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Monday, 18 April 2011

Those pesky Israelis

I wrote this a while ago, but given Marrickville mayor Fiona Byrne’s heroic decision (with the assistance of some Labor councillors) to expose her good ratepayers to millions of dollars in costs by boycotting Israeli goods, services and firms, it might be worth a re-run.
Oh, and special mention to Greens senator-elect Lee Rhiannon, who said last week that she believes implicitly in the rightness of the boycott, but isn’t taking that position to Canberra as policy.
What does she do? Leave it at home and only play with it on holidays?

News broke last week that a number of Australian unions are signing up to an international campaign to boycott Israeli goods.
“The Electrical Trades Union, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, the Queensland Branch of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union and the Finance Sector Union have all passed a resolution supporting the international campaign of “boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDO) against Israel,” The Australian reported.
Explaining the decision, Communications Electrical Plumbing Union national secretary Peter Tighe, said the executive decided to support the BDS on the basis of a “30 or 40 minute presentation from a delegate who had visited Palestine”.
That should show ‘em.
I can just see it now: Benjamin Netanyahu is having a meeting with his cabinet and the military high command when suddenly the hotline rings. Netanyahu picks up the phone.
“What’s that? You joke with me? You are sure? Can we negotiate? Is there anything at all we can do? No, I see. Thankyou.”
He hangs up the phone and, ashen-faced, he faces his cabinet.
“Ladies and gentleman, it is over, we are defeated.”
“Not, not the Surrey Hills sparkies?” Cries his defence minister.
“Not, the Parramatta plumbers? Cries the interior minister.
“Not the Graylands grano workers? Cries the foreign minister.
“I’m afraid so my friends, but it is worse,” says the shattered prime minister.
“Not, not the Brisbane bus conductors and the receivables clerk at the Boulder Branch of the Solid Paints and Liquids section of the Department of Useless Bureaucratic Inspectorates?”
A horrified silence is broken by the interior minister.
“But why? Why do we suddenly have these irresistible forces ranged against us?”
“They received a 30-minute presentation from a delegate.”
“My God, this person summarized 3,000 years of middle-east history and resolved the issues that have defeated the world’s most skilled diplomats and experts in international relations with for the last 60 years?”
“Yes,” said Netanyahu, “It was inevitable: he was a shop steward with the Penrith plasterers sub-branch.”
Can Mossad not do anything?”
“I’m afraid not,” said a tearful Mossad chief. “That cursed master strategist Rudd expelled the passport stamping clerk at our Embassy.”
“Can’t we use genuine German passports?”
”Nope, the Turkish terrorists are using those?”
“Australian passports?”
”In Lebanon.”
General wailing, crying and gnashing of teeth ensues as Netanyahu puts a call through to Tehran and asks to speak to president Notie Withadinnerjacket.
“We give-up. Would you like us to commit mass-suicide now, or wait for the show trials, then kill ourselves?”
Obviously, this is a silly scenario that I made up. Who, for instance, would believe that anybody founded in reality would describe Kevin Rudd as a master strategist?
And before the good people at Green Left Weekly mark me down forever as a fascist apartheid apologist, I’ll set out my stall.
Do I wish with all my heart that Mr Average Palestinian Bloke could get up in the morning, kiss the wife and kids goodbye and stroll down tree-lined boulevards to the office?
Yes, I do, but I’d also like to the think that on the weekend Mr Average Palestinian Bloke could head off to the Palestine-Israel football international with his good mate and neighbour Mr Average Jewish Bloke.
And I’d also like to think that he could that without having to worry about being caught in the cross-fire when gun toting wide-eyed Arab/MUslim militants from half a dozen neighbouring countries decide that they are offended by the cut of Mr Average Jewish Bloke’s kippah.
Which brings us to the tricky bit.
I’m prepared to admit that your average Israeli may have a teeny weeny bit of a problem with paranoia.
Call me crazy, but I think this just might have something to do 6 million European Jews being murdered by Adolph and the gang for being, well, Jewish.
Again, I’m probably going out on a limb here, but when you are surrounded by an awful lot of countries, just about all of whom think that wiping you off the face of the earth would be the best way they could contribute to world peace, you just might just be prone to keeping your powder dry just in case.
Nobody with eyes to see can deny that the Palestinian people have got the rough end off the stick – and Arab nations who refused to accept them also have a hand on the other end of the stick - but telling the Israelis, who have already in living memory been on the receiving end of one crack at obliterating them, that you won’t rest until you obliterate them probably isn’t a good opening gambit.
I wish it was all different, but I am realistic enough to know that my wishing is going to have as much effect as our trade union comrades’ wrong-headed gesture ie; none.
Mr Tighe said that his union executive “was not anti-Jewish … We think the Israeli Government is captive to some extreme view on the Right”.
He didn’t mention whether the delegate had sat down for a chat with the peace loving moderate centre-left guys from Hezbollah or Hamas (Proudly bought to you by major sponsors Iran and Syria - Building nuclear weapons capability: $10 zillion. Suppressing the rights of, well, everybody: $10 zillion. Wiping Israel off the face off the earth: Priceless!)