ALP ‘Friends of Israel’?

For decades one of the reflex compliments paid by the Australian Jews to almost any ALP politician has been “friend of Israel”. Encouraged by the emphatic enthusiasm for the Jewish State expressed a few decades ago by Bob Hawke, the pro-Israel Labor mantra continued almost unperturbed by “occasional” unpleasant realities on the (ALP) ground.

An unexpected jolt to our political comfort zone was given by the last ALP Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, a veteran in the “friends of Israel” camp, one no less responsible for the creation , long time ago, of the Labor Friends of Israel. A “simple” statement at a local mosque and decades of “friends of Israel” completely gone.

His opinion that “settlements on Palestinian land are illegal under international law and should cease” is highly contentious. Any implication that the West Bank is sovereign Palestinian territory – something it has never been – prejudges core issues of the peace process that must be negotiated. Here 

Considering the faction riddled ALP, Bob Carr’s “right wing” association came as an added shock. Now – blissfully- gone, Carr’s replacement within the Labor Parliamentary structure, Tanya Plibersek, brings with her an even heavier political dowry in respect to Labor’s love for Israel.

Born in 1969 in Sydney, the daughter of Slovenian migrants, Tanya Plibersek was educated at Jannali Girls High. A student of high accomplishments she made Dux before acquiring a BA in Communications at UTS, followed by a MA in Public Policy at Macquarie University. Once she entered the Federal politics her rise to the top echelon of the ALP was meteoric.

After the Labor/Rudd 2007 elections, Tanya Plibersek covered a wide range of Ministerial portfolios from Housing to the Status of Women, Human Services, Social Inclusion to Health. Quite a vast range.

Following Labor’s transition into Opposition, as the new Deputy Leader, Plibersek had the given choice of electing the portfolio she desired. Her choice, Foreign Affairs,  came as contradictory one even inside the Labor Party. Apart for the evident lack of previous involvement in the field, one of the observations made was that her open hostility toward Israel may deem her less qualified for an expected more balanced foreign affairs position. This relates to a fulminant anti-Israel rant dispatched in 2002 on the floor of the Lower House. While not her area of portfolio concerns, Tanya Plibersek raged against an “…Israel rogue State…..(whose) ruler ( Ariel Sharon ) is a war criminal…”. Nobody in the then Labor Party objected to her outrageous comments and neither did Tanya Plibersek for over NINE years.

House of reps

“This leads to hypocrisy. I can think of a rogue state which consistently ignores UN resolutions, whose ruler is a war criminal responsible for the massacres of civilians in refugee camps outside its borders.

The US supports and funds this country. This year it gave it a blank cheque to continue its repression of its enemies.

It uses US military hardware to bulldoze homes and kill civilians. It is called Israel, and the war criminal is Ariel Sharon.

Needless to say, the US does not mention the
UN resolutions that Israel has ignored for 30 years;
it just continues sending the money.”

Only by 2011 we heard a faint “recantation” under the guise of  something not quite “judiciously” expressed.

Nine years after the offensive remark, Plibersek had , finally, acceded to the “two state” outcome.
Indulgent commentators saw this “change” as a sign of maturity in Tanya Plibersek’s profile. Yet , in 2002 she had been a senior politician already.

Could a slight alteration in rhetoric alter so radically a devout member of the Left wing of the Labor Party?

Could conflicting attitudes and statements regarding Israel from Labor, seen at Bob Carr, but even more disturbing , at that famous Israel passionate Bob Hawke of late ,  offer the Australian Jewish fold the necessary comfort in seriously considering that there is genuine love for Israel in Labor ?

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27 comments

  1. Leon Poddebsky

    Can we discount the influences on Madame Plibersek of (a) her European heritage and (b) her exposure to the notorious UTS Communications Departmant?

  2. Leon Poddebsky

    Australia’s recently retired Foreign Affairs minister yet again showed his true face when he told an audience that the ALP had not been cunning enough. A really sincere and credible personality, eh?
    Otto, you called his assertion about the legal status of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria an “opinion.” I believe that he knows the truth, but was being “cunning” when he said it again and again and….again. It is not his genuine “opinion,” but the outward manifestation of his cunning.

    • Leon, you brught out a perfect point. It is the stark conflict between “opinon” and “truth” or “fact”. Let me complicate your life and refer to what Wittgenstein clarified on this. Wittgenstein emphasises the role of the historian in not expressing and “opinion”, but respect and present strictly “facts”, i.e “truth”. As Carr is supposed to be a trained historian, here ( and so many other places ) he defies the function of the historian and stoops to the lower rungs of a politician, thus begging the question:

      Can Carr carry the can ?!!

      Better than anybody else !!

  3. Thank you, Otto, for this excellent article. I am grateful for it on several levels: let me mention just 1.5 of them: the “vibe” I got from Pliberseck was always a really bad one; I would say “she is one of the most dangerous hypocrites among a bunch of hypocrites”, but, when asked to specify, I couldn’t and I thought I was too much on the bitchy side as she seems popular even among conservative people who will say “Tanja is better than that”.

    She is getting away with just about everything, but now I will watch out specifically for her anti-semitism, I will look at this picture (the most unsoftened and hence the most telling one I have yet seen of her) and wonder…. I’m afraid though, she will be prime minister of this country yet and that should worry all of us.

    You wonder if the Jewish community should be “…seriously considering that there is genuine love for Israel in Labor ?”

    I think that the DNA of Labor is to be found on the Left (“right factions” etc. being extremely relative), and that the default position of “the Left” is a leaning towards Jew-hatred, some of them lean soooo fare that they are practically horizontal.

    So, my answer to your (rhetorical?) question is: ‘no’!

  4. Good article here on Bob Carr, by Michelle Gratten
    http://theconversation.com/bob-carr-leaves-regretting-the-labor-governments-lack-of-cunning-and-canniness-19467

    Talk about ‘slaying’ the goose that laid his golden egg.

    • I tried to make a comment on that article at that site. But I have been banned from the Conversation for being too critical of the Greens. Or something.

      Vile raw antisemitism is acceptable at this taxpayer funded site. No one objects. It just hangs in the air like a permanent stinking fog. But attack the Greens?

      Sorry mate. You have offended our community standards. Your account is locked.

  5. It may not currently be popular in the Jewish community to defend Bob Carr, but for the record I believe that over 30 years of support for Jewish causes and Israel easily outweighs some recent bumps in the road. When Carr launched the book I co-edited with Geoffrey Levey, Jews and Australian Politics, at Gleebooks in May 2005, he spoke with enormous affection of his engagement with and respect for the Jewish community. This was despite the ill-informed personal attacks that some extremists had launched on him during the so-called Ashrawi Affair. And my personal opinion on the settlements – they are not only illegal (see http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=6167), but a dreadful dreadful error that has damaged Israel’s long-term well-being. Future generations will wonder why Israelis and Jews everywhere were silent on this disastrous enterprise. We will all have to examine our consciences.

    • Here Philip you’ve said it in a few words

      “he spoke with enormous affection of his engagement with and respect for the Jewish community”

      No mention of Israel, a whole other issue.

      Sure in May this year he said “supported Israel’s right to self defence”
      Well? That’s a foregone conclusion which anyone with half a brain in their head should/would say.

      He rebuked Israel in January this year for approving 1500 new housing units in East Jerusalem the previous year.
      Firstly, there is no place by the name of East Jerusalem. It is *Jerusalem* and we have every right to do what we want in our own capital city. He called Yuval Rotem, the Israeli Ambassador to Australia to his office at DFAT to complain

      I happen to have it on good authority from an inside source, that he was the person who pushed for Australia to abstain from the UN vote on the ‘fictitious State of Palestine’. He gave Gillard no choice. It was agree or be rolled! Which the backstabbing Rudd did anyway.

      Gillard put him in the position of FM to watch her back and he stabbed her it in.

      We have every right to build anywhere in Judaea and Samaria.

      The “Mandate for Palestine,” is an historical League of Nations document, which laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an entitlement unaltered in international law.

      The “Mandate for Palestine” was not a naive vision briefly embraced by the international community. Fifty-one member countries – the entire League of Nations – unanimously declared on July 24, 1922:

      “Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”


      It is important to point out that political rights to self-determination as a polity for Arabs were guaranteed by the same League of Nations in four other mandates

      Lebanon & Syria (The French Mandate).

      Iraq, and later Trans-Jordan [The British Mandate].

    • Philip

      As much as I dislike analogies, marriage and subsequent divorces could describe the “bumpy” relationship between Bob Carr and the Australian Jewish community.

      – Firstly, the Ashrawi affair was not attacked by “some extremists”, but an ENTIRE Jewish community was disgusted. The only exception was a certain lonely major business personality who did not articulate more than a personally motivated voice. Incredibly irrelevant to the disgust expressed at all levels of communal structure.

      – Secondly, in a cruel casuistic manner, one must show the consistency between expressions of affection by Bob Carr at the outset of his relationship with the Jewish causes/community and the abysmal, diametrically opposed attitude at the very end, the actual divorce, of the common “household” we shared with a former friend.

      Like so many terminated relationships, a “glorious” past, only accentuates the serious nature of the irreconcilable rupture.

      Here we must emphasise that one’s personal opinion regarding the “legality’ of the settlements may NOT be confused with the overwhelming position of the COMMUNITY – as distinct entity to one or a few individuals – . Entity “Community” has expressed its disgust at Bob Carr’s outrageous statements. It, Mr./Mrs/Ms Community has filed for divorce. Individuals, such as yourself may continue their elective affinities – sincerely WITHOUT our blessings -. Obviously you two have a lot more in common, not least the notion that the legitimate “settlements” would not be legal.

      Come to think of it. Could we attempt an ethical incursion into the FACT that, while Israel contains 20% Arabs, the SAME Arabs cannot fathom cohabiting with one single Jew on a land Jews DO have historic claims.

      But even without a claim, why would anyone give course to a position of Jew rejection, be it under a “legal” guise? Is it really and in the eventual wash, legal to abhor the sight of a Jew cohabiting with one other entity?
      Which conscience should be examined, the hitherto oppressed Jewish one relegated for millennium to a subservient and one denied of basic rights or the one, that Arabs promote, where a perpetuation of atavistic hatred claims , once again, prevalence?

      Do not ask yourself, Philip, those questions as a Jew, but as an intensely thinking human.

    • Leon Poddebsky

      No; it’s you, Philip Mendes, who must examine your conscience and beg forgiveness for defending a “cunning” politician who speaks with one side of his mouth to Jews, while wielding a truncheon above the head of the Jewish nation-state.
      Philip Mendes, you must beg forgiveness for being his fig-leaf covering the nakedness of his contempt for Jews and Israel and of his glorification of one of Israel and the Jewish People’s mortal enemies, a woman who makes common cause with those who slit Jewish babies’ throats in their sleep, and who was “honoured” by a “cunning”, duplicitous confederate.
      You, Philip Mendes, must beg forgiveness for collaborating with Carr and Ashrawi in their defamation of Israel.
      You, Philip Mendes, must beg forgiveness for the haughtiness that moves you to ignore the learned conclusions of universally respected jurists like the late Professor Julius Stone and the former President of the International Court of Justice, Lauterprecht,and, instead, contemptibly to cite another enemy of Israel.
      It is you, Mendes, who must beg forgiveness for ignoring the international law that is embodied in The League of Nations Mandate for ‘Palestine’, and for ignoring the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, just as your false idol does.

      How prescient the Prophet was when he said: “From within you shall come your destroyers!”

    • Having followed the link to your article on Eureka Street, Philip, I must point out the numerous errors in your thinking on the subject of the supposed illegality of the Israeli towns and villages in Judaea and Samaria.

      First of all, you claim there that Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention “precludes an occupying power from settling its own citizens in territory taken by military force. ”
      Article 49 states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” But the Israeli citizens who have made their homes in Judaea and Samaria (and that part of Jerusalem which was liberated in 1967 from the ILLEGAL Jordanian occupation) were neither deported, nor transferred to those areas by the Israeli Government (and, indeed, in many cases, they moved into those territories AGAINST ISRAELI GOVERNMENT POLICY, in effect, forcing the Government’s hand). Thus, your reference there to “coerced Jewish settlements within Palestinian territory” is way off base – first, because the Jews who are reclaiming our ancestral home in Judaea and Samaria have been coerced by no-one, and secondly, because the territory in which they are settling can, in no way, be accurately described as “Palestinian territory”.

      Furthermore, you claim that “The settlements also violate the legal sovereign right of the Palestinians to determine the population of their own territory.” Whence springs this “legal sovereign right” of which you speak? Whence springs any “sovereign right” of a so-called “Palestinian people” (which never defined itself as such until 1964, with the foundation of the PLO)? What makes Judaea and Samaria “sovereign Palestinian territory”? Who, in any case, says that “Palestinians” means only “the Arab population of Eretz Yisrael”? Between 1922-1948, “Palestinians” referred to Jews. (Many of my relatives have “Palestinian” passports to prove it.)

      The 1922 Mandate for Palestine applies to Judaea and Samaria, as well as to the territories within the 1948 ceasefire lines (the “green Line”) and states as its aim the establishment of a Jewish National Home in that area. It does, indeed, protect the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish residents, but NOWHERE does it grant anyone other than the Jewish People NATIONAL rights within the area of “Palestine”.

      Article 6 of the Palestine Mandate signed by the League of Nations in 1922 AND NEVER ABROGATED, required the Administration of Palestine (ie. Britain) to facilitate and encourage “close settlement” by JEWS on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.
      As I said, this obligation was never abrogated. Indeed, Article 80 of the UN Charter explicitly prohibits the alteration “in any manner (of) the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.” Thus, the aforementioned Article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine is as valid today as it was in 1922. Furthermore, when the Jordanians occupied and annexed Judaea and Samaria in 1948, it is THEY who were in illegal occupation – an occupation which was legally recognized by no-one other than Pakistan, Iraq and the United Kingdom. Thus, when Israeli forces liberated those territories in a DEFENSIVE war in 1967, they were liberating them from an illegal occupier, NOT from a sovereign power. These lands were never, in fact, allocated to any “High Contracting State” to whom the obligations of the 4th Geneva Convention could be said to apply.

      So much for the legalities of the Jewish “settlements” in Judaea and Samaria. As far as the wisdom of their existence goes – not to mention our moral and ethical rights – I could say much, much more, but I think I will leave that for an independent article, rather than a reply to your comment. These are, in any case, subjects I have discussed frequently and at length, on my own blog.

      • Leon Poddebsky

        Shimona, your excellent exposition would be appropriate when addressed to a sensible person who is untainted by irrational anti-Zionism and who does not crave the illusory status of pseudo-hyperhumanitarian; and does not lust after the approval of the antisemitic circles in academia.

  6. Just a few minutes ago (in the 10 am news bulletin) I heard the tail end of a news item on ABC radio: “There was a racially motivated attack last night in East Sydney by five “youth” on a group of people”. When I heard that “anti-semitic” remarks were hurled by the attackers at the group of elder people, i put 2 and 2 together.

    J’ACCUSE Bob Carr, the Greens and a big part of “the Left” to, if not cause, so at least encourage these kind of attacks. They are not as bad here – yet – as in e.g. Sweden, but if we remain silent vis-à-vis the defamation of Jews and Israel………(insert your own prediction here).

    “They do not hate the Jews because of Israel, they hate Israel because of the Jews! “

  7. The fact that there are Jews like Mr Mendes that defend Carr is a sad reflection on our community and is it any wonder Israel is loosing the PR war so badly in Australia. Obviously his standards when it comes to friendship , support and respect are very low much lower then mine thats for sure. I will always associate Carr with that awful Palestinian anti- Semite Hanan Ashwari.

    How ever his views and other Jewish academics like him are not surprising . I attended a Lunch on Wednesday to hear a representative speak from Monash university [ Not Jewish] who just came back from a trip to Israel on the Rambam program . Like all the Politicians, Journalists, Trade Union officials and Student leaders that are selected to go on this wonderful program she met with Palestinian / Arab officials as well. She commented that the Mayor of Bethlehem venom against Israelis was overwhelming and that after visiting Itmar Marcus’s ”Palestinian Media Watch’ to see how young Palestinian kids are being indoctrinated to hate Israelis and Jews was very depressing and that it would take generations for this to ever change.
    She made the comment her campus at Monash was a hot bed of anti- Zionists and she would struggle to get Israel’s views heard.
    Perhaps Monash a University that boasts the largest Jewish study department ACJC is competing with Latrobe and ANU as our most racist anti- Zionist University in Australia.

    Having followed the disgraceful actions and non actions of this department I have thought this Jewish Center may as well merge with the Arab/ Islamic Study department .

  8. Philip Mendes

    Dear all – you are doing precisely what the far Left does in its various blogs and facebooks pages – navel gazing, talking to yourselves, preaching to the converted, and launching personal attacks on anybody with different views. You will not convince anybody not already tied by an umbilical chord to your camp. And Poddebsky has been spouting this dogma for more than 25 years – who says people become more moderate with age? And Michael, why do you persist with these ill-informed attacks on the Monash CJC? Last week, I attended a lunchtime seminar they hosted by John Goldlust, a respected retired academic from Latrobe Uni who is conducting fascinating research on Polish-born Australian Jews who spent WW2 in the Soviet Union. There was about 30 people there of all ages and views. I spoke to three people afterwards: two were ex-school teachers of mine from Mount Scopus who were wonderful role models at that time. The third was a recently retired academic historian friend of mine who has been a fantastic ongoing mentor despite his political philosophy being much closer to yours than my own. The CJC was doing precisely what it was established to do – to promote diverse and critical debate and scholarship in the Jewish community. Why don’t you go along to the next seminar, and check it out? You will be surprised.

    • Philip Mendes, you are a hypocrite.

      You say we are “launching personal attacks on anybody with different views”
      Yet that is precisely what you are doing.
      Try reading what you have written here.

  9. Leon Poddebsky

    Mendes, here’s some homework for you:
    Exercise 1:look up the meaning of “dogma” in a reputable dictionary.
    Exercise 2: get a philologist’s opinion as to whether tagging someone who disagrees with you as an “extremist” is a “personal attack.”
    Exercise3: ask a moral philosopher if hypocrisy is a commendable trait.
    Exercise4: look in a mirror if you can bear to do so.

  10. Thanks for your response Phillip although patronizing it may be. I thought since you’d left the Jewish Palestinian advocacy group you had changed your attitude towards israel it appears not.
    Firstly I am not aware of CJC my criticism is against ACJC and I would be gobsmacked if you
    would think I was off the mark about this far left Looney group. It only shows how far apart we are in our way of thinking when it comes to Israel . If you think it is normal for the Head of a Community based Jewish study group to be offended if on a study trip to a German concentration camp one of the students takes out an Israel Flag out of her bag or if the head of this Jewish study group is offended by the Israeli National anthem or the Star of David on the Israeli Flag because it alienates Arabs and Muslims that live in Israel. If you think I am off the mark because I criticize the head of this Jewish study group for giving a platform and promoting Palestinian activists even those that promote the BDS, promote Islamic community advocates and and the same time is hostile to our Zionist organizations, Zionist youth movements and any promotion of Israel on Campus.
    If you think I am ill-informed about criticizing this Jewish study department’s other academics for taking part in Australians for Palestine propaganda events then I stand to be corrected.
    Phillip if University was a level playing field and the Islamic/ Arab study departments gave a platform for Pro- Zionist activists and promoted the Israeli narrative in the Palestinian, Arab, Muslim war against Israel. If Arab/ Islamic academics were actively supporting Israel and allowing students to hear from Israelis and Zionists then fair enough , but as you are aware we are not living in a perfect world.
    With due respect….” Diverse and critical debate my arse what a lot of crap and typical left wing claptrap….

  11. Dr Mendes states that a few recent bumps in the road should not blind Jews to the ALP’s support for Jews and Israel. He errs in describing a crevasse as a bump. Barry Cohen, no rabid reactionary, has parted company with the ALP because of its antisemitism. In Carr’s case, it may not be hostility, just Machiavellian canniness which rules out principles and advocates rule by the opportunistic psychopaths.

    It is interesting that Dr Mendes refers to his 2008 article as the position still he holds and by inferrence, vindicates Carr’s current view that Israeli settlements are illegal. One would have thought that an academic would have developed a more nuanced perspective over time.

    But let us look at his paper “Jewish West Bank Settlements are a bad but reversible mistake”. The article reaches correct conclusions. Its flaws come from faulty predicates and the uncritical acceptance of antisemitic Arab and anti-democratic far left tropes.

    Let us look at why “settlements” – actually nation building social developments – are “wrong”.
    It is false and melevolent “settlements” to assert that they were established to frustrate Arab desires for self-determination. They were started when the Arabs rejected peace and refused to negotiate. They occupy 1.7% of Judea and Samaria. The claim that Jewish villages near (but not around) Arab towns stops their development, is absurd.

    Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention refers to transfers of people to occupied territories. Hypostetising Judea and Samaria as having been a sovereign nation is as ridiculous as describing those areas as the name given to them by the Trans-Jordanian invader.

    Vilifying Jews who moved into their ancestral homeland by falsely stating that they are murders in below vile. It is dishonest in the extreme. And the building of towns and villages are not a burden to Israel’s ecomony because they are productive, pay taxes and relieve pressure on housing.

    And no need to raise the demographic bogey-man; the falsity of that argument was shown well before 2008. The situation in Israel is nothing like that of South Africa and insinuating that it is and condemning Israel in anticipation of that occurring is as silly as it is contemptible.

    By 2008, most of the military had been withdrawn and there were there in response to Arafat’s terror war on Jews. Public relations are a problem for two reasons: a Jewish leadership that fails to denounce antisemitic terrorist and their funders and glorifiers and “progressive” Jews who support islamofascists.

    Israeli should not withdraw behind the Green Line. The Arabs lost the wars they started and Jewish claims to its ancestral lands are far better than those of a murderous crew concocted by the KGB in 1964. The Arabs can stay in Judea and Samaria exercising unarmed autonomy, a status that would be envied by Kurds or Berbers. If they don’t like it, they can try to make nice to the Kuwaitis they betrayed in 1991.

    Lastly, it is laughable that Dr Mendes criticises Jews who condemn Carr as unthinking ideologues who will not escape the bounds to positions when he himself trumpets his falsities and propaganda from behind curtains of iron and bamboo.

  12. As Philip Mendes admonishes those who engage in disputing the validity of view-points “different” to their own (practically denouncing dialectics as such) and also dismissing as “navel gazing” necessary analysis of the dynamics of events within a specific political/social thread, one should consider what could motivate a Jewish intellectual to warn determined Zionists that, pursuing their ideology, they will inevitably damage the long-term well-being of the Jewish State.

    Intimately linked are subliminal concerns Philip Mendes and like him a known number of other Jews harbour for the well-being and long-term conditions of the Arabs occupying the traditional Jewish lands of Judea and Samaria.
    One may be inclined to think that obvious realities on the ground should move any human, Jewish included, in respect to the following:

    – Arabs in Judea & Samaria are evidently in a state of misery. They are among the poorest of Arabs. One can read suffering, anxiety, depression, revolt at their living conditions.
    They are evidently unhappy with their status, their miserable economic conditions.
    Most localities populated by Arabs in J & S look centuries behind neighbouring Israeli towns and cities. The economic profile of the same region is dismal, practically one may not talk about an “economy”.

    Educational institutions are also at levels decades behind decency and hope. All these realities, as suggested by Philip Mendes and, in fact, by legions of people concerned, are being implied as being Israel’s liability. Everything Israel does in relation to these Arabs is detrimental to the Arabs and, implicitly, as “shown”, to Israel’s well-being.

    There is nothing to suggest in the above argument that there may be the slightest trace of ……..Arab own responsibility for their dismal situation.

    Only recently the World Bank “discovered” that BILLIONS of dollars earmarked for the development of the “Palestinians” had been STOLEN by their own leaders.

    Whatever “education’ happens to be inculcated in the young generation of Arabs in the same region is predicated on hate and destruction. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs in Gaza do nothing but lead lives of parasites seemingly defending their “nation”, religion, “State Identity” producing nothing but terror, contraband, crimes of all kinds.

    The “settlers” are set upon by BDS activists simply because in but a few years they managed to CREATE, BUILD worthwhile establishments. They are being boycotted for goods they produce and worthy of export, they are boycotted for the cultural values they offer a civilised world. All achieved in just a few decades.

    On the same land, under the same Sun, what are the Arabs capable of?

    They are only capable of perpetuating a state of pity and self-pity, a state of misery and insurrectionist disposition and, conversely a state of anxiety among the highly ethical intellectuals who, seemingly, can extrapolate only the Jewish liabilities.

    Thus, we arrive at the condemnation of Israel by virtue of the “rationale” that those who are better equipped, those who posses the “upper hand” MUST inevitably bear the moral consequences of their superior station. Israel is found to be primordially responsible for the dire state those who hate them find themselves in.

    Practically one may surmise also that Israel is responsible for the corrupt behaviour of the PA criminals.

    Well, according to Philip Mendes, we should not object to such a position, simply because it “happens” to be different to ours.

  13. Otto, congratulations on your first JDU piece!

    I have nothing to say about Australian politics, but it is a pleasure to read your words on the front page.

  14. Thanks Michael, it’s a pleasure to read you on any page.

  15. Philip Mendes

    Okay have a nice life all. In the meantime, the rest of us will get on with dealing with the real world, and actually providing a serious and effective response to the anti-Zionist fundamentalists.

    • Ha that’s an oxymoran if ever I’ve heard one>.. and at al’ Monash…

    • @ Philip Mendes

      How can one person be so arrogant and self-opinionated?

      You breeze in here and all you do is to self-promote

      “When Carr launched the book I co-edited”

      “And my personal opinion on the settlements – they are not only illegal (see http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=6167”

      Talk about thinking you are G-d’s gift to the world. I dread to think how you are indoctrinating our
      Youth at university

      • Leon Poddebsky

        Paul Winter and Shimona from the Palace, in measured tones, presented arguments that were supported by factual evidence in their rebuttals of Mendes.
        If you were naive, you might have expected someone who is paid from the public purse to warm a university stool to respond in kind.

        I said, IF YOU WERE NAIVE!