Michael Mansell rejects Jewish history

Michael Mansell - photo courtesy of ABC web site
Michael Mansell – photo courtesy of ABC web site

Tasmanian lawyer and indigenous activist Michael Mansell has rejected his nomination for an Australia Day award, claiming that it would be hypocritical of him to accept the award. He said “they are so inextricably linked to the coming of one race at the expense of another”.

If rejecting the country he lives in is what he calls activism on behalf of indigenous Australia, then good for him. But Mansell goes a step further, making the bizarre comparison that “it’s like asking the Palestinians to accept an ‘Israeli of the Year’ award”.

Is he suggesting that like the Aboriginals in Australia, the Palestinians were the sole occupants of the land for thousands of years before those pesky Jews arrived and took over? If so, he implicitly rejects thousands of years of Jewish presence in the land of Israel well before there was even a group of people called Palestinians.

Many Jews are strong supporters of indigenous rights because they empathise with the suffering, and see a link between the Aboriginal and Jewish long-standing connection to land. Indeed, collaborations like Yachad – an educational partnership between Australia and Israel that helps improve the lives of indigenous students in regional and rural Australia – help build bridges between the two countries.

Mansell, on the other hand, is grandstanding and piggybacking on a conflict he doesn’t understand. According to him, it would only be legitimate to accept an award if there were a treaty between indigenous and white Australians. Treaties and apologies are symbolic only – what’s really needed is genuine collaboration to improve the lives of indigenous Australians.

If he’s actually interested in better standards of living for indigenous Australians, he should look no further than Israel, where Arab and Palestinian citizens and residents enjoy a standard of living far higher and have a life expectancy much longer than most places in the Middle East.

David Werdiger is a technology entrepreneur, writer, and public speaker. He’s involved in several not-for-profits at director and committee level, and has an interest in Jewish community, education, and continuity. You can connect with David on LinkedInFacebookTwitter, or Google+.

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  1. Leon Poddebsky

    What Michael really does not understand is that, in the absence of the Canaanites, the People of Israel are the aborigines of The Land of Israel……oh, all right, Michael, the Jews are the aborigines of ‘Palestine.”

  2. Something is not quite right here?

    I read the article in the first link

    “Michael Mansell has been nominated for Senior Australian of the Year, especifically for work in improving the lives of Tasmania’s indigenous community.”

    What indigenous community in Tasmania?

    We are led to believe they were massacred to the last person?

    So where did Michael Mansell come from?

    He also says
    “Australia has not once apologised, and meant it, for the invasion of Aboriginal lands,” he said. “There has been no acknowledgement of the massacres that remain hidden under a ‘pioneers’ version of Australian history. There is no effort to genuinely undo the wrongs that still affect Aboriginal people today.””

    How on earth can he say that an apology is not sincere.?

    What have we to apologise for?

    No one alive today was here when the First Fleet arrived.

    He has to be kidding if he thinks no one has done anything to help Australian Aborigines. Millions of dollars has been poured into helping them and like the Palestinian Arabs, their leaders got rich on the money.

  3. Those naive Jews that go out of their way to support our indigenous Australians when all along the majority of them relate to the Palestinians even though unlike the Jews have never done anything to help their cause..Its about time for Jews wake up.

    • Leon Poddebsky

      Michael, what is the evidence that “the majority of them ” are antipathetic to Israel?
      That’s a genuine question; don’t read anything else into it, please.

      • Leon you must be an expert on the issue perhaps you can enlighten me please.
        Can you please give me some examples say in the last ten years or recent times where Aboriginal leaders representitives and or aboriginal organizations have publicly stood up , endorsed , advocated for israel or Jewish issues or even criticized Palestinian instragieince and violence against Jews .
        Can you give me any examples where aboriginals or indigenous Australians reciprocated thelong standing Jewish support ?
        I look forward to your response ?

        • Leon Poddebsky

          When you say that I must be an expert on the issue, I don’t know if you are being sarcastic.
          I know nothing about the dominant attitude in the Koori community towards Israel and Jewish national rights.
          That Kooris have not been vocal about this does not necessarily mean that they are hostile to us.
          Their People are faced with a multitude of very serious problems and challenges which need urgent attention and solutions therefore I would not blame them if they did not involve themselves in our problems.
          Your assertion, however, implied that, as a community, they are antipathetic to Israel.
          I genuinely want to know what evidence you have (apart from the inanities of the individual, Mansell.)

      • Ok Leon I was responding to your comment to me below…….

        Michael, what is the evidence that “the majority of them ” are antipathetic to Israel?

        I understood your comments to mean you question why I believe the majority of indigenous Australians are antipathetic to Israel and they are because as far as I am aware I can not find any support for Israel or Jews for that matter from any Indigenous Australians or their representatives and I think we all agree the average Indigenous Australian would be probably indifferent on the subject and would have a clue what we Jews have done for them. sure they have their own problems and Israel should not be a issue in their lives but it was Michael Mansell an indigenous Australian who brought Israel into the equation and in a derogatory manner which was wrong and ignorant of him in the first place …..

        .lets leave it at that….. & move on….

  4. I don’t think most even are aware of the support they receive from the Jewish Community.
    We give a huge amount.


    • Leon Poddebsky

      And it’s a good thing that we do support the Koori People.
      But what is the evidence, if any, that the dominant sentiment among them towards Israel is hostility?????
      Can anyone please answer the question??????????

      • It was Michael who raised the issue. I haven’t see it apart from in a couple Justice for Palestine Brisbane’s YouTube BDS videos.

        I think it is likely because these groups support their land right claims.

        I tend to think the average Aborigine wouldn’t even know what a Jew is, let alone know that we do a great deal for them.

      • Leon you shouldn’t make statements without backing it up with any evidence. I agree with many of the comments that aborigines, indigenous and kooris would probably wouldn’t have a clue where Israel was and majority would not even be aware of all the support and help they have been receiving receive from Jews for decades .
        Just because it would be nice to think they would all support Israels plight and should appreciate Jewish support and identify with us there is simply no evidence to back that up and you cant find any other wise you would have given us some examples.
        I am not criticizing indigenous people i was making an observation and its a shame because they should be on our side but they are not, if anything they are just indifferent just accept it.

        • Leon Poddebsky

          Michael, what have I said without “backing it up without evidence”?
          You seem to think that I was contradicting you, when in actual fact I was trying to get some information from you. It doesn’t look as if I’ll be getting it from you.
          Where did you read that I am assuming that the Kooris are on our side? Where did I say that? Didn’t you read my post?
          You simply cannot support your assertions about my supposed views on this.

  5. I see the Mansell analogy as being completely wrong for the following reasons.

    – his premise is that non-Aboriginal Australians have no moral rights or ethical justification to “intrude”, actually offend the Aborigines by , actually, RECOGNISING their presence and activism on behalf of THEIR OWN CAUSES

    Here is the first manifestation of unnecessary hostility by Michael Mansell toward a decent gesture. By supporting the Aboriginal cause, the non-Aboriginal Australian recognises their identity and implicit civil cause.

    – the absurd analogy with the Middle Eastern situation between the Jews and his Palestinian mates was brought up for the simple lack of a better rhetoric, a vacuum in sophistication.

    Can we deduce from a thoughtless incident that an entire Aboriginal population dwells on antisemitic or anti-Zionist prejudice?

    I doubt it, simply because they have enough problems of their own and most of them would not even know where, and if Israel exists.

  6. “Indigenous” people throughout the world – such as, for example, the Irish – tend to favor the Palestinian-Arabs who they likewise think of as an oppressed “indigenous” population.

    They aren’t.

  7. OK Michael, let’s move on.

    True, Israel is of ABSOLUTE no relevance whatsoever to the massive log of issues re our Aborigines. What seems to be of increasing relevance is that the Palestinian PR is creeping into all issues active in almost ANY country, particularly in relation to the that bloody irritable “SOCIAL JUSTICE” mantra.

    I would remind all those concerned that even the NSWJBD has created a “Social Justice” committee which, by the way, concerns itself mostly with……………..Aboriginal issues

    Back to how an Aboriginal Australian arrived at a stupid analogy, it is the merit of the Palestinian international successful PR onslaught eliciting on any occasion their “plight” as akin to other “human plight” recognised as “valid”. I wont even mention certain very well known Aborigines who converted to Islam and are being used by their new masters in this insidious campaign against Israel.

  8. The fact that many believe the false claim by Arabs to be the original owners of the land and moveover, to be a distinct group called ‘Palestinians’ reflects how successful propaganda can be. Sadly, the false claims have been taken up by many on the far left/progressive spectrum, including Jews, so now many people feel guilty if they don’t rush to support these supposed ‘Palestinians’ in the name of ‘social justice’ and ‘human rights’.

    The biggest fraud in history has been perpetrated on a gullible public, mainly due to the efforts of influential stake holders, such as the media, academia and elements of government.

  9. Is this site only for Zionist apologists?
    Its clear to me that the European/American colonial invasion of Palestine is just like the European colonial invasion of Australia. The latter was based on the legal fiction that Australia was unoccupied. The former is still being supported by the legal fiction that Palestinians occupation of their land was and still is legally irrelevant.

    • Hi Penny ,
      I am a bit confused about all this stuff. As far as I am aware when the UN voted [ including our country Australia] for a Jewish state and a Arab state, the surrounding Arab countries refused to accept the umpires decision and they all got together and attacked the then 600 mostly unarmed Jews. I believe that the Arabs living in that area partitioned to the Jews were told by the invading Arab armies to leave temporally as they would massacre all the Jews very quickly and those Arabs would be able to return very soon.. History shows us that the Arab plan didn’t quite work out and the 600 Jews were able to defend their new country against the invaders and the Arabs were not able to return.

      I am confused if as you allude to the Jews took over ”Palestine” what was their language at the time, what were the exact borders,what was the capital of Palestine,what was the name of their currency and what was their religion.

    • Penny, Israel has nothing to apologise for, and those who support Israel are supporting the right of Jews to live in their historic homeland, just as we support the rights of Australia’s indigenous people. The Arabs never had a homeland in Palestine, and only named themselves Palestinians in 1964 to claim a non-existent status to be the original people. They fooled much of the world, who were ready to believe the worst of Jews, and they in turn fooled people like you, who believe the propaganda.

      Maybe try reading an objective book on history, one written before propaganda replaced objective fact.

      Whe you find out the history, you will realise you have been terribly misled.

    • Hi Penny,

      I have to tell you that as an American Jew I could not be happier with the Jewish presence on historically Jewish land.

      For 1,300 years the Jews of the Middle East were an oppressed and abused minority whose numbers were kept artificially low by the Arab-Muslim imperial domination of the region.

      Once we threw off the yolk of that domination the great Arab majority in the Middle East launched a war against the tiny Jewish minority that continues to this day.

      And, yet, despite the fact that Arabs outnumbers Jews by a factor of 60 or 70 to 1 in that part of the world, the Jews still managed to hold off their enemies and build one of the most democratic and liberal countries in the world today.

      No other country has achieved the level democracy that Israel has under the kind of violent pressure that the Jews are under. It’s remarkable, actually.

      I could not be more proud.

  10. Ms Alston
    I am sure that genuine Zionist apologists are quite welcome here. It seems that distorted and tendentious opinions, such as yours are also allowed. As a relevant aside, those “invaded” ab originae “Palestinians” would have chopped off your fingers, tongue and anything else capable of conveying messages unpalatable to their dogmas.

    It has been said so many times that that apologists for the Palestinian virtues should experience for a change their adored ones’ cultural and political environment. From tested realities, open objections to an established line the “oppressed” Palestinians have inhabited on traditional Jewish land is not at all treated with the decency you found on this “Zionist site”. So, unless you complete your incongruous musings with the sentence:
    ” and I have nothing against the “civil liberties” peculiarities of the oppressed, colonised Palestinians”, your ethics on the same matter are well below the doubtful.

    Otherwise, I am sure, that whatever you wish to say, within the boundaries of verbal decency, is most welcome by yours truly, rabid Zionists.

  11. Admin, is there an active BDS or other anti-Semtic group in Tasmania? I remember there was a notorious anti-Semite called Olga Scully at one time.

    It seems Penny/Jamie is confused about her/his gender, as well as her/his facts!

    • Sources tell me that a few years back there were some issues with antisemitism in Tasmania, that is it.

      As to the BDS I am told they probably don’t know where Tasmania is.!

  12. Leon Poddebsky

    Penny, you might be interested to know that a large proportion of those Arabs who call themselves ‘Palestinians’ are in fact descendants of Arabs and other Moslems who immigrated into The Land of Israel illegally during the British Mandate between 1921-1948.
    They are, in fact, illegal settlers.
    The reason for their sudden interest in the Land of the Jews was that the Zionists had turned the malarious wasteland into a productive territory, creating many jobs for both Jews and Arabs as a consequence.

    • Leon Poddebsky

      Penny, another word: you seem to think that just because some Zionists’ places of departure for The Land of Israel were in Europe, Jews are Europeans.
      The facts are: 1. The Jews are the aborigines of that Land, but many lived in enforced exile
      2. Until fairly recently the majority of Israel’s Jews were descended from Jews who came from other Middle Eastern lands or are descended from them.
      In the entire Middle East (with the exception of the Arabian Peninsula), the Jewish presence PRECEDED the Arab one by about 1100 years.
      We, the Zionists, are a Semitic, Asian People, not a European one.
      Genetic studies have proved this (not that such studies are necessary.)
      Why do you think that our language of prayer and other discourse has for 4,000 years been HEBREW?
      Why are the languages of our exile like Yiddish written in the HEBREW alphabet?
      Why do we use the Semitic/Hebrew names of the months of the year?
      Why do the Jews still have HEBREW names in parallel with non-Hebrew ones?
      Why is our monumental literature like the Bible- Torah and Mishna written in HEBREW?
      Europeans? NO WAY.