Monday, March 25, 2013

Doing the Donkey* in the NSW Knesset 7

On the speech of The Hon. Matthew Mason-Cox, Liberal Party, in the NSW Legislative Council, arising out of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel (PFoI) "study mission" 'debate' of March 14:

What a drama queen young Mattie is! He's clearly missed his vocation - creative writing. I defy you to read the opening paragraph of his speech without cracking up:

"'From the river to the sea' - the plaintive cry rings out and the echo returns, louder, louder still, building to a blinding crescendo, binding the seething mass of humanity gathered at the feet of Khaled Meshaal. The feared [?] yet exulted [?] leader of Hamas stands triumphantly as the gunfire rings out approvingly. His visit to Gaza on 8 December 2012 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas reverberates throughout the Arab world. It is all made possible by the very people he would mercilessly expunge from the very face of the Earth. However, the Jewish people have been that way before. This land from the river to the sea, this biblical homeland of the Jewish people, this State of Israel, sanctioned by the United Nations and sanctified by the blood of so many, will find another way. It simply has no other choice."

What possessed him here? Could it have been some memory of ploughing through Richard II in high school : "This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,/This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars/ This other Eden, demi-paradise,/This fortress built by Nature for herself..."?

Will the NSW Legislative Council ever be the same again?

Be that as it may, this is Middle East REALITY Check. Yes, Khaled Meshaal delivered a speech on the 25th anniversary of the foundation of Hamas in Gaza. And yes, he vowed never to give up the Palestinian right to every inch of Palestine "from the river to the sea." But no, there was no gunfire and no mention whatever of "mercilessly expunging Jews from the very face of the Earth." That was just a product of Mattie's overheated imagination. What Meshaal did in fact say, however, was "We do not fight the Jews because they are Jews. We fight the Zionist occupiers and aggressors."  But clearly, that's way over Mattie's head.

Part of his problem seems to be that he's never really grown up: "As a Christian it has been my lifelong dream to visit he land of my childhood stories and to walk in the footsteps of Jesus." Maybe he needs to sit down and read St Paul: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

This naivete perhaps has left the lad a real sucker for Zionist cliches, whether it's one of the oldest - "One proud Israeli I met... informed me that the Israeli people are like the prickly pear that infests large parts of their beautiful country: prickly on the outside but warm and sweet in the middle" - or the very  latest - "We were hosted by Noam Bedein from the Sderot Media Centre. Noam related how mothers have 15 seconds in which to stop their cars and try to get a couple of kids out and into a shelter. However, the mothers have found it impossible to stop their car and undo 2 sets of seatbelts. They are often forced to choose - which child do I save?" (Noam loves regaling foreigners with this one. See my 19/11/12 post Israel Lobbyist Asks: Why do we bother?.)

Everything about Israel, it seems, entranced Mattie. In fact, so inspired was he by the story of Ozraeli Arnold Roth, who has transmuted his pain over the death of his 15-year old daughter in a Palestinian suicide bombing into a foundation for kids with special needs, and so impressed was he by the way the citizens of Sderot have turned Palestinian rocket casings into "beautiful flowers that adorn the streets of Sderot," that, in his words, "I went to Israel a natural supporter and returned an ardent admirer. Perhaps I have found my inner Jew."

Indeed he has. Listen to this:

"I will repeatedly warn that this is the year of action against Iran should diplomatic efforts fail to deter it from its current path. A nuclear Iran is a threat to world peace so we all have a stake in these outcomes. Australia and the Middle East [?] have a stake in ensuring that Israel's security and future are assured."

Next in the Doing the Donkey in the NSW Knesset series: Paul - I'm so worried about the kiddies! - Green MLC. Stay tuned.

[*See my 2/3/13 post Doing the Donkey.]

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