Friday 16 May 2008


Australia's political leaders once again find an uncommon and inexplicable unanimity on Israel's sixtieth anniversary

Morris Iemma is the latest Australian politician to join the predictable queue to heap unreserved praise on Israel on the 60th anniversary of its founding. Kevin Rudd beat him to it a couple of weeks ago.

It is indeed an extraordinary achievement that this small and complex nation, whose very birth is one of the most contentious events of the twentieth century, enjoys unequivocal support from both sides of Australia's political establishment and has done for decades. At least Israel's democracy is more vibrant. A broad array of views are expressed by politicians and citizens alike on Israel's troubled existence.

It is a great shame that Kevin Rudd's moral compass prompts him to take a stand in a Beijing University and express a complex and candid position on Tibet, but does not produce a similar nuanced view of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

The Chinese must look with envy at the achievements of Israel's propaganda allies. Already a big customer for Israel's high tech weaponry, perhaps they should seek a public relations consultancy as well.

And the Arabs - including the hundreds of thousands living here in Australia?


  1. Hi Mark,

    Would love to see your opinion on China's earthquake versus Myanmar's cyclone, particularly international response. I do enjoy getting your opinion on these issues.



  2. Hi Chris - Well the two responses have obviously been markedly different. And China's response is markedly different from what it would have been in the 70s.

    China's government has passed the point where contempt for its population, like that displayed by Myanmar is an option - and it knows it.

    No doubt China's approach is also informed by an awareness that there is likely to be some serious ugliness over the state run schools that were shabbily built.

    It's an interesting for me to watch some of the lunatic views about China / Tibet being expressed here in Australia - as though Western governments past and present have been citadels of righteousness....

    That stuff - which Chinese view as pure racism - doesn't advance the cause for a better China.