"That war is a dirty business is a proposition that cannot be challenged. Both innocence and the innocent are the victims, and when the war has been going on for years..."
That's how colorful Labor identity and Murdoch muppet Graham 'Richo' Richardson begins his column on NSW MLA Shaoquett Moselmane's threatened defamation action against Richo's fellow Murdoch muppett Sharri Markson. (Talk at lunch, not in court, The Australiam, 4/3/16)
And that's how he misrepresents what has been going on "for years" in Palestine. Nothing to do with colonisation. Or dispossession. Or ethnic cleansing. Or occupation. Or apartheid. Just another "dirty war" between equals. That's what this boofhead thinks is/has been going on over there. That's what he thinks it's all about.
Clearly, he knows SFA about the issue. Still, he insists he's learnt 'wisdom' of a practical kind from his late "legendary" Labor mates, bruvver Ducker and Jack Ferguson, namely 'Never sue anyone': "You risk hundreds of thousands of dollars you can't afford and you make certain you relieve [sic] the horror you're trying to forget." And this sage advice he's now dishing out to Moselmane whom he represents as a Richo protege: "I have known Moselmane for quite some time and more than any other individual I am responsible for getting the Labor party to put him into parliament."
So Shaoquett, maaate, listen up!
To clarify the details of Moselmane's defamation action: he said in state parliament in 2013: "I accept the right of people to express their views, even when they are wrong, naive, ill-informed, indoctrinated and blinded by the power of a lobby group that is cancerous and malicious and seeks to deny, misinform and scaremonger." Not apropos nothing, of course, but after coming under attack by another Murdoch muppet, Cassandra Wilkinson.
"These harsh words," says Richo, "were used to describe what could be called 'the Jewish lobby'."
(You can read it all in context in my 27/5/13 post Shaoquett Moselmane Speaks Truth to Power.)
This is what Murdoch muppet Markson wrote in response: "He didn't utter them in the privacy of his own home. He felt comfortable enough broadcasting this anti-Semitic sentiment within the walls of the NSW Parliament..."
Richo apparently has no problem with that malicious, career-destroying, mother-of-all-smears. But Moselmane's words, now that's a different matter: "Parliamentary privilege is a wonderful weapon in the hands of a politician with something nasty to say... It is hard to describe those words as anything but extreme."
Harsh... nasty... extreme. This is supposed to justify Markson hurling the A-bomb at Moselmane, calling him, in effect, from her public perch over at News Corpse, an anti-Semite. For Richo this is merely "free speech" and "commentary."
He puts in a plug for Markson:
"I want a society where strong debate with strong language is welcomed... I don't agree with all that is contained in the Markson commentary. Bob Carr, a friend of mine for more than 40 years, would have every right to be grievously offended by the column. Carr, though, would not call in the lawyers in a bid to shut Markson down. He knows debate is vital to democracy... Markson is tenacious and fearless. She can be irritating and sometimes can go too far. It should be noted, though, that the task of a good journalist is not to make us feel relaxed and comfortable. While I don't agree with much of her column, it would be a great shame if anyone succeeded in shutting her down. Markson is a good advertisement for modern journalism. It doesn't matter to me whether she has crossed some indiscernible legal line. This matter should not finish up in a court of law. Moselmane should rethink and back off. He would be far better to take Markson to lunch and debate the issue. You gave it, Shaoquett, now you have to man up and take it on the chin."
Is he for real? If Markson is "a good advertisement for modern journalism," then God help modern journalism!
It's not as if Richo is unfamiliar with Moselmane's background:
"Moselmane hails from a village in southern Lebanon. When the Israelis last ventured into Lebanon, I can vividly recall Moselmane's reaction when up to 12 children in his village died from aerial and artillery bombardment. Moselmane was quite emotional when discussing this with me. He vented his feelings about the Israeli army and the people who ordered them into his part of southern Lebanon. He would be less than human if the deaths of those children had no effect on his views about Israel and its inhabitants."
So Moselmane's got some skin in the vicious, expansionist games that Israel, as a hyper-aggressive, apartheid state, has been playing for decades in Palestine, in Lebanon, in Syria, in Jordan, in Egypt, and in Iraq. And then, when he speaks out against the influence and reach of Israel's Australian cheer squad, who, in the words of Richo mate Bob Carr, derive their extraordinary power from "political donations and a program of giving trips to MPs and journalists"* (such as Markson (rambammed: 2015) and Sheehan), he cops The Smear of Smears from Markson, who - and here's the rub - has no skin in the game whatever, other than to have been indoctrinated at some stage with the false Zionist notion that occupied - River to Sea - Palestine is her birthright as a Jew, a bizarre conceit she appears too thick or too full of herself to see through.
But I guess that's all a bit too subtle for Richo.
[*7.30 Report, 9/4/14]