"Trade Union representatives who participated in an Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council Rambam mission last November reported their impressions at a lunch in Sydney last Thursday." (Unionists report back, The Australian Jewish News, 14/2/14)
Our happy clappy rambammers (and their 'insights') this time around are:
Scott McDine (National Secretary, AWU): "There are... some in the labor movement... who have a very strong preconception of the Israeli-Palestinian issue'... He recalled discussing his experience with a representative from a union which endorses BDS, noting that the representative subsequently enquired about the next mission."
David Bliss (Assistant Secretary, Newcastle branch of the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees Association (SDA): "It's very hard to put yourself in the shoes of the Israeli people and how they have struggled in the 60 years of the existence of the state to actually push away the many threats which surround them. When people criticise Israel about how it defends itself and the measures it takes to protect its people - we live in a very kind of sheltered existence."
Daniel Mookhey (Federal Election Campaign Coordinator of the ACTU): "Daniel Mookhey recalled witnessing 'a blistering, no-holds-barred industrial relations dispute' upon arriving in Israel... you wouldn't think, reading the press about Israel... that something so ordinary happens in practice day-to-day, because the view that you get of Israel is a view of a militaristic state. It's certainly not something that is worthy of sanction, boycott or divestment."
Phoebe Drake (See my 29/9/13 post Transformative Experience, Anyone?)
Michael Borowick (Assistant Secretary, ACTU): "It's critical that Israel remain a bipartisan political issue in the Australian body politic... and the mission plays its role in anchoring this strategy."