Herewith the latest *sigh* batch of rambammed Australian politicians:
"Three Liberal members of federal Parliament shared their experiences of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council's (AIJAC) Rambam Israel Fellowship Program - from which they recently returned - at a luncheon briefing on Friday." (Pollies praise Israel, The Australian Jewish News, 20/6/14)
Craig Kelly (Hughes, NSW):
"Kelly told the gathering... that visiting Israel was always something that had been on his bucket list. 'Before I went, I thought I had a reasonable understanding of the situation. But until you actually get there on the ground... you really don't have an appreciation for the issues,' he said. Especially poignant for Kelly was the delegation's visit to a school in Sderot, complete with protective shelters where the children seek refuge when the sirens sound. 'I can't help but think what it would be like as a young child to grow up in that environment, where you know people are actually firing rockets into your township,' he said. He also drew attention to Israel's 'entrepreneurial culture' as something Australians can learn from. 'I think because Israel is such a small place in the world... If you come up with a business idea or innovation, you're looking at 'how can I actually market my idea to the world or to the globe?'"
Hm... so Kelly "had a reasonable understanding of the situation" in Israel but thinks there's a difference between "the world" and "the globe."
But wait, there's more:
"We had meetings with the Palestinian delegation [to the peace talks], and one of the senior Palestinian negotiators said when we were talking about the failures of the recent peace talks initiated by John Kerry, and he basically said 'we have time', to say there is no rush for any peace process, and to me that was the most disappointing thing that I actually heard because it seems as though from the Palestinian point of view there is no rush to get on with settling things quickly'." (Federal Liberal MPs visit Australia, jwire.com.au, 15/6/14)
Got it? The iron law of rambamming: Palestinians disappoint, Israelis inspire!
John Alexander (Bennelong, NSW):
"Alexander echoed his colleague's sentiments, stressing "the innovation, the brain power, and the cutting-edge technology' which exists in Israel. He said that while other countries, including Australia, are lucky to have natural resources at their disposal, the asset of Israel is its people. '[It's] their ingenuity, their absolute will to overcome adversity,' he enthused." (AJN)
I didn't think I'd ever feel sorry for adversity.
Now here's an absolutely awesome insight which only a trip to the other side of the world or the globe would enable:
"We've got wealthy people, and people who aren't doing so well, and when people have got nothing to lose they're far more willing to pick up arms." (jwire)
Which is funny, really, because all anyone else would see over there is Israelis carrying arms.
Wyatt Roy (Longman, Qld):
"Roy, the youngest member of Parliament, spoke of a 'life-changing experience.' He said one aspect of the trip that particularly affected him was visiting a hospital in the north of Israel which treats casualties from the Syrian conflict. 'To meet blokes who are my age who are missing three or four limbs... I think gives you an emotive connection to the issue, that you simply could not get anywhere else'." (AJN)
Translation: Shit, those blokes were shorter than me!!!
"When I look at the region it is incredibly complex and anyone who tells you they have a coherent and up-to-date understanding of the region must be lying because it is so complicated." (jwire)
Translation: Strewth, when I think about the Middle East I just get a headache, and if my colleagues don't feel the same, the bastards are lying.
"The other experience was going to Ramallah with our representatives of the Australian government there and meeting with representatives of the Palestinian Authority and to see where they were coming from again was something you couldn't get unless you were sitting in the room with them." (jwire)
Buggered if I can remember a thing they said though.
But that's not all, folks. For reasons best known to themselves two other Libs who also had tickets to ride couldn't make it to the AIJAC singalong. And, at least in the case of one, I think I might know why!