Tuesday, February 18, 2014

From Diversionary Programs to Diversionary Propaganda

In its never-ending quest to defend the indefensible, The Australian Jewish News, in its February 14 issue, launched no less than 5 attacks (+ editorial & front page) on Four Corners' recent exposure of Israel's mistreatment of Palestinian children, Stone Cold Justice. (See my 10/2/14 post Murdoch Beds Aunty.)

The grubbiest, for me at least, was that by lawyer George Newhouse. Billed as "the head of Shine Lawyers social justice department" and one-off "advocate for Aboriginal youth in detention in WA (Wilson v Francis [2013] WASC 157)," his was a cynical attempt to use an entirely unrelated issue - Aboriginal detention rates in Western Australia and the Northern Territory - in order to divert attention from Israel's "systematic abuse and torture"* of Palestinian youths:

"The Four Corners program highlighted the disgraceful treatment of Palestinian youth in the Israeli military youth justice system but they also reported the news that the Israeli government and its military has accepted that reform is required and will take steps to improve military youth justice and detention. That's more than can be said for the governments of Western Australia and the Northern Territory who refuse to address the problem. Things are so bad that the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Chairperson Warren Mundine called for a national summit on Aboriginal justice issues and the soaring incarceration levels... It's time for UNICEF and Four Corners to investigate the treatment of Aboriginal children in youth detention in WA. Until then one might take a jaundiced view about the ABC's internationalist position on this vital issue." (We need to look in our own backyard)

So that's it then. The trigger-happy lads of the WADF (Western Australia Defence Force) are running amok in Aboriginal communities, ripping kids from their beds in the dead of night and secreting them in detention centres, where they're subjected to abuse and torture designed to elicit false confessions of stone-throwing and/or agreement to act as spies and informers.

Well, no.

Since Warren Mundine is Newhouse's cited authority here, let's explore what Mundine has to say about the issue of Aboriginal youth in detention.

The following text, from ABC Radio National's The World Today (Jobs not jail for troubled Indigenous youths: Mundine, 9/1/13) appears to be the source for Newhouse's reference to Mundine but, as you'll see, beyond Newhouse's cherry-picked reference to "soaring incarceration levels," it has little or nothing to do with the content of the Four Corners program:

Samantha Donovan: One of Australia's most prominent Indigenous leaders is calling for a national summit on Aboriginal justice issues to reverse soaring incarceration levels...
Emily Bourke: What's driving this increase?
Warren Mundine: I'm critical of all governments over the years and critical of the Aboriginal leadership... We are looking at the wrong end. We're looking at the jail end of it... We are trying to make culturally appropriate prisons, you know... where people get in trouble, they go on the culture camps. What we should be doing is the complete opposite. We need to be putting diversionary programs in that focus on keeping kids in the classroom and getting into jobs.
Emily Bourke: Warren Mundine says going to jail is a badge of honour for some young Aboriginal men and he also concedes some find it easier and even more appealing to go to jail... Warren Mundine says police and magistrates are hamstrung.
Warren Mundine: I do feel for the legal and also for the policing end because there are not options or supports for them to actually do these diversionary programs. We've got these silly ideas of black prisons and culturally appropriate prisons... We've got to get away from that and we've got to say let's have black classrooms... black jobs... and lets have commercial activity happening in Aboriginal communities rather than the jails.

Clearly, this business resembles Israel's abuse of Palestinian kids about as much as the proverbial chalk resembles the proverbial cheese.

More recently, Mundine is quoted in The Australian as saying:

"What I discovered when I headed Generation One was that there's about 40-50,000 people not in the Centrelink system or in employment so what they're doing is they're living off their families and humbugging... They get into criminal situations. We don't just say 'no dole', we've got to put in place processes to make sure they don't go into criminal activity'." (Youth missing from system, says Warren Mundine, Patricia Karvelas, 15/2/14)

Nor, it seems, does Mundine have any issue with the West Australian government:

"Mr Mundine said he had secured the support of the West Australian Corrective Services Commissioner... and the state government to try out the diversionary plan to tackle the incarceration rate. 'Everyone supported it'... he said."

The lengths Zionists will go to shield the object of their devotion from justified criticism is quite extraordinary. This includes, as we see here, the cynical manipulation of one indigenous issue in order to distract us from paying attention to another.

[*See my 18/4/13 post The UN Goes to Water.] 

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