Archive for November 2, 2011

Today’s Australian carries a front page exclusive: ‘Morale crisis on asylum patrol boats’. 

The opening paragraph alone contains the following:

“Influx of asylum seekers”  “straining the Navy’s patrol boat fleet to breaking point”  “exhausted”

Highly emotive words. Having worked with refugees, this interpretOr would like to add a few more that are characteristic of people that have had no choice but to flee the well founded fear of persecution:
 desperate, disenfranchised, deeply traumatised, terrified…bereaved, stateless, homeless…HUMAN

‘Moral crisis at The Australian’ may be more apt a headline, for in this same edition we may also read that five refugee children have just drowned.              There are no words adequate to describe such tragedy…

The United Nations vote on admittance of Palestine to membership of UNESCO has shown that the childish petulance displayed by the United States is not confined to the Republican Party.

After the USA and Israel could only gather a dozen supporters they have not only taken their bat and ball and stomped off home but it would seem they, and probably Israel have gone on a vandalism spree. They spitefully retaliated against the Palestinian people by attacking their internet systems and against the rest of UNESCO’s members by reneging on a $60 million donation. Was this money actually a bribe?

Why have the USA and Israel been such ungracious losers? Is it because they know they are being left behind by world opinion? How long can they maintain the illusion that a tiny significantly imported Israeli population should imprison and ignore the prior rights of land tenure, and trash the land and human rights of a much larger native population?

The Australian Government needs to be included in this small band of intransigent countries who it would seem, are incapable of voting in a way that reflects the will of their own people when that conflicts with the selfish aims of the USA. For Australia it is time to be a true friend but not an obsequious servant of the USA. We should always be supportive of genuine causes and difficulties being tackled by our long time ally but we should not aid bogus wars or unjust actions as is occurring in Palestine.

It is a nonsense for the US to say they favour a two state solution in Palestine/Israel when their actions are totally at odds with their words. Sure they claim that they want to have an agreement between Israel and Palestine before agreeing to Palestinian statehood, but this is simply an endless delaying tactic. Israel’s continuing theft of Palestinian land ensures every passing day makes it harder to make an agreement that is fair and equitable to Palestinians. If the USA was serious about a negotiated settlement leading to Palestinian statehood it would put a stop to this ongoing injustice.

What should become obvious to the USA is that their failed policies on Israel and Palestine means they are becoming marginalised not only in the Middle East but their shrinking support in the UN shows that many of their allies are fed up supporting such flawed policy and unjust outcomes. The worlds populace in East and West and countries of the North and South have had a gut-full of this endlessly damaging and degradingly stupid strategy that spreads violence and hatred around the planet.

When will we get a USA President and Congress that has the courage to stand up to the powerful and skilful Jewish lobby. Conversely in order to maintain US hegemony in the region will the USA attempt to undermine any attempt by the newly democratic Arab states to build strong peaceful relationships with their neighbours . If so they may find the rest of the world growing tired of violent US adventures and at a time they are losing there economic dominance this will diminish their military and economic reach and ability.

Surely it is time for the USA to bite the bullet and face their greatest current challenge which is to demand Israel comply with UN rulings on handing back Palestinian lands and end their occupation. Their current policy trajectory will end not only in further bloodshed but in further decline in America’s influence and respect. As Ghandi might have said, until Israel ensures that Palestinians achieve justice and a dignified existence then Israeli’s will not achieve theirs goal of a peaeful homeland either.

A conversation with Nelson, on a Freo street corner:

“See that dog over there? Tied up for fuckin’ ages. The owner’s left ‘im. Hours! If e comes back, I’ll thump ‘im.”

“I remember a dog on a beach, sometime in Asia. It was staked in the water so that it’d be half up to its ears at high tide. I shouted at the owner, he ran towards me and screamed…”

“If I was a dog, would you save me? ….Ma…dad chopped half his leg after he was taken away.        8 kids in our family. All gone. So where you from?”


“We was there. Brighton, Gloucester – real cold. An’ we went to South Africa.”

“God, what was that like?”

“My last name Nelson. Special in Africa….Ain’t nothing goin to happen to you here. You’re on sacred land.”

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