Here are excerpts from a timely and trenchant opinion piece, It's high time that Australia told Israel a few home truths, by Peter Rodgers, a former Australian ambassador to Israel, published in yesterday's Australian:
"In September 2000, Israel's opposition leader at the time, Ariel Sharon, visited the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem, a site of intense religious significance for Muslims and Jews (as the Temple Mount).
"Sharon's purpose was entirely political - a statement that a Likud government would never cede control of the area to the Palestinians. The visit helped trigger the second Palestinian uprising. When it ended, about 6,000 people lay dead, more than 80% of them Palestinian.
"Fast forward to 2015. As Israelis celebrated the Jewish New Year in September, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel led a group of the Likud Young Guard up the Haram al-Sharif, their self-proclaimed goal to 'assert Jewish sovereignty' over the area. Palestinians, not surprisingly, reacted with suspicion, hostility and, in some cases, violence. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened a 'harsh offensive' in return, demonstrating once more that there is no greater double standard in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict than the issue of violence. Israel uses violence against Palestinians as a matter of course. It expects Palestinian quiescence and acts indignantly when this is not forthcoming [...]
"Late last month, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly that the Palestinians would no longer abide by the 1993 Oslo Accords. These provided the flimsy scaffold for negotiation of Palestinian statehood. What was remarkable about Abbas's speech was that it took so many years for him to make it. Oslo's corpse had long lain in the morgue. All Abbas did was to invite a viewing.
"With depressingly familiar hype, Netanyahu slammed Abbas's UN speech for its alleged deceit and incitement. He urged Abbas to accept the offer 'to hold direct negotiations with Israel without preconditions'. That was a good one coming from a prime minister whose own preconditions include no Palestinian state ever, who plays godfather to the settlement movement, and who has now deemed it reasonable to use live ammunition against rock-throwing Palestinians.
"Australia has long been susceptible to the line that the Palestinians are not ready for statehood. The Turnbull government, with 7 others (including tiny island states such as the Marshall Islands, Palau and Tuvalu), opposed the raising of the Palestinian flag at the UN. The opposition is not much better. The ALP conference last July decided at last to discuss possible recognition of a Palestinian state if there were 'no progress in the next round of the peace process'. As if there were a peace process or the faintest prospect of one.
"Australian governments have often spoken proudly of their friendship with Israel.
"It's high time that friendship was put in the service of peace by telling Israel a few home truths about the Gordion knot that is occupation and violence."
Now here's an excerpt from a letter in reply in today's Australian by Mike Tsykin, Elsternwick, Victoria:
"We remember that Israel is manning the front line in the war against Islamic terrorism. It is our war as well; we did not wish it, but it is fought in our streets. The best we can do is to continue supporting Israel. We are in this together."
What rubbish! Israel is not "manning the front line in the war against Islamic terrorism," it is manning the front line in Zionism's near 100-year war for Jewish supremacy and hegemony in historic Palestine.
Notice Tsykin's shameless conflation of the young heroes and heroines of Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation and oppression with the murderous behaviour of our own politically illiterate, disaffected dupes of Islamic State propaganda. Just as Israeli Zionists have no qualms whatever in murdering any number of Palestinians - men, women or children - in their unrelenting push to control and dominate every square inch of Palestine, their cheer squads in Australia and elsewhere have no qualms whatever in stooping to any monstrous lie in order to shield them from justified criticism.