It's amazing the lengths some guys will go to to impress a girl. (Now to understand just how that statement ties in with the quotation below, you're going to have to stop reading this post NOW and go directly to my June 28 post, His Brilliant Career, where all will be revealed. Simply click on the Andrew Hamilton label below.)
Now as you will have gathered after reading my earlier post on him, Andrew (call me Akiva) Hamilton is an example of what has been called OZCS - Over-Zealous Convert Syndrome. In Hamilton's case, of course, the conversion has been to political Zionism, and such is the lad's zeal that, in addition to taking on Associate Professor Jake Lynch, he's now taking on his very birthplace, Australia:
"The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions Movement justifies its racist persecution of Jewish Israeli businesses in Australia, the UK, Europe and North America with the accusation that Israel is an apartheid state... But the analogy between Israel and apartheid South Africa is false on every level. A comparison of Israel with Australia... reveals this clearly... Israel is one of the most un-apartheid states in the world, with a record of successful multiculturalism, protection and integration of minorities that puts most western countries, including Australia, to shame. Apartheid South Africa had a system of strictly enforced laws that enshrined racial discrimination against 'blacks' and 'coloreds' in every aspect of South African society. This was similar to, but more extreme than, the system of racist laws that Australia had in place prior to the recognition of indigenous Australians as equal citizens in 1967 (by Constitutional amendment)." (Israel, the un-apartheid state - a comparison with Australia, The Jerusalem Post, 21/8/13)
Now Hamilton's contention that Israel is "one of the most un-apartheid states in the world" is, of course, pure bunkum. For a state which converted an indigenous Arab majority into a minority by a) packing it off to exile in refugee camps in surrounding countries and refusing its return; and b) passing a Law of Return which allows in as citizens only persons deemed to be Jews, regardless of their origin, to be characterised as "un-apartheid" is high-order chutzpah, something we've come to expect from Mr Hamilton.
But rather than re-canvass the issue of apartheid Israel in this post, simply click on the Israeli apartheid label below and read through my various posts on the subject, particularly those which refer to the seminal work of Israeli scholar Uri Davis.
Without in any way underestimating the genocidal impact of white settler-colonialism on Australia's indigenous Aboriginal population, and keeping in mind that the sine qua non of both South African and Israeli apartheid derives from a body of discriminatory legislation, I intend here to deal only with Hamilton's assertion that Australia was some kind of apartheid South Africa lite until its Aboriginal population achieved 'equality' with other citizens in 1967.
To begin with, his charge that Australia had a "system of racist laws... in place prior to the recognition of indigenous Australians as equal citizens in 1967 (by Constitutional amendment)" is contradicted by such an elementary reference source as Wikipedia:
"It is frequently stated that the 1967 referendum gave Aboriginal people Australian citizenship and that it gave them the right to vote in federal elections. Neither of these statements is correct. Aboriginal people became Australian citizens in 1949, when a separate Australian citizenship was created for the first time (before that time all Australians, including Aborigines, were 'British subjects'). Aboriginal people from Queensland and Western Australia gained the vote in Commonwealth elections in 1962. However, the Commonwealth voting right of Aborigines from other states was confirmed by a Commonwealth Act in 1949 (the constitution already gave them that right but it was often interpreted differently before 1949). They got the vote in WA state elections in 1962 and Queensland state elections in 1965."
Finally, an examination of the historical background of of the Australian Constitution with respect to Aborigines in no way supports Hamilton's fiction:
"To understand the constitutional provisions which the Referendum [of 1967] amended, it is necessary to examine their origin at Federation. During the Federal Conventions of the 1890s, representatives barely mentioned Aborigines. Aboriginal welfare rested with the States. As the Commonwealth had no territory of its own (receiving the Northern Territory from South Australia only in 1911), it had no Aboriginal population to directly administer. Secondly, popular belief at the turn of the century held that Aborigines were a 'dying race' whose future, therefore, did not warrant a lot of discussion. The resulting Constitution of 1901 mentions Aborigines in only these two clauses: Section 51: The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:... (xxvi) The people of any race, other than the aboriginal race in any State, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws. Section 127: In reckoning the number of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives shall not be counted. The motivation for Section 51 (xxvi) was the Commonwealth's desire to to have control over the migration, status or expulsion of non-white groups such as Chinese and Kanaka labourers. Aboriginal people, by being exempted, would not become the focus of discriminatory Commonwealth laws... The genesis of Section 127 was to create 'fairness' among the States. Only the white population would be counted in estimating the share of customs revenue each State was required to contribute to the Federal Government; States with large Aboriginal populations would therefore not be disadvantaged. An additional rationale related to the calculation of seats in the Federal Parliament, which were based on census figures." (Thesis: 'As One People': Interpreting the 1967 Referendum, Jane McLachlan-Chew, Department of History, University of Melbourne, 2006, available at recognise.org.au)
This then, is Hamilton's "system of racist laws... in place prior to the recognition of indigenous Australians as equal citizens in 1967 (by Constitutional amendment)," which is supposed to be "similar to" South African apartheid's "system of strictly enforced laws that enshrined racial discrimination aganst 'blacks'... in every aspect of South African society."
(NB: I'll be returning to other false and misleading assertions in his Jerusalem Post piece as time permits and the spirit moves me.)