In an Australian Financial Review op-ed published yesterday, former Labor PM and die-hard "friend of Israel," Bob Hawke, confesses to being worried about "the danger of Israel being blinded to the threat to its very soul and the vision of its future."
In Time to recognise the state of Palestine, he describes a meeting he had with former Israeli PM Golda Meir, at the end of the Yom Kippur War in October 1973:
"I listened with admiration and in total agreement as this wonderful woman, still traumatised with grief, looked into my eyes and said there could be no peace for Israel until there was an honourable settlement of the aspirations of the Palestinian people."
"Soul"? "Vision"? We're dealing here with a-worse-than-apartheid-state for God's sake, with no other "vision" than to cram in as many Jews as possible, and knock off as many Palestinians as circumstances allow. As for that "wonderful woman," Golda Meir, wasn't she the one who said, "There is no such thing as Palestinians"? (See my 17/8/08 post The Zionist La Passionara.)
Unfortunately, despite all his free time and a taxpayer-funded retirement package an aged pensioner could only dream of, he still hasn't taken the time or trouble to revisit, research, revise and apologise for his youthful infatuation and where it led him.
Clearly, the old codger's still not over it.
The only thing, it seems, which perturbs his rosy vision of an imagined Israeli golden age, is the current "sentiment of Israeli political leadership" as exemplified in "the inexorable expansion of Jewish settlement in the West Bank," where "some 580,000 Israelis live in 123 government-authorised settlements and about 100 unauthorised outposts on the West Bank and 12 major neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem." Not to mention those recently announced.
"The least we can do," he concludes, "in these most challenging of times, is to do what 137 other nations have already done - grant diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine."
The appalling thought arises: Will this be it? Will Hawke's be the one and only opinion piece in the lead-up to Netanyahu's visit in the Australian press that deviates from the usual, bipartisan kowtowing to Israel?
Perish the the thought.
But there's more to Hawke's piece than meets the eye. Something quite astonishing in fact. This:
"It was our great foreign minister Dr H.V. Evatt who chaired the UN Special Committee on Palestine and it was the resolution of that committee that authorised the partition of Palestine into two states. It was on the basis of this resolution that the state of Israel was established in 1948. The resolution gave the already settled and the newly arriving European Jewish settlers - who by then constituted a third of the population and owned less than 6% of the land - exactly 56.47% of the Palestinians' best cultivated land and cities. The two-thirds population of indigenous Palestinians who owned more than 94% of the land were given 47% of their own country."
Think about it...
a) Evatt had a hand in proposing that the indigenous Palestinians be divested of 56.47% of their patrimony, to be handed over, lock, stock, and barrel, to a minority of recently-arrived European settlers who had purchased only 6% of it (and he did);
b) and if the partition proposal enshrined in the UNGA's resolution of 29 November, 1947, was as draconian as has been described (and it was);
c) and if said partition resolution was, at least in part, Evatt's legacy in Palestine (and it was), then how the hell can Hawke describe Evatt as "our great foreign minister"?
In fact, it was the partition resolution of 1947 that gave Zionist fanatics such as David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir all the excuse they needed to embark on the military offensive they'd been preparing for for decades, drive out the indigenous Palestinian population, occupy 78% of their ancestral homeland, destroy hundreds of their villages, steal their land, and strew it with settlements (called at the time kibbutzes).
If Hawke really wanted to make a statement at this time, the very least he could have done would be to repudiate Evatt's legacy in Palestine, demand Israel withdraw to its 1947 partition borders, and call on it to implement all relevant UN resolutions, particularly UNGA resolution 194, enshrining the right of Palestinians ethnically cleansed in 1948 to return home.