Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sophie's Choice

Any young Australian setting out to climb the greasy pole of LibLab politics will, sooner or later, be 'encouraged' (there are other words I could use, but...) to go over to the Zionist dark side. Sadly, precious few, however, as far as I am aware, will have the capacity (a combination of knowledge and intellectual & moral integrity) to resist such 'encouragement' come what may.

Most I imagine go over out of sheer ignorance (I'm putting the best possible complexion on this distasteful business), and without a moment's thought. Some may wrestle with the matter a little before taking the plunge. But even those who, like federal Labor's Tanya (Once Was Warrior) Plibersek, who began the climb knowing full well the nature of the Zionist beast, can be prevailed upon to make the transition, if reaching the top of the pole requires it. One minute she's shouting from the rooftops that Israel is a rogue state led by a war criminal, the next she's beating a path to the place.

Going over fully to the Zionist dark side usually involves a kind of induction ceremony - what I, as a long-time observer of this passing strange phenomenon, call a rambamming. Others might prefer the term 'propaganda tour'. Those in the business, and their 'customers', will call it, euphemistically, a 'study tour'.

The rambamming begins with an initial approach by smiling, glad-handing suits whose charm and powers of persuasion do credit to their prototypical ancestor, Chaim Weizmann.

Before long, our aspiring LibLabber finds himself in Israel, in the company of others of his kind, being put through his paces, leaping through hoop (e.g., Lebanese border) after hoop (e.g., Sderot) after hoop (e.g., Yad Vashem).

Upon his return, he will invariably be prevailed upon to sing the praises of the Jewish State at a Zionist gathering convened for just that purpose. This crucial phase of the rambamming ceremony is known as the report-back, and usually elicits from the rambammed more gibberish than a dozen Pentacostal gatherings rolled into one. (One can imagine, for example, one of them waking up the next morning, rubbing his head and wondering to himself: OMG, did I really say that?!)

Whatever misgivings the rammbammed may have had in the cold light of next day, or later, such is the omerta-like hold of the rambamming process over them, that not one has ever been known to come forward and repudiate or qualify his comments after the event. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the rambammed forever after remain upon the Zionist straight and narrow.

The above reflection was occasioned when I read the following:

"The son of Indian migrants made Australian political history on Tuesday, becoming the first MP to be sworn into office on the Hindu religious text. Entering NSW Parliament Labor upper house MP, Daniel Mookhey pledged his loyalty by swearing on the Bhagavad Gita, a 700-verse Hindu scripture whose title translates to 'Song of the Lord'... Born in Blacktown and raised in Merrylands, Mr Mookhey is the son of migrants from northern India's Punjab state. The 32-year old from Labor's right wing has worked as a management consultant and was the 2013 federal campaign director for the Australian Council of Trade Unions." (MP's swearing in political history, Nicole Hasham, Sydney Morning Herald, 13/5/15)

And yes, Daniel has been rambammed. You can read the gory details on my 24/2/14 post Let's Do the Rambam Again...

So much for Daniel, but I've also become aware of another aspiring LibLab politician, not yet in parliament, and not yet, as far as I'm aware, rambammed. However, she has me worried, for reasons I'll explain, after this introduction:

"She's a former migrant, a human rights and employment lawyer, and she's gay. On paper, the new candidate for Melbourne sounds like a Green out of central casting. But Sophie Ismail is central to Labor's plans to wrestle its erstwhile federal seat back from Adam Bandt... The 37-year-old is from Labor's Socialist Left faction. Left candidates have lost the past two elections to Mr Bandt, and voters to the Greens more broadly, as the inner city grows more affluent... Ms Ismail hopes those voters can be persuaded to come back to Labor. In her successful pitch to Labor members for preselection, Ms Ismail - whose East Africa-born father is Indian - said Melbourne was a young and diverse electorate, and 'only a candidate truly representative of that diversity can reconnect with the communities who have lost faith in Labor'." (Labor candidate for Melbourne admits 'I look like a Green', Bianca Hall, The Age, 14/5/15)

My worry about Sophie stems from my reading of a PDF, Questions for Melbourne Labor Candidates: Sophie Ismail, which contains the answers to 17 questions, to all of which, save 3, she manages plausible, though not terribly inspiring, answers.

Question 2 asks, Do you have any other political heroes? only to bring us down with names such as  Obama and Hilary Clinton, thus prompting the obvious question: Seriously, Soph, is that the best you can come up with?

Question 8 asks, What is your position on the treatment of asylum seekers? only to reveal that, far from closing down our little Gitmos on Manus and Nauru, she'd merely call for an increase in "oversight and accountability" of them. Sooo Lib-lite!

But it's question 15 that particularly concerns us here. It asks: Do you support the creation/recognition of a Palestinian state? Her answer, the most perfunctory and formulaic of the 17, betrays not one iota of conviction or understanding of the issue.

Here it is:

"Yes. It is the only way to achieve peace in the region and to protect the sovereign rights of Israel and Palestine, and to uphold the human rights of their citizens."

Astonishingly, this meaningless pap is not the answer of some gormless teen, but that of a 37-year old with a degree in international law from Melbourne University!

I hope I'm wrong, I really do, but should Ismail manage to give Bandt the boot at the next federal election, my guess is she'd be a pushover for our latter-day Weizmanns.


Anonymous said...

MERC have you been able to gather any information on who is voting for the Labor Friends of Palestine motions recently raised in the NSW conference, and the exact wording of the motions?

MERC said...


Vacy said...

Sad about Tanya, she certainly once was warrior for East Timor..politicians' climb to the top of the political pole is made easier by shedding the burdens of conscience, integrity and humanity. I wonder how much Susan Ley,member of Parl 4 Palestine, has shed??
Great writing Merc Love it!

Kolin Thumbadoo said...

It would appear that the Labor party
needs to liberate itself from the straight jacket of the zionist lobby before it can do anything meaningful about Palestinian liberation. This is a familiar scenario as it took some time for Labor to support the liberation of South Africa led by the ANC.