Meet James Paterson, 28. A Victorian Liberal, James was seriously rambammed by AIJAC in 2009 and has until now been serving this great country of ours in his capacity as deputy executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), under the wing of the "visionary" John Roskam, from whom he has been learning "the indispensable role of values in political life and the importance of bold policy ambition."
Now James is serving this great country of ours in the Senate, from whence he has just delivered his maiden speech, the keynote of which was:
"I am a Liberal because I believe that we are most likely to achieve human flourishing if we give people freedom."
Which is why:
"I'm a strong supporter of the State of Israel."
Right... anyway, moving right along, James then played this familiar ditty on the shofar:
"I admire greatly what they have built in just a few short years. Today Israel stands not just as a beacon of democracy in a sea of despotism in its own region but as a shining example to the entire world of how to build a prosperous, tolerant, harmonious and creative country in the toughest of circumstances."
But that was merely an attention-grabbing flourish, as it were. As his colleagues sat there in awed silence, a mysterious nimbus of light formed around his head and, before you could say beacon of light in a sea of despotism, James was suddenly channeling JFK: Ask not what your country can do for you, but what your country can do for Israel! Or words to that effect:
"I am proud of the generally bipartisan support that Israel has enjoyed from successive Australian governments. But I think we can do more to demonstrate our solidarity."
BUT HOW? roared the assembled multitude as one. James explained patiently:
"Like many nations, Australia has chosen to locate our embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv. But Tel Aviv is not Israel's capital city. Since 1950, Israel has asserted it is Jerusalem. Since 1967, it has administered the entire city. The Israeli government have demonstrated time and again that they are the best custodians for the religious and historical sites that are of significance to people of many faiths. I do not believe that the international community can continue to refuse to recognise their capital city of choice and the clear reality on the ground."
SO? roared the assembled multitude. AND YOUR POINT IS? At which James AIJACulated the following BOLD POLICY STATEMENT:
"It would be a symbolic but important step for Australia to formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital city and to move our embassy there."
Roskam, who had been sitting there in the gallery, fondly observing his protege in action, suddenly leapt to his feet, punching the air and screaming: YES! YES! YES! HOW BOLD, AGILE & INNOVATIVE IS THAT?! IPA! IPA! IPA!
Still reckon the Senate's a waste of space?