Friday, April 19, 2013

A Conga Line of BDS Bashers

Whenever Murdoch's Australian takes its hatchet to one or other manifestation of Australia's pro-Palestinian BDS campaign, a virtual conga line of Israel lobbyists and Zionist dupes is invariably trotted out to condemn it.

Christian Kerr's BDS targets uni over campus shop in yesterday's paper is a case in point.

But first the scene-setting:

"The University of NSW has been targeted by the anti-Israeli BDS movement over plans to open a Max Brenner chocolate shop on its main Sydney campus. Students for Justice in Palestine has launched a campaign against the campus outlet, expected to open in June, calling on the university to cancel the contract. Spokesman Damian Ridgewell warned of protests. 'There will be an active campaign on campus to encourage students and staff to boycott the shop', he told The Australian. BDS activists claim the Max Brenner chain is owned by the Strauss Group of food and confectionary manufacturers, which produces some rations for the Israeli Defence Forces, and accuses it of complicity in 'war crimes'. The company insists that it is wholly Australian owned and operated."

Then, one by one, the BDS bashers take the floor. There's the clueless spokesperson from admin:

"A UNSW spokeswoman said the university 'deplores any form of racism and discrimination' but added: 'Free expression of views and open debate are central to the life of a university'. The spokeswoman said staff and students had been surveyed over new stores on campus. 'Max Brenner was the equal second most popular choice'."

Oh, so that's an informed endorsement, is it? According to a 2012 Lowy Institute poll, only 39% of the 18 to 29 year olds surveyed expressed support for Australian democracy, while 23% didn't really care what kind of political system we had. All I can say is thank God we've got groups like Students for Justice in Palestine to promote a concern for the content of the student mind, as opposed to what goes into the student belly and the corporate coffers.

There's the rambammed politician 1:

"Tertiary Education Minister Craig Emerson slammed the boycott. 'The Australian government has always been firm and clear in its opposition to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign', he said. 'Such boycotts against Israel in addition to harming Palestinian people economically, are unhelpful to the Middle East peace process'."

But seriously, what else is he going to say? After all:

"Emerson is an alumni of AIJAC's Rambam program, which sends politicians to Israel to learn the facts on the ground. As acting foreign minister he has condemned terrorist activities against Israel, and as trade minister condemned the NSW Greens' BDS policy, labeling it 'reprehensible'. 'Craig Emerson is somebody we've got to know well', [AIJAC director Colin] Rubenstein said. 'He's also a very quick learner and I think very positive and quite knowledgeable about the world and certainly about the Middle East'." (Australia-Israel relations after the fall of Rudd, The Australian Jewish News, 1/3/12)

There's the lobbyist:

"Executive Council of Australian Jewry head Peter Wertheim said action against Max Brenner had failed. 'Since the boycott campaign against Max Brenner Australia began in 2011, their business has really boomed', he said. 'Their shops are crowded with Australians of all backgrounds, including families with women wearing hijabs."

But he would say that, wouldn't he? In fact, he may have said too much! I mean, is Wertheim not perhaps concerned that the mere mention of hijabs patronising a Max Brenner outlet will scare away the hijab-hating shock troops of the Australian Protectionist Party who love Max so much that, whenever a BDS protest heaves into view, they're there with bells and whistles to protect him?

There's the rambammed politician 2:

"NSW opposition frontbencher Walt Secord urged 'a reverse boycott' of the shop."

LOL! If only you'd seen the memorable photograph of Walt at Jerusalem's 'Wailing Wall' on the front page of the March 22 edition of The Australian Jewish News, you'd swear the guy's been reverse-boycotting chocolate ever since he was knee high to the proverbial grasshopper.

And finally, there's the trainee lobbyist:

"Australian Union of Jewish Students political affairs director Dean Sherr... called BDS 'an ugly attempt to delegitimise an entire nation. The problem with BDS is that it does nothing to offer solutions or initiatives for peace', he said. 'It's about attributing all the blame to Israel and punishing it, and calling into question the Jewish state's very right to exist'."

Political affairs director, eh? How grand! A trawl through Dean's tweets suggest a guy who's more into footie than politics. This, I'm afraid, is about as good as it gets with Dean: "We should let them [asylum seekers] in as long as they promise to buy a Dogs, Roos or Port membership." (22/10/12)

What can I say? Herzl would be turning in his grave.

Best show in town, folks!

PS (19/4/13):  The Conga Line of BDS Bashers grows even longer in today's Australian with yet another rambammed politician, Liberal Senator Brett Mason, "accus[ing] the BDS movement of promoting an anti-Israel agenda rather than supporting the Middle East peace process." (Students were told about Brenner, Christian Kerr) Which sounds a bit like a corporate heavy accusing environmentalists of promoting an anti-development agenda rather than supporting the cloning of extinct species, no? Then we have a medicine man with a UNSW connection, Dr David Adler,  who says, "Boycotting a party is contrary to the mission of the university and in this particular case will not advance the cause of peace one inch." Is this the same David Adler, I wonder, who "recently visited Israel and was deeply inspired by his personal journey of discovery there," so much so, in fact, that he'll be lecturing to guests at a Young Adult Chabad function in May on "How many Miracles can you fit on the head of a Pin?"? (youngadult All about advancing the cause of peace by miles, of course.

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