As far as I'm aware the following prime ministerial kowtow to the Israel lobby has been totally ignored by the Australian ms media:
"In a show of solidarity with world Jewry, Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Tuesday became the first Australian politician to sign the London Declaration on Combating Anti-Semitism. Gillard, flanked by Attorney General Mark Dreyfus and Australian communal leaders at the offices of Investec in Sydney, said: 'It is with a sense of history that we do the signing'." (PM signs global anti-Semitism declaration, jewishnews.net.au, 26/4/13)
So what is it exactly she's committing us to?
Although the declaration's Preamble begins with talk of a supposed "resurgence of antisemitism as a potent force in politics, international affairs and society," the real agenda emerges in the following statement:
"We are alarmed at the resurrection of the old language of prejudice and its modern manifestations - in rhetoric and political action - against Jews, Jewish belief and practice and the State of Israel."
This of course is typical Zionist sleight of hand: while diverting us with the dubious assertion that Jews qua Jews are currently experiencing a new wave of anti-Semitism, seemingly on a par with that of 30s Germany, a reference to Israel is unobtrusively slipped in. This, of course, is consistent with Zionism's illegitimate conflation of Judaism and Zionism, of faith and political ideology, with the former exploited as a cover for the latter.
Another example occurs under the heading Challenging Antisemitism:
"1. Parliamentarians shall expose, challenge, and isolate political actors who engage in hate against Jews and target the State of Israel as a Jewish collectivity."
The very Zionist conceit here is that Israel represents not simply its own Jewish citizens, but all Jews, wherever they reside. Thus an attack on Israel, characterised here as the collective Jew, is construed as an attack on all Jews and must therefore be anti-Semitic in nature. All of which would be way over Gillard's head, of course.
Speaking of which body part, this is what reportedly emerged from the prime ministerial mouth after the signing: "In the 1930s, another generation of leaders failed the test. We face the same test - and we must not fail it." (PM signs...)
Wonderfully diverting Zionist rhetoric, of course, but the reality here is that Gillard is committing us to nothing less than the defence of Israeli apartheid. Providing such a commitment doesn't simply remain a dead letter, those who defend Palestinian rights in this country can presumably expect, from now on, to be exposed, challenged, and isolated - the correct word is smeared - as anti-Semites. Ho-hum...
At point 6, we read: "Governments and the UN should resolve that never again will the institutions of the international community... be abused to try to establish any legitimacy for antisemitism, including the singling out of Israel for discriminatory treatment in the international arena, and we will never witness - or be party to - another gathering like the UN World Conference against Racism... in Durban in 2001."
Still this only confirms Australia's existing practice, boycotting UN 'Durban' conferences (and indeed pushing others to do so) having become something of a diplomatic art form for this country.
At point 12, under the heading of Prohibitions, we read that "Parliamentarians should legislate effective Hate Crime legislation recognising... 'incitement to hatred' offences and empower law enforcement agencies to convict."
Now where have we seen that before? Oh yes, Baruch O'Farrell's NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Racial Vilification (See my last post but one).
Before moving on to the 'Why now?' of Gillard's kowtow,and just so we're crystal clear on where this London Declaration for Combating Antizionism, sorry Antisemitism, is coming from, it might be useful to take a look at the 6 individuals who make up its steering committee:
1) Yuli Edelstein: Likud Minister of Public Diplomacy & Diaspora. "During the years 2003-2006, he formed an inside opposition in the Likud against Sharon's plan of disengagement and managed to promote several bills that helped the evicted settlers from Gush Katif." (ICCA website biography) A greater Israel fanatic, obviously.
2) Dr Fiamma Nirenstein: Italian MP and author of 'Terror, the New Anti-Semitism & the War against the West' (2005) and 'Israel is Us' (2007). "Fiamma Nirenstein has done a lot of documentaries for Italian TV, the last titled 'Settlers', about the disengagement seen through the lives of the people involved in it." Interesting the way those poor Israeli settlers keep cropping up here!
3) Irwin - Bring me the head of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad! - Cotler: Canadian MP. See my 29/2/08 post Ahmadinejad: Our Part in His Downfall)
4) Congressman Christopher H. Smith: Rep NJ. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, in their 2003 survey of American politicians, Positions on International Middle East Human Rights, gave Smith a -2.
5) John Mann: UK Labour MP. "Mann is under no illusions that Britain faces a considerable antisemitic threat but feels we all need to tread that fine line between paranoia and complacency. 'Despite the fact that Jews are right to be on their guard, it is others who are on the receiving end of the brunt of racism in the UK,' he says. 'The overwhelming majority of race-hate crimes are committed against the Muslim community'." (Interview: John Mann MP, Simon Round, thejc.com, 2/12/09) Now what was that about a "resurgence" of anti-Semitism?
6) Professor Gert Weisskirchen: German academic/politician. "Next to Gert Weisskirchen's active involvement in fighting anti-Semitism, he is a close friend of the Israeli nation and the Hebraic culture." (ICCA website biography)
Say no more.
On the 'Why Now?' front, the London Declaration has been around now since February 2009, so I think we're entitled to ask why Gillard is signing it now?
An educated guess is the best I can do, I'm afraid.
Given a) that we've got an election coming up in September and that funding is always a worry at such times, and b) that past behaviour is invariably the best predictor of present and future behaviour, I draw your attention to the following report by the Herald's Peter Hartcher:
"The Jewish community was an important source of Labor funds for the 2007 election. A single lunch in Sydney raised $100,000. A Toorak tennis court party for 200, attended by Rudd and Julia Gillard, raised more." (What am I, chopped liver? How Rudd dived into schmooze mode, Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald, 22/6/10) For the details of same, see my 22/6/10 post The Best Israel Policy Money Can Buy.
[*You can view the complete document at the website of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism, antisem.org]