Saturday, May 2, 2015

Blinky & Tanya Run Scared

Federal Deputy Opposition leader Tanya (Once Was Warrior) Plibersek has been lately "calling on her party to compel MPs to vote for same-sex marriage, ending it as a conscience issue for the ALP... 'Labor has always been a party that is opposed to discrimination,' Ms Plibersek told Fairfax Media in an interview last week. 'It is a clear question. Do we support legal discrimination against one group in this country? Or do we not?'... A long-time supporter of same-sex marriage, Ms Plibersek said her position was 'fundamental to my politics'." (It's time: push to unite ALP on marriage, Judith Ireland, Sydney Morning Herald, 27/4/15)

Whatever one's position on same-sex marriage, the point I wish to make here is that Plibersek is clearly comfortable in speaking out on the issue, which, need I say, is as it should be if we purport to be a robust democracy.

Yet, on another issue fundamental to anyone who opposes discrimination wherever it rears its ugly head, she is curiously reticent:

"Mr Shorten and Ms Plibersek refused to answer questions about Palestine on Wednesday, with the deputy leader declaring 'I don't think today is the day for these other questions' following the execution of the Bali nine duo."  (Plibersek push on gay marriage backfires, James Massola, Sydney Morning Herald, 30/4/15)

And this while others in her party, particularly its justice [???!!!] spokesman, David Feeney, speak out loud and clear in defence of a certain entity founded on gross discrimination and inequality:

"... Mr Feeney questioned the push for a national conference resolution, which will be led by NSW frontbencher Tony Burke after discussions with Mr Shorten, for a future Labor government to recognise Palestine as a state in the absence of progress towards a two-state solution. Mr Feeney said that 'with so much going on in the Middle East, with more Arabs killed every year in Syria than have been killed in the history of Arab-Israeli conflict, the fixation on Israel is just that'." (ibid)

As for Labor leader Bill Shorten "who refused to answer questions on Wednesday," all it took was a mere phone call to get a reiterated pledge of allegiance reassurance from him:

"But president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Robert Goot, said on Thursday he had rung federal Labor leader Bill Shorten's office and been told that any moves to change the ALP's national position did not have Mr Shorten's approval." (Palestinians call for 'balance' on vote, Deborah Snow, Sydney Morning Herald, 1/5/15)

And this is despite Mr Goot's ECAJ colleague Alex Ryvchin asserting, in another context, the idea that the use of "terms such as 'Jewish lobby', 'Zionist lobby', and 'Israel lobby'" is "intended to appeal to antisemitic views of the Jews as exercising an extraordinary or dark power," and an example of "crude, conspiratorial thinking." (Activists corrupt noble principles in defence of Lynch, The Australian, 24/4/15)

(NB: For me to even hint that Mr Goot's ability to get just the answer he wants from Blinky Billy by means of a simple phone call (an ability you or I could only ever dream of) is an example of the Israel lobby at work is apparently conspiratorial thinking and "intended to appeal to antisemitic views." So, lest I be accused of same, let me state clearly that I'm absolutely certain Mr Goot had a great deal of difficulty getting through to Bill - Goot who? ECAJ? Never heard of it! - and I'm equally certain that his colleague, Mr Ryvchin had enormous difficulty getting his opinion piece published in the Australian. Oh yeah.)

But I digress. Back to Blinky. Frankly, I'm a bit worried about the guy. He's all over the shop if you ask me. I mean, look at this:

"Bill Shorten will anoint Nelson Mandela as a Labor hero at the July national conference, which will vote on a platform for 'a practical and pragmatic party, tinged and touched by a romantic spirit'." (Shorten to put Mandela on Labor pedestal, Sid Maher, The Australian, 21/4/15)

The problem with this is that Blinky seems blissfully unaware that Mandela once said (loud and clear I might add) the following:

"Arafat is a comrade-in-arms."

 "The people of South Africa will never forget the support of the state of Israel to the apartheid regime."

"We know all too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians."

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