|Australian anti-Israel public intellectual in session|
The other night a back bench member of the opposition ALP used an opportunity to speak in the House afforded by the privilege to receive public petitions to deliver a speech declaring that the "official" BDS is not antisemitic and that its supporters are not urging the destruction of Israel.
Both are old and mutually reinforcing lies of course and as usual that was just the start. The speech is a wonder of the use of language in politics by a straitjacketed or extremist mind. Orwell would have been impressed. A speech like that is worth noting.
It is striking how little is new. The speech could be an elaborate public clockwork tower in a quaint part of Europe that escaped the extinction of such things. It could even be charming the way it can work without any apparent human mind involved. Is there a little man in there?
Just about everyone and everything gets a mention. I think I even spotted the pelican in the background but I could be mistaken.
Except this is new. The "official" BDS. Did you spot that? This MP makes quite a fuss over this but when did that come in? I've followed this fairly closely as you do with a global movement as vile and cowardly as BDS and this has to be the first mention of the "official" BDS. This could be important. Does this mean there might now be BDS "provos"?
Peter Slezak gets a prominent mention that befits his status as the public intellectual whose most notable outing may turn out to being spotted running like a wounded feral rabbit from former state and federal minister and Labor left intellectual, Peter Baldwin, in a fair and free forum organised by a casual intellectual society of which they are both a part.
I did not cross-post the piece that included the letter Baldwin wrote to Slezak because of its length and to escape having to explain the choice of an old photo of a man I have long admired. I won't do it now for the same reasons but I invite you to link and scan this letter.
To this eye it is a work of genius and it would be sacrilegious to edit it. To this eye it is a gem of precious and uncertain value found at random in a desert. A thing of myth. A brilliant black opal perhaps. In the Blue Mountains no less. This could be a strike. Perhaps there is a rich vein there somewhere in the rocks, caves and cliffs that could bear some more mining.
This stone needs an expert eye and the right equipment to cut it. Shirlee, Mike, Jay and all are invite to try. I could not bring myself to put up anything less than every word and tube.
What makes it so precious and rare is not just that it is the most rigorous and comprehensive analysis of the last Gaza unpleasantness by a public intellectual out there but also it was delivered fresh, full and timely like an high street internet bouquet to one of the most prominent and outspoken critics of Israel on the Sydney scene.
From Slezak, not a word in reply. Why? What an enormous opportunity to say what he is about. It would be a certain link because many must be dying to see what Slezak is going to do about this work of art Baldwin has painted on the ceiling of Slezak's chapel. Paint over it?
The public petition was delivered to the MP with the lisp and the funny turn of phrase at night in a lonely house by a man who has much in common with Slezak except apparently is much fitter. Another academic from an unrelated field with no particular qualification other than a university man on a mission; a sort of Indiana Jones with a whip and a bris, one in a line, a member of a bizarre tribe that will never say exactly what they are about and will embrace enormous contortions of thought and language to avoid it.
Something else unilateral no doubt, is what they want. A surrender of all the land without a peace deal in a framework in rock that was to supposed to be land for peace. Is this the scholarly proposal for which they parade? What kind of Israel is to be left? They will not say. It is hopeless asking. Just ask Baldwin. When confronted with a real expert and all else has failed to avoid this horrible accident they just turn tail and skedaddle.
The MP with the bad speech in the lonely house late at night cited a Slezak post at New Matilda that your blog had much to say in the comment thread. Fitting as well that New Matilda is the news site that has given the MP with the impediment and the cause her best run.
The article is unremarkable except for the virulence of the antisemitism in the long comment thread from the droves of friends celebrating the MP in the night for her courage. As if she was a Kurdish fighter in the struggle with ISIS for Kobane.
This is deserves its own post. A defence of BDS as non-antisemitic, that immediately splashes a pool of antisemitism so sloppy and salty it requires a proper recording.
Your blog inhabited the thread and took some of the shit from the cowardly and deluded. A few of the comments in reply follow. Some more posts coming.
geoffff you sholud have a long hard read and watch to see why even Israelis are sick to the stomach of what they are doing to Plaestinians. INCLUDING ISRAELS OWN PRESIDENT!!!!
I know this has to be beyond you but I will take it in tiny steps so we can see at what point you fall off.
Israel is a liberal democracy where all sorts of people say all sorts of things. The reason for this is simple. It is because they are allowed.
As such, there is enormous scrutiny, comment, skepticism and introspection of all aspects of the society, policy, history and future at all levels including in the universities, media, political groups, courts and informed public comment. Retired politicians, defence chiefs, superannuated intelligence czars and writers of anti war books and art are the least of it. Freedom is everywhere.
Israel is no different from any other liberal democracy in this regard. It is called freedom and Israel's Arabs are the only Arabs in the whole region that have this. As such, they too can say pretty much what they like and do and some of it is way out west of Pluto. .
Most people regard this as a good thing in a country. No one would say that because Australia has former PM's and FM's who are fatuous and deluded and frequently prove it in public on TV, radio and in newspaper columns, is a bad thing.
Yet when it comes to Israel, and only Israel, you conclude that freedom is a bad thing about Israel as a society. Or at least you cherry pick the results of a free and vigorous democracy so that you can conclude that there is something bad about Israel. You are hardly alone in this practice. I think this is sinister.
Probably that is as far as I can go with you. You will see for yourselves how ingrained anti-Israelism is by the hysterical reaction these simple truths about the world will attract in the right here and now.
We will not hear a single thought that has not been spewed before a thousand times over.. This is ideology we will see and the anti-Israel ideologues have only religion to guide them. For them there is only one narrative. The Arab Muslims are the victims and the Jews are their tormenters. Israel is evil. Something satanic. The left is a religion that demands a living satan on earth as much as Islamist imperialism must have theirs.
So the western left and the Islamist head choppers of Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS agree on who that satan on earth must be. The one responsible for all their woes. .
One last thing.
Please do not lecture me on what I need to read. I have lived and followed all of this intensively on quite a scale for nearly fifty years and there is not much I haven't read or seen.
With all due respect.
Posted Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 16:38
Posted Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 16:38
I wonder if Ms Parke is aware that she has "friends" like Holocaust denier, Kevin Charles H...?
Indeed but that is the least of it. Kevin Charles H is by no means the only Holocaust denier here and not even the worst antisemite. There are also the usual 9/11 truuffers, conspiracy mongers, moon landing deniers and assorted cranks that constitute the modern left. All have jumped to attention with right hand held high to declare as proud friends of Ms Parke.
I doubt if she really minds. Friends are friends. This is her natural constituency. She could be at any left stacked branch meeting of the ALP at a scout hall anywhere in suburban Perth or further abroad.
In her speech she cites Richard Falk, one of the most notorious Holocaust deniers on the trail, as her authority on Israel and the Arabs. She has been not in the slightest embarrassed about this.
Put it down to inexperience. Rhiannon and the other Stalinists will soon put her right. Keep the Holocaust denial in its place. In the branch meetings, universities and left caucus is OK but its bad politics to go too public too soon.
I prefer to trust the credibility of historians like Michael Palumbo and even Israeli historians (Pappe, Shlaim, Segev, Morris, Sternal) above your well known and well quoted sources.
When did you last read The Gun & the Olive Branch? David Hirst himself describes in detail covert Israeli operations to scare Iraqi and Egyptian Jews into fleeing their homes for the "sanctuary" of Israel.
In Iraq they did so by placing bombs in areas frequented by Iraqis who were Jewish, then starting whispering campaigns that scared people into emigrating. The plan worked brilliantly, but then again, Israeli intelligence/covert operatives, had experience with such things from massacres like Deir Yassin. Slaughter 250 people and terrorize hundreds of thousands into fleeing their homes lest they suffer the same brutal fate.
You see, what we have here is an example of something insane. It can not get worse from there. It is a mistake to engage with crackpottery like this. A person capable of saying this is capable of saying anything.
There are many fine histories and accounts of the destruction of the ancient Jewish peoples and cultures of Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon and the rest.
Here is just one site where you may read what happened from the people themselves.
cross posted Israel Thrives