The Australian's war of attrition against Australians involved in local initiatives of the global pro-Palestinian BDS movement, and support for Palestine more generally, flared up again on June 18 with the first of a series of Christian Kerr 'exclusives'. Headed Israelis may sue boycott activists, Kerr reported that Israeli lawfare* outfit, Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Centre has written to the head of Sydney University's Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies, Jake Lynch, the Sydney Peace Foundation's director Stuart Rees, and "other figures in the local BDS movement, warning them they may be subject to civil, administrative and criminal legal action." The threats come from a "former NSW solicitor Andrew Hamilton, now working with Shurat HaDin."
[*Motto: Bankrupting terrorism one lawsuit at a time.]
So just who is Andrew Hamilton?
Well, for one thing, he's the kind of guy that blows the Zionist conceit that Jews have the kind of special (and exclusive) connection to Palestine that trumps all other claims, particularly the claims of those who were living there before the Z-people began arriving after 1917, right out of the proverbial water. And that's because young Andrew, or 'Akiva' as he now styles himself, was actually born to a Catholic family in Sydney.
So without that incredibly useful Jewish mother to ensure red carpet treatment under Israel's apartheid Law of Return, the question arises how did young Andrew/Akiva make it as a presumably welcome addition to the 'Jewish' state?
Well, it's an interesting but quite depressing tale because it highlights the fact that even with 13 years of primary and secondary education, and another 3-5 years of tertiary education under one's belt, there is no guarantee whatever that one will emerge with an open and informed mind, or a capacity for critical thinking.
(Please note that the observations and inferences which follow are based solely on what Andrew has himself placed on the public record, namely 1) A chat with Akiva (Andrew) Hamilton, The Australian Jewish News, 8/6/12; and b) Arrivals: Articulate advocate, Gloria Deutsch, Jerusalem Post, 13/12/12.)
As Andrew puts it: "I went to a posh private school in Sydney and until the age of 14 I was a practicing Catholic." So far, so good. And then? "Through debating I met a lot of Jewish people, and later had many Jewish friends at university. I was an intellectual type and Jews tended to be the same."
Uh-huh. I find the reference to debating interesting. You see, while it may be useful for honing one's speaking skills, the general aim of this highly-stylized activity, often as not, is merely to best your 'opponents' irrespective of the merits or otherwise of your arguments. To state the obvious, it is not about examining an issue from all sides in a scholarly fashion and coming to a considered conclusion.
There is, moreover, little in Andrew's reference to his university years to suggest a free exchange of ideas based on wide reading and intellectual inquiry, a process critical to a rounded understanding of any political or social issue, let alone the Palestine/Israel question. No, it smacks rather more of Andrew uncritically soaking up the Zionist groupthink of his Jewish mates. Says he at one point, "Obviously Israel is absolutely integral to Judaism." Obviously?!
And isn't the following an odd comment from one who describes himself as "an intellectual type":
"His long spiritual search led him to Orthodox Judaism, and within 10 months he had completed his conversion."
"Long spiritual search"? Sounds more like a troubled youth than a budding intellectual.
But really, I don't think all this kind of talk should be taken too seriously for, as he admits, he "only converted to Judaism shortly before marrying his first wife, who was Jewish."
OK, so let's get to the bottom of this: what came first, the spiritual quest or the Jewish girl(s)?
For all Andrew's talk about finding Christianity "intellectually inconsistent," and having Jewish friends throughout his education, the following frank admission tells us where he's really coming from:
"I was attracted to Jewish women and became more interested in Judaism from that, and so that was my path to Judaism."
Now add to all that "quite a lot of work with the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council" (AIJAC), and a move to Israel with the wife and kids in 2008, and you're in real tunnel vision territory.
Alas, Andrew's marriage broke down when his wife "wanted to go back to Australia with their two children." The result is that today, Andrew "travels back and forth to see them and usually combines his visits with talking about his work for Shurat HaDin."
All of which brings me to another point about Andrew. How favoured is he, and those like him, who now have not one but two homes to flit between - while millions whose ancestral land Palestine was 65 years ago are denied the right of return.
Be that as it may, Andrew is becoming more Akiva by the day:
"I fit in very well in Israel. I'm culturally very Israeli."
And what better way to fit in than by tapping into Israel's paranoid, fortress mentality, where countless existential threats are always just a whisker away from putting the whole bloody shebang out of business and have to be fought tooth and nail? More fun even than those high school debates of blessed memory!
And this is where Shurat HaDin comes in. What a ballsy, bolshie outfit:
"Shurat HaDin has won judgments against Iran, the Palestinian Authority, Arab Bank, [and] a range of organisations, and has actually collected about $120 billion for terror victims from those judgements."
Hm... terrorists? You betcha. You never know where they're going to turn up next. Boasts Akiva:
"Shurat HaDin was also very involved in stopping the second flotilla. Shurat HaDin wrote to the insurance companies that were insuring the various ships of the flotilla, pointing out that they would be in breach of US anti-terror law. So the insurance companies pulled the insurance. They did the same to the satellite communications companies, and they pulled the satellite comms from the ships so the ships couldn't sail. Then for good measure they contacted the Greek authorities, and thus the flotilla wasn't able to sail. And without any blood being spilled or any international controversy against Israel, the second flotilla was literally dead in the water."
It must've been a near-run thing that one. If only Shurat HaDin had been around to pull the plug on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor! How did we ever get this far without them?
And thanks to Akiva we now know what a seething hotbed of terror funding and coddling Australia really is: AusAID, World Vision Australia, APHEDA, Actionaid Australia, CARE Australia, Jake Lynch, Stuart Rees...
But not for too much longer - Akiva's on their case!
Oh, I almost forgot. In the spirit of 'behind every great man there stands a woman': "He introduced me to Yael, to whom I've just become engaged. She is an accountant, half English, and the wedding is fixed for January. Hamilton is looking forward to spending the rest of his life in Israel and is passionate about what a wonderful country it is." (Arrivals: Articulate advocate, Gloria Deutsch, The Jerusalem Post, 13/12/12)