Individual NZW Premiers may come and go but the annual bending-of-the-knee ritual at Israel Independence (from what?) Day gigs is mandatory for whoever 'leads' the state of NZW.
Last year of course, it was Barry (Baruch) O'Farrell, who gushed: "If one was restricted to a single word to describe Israel it would be extraordinary." (See my posts Barry to Baruch in 60 Seconds (9/5/14) and NZW Inc. (3/5/14))
Poor Baruch had probably consumed a tad too much Grange Hermitage at the time, but then that's another story...
This year, of course, it's the shiny new Mike (Miko?) Baird who "announced that if [his government] is re-elected in March 2015, he will commit to personally leading a trade delegation to Israel during his second term in office saying 'perhaps I cannot quite say 'Next Year in Jerusalem' but I can say 'next term in Jerusalem'." (Next term in Jerusalem, jwire.com.au, 14/5/14)
Good one, Miko!
In addition to laying the organisers of the gig (the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, the Zionist Council of Australia, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, and the Zionist Federation of Australia) in the proverbial aisles, Miko also revealed his talents as a vocalist, crooning that old favourite, "Australia [was] the first country to vote in favour of the 1947 UN partition which created the Jewish State." (ibid)
No Zionist gig would be complete, however, without a reference to the Dark Side. And Miko did not disappoint, muttering darkly:
"We know there are those who make it their task to whip up fear and hatred towards Israel. Even here in multicultural Australia, one of the most distasteful examples is the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which has such regrettable echoes of the past persecution of Jewish-owned businesses. The BDS campaign disgusts ordinary, decent Australians and attracts bipartisan condemnation." (Baird commits to visit Israel, The Australian Jewish News, 16/5/14)
Jeepers creepers, you could almost hear the sound of jackboots and shattering glass!
But Miko was merely the icing on Israel's birthday cake:
Among the 500 glitterati, "diplomats [34 + Israeli ambassador, Shmuel Ben-Shmuel], politicians and community, faith and business leaders," were to be found "John Robertson (Opposition Leader), David Clarke (Parliamentary Secretary), David Elliott (Parliamentary Secretary), Matt Kean (Parliamentary Secretary) and Paul Fletcher (Federal Parliamentary Secretary)." (Celebrating Israel's Independence Day, theindiansun.com.au, 15/5/14)
What particularly struck me, however, as a compulsive chronicler of such things, was this:
"Other notable people attending the celebration included Vic Alhadeff (Chairman, Community Relations Commission), Stepan Kerkyasharian (President, Anti-Discrimination Board), Dr Tim Soutphommasane (Race Discrimination Commissioner), and Tim Wilson (Human Rights Commissioner)." (ibid)
That is, almost all of the heads of all of the official, taxpayer-funded, multicultural, anti-racist, anti-discrimination, and pro-human rights bodies in Australia were gathered together in celebration of a state, founded on a monstrous act of ethnic cleansing, that has become a byword for ethno-religious exclusivism and human rights abuses.
You wouldn't read about it... at least not in the mainstream press.