Saturday, May 10, 2014

Joe Hockey: From the Gaza Strip to the Grand Hyatt

BEFORE last September's federal election, the then shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey, was touting his 'Arab heritage' at Sydney's Lakemba Mosque:

"If there is a change of government on the 7th of September it will be the very first time in Australian history that someone of Arab heritage has taken a leadership position in Australia." (The politics of Palestine, Jonathan Swan, Sydney Morning Herald, 26/12/13)

Or was it his Palestinian heritage?

"Joe Hockey, appearing at Sydney's Lakemba Mosque this morning for an end of Ramadan ceremony, says he will be the first person of Palestinian heritage to take a leadership role in Australia if the Coalition wins the election." (Day Four - The Australian - Election 2013 Live Coverage,, 8/8/13)

Hockey's paternal grandmother, you see, was a Palestinian, and his father a refugee from the Nakba of 1948.

Of a visit to a Palestinian refugee camp in the Gaza Strip in 1998 with his father, Hockey is reported to have said:

"We walked through the refugee camp where you'd had 3 generations living in a room 2m x 2m. It was very emotional because there I was with my father, and there but for the grace of God I could've been." (See my 30/7/13 post Joe Hockey: My Palestinianity is Firmly Under Control.)

Did he, I wonder, ask how it was that those refugees came to be penned up - grandparents, parents, and kids - in their 2x2 shacks? Did the fact that most Palestinians were stateless refugees set him thinking? Did the sight of armed Israeli thugs lording it over them stir him to anger?

Apparently not, because here he is AFTER the election, buttering up Jewish punters at a May 2 Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Grand Hyatt, in a bid to sell them on the upcoming budget with its whizzbang work-till-you-drop-at-70 and upfront-payments-to-the-doctor provisions :

"I wanted to be here today because I want to express my immense admiration for the Jewish community in Australia. In general terms I can think of no other single community that has a greater love for its children and no other community that has a greater devotion to its future, no matter how great the sacrifices of the past. Your love and protection of family and your focus on legacy and prosperity are what I strive for daily with my own family and they are firmly among the principles that brought me into public life. So I really wanted to properly, for the first time, at a public forum like this, acknowledge and thank you for your leadership in the community." (Hockey hails community, The Australian Jewish News, 9/5/14)

No other single community has a greater love for its children. And no other community primes its children with the outrageous belief that the land from which those Palestinian refugees in Gaza were expelled by Zionist terror gangs in 1948 is really theirs.

And this is the same Sloppy Joe who tells the rest of us - we who love our children less - that the Age of Entitlement is over.

You couldn't make this stuff up.

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