Sunday, October 25, 2015

'Insights' from Israel by Terri Butler MP

For the 'insights' of Terri Butler, Labor MP for Griffith (QLD), we can dispense with the Australian Jewish News report quoted in the previous post and go directly to for the full text of her report-back speech to her AIJAC handlers. (Speech to Australia-Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, 1/10/15)

Butler's not quite as agog as Bird but it's abundantly clear from her speech that she hasn't got a clue about this issue. Here's how she begins:

"I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet."

That anyone can utter the above words and participate in a propaganda tour to an apartheid state that not only denies the existence of its traditional owners, but ruthlessly applies itself to keeping them down (Palestinian Israelis, occupied Palestinians) or out (Palestinian refugees), is either the height of cynicism or, as I suspect, ignorance.

"Military service, and no doubt the feeling of a need to work together to defend against internal and external threats, gives rise to an enduring esprit de corps for young Israelis."

Does Butler know what fascism is? Can she not see that the above line could've been used to describe the Italian army under Mussolini or the German army under Hitler? Is she that ignorant?

Is she not aware that military service for Israelis involves little more than shoring up a near 50-year illegal OCCUPATION (a word which never passes her lips) - characterised by bloody murder, blatant land theft and rampant colonisation? Or, in the case of Gaza, 'mowing the grass', that cute Israeli euphemism for genocide?

In 37 years on this planet, with a university degree under her belt, can she still be as ignorant of the underlying colonial dynamic that underpins this international running sore as she was at birth?


"Mark Regev told us that Jerusalem to the Golan Heights was like the distance from Melbourne to Geelong."

Mark Regev, FFS. Well, to quote Mandy Rice-Davies, he would say that, wouldn't he? And while we're at it that's the OCCUPIED Golan Heights, OK?

"... when we went to the hospital in the north..."

That's right, the one where Israel patches up al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists for yet more murder and mayhem in Syria! (See my 3/7/15 post Those Rebels, That Hospital, Our Ambassador & His Wife.)

"The sentiment from government, Knesset members and academics with whom we spoke was that if sanctions had continued, the Iranian people would have demanded that the nuclear program cease in order to have those sanctions lifted."

What a flogging surprise! The Middle East's only nuclear-armed state wants the US, EU, Australia etc to turn the screw ever tighter on the Iranian people to force them into putting pressure on their leaders to drop, wait for it - a nuclear program. But can Butler see the manifest hypocrisy of this? Rhetorical question.

"This is a preference for the bird in the bush over the bird in the hand. One might think reasonable minds could differ, but all those with whom we spoke were firm in their views and unwilling to acknowledge the merit of alternative views."

Another surprise! Israeli officials are one-eyed! What penetrating insight is this? Who could possibly have guessed?
"We visited the settlement in the West Bank. Our host told us he lived there because it was a good place to raise children. I found that frankly unbelievable. He later told us that his children went to school with no Palestinian children. This segregation seems at odds with the already counter-intuitive statement that a settlement in the West Bank is a good place to raise children. It seems more likely that the settlements are tactical given they are, at least ostensibly, a major impediment to, or bargaining chip in, peace negotiations."

The settlement? You mean there's only one?

The settler told Butler his kids' school didn't have Palestinian students? What the hell does she think Israel is running in the OCCUPIED West Bank, a multicultural, inclusive, love-in? What a stellar insight: colonisers don't send their kids to the same schools as the kids of the colonised!

Then there's this deathless doozie: the settlements are "tactical"!

Really? Since when has a coloniser ever erected a structure for merely tactical reasons?

Hello, colonies are, like, forever... if the bastards can get away with it.

And get away with it they do, with Western politicians such as Butler and her mates, who wouldn't recognise the bleeding obvious if it hit them in the face.

Tomorrow: 'Insights' from Israel by Russell Matheson MP.


David said...

The traditional owners of the land are the Jews. It is not helpful to be promoting propaganda myths about the so-called Palestinian people, who had no national identity until the 1960s when Arafat got into bed with the KGB.

MERC said...

Thanks for that most interesting perspective, David, but please explain, if you don't mind, these words of David Ben-Gurion:

"The agricultural community that the Arabs found in Eretz Israel in the 7th century was none other than the Hebrew farmers that remained on their land despite all the persecution and oppression of the Roman and Byzantine emperors. Some of them accepted Christianity.... After the Arab conquest, the Arabic language and Muslim religion spread gradually among the countrymen... The greater majority... of the Muslim falahin in western Eretz Israel present to us one racial strand and a whole ethnic unit, and there is no doubt that much Jewish blood flows in their veins..." ('Leverur Motsa Ha'Falahim,' Luach Achiezer, New York, 1917, pp 118-27

David said...

Ben Gurion's theoretical musings don't change the historical facts. This same quote is discussed in an article 'Early Zionists and Arabs' by Judea Pearl, the father of Daniel Pearl who was beheaded by Muslim terrorists.
He writes "Ben-Gurion's theory may not withstand modern DNA analysis, but his essay reveals a genuine attempt to establish an ancestral kinship with the Arab population and to bridge cultural and religious divides."
The full article by Pearl is illuminating as it highlights the xenophobic reaction of the Arabs (not Palestinians yet) to the arrival of the Jews in Palestine.
As one Arab said at the time of the visit of Nahum Sokolov who became head of the World Zionist Organisation in the 1930s — "the Arabs are tormenting their nerves unnecessarily. There is no misunderstanding here whatsoever. The Arabs never doubted that the potential absorption capacity of Eretz Israel is enormous and, therefore, that it is possible to settle here enough Jews without dispossessing or constraining even a single Arab. It is obvious that ‘this is all' the Zionists want. But it is also obvious that this is precisely what the Arabs do not want; for, then, the Jews will turn into a majority and, from the nature of things, a Jewish government will be established and the fate of the Arab minority will depend on Jewish good will; Jews know perfectly well what minority existence is like. There is no misunderstanding here whatsoever."

MERC said...

Yes, David, how absurd of that young Pole, David Grun of Plonsk, to try to forge a non-existent connection between his mob and Palestine. We all know better now of course, don't we? But then, it played well for a time with the West, didn't it, and that was the point, right?

Not sure what your point is with the Jabotinsky quote. Funny that Arab editor talking about 'Eretz Israel', eh?

Rhonda Kelly said...

My god I have just read this speech and to think Terri Butler has aligned herself with the Labor left...saddens me the complicity and duplicitous nature of women who fly the flag high regarding the rights and interests of women and children...what this speech illustrates aside from a complete lack of understanding of the key issues in relation to the conflict between Israel and neighbouring Arab states (land theft, genocide, acculturation and the denigration of a sovereign peoples)
is that the rights and interests of women and children are protected by exception! that is don't worry about our Palestinian sisters and their children. Shameful!