Friday, November 13, 2015

Bergin of Beersheba 2

Back to ASPI's Anthony Bergin:

"Two Australian delegations attended the service for the Battle for Beersheba. I was with a group of defence experts who were in Israel to participate in a forum convened by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies. The other delegation of about 50 entrepreneurs, industry representatives and government envoys, led by assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy, was in Israel to seek inspiration for the Turnbull government's innovation agenda." (Better Israeli defence ties will boost our hi-tech industries, The Australian, 10/11/15)

The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)?

Check out their website: "The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies advances a realist, conservative, and Zionist agenda in the search for security and peace for Israel." (

You'll also find a video of Bergin's address on homeland security there, with a straight-faced Bergin telling his Israeli audience that Israel been "fighting terrorism for a lot longer than Australia has."

Hello? Has he never heard of Menachem Begin?

Begin was the Daddy of all Middle Eastern terrorists!

At least ex-foreign minister Krudd, who cracked that tasteless joke in Jerusalem's King David Hotel in 2010 about Begin redesigning the hotel's interior back in 1946, was alive to the fact. (See my 6/12/11 post The Joke.)

But I guess history and irony and all that sort of stuff just aren't Bergin's thing. He's in Israel for other reasons:

"Our exchange on strategic issues soon demonstrated a whole range of areas where our military forces could learn from one another. These ranged from defence industry co-operation (our army has purchased an Israeli battle management system) to counter-insurgency, urban intelligence gathering, coalition warfighting, countering improvised explosive devices, military education, the use of reservists, airpower developments (both countries are acquiring F-35 joint strike fighters), military procurement processes and maritime security (Israel is developing offshore gas fields). Issues related to counter-terrorism and social resilience were highlighted as common interests of both states." (ibid)

Bergin's obviously the sort of bloke who loves things that go *BANG*, and has decided that, in the *BANG* department, Israel is where it's at. And he wants a slice of that (field-tested on Palestinian guinea pigs) action for Australia.

So what?

Here's the bottom line:

To the extent that Bergin's views and advice are embraced by the Australian government, and defence and security ties with Israel, an ethnocratic, apartheid state, are advanced, we can expect a malign process of creeping Israelisation in this country. This will inevitably be characterised by a slackening of support for the role of the United Nations in international affairs; a deepening contempt for international law and norms; an erosion of basic civil liberties; and rampant Islamophobia.

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