12 post Barry's Fake Ban.]
The media's adherence to an almost omerta-like code of silence on the phenomenon of Zionist propaganda junkets means that the average consumer of news in this country would have had no idea, for example, that NSW Premier Baruch (Jerusalem Prize) O'Farrell had flagged the multi-party trip, under the rubric of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel group, at an Israel Independence Day function last year, the matter having been reported only in the Australian Jewish News of 8/6/12. (See my 12/6/12 post Goings On in the NSW Knesset.)
And that, in fact, is all I knew about it. Scan the papers as I might this month, the only mention of same, and a most indirect and singularly uninformative mention it was too, came in the form of the following snippet, hardly more than a scrap of salacious gossip actually, in the Sunday Telegraph of 20 January:
"Morals crusader and family values politician, Fred Nile, took his close friend and political protege Silvana Nero on a parliamentary trip to Israel over the Christmas [sic]. Ms Nero ran for Mr Nile's Christian Democratic Party in the Warringah Council elections last year. Her appearance on the trip follows her attendance with Mr Nile at State Parliament's Spring Ball last year. Mr Nile did not return Tank Steam's [sic] calls but has previously denied there's anything other than friendship going on between the two." (Nero sailing on the Nile cruise, Linda Silmalis & Barclay Crawford, Tank Stream)
The reader might almost be forgiven for thinking that this was little more than a case of two Christian pilgrims, rapt in devotion - to the Lord that is, not each other! - following the paths trodden by Him, and imbibing deeply of the spiritual sustenance thereof, hallelujah, the better to spread His word on the mean streets of Sydney. Except, of course, for those two words, "parliamentary trip."
Only after much diligent sleuthing on the net could any real light be shed on said "parliamentary trip." And lo, who should it come from but the pen of Fred himself! Tucked away in a far corner of his Christian Democratic Party's website, in a little newsletter called Salt & Light - A black & white voice in a grey world of politics, were the following words:
"The NSW Parliament will send a Deputation to Israel in January 2013 at the invitation of the Israel Government and the Jewish Board of Deputies. I will travel with 10 Members of Parliament and their spouses and partners to Israel. The delegation includes Paul Green and myself from the Christian Democratic Party. David Clarke, Matthew Mason-Cox and Gabrielle Upton from the Liberal Party, Luke Foley and Walt Secord from the ALP, Robert Borsak from the Shooters Party, John Barilaro and Rick Colless from the National Party. Michelle Green, Maria Clarke, Wendy Mason-Cox, Cheryl Borsak, Deanna Barilaro and Geraldine Colless and Silvana Nero will also be part of the group. I have appointed Silvana Nero as the International/National Ethnic Relations Officer for the Family World News to build up strong relationships with all the Ethnic Communities, eg Egyptian, Coptic, Assyrian, Armenian, Korean, Chinese, Jewish etc." (NSW Parliamentary deputation to Israel, 2/1/13)
Clearly, there was more to this than just a pair of humble pilgrims, eyes fixed on the heavens as their sandal-shod feet trod the paths once blazed in the Holy Land by the Lord. No, what we have here is another kind of pilgrimage entirely; nothing less than a hard-core, full-on rambamming! But just how full on was it, I couldn't help wondering?
Further sleuthing led me to an obscure website called dayofrepentance.org and a post by one Jeff Daly, under the heading, Australia, New Zealand: standing up for Israel,* which revealed that our NSW parliamentarians, and their spouses and partners (hmmm...) would be in Israel from January 3 to 24!
Now, to sum up, here we have 10 polliewaffles and their spouses/partners, over the hills and far away in Israel, sucking up 3 whole weeks worth of Zionist pheromones at what must be a considerable cost to someone, if not the NSW taxpayer, and not a peep about it from the ms media, save for the above smidgeon in the Sunday Telegraph!
I rest my case.
[*Daly's post yields other riches which I'll here reveal. He quotes as follows from "a current newsletter from a dear brother in Israel." Make of these strange musings what you will. They are surely proof positive that, like God, the minds of Christian Zionists 'work' in mysterious ways: "On October 31, 1517, a great Reformation took place in the Church, restoring the understanding that salvation was by grace through faith in Yeshua and could not be purchased. In the same year, 1517, the land of Israel (then called Palestine) was brought under Turkish/Moslem rule. On October 31, 1917, exactly 400 years to the day from the beginning of the Reformation, Beer Sheba was liberated from the Ottomans. This victory literally opened the way for the re-establishment of the State of Israel. The overcoming force was the ANZAC 4th Light Horse Brigade, made up primarily of soldiers from Australia and New Zealand. The historical/spiritual significance of Beer Sheba in God's plan is unmatched." Religious nutters afflicted with Jerusalem Syndrome I've heard of, but 'Beersheba Syndrome'? Now that's a new one on me, folks.]