Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Common Misconception

We have here a common misconception:

"When Joe Hockey, Bob Carr and a half-dozen other politicians schmoozed a crowd of worshippers... outside the Lakemba mosque during the election campaign, SBS news summarised the spectacle: 'Labor and Coalition court Muslim vote'. While wooing the crowd, the politicians had to weigh their parties' policies on Israel and Palestine against a harsh political calculus. 'This is the kind of thing that moves votes,' a Labor MP says of the Ramadan campaigning. He points out that Islamic voters outnumber Jewish voters in Australia by 5 to 1..." (In contested territory, Jonathan Swan, The Sydney Morning Herald, 28/12/13)

While the size of an alleged 'Muslim vote' may help determine the fate of this or that seat, it's hardly the deciding factor when it comes to the makeup of LibLab "policies on Israel and Palestine" (which are basically the same anyhow) or how we vote in the UN. But I'll return to this in a minute.

Swan goes on to describe how, under Howard and Downer, Australia "backed Israel to the hilt" in the UN. He then writes:

"But soon after Kevin Rudd took power in 2007, Labor began testing Israel's patience. [Swan seems to have forgotten that it was Israel which tested Australia's patience by allowing Mossad to abuse Australian passports.] Jewish leaders in Australia found Rudd cold and unavailable. And from 2008 Labor shifted support to Palestine in several UN votes."

Quite how anyone can write about the Rudd years in this context and fail to factor in the impact of Mossad's blatant use of Australian passports to do its dirty work is beyond me. At any rate, when it comes to Rudd's "coldness and unavailability," which had nothing whatever to do with any 'Muslim vote', Swan is here echoing the 2010 words of the Herald's international editor, Peter Hartcher: "[T]he Israeli ambassador... and some members of the Jewish community felt a chill in their dealings with the government." However, for reasons best known to himself, Swan chooses to leaves out the reaction to the "chill" of "some members of the Jewish community" (aka Israel lobbyists), which was to freeze fund-raising events for Labor. (See my 22/6/10 post The Best Israel Policy Money Can Buy for the details.)

Which brings me back to the above-mentioned misconception: it's not the relative size of the so-called Muslim or Jewish vote that determines how Australia votes on Palestine/Israel in the UN, it's more to do with who's shelling out for vital election campaign funding.


Anonymous said...

It is clear that Rudd was a living political corpse because of his "coldness". It is clear that his exemplary punishment was ment to "send a message" to everyone. Point taken from left to right. All warmed up.

Anonymous said...

Australian politicians' position on the issue is far more pro-zionist than that of the public. They can only hold that view because the political culture has been corrupted by lobbyist cash, and the 4th estate has been co-opted by the same lobby, or bashed into submission.