Friday, May 1, 2015

My Solution to NSW Labor's Rambamming Problem

Check out this 28/4 press release from state opposition leader Luke Foley:


NSW Labor leader Luke Foley announced today that any Labor MPs receiving assisted travel to Israel would be expected to spend an equivalent time in the West Bank and/or Gaza to hear the case of the Palestinians.

Labor believes in a two-state solution. A two-state solution must be built on understanding the perspectives of two people.

'This arrangement will mean that MPs understand the Palestinian as well as the Israeli case,' Mr Foley said.

'In that spirit I would expect all members of the parliamentary party who are assisted to travel to Israel would spend an equivalent time talking to Palestinians on the West Bank and/or the Gaza Strip.

'The MPs need to see the conditions under which Palestinians live.'

Mr Foley urged the Premier to match the commitment when it comes to travel to the Middle East by members of his Party.

At last, a recognition that rambamming is a problem. But is Foley's solution really the way to go?

My problem with his announcement is that it's based on the false premise that the land-grabbing, apartheid state of Israel actually has a legitimate case to offer.

My humble suggestion?

That Labor MPS belonging to the Parliamentary Friends of Israel group be sentenced to a stint with the International Solidarity Movement in the West Bank, paid for out of their own pockets, dodging Israeli bullets, tear gas canisters, sound bombs and skunk spray.*

Alternatively, they could be sentenced to clear away the rubble of shattered Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip.

(BTW, Labor MLC Walt Secord should be sentenced to both.)

Moreover, before going, Labor MPs should be required to read David Hirst's The Gun & the Olive Branch: The Roots of Violence in the Middle East AND Saree Makdisi's Palestine Inside Out, followed by a written exam based on the content of those books.

(It goes without saying that I'd be happy to set and mark said exam, but I should warn that I do not, repeat not, believe in a no-fail policy. Any MPs whose responses are not up to scratch will be required to keep sitting the exam until they get it right.)

[*See my 7/4/13 post Mephitic Odours at Monash University.]

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