Despite the rare screening in February of the Four Corners documentary, Stone Cold Justice, the ABC's default setting with regard to Palestine/Israel is invariably softcore pro-Israel propaganda. Whether this is a result of Israel lobby pressure, self-censorship from fear of same, the work of in-house Zionists or their dupes, sheer bloody ignorance, or a combination of these, apartheid Israel always manages to come up smelling like roses on the ABC. Number me not, therefore, among the 'Friends of the ABC'.
The reason for my venting this time around is a quite maddening interview (Saturday Extra, 26/4) with the ABC's resident gushing airhead, Geraldine Doogue, currently in Israel (at taxpayers' expense?) making a film (for the ABC?).
God help us.
Presenter Norman Swan (also a worry when it comes to this subject) began by asking Doogue to comment on the current Fatah/Hamas unity deal. Ignoring the issue at hand, Doogue babbled on as follows:
"It was striking to me, a newcomer to this [that] loads of people from Henry Kissinger down have tried to make a settlement here and they can't. You know, the Palestinians have just got [her emphasis] to try to make a deal it seems to me... It's just that because we're working with a couple of young, smart Palestinians as our fixers I can see what is in it for the Palestinians in particular to actually break through this and come to a situation where somehow they've got a future with Israel, sort of surfing on the back of Israel's success in this region, and Israel has got - they're being seen as an occupying power. It just seems to me as The Economist wrote the other day... they can't really continue to be seen as one of the major democracies, the only democracy in the region, and Jewish, if they remain this occupying power sense."
OMFG, if only the Palestinians got their act together, they could have "a future with Israel, sort of surfing on the back of Israel's success" in the Middle East! The mind boggles! Despite Christ knows how many decades on this planet, Doogue still doesn't get Israel. She doesn't get that the Zionist project of a Jewish state in Palestine simply has no room whatever for the non-Jewish Palestinians. (Sure, a minority of the latter managed to avoid being ethnically cleansed in 1948 and are now Israeli citizens. However, in terms of access to land and basic services, their citizenship is distinctly second class. What's more, the fact that they keep having babies is the very stuff of Israeli nightmares. Need I say more?)
Doogue doesn't get that Israel wants Palestine, but most emphatically not its people.
Doogue doesn't get that a Jewish (or Christian or Muslim) democracy is a contradiction in terms.
Doogue doesn't get that Israel only has an enfranchised Jewish majority today because, in 1948, it disenfranchised the then Palestinian majority by driving them out with fire and sword.
Why, Doogue can't even bring herself to say directly that Israel is an occupying power.
Swan tried to steer this clueless klutz back to the issue of Hamas, noting that it has been "a fairly repressive regime in the Gaza Strip." (FFS, if Hamas is "repressive" in Gaza, how would this drongo describe the puppet Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, not to mention the worse-than-apartheid state itself?)
Gushed Doogue: There's been "a great deal of restiveness in their own population about their reign in the Gaza Strip - not that they've let that bother them in the past, but it's just that there's no one, they're [referring to the Palestinians in general now] not politically savvy... they need someone wily and smart like Ben-Gurion sort of thing, more like Netanyahu."
Where do I begin here? Hamas' "reign" in the Gaza Strip!?
FFS, Hamas is the democratically elected government of Palestine. And what is Doogue getting at with "not that they've let that bother them in the past"?
But all that is as nothing compared to "they need someone wily and smart like Ben-Gurion," evidence, if any were needed, that she just doesn't get the hammer/anvil dynamic which underlies this conflict, namely the difference between a cosseted colonial-settler apartheid regime, with a superpower wrapped around its little finger, and a dispersed and dispossessed native people. I mean, is Colonialism 101 that hard? And don't even get me started on the obscenity of Doogue's suggestion that the Palestinians "need" someone like the bastard who orchestrated their ethnic cleansing from Palestine in 1948 in the first place.
Asked about her impressions of the West Bank, she replied, "I was expecting a wasteland, but it was nothing like that."
Truly, when it comes to Geraldine Doogue, the only wasteland I expect is the one between her ears.