Actually, the Greens should be pretty happy with any increase on Saturday

I’m finding very amusing all the triumphalism from hardline rightwingers that the Greens’ small increase in vote in NSW means that THEY’RE FINISHED. That THEY’VE PEAKED. That they “will die on the vine without Liberal help”. That >insert attempt to persuade the progressive voters they despise to abandon the main progressive party here<.

What hubris.

Yes, the 3rd party that gets little coverage during the campaign – except from The Australian (that has pledged to “destroy” it) when it can beat up a mis-statement at a forum by one candidate, subsequently corrected, into a sledge of “anti-Semitism” against the party as a whole – apparently failed to win any lower house seats in a system stacked against any broad-based 3rd party doing just that.

Big deal. Did any Greens supporters really think the party was going to do particularly well on Saturday? I don’t even live in NSW and it was still obvious to me that they wouldn’t.

Clearly many NSW voters are pretty disengaged with politics – you can tell this by the fact that many of the right-wing parties actually campaigned on the “carbon tax” as if the state parliament could do anything about it. And clearly many voters believe that (a) only big parties can win elections, and therefore if you want to hurt one big party you must vote for the other and (b) that “a vote for the Greens is a vote for Labor” – rather than what it is, a vote for the bloody Greens.

But the point is most Labor voters would just have thought “I want to punish Labor, and the only way I can safely do that is to vote Liberal”. Of course they didn’t go to the Greens. To go to the Greens they’d have had to understand that (a) they could preference who they like (many don’t) and (b) that if the Greens plus Labor formed a majority it would not be anything like the Labor government they were turfing out. Without the hubris that comes from being able to treat Parliament with contempt, which is what Labor did and the Liberals are about to do, because you don’t have to worry about a Parliament you completely dominate, a Labor-Green government would be a very different beast to the previous government. It certainly wouldn’t be privatising electricity, for example.

But how many voters wanting to punish Labor would be thinking about the distinction between a minority and a majority Labor government? It’s hardly surprising they lunged en masse to the other big party.

The other factor is how much money Labor threw into the few seats in which the Greens were competitive. They could do that this time, with the resources you get as incumbents. But next time… well, next time they’ll have much less to draw on. The Greens vs Labor contest will be very interesting in 2015. Labor will really want to hope for News Ltd to pull something very special out of the bag if it’s going to fend off a genuinely progressive party in progressive seats. (Not that there are too many of those in NSW.)

As for the line that the Greens need the Liberals’ preferences – that’s about as damning an indictment on our electoral system as you can get. To win a single seat, any “left” party needs to get the approval of the right-wing party? How absurd is that!

But that’s what you get with single member electorates – a system in which, by definition, in each electorate some 30-70% of people are actually unrepresented. A system in which a party can get 14% of the vote and one seat; a system in which you can get over a million votes and win NO seats. It’s a long way from genuine democracy.

So – laugh it up, those gloating about how the system they’ve maintained keeps out genuine competition. Thrill to the benefits you get from making the barriers to entry so high that alternatives can never get to the point where they seriously threaten you. Giggle over your unassailable position. Congratulate yourselves on how little you have to care what the people actually think.

It’s not like we can do anything about it, after all.

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91 responses to “Actually, the Greens should be pretty happy with any increase on Saturday

  1. “when it can beat up a mis-statement at a forum by one candidate, subsequently corrected, into a sledge of “anti-Semitism” against the party as a whole ..”

    Byrne is the Mayor of a council that has adopted a boycott of Israel, Jeremy — I think its time you stopped trying to cover up her obvious anti-Israeli agenda.

    That the Greens would endorse such a person to represent them is an indictment of the party — but then, given they have also endorsed a Stalinist, a 9/11 truther and Clive (let me tell you about your father) Hamilton among others, comes as little surprise, and shows just how out of touch with mainstream Australia they are.

    Seriously, if the Greens ever want to be able to govern in their own right they need to consider who they have representing them far more carefully.

    The constant whining that the Greens’ failure to win seats is the fault of everything from the electoral system, to voters’ not knowing how to cast their ballot really is woeful.

  2. jordanrastrick

    Big deal. Did any Greens supporters really think the party was going to do particularly well on Saturday? I don’t even live in NSW and it was still obvious to me that they wouldn’t.

    Both Marrickville and Balmain were widely tipped to go to the Greens (by just regular punters, never mind Greens supporters). Neither did.

    Clearly many NSW voters are pretty disengaged with politics – you can tell this …… (b) that “a vote for the Greens is a vote for Labor” – rather than what it is, a vote for the bloody Greens.

    So its the NSW voters who are to blame for not understanding how preferences work and therefore not voting the Greens in as they should have?

    But next time… well, next time they’ll have much less to draw on. The Greens vs Labor contest will be very interesting in 2015.

    OK, lets not namby-pamby around with all this perfect hindsight analysis of the result. Would you care to take a bet?

    I’ll wager you at even odds that the Greens will win no lower house seats in the next NSW state election.

    As for the line that the Greens need the Liberals’ preferences – that’s about as damning an indictment on our electoral system as you can get. To win a single seat, any “left” party needs to get the approval of the right-wing party? How absurd is that!

    No. The ALP doesn’t need Liberal preferences, because it gets them anyway. Moderate Liberal voters who understand how preferences work will typically exhaust their vote or put ALP ahead of Greens. Even in the kind of once in a generation anti-ALP swing you saw on Saturday. Because the Greens are further to the left than what they want.

    This is why even with the ALP and Greens neck and neck on primary votes behind the Libs in Balmain, most models are still predicting it for the ALP.

    If you (or other commenters here) choose to try and duck out of this by the old semantic trick of calling the ALP “left” instead of “right”, then yes, it seems only reasonable that the sole “left” party, the Greens, with less than 1/3 of the vote in Balmain (at the moment, they’re in 3rd place on primaries at 30.4%) need some preference flows from the voters of one of those two main parties to get elected.

    Keep in mind that should the Greens sneak ahead of the ALP into second place, there’s quite a chance enough ALP preferences will flow rightward instead of leftward to actually give the seat to the Liberal party.

    http://www.abc.net.au/elections/nsw/2011/guide/balm.htm

    But that’s what you get with single member electorates – a system in which, by definition, in each electorate some 30-70% of people are actually unrepresented.

    We’re all unrepresented because there is no perfect mapping of our set of individual preferences onto a coherent and fair communal preference. Mathematically, it doesn’t exist.

    I’m very unrepresented because I disagree strongly with all of the big 3 parties on several issues that are very important to me. This is probably true of a large proportion of “engaged” voters.

    Anyone who supports an “other” candidate – not Greens, Libs, or ALP – is unrepresented under your proposed multi-member system (although I probably support the reform in principle.)

    Greens voters are pretty represented in the upper house now, so they at least get the privilege of reviewing legislation if not forming the Executive. In parliaments where highly multi-party houses do form the Executive, as you seem to want for Australia and its States, no one who votes for a given party can be certain what kind of coalition they will join to form power. A centre-left party might join forces with the centre-right, or with Greens, or with Communists. Either way some of their voters are going to be highly disappointed.

    Of course there are advantages to those models as well. But there are serious disadvantages and you can’t just blithely ignore them if you want to propose such a major reform to the system.

    Now for the time being stop blaming our particular implementation of democracy for the fact that your party didn’t do as well as its supporters were hoping.

  3. narcoticmusing

    But what is the solution, Jeremy? Australia’s democractic processes aren’t great, but I’d take it over a first past the post US system. And changing the entire party system would be a massive task – who would we trust to do it? At least we know this devil (albeit we obviously don’t fully understand it as you pointed out) but my point is that whoever redesigns it would do it with a clear agenda. It is why the republic failed at referendum, the designs were crap. I wanted a republic, just not that republic.

    Nevertheless it doesn’t help when you have mis-advertising campaigns that are reinforced for free by the shock jocks saying a vote for the greens is a vote for the ALP – we certainly had that crud here in the Vic election.

  4. Premier O’Farrell needs to take care. Large majorities has can be very dangerous.

    Look at what happened to Mr. Howard when he received a similar mandate. What Premier O’Farrell has received is a double edged sword.

    He is starting off with scorn for the Treasury, saying he will have an audit done by outside people.

    Premier is in the position that he has to take full responsibility for everything that occurs over the next four years. There is no one or nothing else to blame.

  5. Gavin:

    “Byrne is the Mayor of a council that has adopted a boycott of Israel, Jeremy — I think its time you stopped trying to cover up her obvious anti-Israeli agenda.”

    Again, opposition to Israel’s government is not anti-semitism any more than opposition to Gillard is anti-Australian.

    “The constant whining that the Greens’ failure to win seats is the fault of everything from the electoral system, to voters’ not knowing how to cast their ballot really is woeful.”

    Accurate, you mean. What was their “disappointing” vote on Saturday? 11% or something? And that gets them ZERO seats out of ninety-odd? That 11% of the population is to be entirely unrepresented in the house of government? Yeah, some democracy.

    Jordan:

    “Both Marrickville and Balmain were widely tipped to go to the Greens (by just regular punters, never mind Greens supporters). Neither did. “

    Yeah, I’d check who was making those predictions. The media always beat up the Greens’ chances so that they can then gloat when they fail to overcome the massive blocks to succeeding.

    “So its the NSW voters who are to blame for not understanding how preferences work and therefore not voting the Greens in as they should have?”

    More the media outlets who’ve worked hard to misinform them.

    “OK, lets not namby-pamby around with all this perfect hindsight analysis of the result. Would you care to take a bet?

    I’ll wager you at even odds that the Greens will win no lower house seats in the next NSW state election. “

    You’d need to give me extremely good odds. The system is stacked against them.

    “No. The ALP doesn’t need Liberal preferences, because it gets them anyway.”

    Obviously I wasn’t talking about the ALP, (a) because it isn’t particularly left (and gets into office by pandering to the right); and (b) because it’s one of the big two old parties that benefits from the present system.

    The point is that it’s an indictment on the system that for a new party to rise and compete with the big old ones, it apparently needs to pander to the big party on the opposite side to win a lower house seat. That’s an absurd requirement and highlights what’s so stupid about single member electorates.

    “We’re all unrepresented because there is no perfect mapping of our set of individual preferences onto a coherent and fair communal preference. Mathematically, it doesn’t exist.”

    I’m not calling for “perfect”. “Reasonable” would be a start. And no seats for 11% of the vote is not reasonable.

    We should have multi-member electorates so the barriers to entry are much lower. Not zero, but actually surmountable.

    “Anyone who supports an “other” candidate – not Greens, Libs, or ALP – is unrepresented under your proposed multi-member system (although I probably support the reform in principle.)”

    Not if they have support above whatever the threshold is. I’d prefer it be set as low as possible, so that the parliament actually does reflect community views.

    “In parliaments where highly multi-party houses do form the Executive, as you seem to want for Australia and its States, no one who votes for a given party can be certain what kind of coalition they will join to form power.”

    Well, they can demand that their party tells them, and if they do something they don’t approve of, not vote for them next time. Just make sure that the next time isn’t something ludicrous like four years away.

    “Of course there are advantages to those models as well. But there are serious disadvantages and you can’t just blithely ignore them if you want to propose such a major reform to the system.”

    I should start a thread on that at some point, with the fundamental premise being that leaving voters unrepresented in parliament in proportion to their numbers is a bad thing.

    “ow for the time being stop blaming our particular implementation of democracy for the fact that your party didn’t do as well as its supporters were hoping.”

    Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting anything much else from Saturday.

    Narcoticmusing:

    “But what is the solution, Jeremy? Australia’s democractic processes aren’t great, but I’d take it over a first past the post US system.”

    That would be a step backwards, definitely.

    I’m not saying we remove preferences – preferences are vital. I’m saying we make it more proportional. We set up an independent committee to evaluate the costs and benefits of the various models – but of course the practical reality is that neither big party will ever do this because the present system benefits them at the expense of all of the rest of us.

  6. If I was a NSW resident I’d be over the moon with the Christian Democrats and the Shooters and Fishers holding the balance of power in the Legislative Council. :-(

  7. Splatterbottom

    The question the Greens need to ask themselves is why they got so little of the massive swing away from Labor. At first glance you might think that the Greens would have attracted more disaffected ALP voters than the tiny number they actually got.

    The main reason was that after years of mismanagement people want a stable government. Voting for minority parties won’t achieve that.

    Maybe the Greens will mature and be able to present as a viable alternative. The problem is that people are now beginning to understand that the Greens are a hard left party. People see the drooling wolf dressed in Grandma’s nightie and they are saying “No thanks” in droves.

    Also the Israel-bashing twat from Marrickville didn’t help much either.

  8. Splatterbottom

    Autonomy: “If I was a NSW resident I’d be over the moon with the Christian Democrats and the Shooters and Fishers holding the balance of power in the Legislative Council. “

    That is no worse than having the Greens hold the balance of power in the Senate.

  9. “The main reason was that after years of mismanagement people want a stable government. Voting for minority parties won’t achieve that.”

    (a) That’s rubbish – the stability in our system is from the big public service departments. Minority parties aren’t going to suddenly tear them to pieces. Remember – for every crank party there are 90% to vote against them.

    (b) My understanding is that the people of NSW wanted non-corrupt government. Giving the Liberals complete control of the lower house may not as be successful at achieving that as they might have hoped.

  10. splatterbottom?
    really.

  11. **sigh** The usual “anti-Israel” = “anti-Semite” hasbarah and Greens-bashing. And Jeremy having to explain every last detail of the elections process yet again. Bleat on, sheeple.

  12. The question the Greens need to ask themselves is why they got so little of the massive swing away from Labor.

    I don’t understand the confusion about this. The Greens were never going to capitalise on that swing.

    Clearly, the primary objective of the electorate in NSW was to punish the ALP as severely as possible, knobbling any chance they had to be resurrected back into office at the last moment.

    So the damage wasn’t going to be limited to Labor, but include anyone else who is visible to the NSW as holding them up. And as Australians have seen very clearly over the last twelve months, that tends to be the Greens and some Independents.

    So apart from Labor, who else did poorly in the NSW poll? The Greens and some Independents.

    The real question is why the media continues to (as in, election after election) massively overstate the Greens’ chances. They were never going to surge to power in this election. NSW people have been salivating for conservative LNP government and that’s exactly what they’ve now got, in spades.

  13. Jeremy & RM,

    Where did I, or anyone else here, say Byrne was anti-Semitic ?

    I said her anti-Israeli stance, SB said her “Israel bashing” — I’m pretty sure not all Jews live in israel, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

    So why is it only Israel that Byrne wants to boycott, there’s any number of despotic regimes out there she could rail against — why not, for example, Sri Lanka as well, the government there hasn’t exactly been the champions of human rights in dealing with the Tamils’ desire for an autonomous homeland, and I’d have thought Australia would have as much influence there as we do with Israel.

    It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that she has just leapt onto the Left’s favourite international whipping boy, thinking it would gain her favour within her local electorate’s demographic would it ?

    As to the shortcomings of our electoral system, granted its not perfect, but I don’t hear or see members of any of the other smaller parties whinging about how they’ve been ripped off by it after every election.

    No Jeremy, its time for the Greens to seriously consider their policies and the quality of their candidates if they wish to become more than a minor party.

  14. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy: “the stability in our system is from the big public service departments”.

    This is a fairly hollow argument. If public service departments resist their ministers too much they soon find themselves with new leadership. The departments don’t determine policy. Ultimately the government gets the advice it wants. We saw the trickle-down effects of ratbag leadership when Howard’s brutality against refugees was mirrored in the actions of public servants as Cornelia Rau and many others can attest. Fish rot from the head first.

    Determined governments can subvert the system. We saw that with Obama’s appointment of 40 odd “Czars” to avoid Senate scrutiny and locally with the appointment of Tim “Thousand Years” Flannery as the Goebbels of global warming.

    ”My understanding is that the people of NSW wanted non-corrupt government.”

    This was certainly a major factor. I take it that you are not suggesting the swing to the Greens vote was lower than expected because they failed this criterion. In fact the voters wanted something more – competent administration. That is what the Greens failed to project.

    CBF, the Greens would likely have obstructed attempts by the new government to clean up the mess and introduce some much needed financial rectitude to NSW. The Shooters and the Nile group won’t be so obstructive. I doubt that we will be seeing a proliferation of guns or an increase in poofter-bashing as a result of their influence.

    Defixio, you make a valid point. This election was about years of cronyism and incompetence rather than particular issues or even the left/right divide. It is about removing an incompetent scandal-ridden government. The Greens and the independents were seen as part of the problem, not as part of the solution.

    Even now it is clear that Labor doesn’t get it. They are about to elect a discredited union hack to lead them.

    On the LNL forum last night there was a fairly sane suggestion of returning power to the branches rather than the party machine factions and the union bosses. But there were too many voices for retaining policy control in the hands of the state conference. They seem to have missed the point that this was a big factor in the loss. The elected politicians are voted in by the electorate and they should govern in the best interests of all citizens, not the faceless few and the union careerists who control the numbers at the state conference. If they want to take that view, they should not expect any but the party faithful to vote for them.

  15. Spatter wrote:
    That is no worse than having the Greens hold the balance of power in the Senate.

    I normally don’t respond to your splatter, Splatter, because I’m convinced that it causes considerable movement in the vicinity of your groin when you get a result from your baiting.

    However, to compare a party that has a platform covering a broad spectrum of issues (whether you agree with them or not) to parties that are narrowly based is, to be frank, laughable. Especially the almost single interest Shooters and Fishers. You may be comfortable with a group of Charlton Heston clones having control of the NSW Upper House. I’m not.

  16. Splatterbottom

    Autonomy chill out. It is much better to have a non-obstructive minority party with the balance of power, particularly when there is so much work for the government to do in cleaning up after years of ALP maladministration. I doubt they will actually be able to drive policy in the way the federal Greens have.

  17. “I said her anti-Israeli stance”

    Israelis are the people. Israel is the country.

  18. “Israelis are the people. Israel is the country.”

    Yes, and ?

    Not all Israelis are Jews.

    If I believed or wanted to accuse Byrne of being anti-semitic I would’ve used that precise wording — as it happens I don’t think she is, I think she’s just a fool who thought she could appeal to the demographic of her electorate by demonising Israel, happily the voters of Marrickville evidently saw through her.

  19. “So why is it only Israel that Byrne wants to boycott, there’s any number of despotic regimes out there she could rail against — why not, for example, Sri Lanka as well, the government there hasn’t exactly been the champions of human rights in dealing with the Tamils’ desire for an autonomous homeland, and I’d have thought Australia would have as much influence there as we do with Israel.” – Gavin.

    Ah yes, the old others-are-worse- gambit.

    Complete and utter bullshit of course….. unless the users of this argument really do believe that only the absolute worst state/country can be the subject of action to address its wrongs, and everyone else should be left alone to do what they please as long as it’s less bad than the ‘worst’.

    Is that what you believe Gavin?

    If not, then it’s just special pleading – Israel should suffer no consequences for its actions.

  20. Splatterbottom

    When a country is selectively targeted then you start to wonder if the attention it gets is based on what it does, or on some other factor.

    Take the UN Human Rights Council. It singles out Israel by having a majority of its resolutions devoted to the condemnation of Israel. This clearly raises the question of anti-Semitism.

    Anti-Zionism is in many cases closet anti-Semitism. Support for racist groups like Hamas is rife among leftists when anyone with any decency at all would, at the very least, keep a discreet distance.

  21. Try addressing the question I asked nawagadj, why did the Mayor of Marrickville decide that of all the badly behaved nations in the world, only Israel should be singled out for a boycott ?

    Unless you believe that they alone should have to face the consequences for their actions.

  22. why did the Mayor of Marrickville decide that of all the badly behaved nations in the world, only Israel should be singled out for a boycott ?

    Perhaps because, of all the badly behaved nations in the world, Israel is one of the few where political protest action in Australia might have an impact? Maybe because Israel acts with the notional support of our government and there’s an element of “not in our name” opposition to the acts Israel is perpetrating?

    I don’t buy into this “focusing on Israeli misbehaviour is anti-semitism” nonsense for a second, and neither should any other thinking observer.

    For one thing, the ideology of those attacking it is so fundamentally opposed to any form of racial or religious discrimination that the idea that it is the jewishness of Israelis that actually fuels their opposition to Israeli politics is borderline idiotic.

    Isrsael is a particular target of the Western Left because it is a Western State that is behaving as a violent rogue with the active support of our governments. The desire of Australian activists to focus on a ‘problem’ nation that we currently support over an above other nations is perfectly rational, and does not for one minute form a rational basis for an accusation of anti-semitism.

  23. jordanrastrick

    For the record, I am anti-Israel in the sense I consider myself strongly opposed to (current) Israeli foreign policy, if for no other reason than I think it is against Israel’s own medium term interest. FWIW I have at least one (non-Israeli) Jewish friend who is considerably more “left-wing” than me in this respect. That leads to some interesting facebook discussions with her more pro-Israel friends and acquaintances….

    I definitely support the right of Israel to exist.

    I am not anti-Israeli in that I have no problems with Israelis as a group of people who happen to be citizens of a particular country. Attributing blame to a group of people collectively like that is like holding all of you personally culpable for the failures of our government to help the Indigenous people, or holding each one of the billion or so Chinese citizens in the world to account for their government, or .

    And I certainly don’t think I could be called an anti-Semite, except to the extent that we all have generally racist pre-conceptions from culturually inherited stereotypes that we must make conscious efforts to avoid.

    Now can we avoid this stupid semantic side-track into what opposing Israeli policies should be called? Personally I’m not even so much having problems with Byrne’s stance, as her reversal. It wasn’t merely a clarification of her having “mis-spoken.” It was a “I will try to introduce such a motion into parliament” through to “Oh wait I won’t, that’s actually a view my party doesn’t support at all”, in a very short space of time.

    There’s got to be allowance for some mistakes, but no-one’s letting go of e.g. Abbott over Gospel vs Non-Gospel Truth or Gillard over No Carbon Tax vs Carbon Tax.

    Byrne deserved scrutiny. It doesn’t matter now because I think its pretty clear she lost, but you can’t just dismiss this story as an evil Murdoch beatup. I’m not going to argue that the Australian isn’t trying to apply the blow torch to the Greens – its abundantly evident that they are. Maybe the Greens know a little of what it feels like to be the ALP now? Anyway, so long as the Oz is only being selective in where it applies its scrutiny, and doesn’t bend the facts themselves, reasonable and politically engaged people (like the commenters here) should be able to take what they’re saying and discuss it on its merits. And on its merits, to me, Byrne had a brain explosion in trying to take a highly controversial policy that worked fine when she was just a Mayor to the State parliament level, without running it past her colleagues properly. And she got caught. And the Greens tried to spin their way out of it – badly, because they aint got no spin doctors.

    Thoughts?

    P.S. Oh, and returnedman, I’ll admit to being very curious as to who here you think needs to have the electoral system explained to them by Jeremy.

  24. “I don’t buy into this “focusing on Israeli misbehaviour is anti-semitism” nonsense for a second, and neither should any other thinking observer.”

    I only quoted one part but that’s a great post mondo rock.

  25. SB- “Take the UN Human Rights Council. It singles out Israel by having a majority of its resolutions devoted to the condemnation of Israel. This clearly raises the question of anti-Semitism.”

    Yet when you ask someone making such a claim to go and count up the resolutions and demonstrate such a thing, they can’t back up their wild claims.

    Which raises the question of why they say such things.

  26. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “For one thing, the ideology of those attacking it is so fundamentally opposed to any form of racial or religious discrimination that the idea that it is the jewishness of Israelis that actually fuels their opposition to Israeli politics is borderline idiotic.

    This undoubtedly one of the least rational arguments I have ever heard: “We can’t be anti-Semitic because we’re leftists.”

    Your argument that in the case of Israel your protests might have an impact is just as dire: “The rest of the world hates Israel and if we pile on we might crack them”.

    But the fundamental flaw with your argument is your characterisation of Israel as a rogue state. Israel is a civilised democratic country surrounded by aggressive Jew-hating despotisms. Three times since its foundation in 1948 it has had the surrounding nations declare war and try to eliminate it and drive its Jewish citizens into the sea. Everything Israel does to defend itself is damned by the left. When they blockade Gaza to keep out weapons that will be used against them they are damned. Even when they build a wall to stop their citizens being killed by terrorists there is an international outcry. If they respond to a constant barrage of rockets and mortars they are vilified.

    Obviously Israel’s critics see no value in criticising the constant terrorist attacks on Israel and its citizens. Instead they approve of terrorism, mouthing platitudes about the right of the Palestinians to “resist occupation” which is nothing more than sickening doublespeak for “Terrorism is fine by us provided you do it against Jews”.

    One recent rally at Tahrir Square drew over a million supporters. It was addressed by Yussaf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood. Among other things he is famous for asserting that Allah has punished the Jews throughout history, the last time through the agency of Hitler and, Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers. Iran is developing nuclear weapons and dreaming of the day Israel ceases to exist. Hezbollah is preparing for the destruction of Israel as is the Hamas branch of the Muslim Brotherhood who are poised to gain significant power in Egypt.

    This is about an impending holocaust. Singling out Israel for special treatment will only make this more likely to happen. It is a morally depraved course of conduct.

  27. “Try addressing the question I asked nawagadj, why did the Mayor of Marrickville decide that of all the badly behaved nations in the world, only Israel should be singled out for a boycott ?” – gavin

    Because it’s a free country.

    Because when any individual takes action on any subject that matters enough to them, it is based on a complex array of interests, abilities and judgments about what may be an effective and useful allocation of their time and energy.

    A more pertinent question is why would anyone question efforts to reduce injustice.

    It’s just special pleading…… unless of course you also demand that supporters of Tibet explain why they aren’t focussing on somewhere worse instead of just ‘singling out’ China.

  28. jordon,

    I’ve only read the link you provided so don’t know the detials, only that the Oz piece appeared typically shoddy. Perhaps its story is 100% accurate, but as written, it’s a steaming pile of beat-up.

    Perahps Byrne forgot to run her personal preferences through the party screening, I don’t know, but this does point to a well-known systemic problem in our media-political complex. Pollie says something mildly off the cuff/controversial, media sniff a story that can be cast in the ‘controversy’ style, extracts some useful quotes, spins them into the appropriate formula, and pollie reacts to reduce perception of controversy. Party and pollie get more ‘professional’ to reduce unwanted confected ‘controversies’ and produce more anodyne stuff, which gets the media digging harder for the juicier stuff…..and round and round it goes.

    A more mature and productive response all round, would have been for Byrne to say what she thought, for the media to examine it with some degree of detached objectivity and so add to the public debate (you know, so the ‘public’ can hear a range of real opinions) and for the party to be relaxed about a candidate being a bit ‘off message’.

  29. Splatterbottom

    ‘Gadj, Here is a list of 33 (out of 51) resolutions passed against Israel up the current session.

    If you want to mount some argument that the UNHRC doesn’t single out Israel please present your analysis.

  30. narcoticmusing

    I dare say it is because the Right is so pro-Israel that they feel the need to demonise anyone who, for very good reasons, opposes using a sophisticated military machine against a significantly less sophisticated enemy. The Christian Right see Israel and the Jewish people’s place in Israel as important to their faith. Perhaps if Israel weren’t using such horrific tactics and committing human rights violations against a comparatively weak opponent, the UNHRC wouldn’t make so many rulings against it :)

    Funny that it is suddenly in the mind of the Right, it is the UNHRC who are at fault – it couldn’t possibly be Israel’s poor behaviour.

  31. SB,

    More link spam?

    The numberr of resolutions passed by the HRC is in the hundreds.

    Most of those about Israel are simply repeats – ie having ignored the initial resolution (such as EJ and GH), the resolution is re-endorsed noting the lack of compliance with it. I think that accounts for over half of them. Another large chunk of resoltions are those that deal with Israels refusal to co-operate with investigations.

    And it ignores the rest of the HRC activities, such as the country HR reviews that make up a large part of the HRC work. The last session reported on; Kenya, Turkey, Laos, Kuwait Belarus, Spain, the one before that; Qatar, Nicaragua, Italy,Kazakstan, Slovenia, Bolivia, Fiji, El Salvador, Angola, Iran, Madagascar, Egypt, Bosnia and Sudan.

    But, no, it’s all about Israel!! …….. if you’re stridently one-eyed and rely on wacko groups like UN Watch to do your thinking for you.

  32. jordanrastrick

    The Middle East peace process is like an alcoholic or the NSW ALP.

    I.e. It probably needs to hit some sort of “rock bottom” for the necessary catharsis to occur before the work of healing and repair can begin.

    I support the idea that creates an independent Palestinian state with a Jewish minority and an independent Israel with an Arab minority, separated by a wall. Minorities in either state who don’t want to live in their “enemy’s homeland” have a choice to move or deal with it. It seems like it could work.

    Or, a one state solution that is truly secular – which means NOT in any way defined by a sense of Jewish identity beyond its historical roots, unlike current Israel where Rabbinical law holds a lot of sway in a lot of areas. The transition to that has to be at least an order of magnitude tougher than the East German / West German reunification, though.

    Or Israel partially renounces sovereignty for a 10 year period and begs for a metric fuck tonne of UN peacemakers on the ground from everywhere that’s not America and not the Muslim world (since there’s too much perception of bias on either side there.) And the peacemakers are in charge in the occupied territories, and control the checkpoints into Israel proper alongside the IDF. And the IDF liases with the peacemaking force about any militants and lets them take care of rocket attacks etc, and only kicks into Serious Business Mode in response to Real War instead of all this Ad Hoc Terrorism Retaliation And Suppression business they have going.

    Or the newly democratic Egypt (hopefully?) takes back sovereignty of Gaza, and we don’t worry too much for the time being about the West Bank since its Fatah controlled. And the U.S. parks one giant fucking aircraft carrier group permanently in the Eastern Mediterranean and says “oi Egypt etc, attack Israel again like back in the ol days and we will Bomb The Living Fuck Out Of Your Countries And Turn Them To Dust.”

    These are all ideas that have been more or less canvassed by people over the years, and they all could work. But things aren’t “bad enough” at the moment to force any of them to be implemented. And there aren’t “two sides”, there’s like a million sides, and a centre-left Israeli Knesset negotiating a peace with a moderate-controlled Hamas aint going to cut it because in three years Likud will be in power again and the nutbags will have launched a coup in Gaza and neither of those two groups is going to consider itself bound by the promises made by the last lot in power.

  33. Splatterbottom

    Link spam, ‘Gadj? More like trying to avoid the facts on your part. Here is what Kofi Anan said: “I deeply appreciate the valuable work performed by UN Watch. I believe that informed and independent evaluation of the United Nations’ activities will prove a vital source as we seek to adapt the Organization to the needs of a changing world.”

    This link shows clearly the Israel obsession of the UNHRC. If you’ve got a more accurate analysis let’s have it. Oh and by the way, how many countries have a standing UNHRC agenda item dedicated to them and which one is it?

  34. As I said above SB, most of the resolutions are just repeats of 3 basic initial resolutions – East Jerusalem, Golan, Palestinian self-determination – that have been ignored by Israel.

    Resolutions themselves are a very small part of what the HRC does. Many of them represent nothing much more than a debate and a vote, then a piece of paper. This is especially true of the ‘reaffirm’ type of resolutions.

    But this is nicely symbolic of the real problem; a group that harp on about a tiny portion of the HRC’s activities, brought up repeatedly on a post about the Greens NSW election performance.

    Talk about obsession!!

  35. “Israel is a civilised democratic country surrounded by aggressive Jew-hating despotisms. Three times since its foundation in 1948 it has had the surrounding nations declare war and try to eliminate it and drive its Jewish citizens into the sea.

    Ah the rabid right attempts to give a treatise on the state of Israel and its actions since its formation in a few, ‘par for the course,’ paragraphs. Outstanding! But you see they have to do that, because it was a load of rabid right wing homicidal maniacs that tried to commit genocide on the long suffering Jews. Along with the other ‘Untermenschen’ of Europe. But wait the Nazis were lefties weren’t they? Yea sure they were.

    The guilt trip of all guilt trips.

    So what ever Israel does now is just OK by the righteous right. Lets throw out the facts, and go with the emotional blackmail. Hey it works every where we nearly pulled it off here with our own Aboriginals.

  36. This is about an impending holocaust. Singling out Israel for special treatment will only make this more likely to happen. It is a morally depraved course of conduct.

    Hilarious.

    The Israelis currently occupy Palestinian land with an utterly overwhelming military force, have pushed the Palestinians people into walled-off ghettos, limited their access to resources and trade, and suppressed their political independence. But it is Israel that is the victim here; Israelis that are the people at risk of another holocaust.

    What a laughable inversion of reality.

  37. Splatterbottom

    ‘Gadj, the UNHRC was formed in 2006 as a result of its predecessor’s politicisation and bias, and the unseemly number of human rights violators like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan as its members. If anything these problems are worse under the UNHRC. Saudia Arabia and Pakistan are still members, along with Cuba, Uganda, Mauritania and Libya (the latter now finally suspended).

    It is these human rights offenders that sit in judgment of other countries when they do their country reports, as they will soon do for Australia.

    Have you ever wondered why the UNHRC don’t look at the human rights violations so prevalent under sharia law countries? It is because it has a rule preventing that issue even being raised before it. Obviously not offending the religious beliefs of human rights violators is more important to the UNHRC than actually protecting human rights.

    But there is one country that can be bashed with impunity, never mind that it is the only democracy in the Middle East, that it’s citizens (including over a million muslims) have more freedom and rights than any other in the region Israel. And so the Western leftists pile on, happy enough to advance the cause grotesque human rights violators, of murderous terrorists and deluded enough to believe that hastening the murder of another 6 million Jews is a good thing.

  38. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “Hilarious.”

    Exactly the kind of sick-fuck reply I would expect of you. When the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood (which is poised to assume a position of power in Egypt) says that he would like to see a repeat of the Holocaust, when Iran is developing nukes for just that purpose, all you can say is “Hilarious”.

    UNWRA recently announced a plan to teach the holocaust in the schools it runs in Gaza – the response was outrage from the Palestinians: “The agency will open the gates of hell with this step” .

    Not so long a go tens of thousands of Palestinians came each day to Israel for work. Historically a large number of Arabs migrated to the area to take advantage of the economic benefits Jewish migrants brought with them. All this stopped because of the terror campaigns waged against the Jews. However all measures Israel takes to protect its citizens have been roundly condemned, as has Israel’s response to the thousands of rockets fired into its territory. The reason for this condemnation , as best I can tell, is that there weren’t enough dead Jews for the liking of Israel’s critics.

  39. Unbunch your panties SB.

    If you can only gain traction by pretending that my description of your argument as hilarious is equivalent to an expression of mirth at the idea of a second jewish holocaust, then you have fallen far.

    And if you still view Israel, with its nuclear arsenal, overwhelming military might and occupying force, as the oppressed victim in this conflict then you have moved beyond reality and into the fantasy realm. A solution to the Israeli/Palestine conflct requires the exclusion of simplistic, hard-line ideological viewpoints such as yours.

    Congratulations on being irrelevant.

  40. nawagadj

    “Because it’s a free country.”

    As is Israel, despite the efforts of it’s neighbours and ignorant Western activists like Byrne and others from the comfort and safety of their loungerooms thousands of miles away.

    At any rate, this thread has veered way off its intended topic which was the performance of the NSW Greens.

  41. That’s the problem with hard-right ideologues like SB. Once you remove from the equation the notion that Israel has done or could do anything morally or legally wrong – and when you’re defending yourself from terrorists, all bets are off, aren’t they? – then the only rationalisation for any criticism of Israel that remains is anti-semitism.

    There is absolutely no point whatsoever in debating the Israel/Palestine situation with anyone this one-eyed. Don’t waste your time. All you are doing is giving him a leg-up to engage in his usual holier-than-thou grandstanding.

  42. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “If you can only gain traction by pretending that my description of your argument as hilarious is equivalent to an expression of mirth at the idea of a second jewish holocaust, then you have fallen far.”

    Mondo, that is exactly what you did – made light of the very real threat of another Holocaust. It is exactly as if you had described an argument to the effect that the Nazis might one day perpetrate the Holocaust as “hilarious”. I presented evidence of the desire of prominent and powerful people to perpetrate another holocaust. You response was to laugh. If only it were a joke. In fact Israel is surrounded by hostile powers intent on its destruction and all you can do is giggle.

  43. Forget it mondo.

    SB’s obsession with Israel is immune to reality.

  44. “Mondo, that is exactly what you did “

    Rubbish, he was mocking your faux hysteria:

    “made light of the very real threat of another Holocaust. It is exactly as if you had described an argument to the effect that the Nazis might one day perpetrate the Holocaust as “hilarious”.

    And there you go again:

    “And if you still view Israel, with its nuclear arsenal, overwhelming military might and occupying force, as the oppressed victim in this conflict then you have moved beyond reality and into the fantasy realm.”

    You can read, you can write yet you fail to comprehend. (you do comprehend but you’re disingeneous , which is worse)

    SB, you have zero credibility, you’re a right wing religious conservative who claims to be a centrist (LOL). Mind you, I enjoy your posts. ;)

  45. You’re right SB.

    If a neighboring, US-backed jewish state with overwhelming military capability was occupying Germany in the 1930s, subjugating its politics and subjecting its people to economic ruin then yes, I would have mocked anyone making the argument that a holocaust was impending.

    But that scenario is all fantasy – so far removed from reality that it barely even qualifies as a hypothetical. It’s relevance to the Israel/Palestine issue today is precicely nil.

    In fact your attempt to equate the situation in Israel today with the plight of jews in Nazi Germany, apart from being idiotic, only goes to prove how irrelevant your views on this issue really are. Much has changed in the last 80 years SB and it’s time you informed your views on the issue with what is actually happening, rather than with your personal delusions.

  46. “Not so long a go tens of thousands of Palestinians came each day to Israel for work.”

    Hilarious! And why wouldn’t they? They own it.

    Comedy Gold!!! Arabs migrated to the area. You can’t make this stuff up.

    A Monty Python history and geography lesson. You are so funny SB I think I am going to dead set piss meself.

  47. ““Not so long a go tens of thousands of Palestinians came each day to Israel for work.”

    And it was hit or miss as to whether the border guards let them in. Then they (The Govt of Israel) just locked up the entire population of Gaza! (for the sins of a few – collective punishment).

  48. narcoticmusing

    In fact your attempt to equate the situation in Israel today with the plight of jews in Nazi Germany, apart from being idiotic, only goes to prove how irrelevant your views on this issue really are

    I’d go one step further and suggest it is insulting and patronising to the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany to compare them and that horrific situation to the situation in current day Israel. Comparing current Israel to the holocaust, belittles the significance and horror of it. Nations who hate each other is very different from a nation that hated its own people and attempted to exterminate them.

  49. I can see Godwin just around the corner …

  50. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “your attempt to equate the situation in Israel today with the plight of jews in Nazi Germany….”

    Is that what I said, Mondo? Or did I say that they were facing a new Holocaust? Is that a distinction you can even understand?

    Anyway, let’s look at the situation of Jews in the Middle East.

    They have been expelled from all muslim countries in the region and their assets seized. They are banned from even entering Saudi Arabia, that exalted member of the UNHRC which will soon be sitting in judgment of Australia’s human rights record.

    In WWII the Palestinian leader and Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheik Amin al-Husseini, (he was also Arafat’s uncle) went to Germany to assist Eichmann in the extermination of the Jews there and to plan their extermination in the Middle East when the war was won. The difference is that the Germans have renounced their anti-Semitism whereas in the Middle East it thrives in the rancid racist culture of the region. Since then the neighbouring Arab countries have thrice joined together to fight wars with Israel with a view to its destruction and waged a constant campaign of terrorism. Whena family is murdered the killers are publicly honoured and Western excuse it as “resisting occupation.

    Hamas, the Gaza subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood is constantly firing rockets into Israel and looks likely to get access to more powerful weapons when its parent entity gains sufficient power in Egypt to allow this to happen. Iran speaks of its desire to see Israel disappear from the face of the earth and proceeds to develop nuclear weapons. It is not only the current maniac we need to worry about but also his “moderate” predecessor Rafsanjani who has helpfully pointed out that a nuclear strike would destroy Israel but only damage the muslim world. Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, regularly calls for the destruction of Israel and has accumulated over 40,000 rockets for this purpose.

    But according to Mondo and his like-minded trolls Israelis should have not a care in the world.

    And apparently the real clincher is that Israel has nukes. Sadly nukes aren’t all that effective a deterrent if you are dealing with people who say that their strength is that they love death more than their enemy loves life. It will be a dreadful catastrophe if Israel ever has to use them.

  51. Andrew Robb, trying to equate a call for a boycott on Israel with anti semitism. Faine called him on it, Robb wriggled but wouldn’t say ‘yes – a call for a boycott on Israel is anti semitic’, he wriggled and wriggled, of course Robb is too intelligent and he knows that they are different things. Pity others don’t, they take the bait from the dog – whistlers.

  52. Splatterbottom

    I hope the Greens go hard on this issue. It will give them an opportunity to demonstrate why they choose to single out and demonise the one Jewish state in the world . It will also see them consigned the the nether regions of politics occupied by other dog-whistling racists. Maybe their next alliance will be with Pauline Hanson.

  53. ” dog-whistling racists

    How is calling for a boycott of Israel racist?

    “Maybe their next alliance will be with Pauline Hanson.”

    Nah, they don’t even attend the same rallies. Unlike some conservative Christians.

  54. How is calling for a boycott of Israel racist?

    It’s not. It’s not even a form of religious discrimination.

    Those of SB’s ilk realise that they can’t possibly sustain any sort of rational argument to justify their claim so they invariably give up, and simply revert to stubborn repetition of the same baseless smear.

    If you criticise Israel you’re an anti-semite.
    If you criticise Israel you’re an anti-semite.
    If you criticise Israel you’re an anti-semite.

    Say it enough times and you’ll come to believe it as an article of faith.

  55. “If you criticise Israel you’re an anti-semite.
    If you criticise Israel you’re an anti-semite.
    If you criticise Israel you’re an anti-semite.

    Say it enough times and you’ll come to believe it as an article of faith.”

    Yes – Goebbelian.

  56. Splatterbottom

    Greens and others campaigning for a boycott of trade, investment and cultural and academic exchanges with Israel need to explain why they have singled out the one Jewish state in the world for this special treatment.

  57. SB – Do you believe that calling for a boycott of Israeli trade is anti-semitic?

    It seems that you, Turnbull and Robb are the ones making a big deal out of what race/religion Israeli’s are. Besidesa, they aren’t all Jews.

  58. BTW – Turnbull and Robb are the one’s making the claim that the boycott would be anti-semitic, the ONUS is on them to back it up.

  59. Splatterbottom

    RobJ, the charge of anti-Semitism is not without foundation where the one Jewish state in the world is singled out for demonisation and discrimination. Objectively that appears to be anti-Semitic. Subjectively who knows? Leftists manage to delude themselves about all kinds of things.

  60. ” Leftists manage to delude themselves about all kinds of things.”

    To which I respond – you’re the one who believes in a sky fairy. :)

    Also you’re the one making a big deal out of their religion/race. NOT ALL ISRAELI’S are Jews, evidently you don’t understand that or as per usual you’re just being dishonest (Like Robb).

  61. Greens and others campaigning for a boycott of trade, investment and cultural and academic exchanges with Israel need to explain why they have singled out the one Jewish state in the world for this special treatment.

    To the likes of you? Or else what – you won’t vote for them?

  62. You can’t explain things to SB, he’s susceptible to the goebbelian line of propaganda.

  63. Splatterbottom

    The fact that Israel has a large non-Jewish population is not relevant. Why not boycott Saudi-Arabia which is completely Judenrein, and which oppresses the female half of its population?

  64. “Why not boycott Saudi-Arabia

    Let’s do it! You call it, I’ll support you. Thing is the ‘right’ would never allow it, they love the oil, they don’t give a shit about the rights of women.

  65. “The fact that Israel has a large non-Jewish population is not relevant. “

    Well it is considering you keep pointing out that it’s a Jewish state. Fuck religious states, Fuck Saudi, Fuck Israel, fuck the Vatican, they’re all anachronisms. Granted some places are worse than others.

  66. narcoticmusing

    Greens and others campaigning for a boycott of trade, investment and cultural and academic exchanges with Israel need to explain why they have singled out the one Jewish state in the world for this special treatment.

    And you don’t think the constant human rights violations, for which the boycotts are called, is reasonable? It is not against a religion, it is against a sovereign nation. You also raised Saudi Arabia, you may not be aware of this, but there are many of us lobbying for such boycotts also (for the reasons you cited). It is the Right blocking that, because a) the Right have a very real financial conflict of interest, b) there is a very real military conflict of interest, c) the Right don’t care about women and have very sexist views of women’s place in the world. But I’m sure, when the left call for such boycotts, people like you can claim they are now discriminating against Muslims (because of course the Right would never dream of doing that).

    SB, your logic is totally flawed because it assumes the presence of Jews is the rationale for the attention given to Israel and not the behaviour of the Israeli State. By your logic, Israel can do no wrong and any interpretation of their behaviour as wrong is anti-semitic.

    This logic fits best in some sort of Pastafarian interpretation of the world, just as the decline in pirates resulting in global warming.

    This graph has as much credibility as your argument.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pirate_Global_Warming_Graph.gif

  67. “And you don’t think the constant human rights violations, for which the boycotts are called, is reasonable?”

    They’re also in constant breach of long standing UNSC resolutions, conservative Christians like SB and George Bush would otherwise use this as an excuse to invade and occupy a country resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians. But in the eyes of *conservative Christians, like George Bush and SB the Israeli Govt and IDF can do no wrong…..EVER!

    *the neo-con, btw are all atheists who subscribe to Straussianism, ie they know the gullible can be controlled with religion. How does it feel to be a TOOL of the neo-cons SB. How does it feel to be Wolfowitz’z bitch???

  68. SB, your logic is totally flawed because it assumes the presence of Jews is the rationale for the attention given to Israel and not the behaviour of the Israeli State.

    Utterly spot on, and devastating to SB’s puerile argument.

    The obvious truth is that if the Australian Greens hated Jews, as SB claims, then this hatred would manifest in other areas of their policy. After all, Australia has quite a large Jewish population so if the Greens were anti-semitic then logically their bigotry would lead them to seek to persecute local jews and not just those in Israel.

    Yet they do not: theirs is an issue with the behaviour of a country and not a religious group.

    At the end of the day calling Israel critics anti-semites is as idiotic as calling Obama-critics racists. I think SB knows this, but he can’t bring himself to admit it.

  69. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “The obvious truth is that if the Australian Greens hated Jews, as SB claims”

    I did not say any such thing. Sadly you need to tell lies to make your pathetic argument.

  70. SB Squealed “the charge of anti-Semitism is not without foundation”

    Then protested too much:

    “I did not say any such thing. Sadly you need to tell lies to make your pathetic argument.”

    Hmmm, the anti semitic league of rights attended the anti carbon-tax rally, therefore Tony Abbott must be anti-semitic? At least the charge isn’t without foundation?

    It appears that you are the dishonest one, always quick to call others ‘liars’. You’re good for a laugh except for when you get hammered in the debate (as a result of your own words). Suck it up!

  71. narcoticmusing

    Um, SB, I think Mondo might have just been paraphrasing. I too read from your posts that you implied that the Greens hated Jews, you know, when you said the Greens were choosing to “to single out and demonise the one Jewish state in the world” and that the boycotts proposed by the Greens was relevant to a “the charge of anti-Semitism is not without foundation where the one Jewish state in the world is singled out” (forgive the repetition, because you know we do). Sol can you see where perhaps Mondo got that impression? I sure can. :)

    Again, you repeat yourself:
    “the one Jewish state in the world is singled out for demonisation and discrimination. Objectively that appears to be anti-Semitic. Subjectively who knows?”

    No, it only appears that way if you willingly turn a blind eye to all the violations of human rights (and other such matters listed on this thread and elsewhere). Objective would take into account facts like the State’s behaviour; not just the religion of its citizens (regardless of if it is one or many religions). Because the calls are against the State, not against the religion of its citizens.

  72. narcoticmusing

    Oh and how fortunate we have an example now of how to compare objective and subjective.

    Objectively, SB implied the Greens hated Jews (confirmed by multiple reasonable people interpreting it that way).

    Subjectively, SB did not imply Greens hated Jews, only that the Greens demonise the only Jewish State and are anti-semitic, which is, in his mind (ie subjectively) different.

  73. Splatterbottom

    Didn’t really expect you to get the distinction, RobJ.

    Mondo, don’t grind your organ so hard – your monkey RobJ is going bananas.

  74. SB – your entire argument is clearly based on the premise that the Greens are anti-semitic.

    Have the courage to stand behind your arguments man.

  75. Splatterbottom

    Mondo I was careful to distinguish the objective characterisation of particular behaviour as distinct from the subjective intention of the people involved. Sadly you don’t seem to get it.

    As is usual when it comes to Israel the slobbering sociopaths are too busy queuing up for the gang-bang to actually stop and think about the decency of their actions.

  76. Sadly you don’t seem to get it.

    We all ‘got it’ SB – you tried to cover your arse with semantics. It’s hardly rocket science.

    So tell us – do you accuse the Greens anti-semitic policy or not?

  77. narcoticmusing

    careful to distinguish the objective characterisation of particular behaviour as distinct from the subjective intention of the people involved

    Really SB?
    “The reason for this condemnation , as best I can tell, is that there weren’t enough dead Jews for the liking of Israel’s critics.” Just to remind you, the context of the word ‘condemnation’ here was you referring to people, such as the greens, condemning Israel’s “self defense” actions. These are your words SB.
    “Greens and others campaigning for a boycott…with Israel… have singled out the one Jewish state in the world”
    .. they choose to single out and demonise the one Jewish state in the world”

    Really? So saying that people condemn Israel’s actions means they think there isn’t enough dead Jews isn’t at all implying they hate Jews? Wow. Who knew?

  78. It’s entirely obvious that SB believes that the Western Left’s criticism of Israel is based in anti-semitism. He just doesn’t have the guts to openly declare it (because he knows he can’t rationally defend it).

  79. “So tell us – do you accuse the Greens anti-semitic policy or not?”

    SB doesn’t answer straightforward questions. They invariably demolish his house of cards.

  80. It has been confirmed – the Greens just won Balmain.

  81. I did not say any such thing. Sadly you need to tell lies to make your pathetic argument.

    You obviously have no shame. You have accused the Greens of anti-semitism in this thread. Don’t try and weasel out of it now, you complete coward.

  82. C’mon SB, why not answer the straightforward question, it isn’t a ‘have you stopped beating your wife’ type question. You’ve slunk off?

    You claim I don’t get the distinction, I do but I also concede, I’m a lightweight around here. How does it feel to get taken down by such a lightweight? (regularly LOL)

  83. For what it’s worth opposition to the policies of the State of Israel is not the same as anti-semitism. Not even vaguely like it. The Greens are clearly not anti=semitic that is a ridiculous proposition. Don’t know what NSW State Greens policy or policy of Byrne’s municipal Council but a boycott of Israel is not part of Federal Greens policy and anyone coming into Federal Parliament will be bound by policy. The Australian (Federal) Greens have on their policy website ‘The Israel-Palestine Resolution’ of 2009. A long list of measures is included but no boycott of Israel. The nearest I can find to this is a call for;
    “an end to Australian taxation deductions for donations to states, institutions and organisations engaged in violation of human rights including settlement activity, and the harassment, shooting and killing of civilians.” Hardly a boycott of Israeli goods.

    Otherwise I agree with JS the Greens can be quite pleased with the NSW election. Vote up 1.5% (?) and a lower house member in Balmain. Election by election support for the little party continues to rise. Labor’s National Conference this year should be fascinating.

  84. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “you tried to cover your arse with semantics

    Now you’re being anti-semantic as well!

    “It’s entirely obvious that SB believes that the Western Left’s criticism of Israel is based in anti-semitism. He just doesn’t have the guts to openly declare it (because he knows he can’t rationally defend it).”

    Mondo, you are just too lazy to engage with my thoughtful and nuanced arguments. Instead you resort to bashing a straw man of your own creation. Good for you.

    “Western leftists” is a pretty broad church. Certainly it includes anti-Semites like Spain’s Ass-Clown-In-Chief Zapatero and the beloved Venezuelan buffoon Hugo Chavez. Maybe it all started with that apostate Jew and occasional anti-Semite Karl Marx. Every now and then some grubby Jew-hatred bubbles through into mainstream discourse such as Mad Margo Kingston’s claim that Zionists control the media.

    On the other hand, it is far from clear that the Greens are an anti-Semitic party. Bob Brown, who has a few more brains than many other Greens, has been quick to distance himself from the loonier elements of his party on this issue.

    Narcotic: “So saying that people condemn Israel’s actions means they think there isn’t enough dead Jews isn’t at all implying they hate Jews?

    That’s actually what many people who condemn Israel say. I’m just paraphrasing them. In operation Cast Lead Israel responded to thousands of rockets fired into its territory from Gaza. The usual reply from the left was that only a few people were killed by the rockets and mortars. Clearly the argument was based on the premise that there weren’t enough dead Jews to justify the response.

    RobJ: “ I’m a lightweight around here.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Every village needs an idiot. :-)

    Bottom line is that singling out Israel for condemnation and demonisation does raise the issue of anti-Semitism. Still there is enough moral and intellectual vacuity in leftist “thinking” to suggest other reasons for their wrong-headed stance. It becomes harder to excuse them when they jump into bed with openly anti-Semitic organisations like Hamas.

  85. narcoticmusing

    That’s actually what many people who condemn Israel say.

    Actually, I think you’ll find the issue people who condemn Israel’s actions have is with the utter disproportionate nature of the response. It isn’t that it is merely disproportionate, that it appropriate (as per say, a cop can and should always have one up on a crook, so if the crook pulls a knife the cop can pull a gun). No, this is the crook pulling fists and the cop shooting him 200 times then running over him with his car then shooting him again, then shooting his girlfriend, then backing back over the crook, then shooting some people that were standing in the area in case they might have been affiliated with the crook, even if it was there home and the crook had also harmed them by invading it.

    It is the massively disproportionate nature of the response that is the issue. A response not intended to stop the attacks (or else the strategy would be VERY different), but to get revenge. This is why many fear for the fate of the Palestinian people; not because you agree with the rockets (just like you don’t agree with the criminal in my above analogy), but Israel has such a superior force and intelligence that it can and should and has a responsibility to do better.

  86. Shorter SB;
    I’m not saying the left is anti-semtic, it’s just not clear that it’s not.

    Nevermind that the intellectual and historical home of western anti-semitism is found in conservatism.

    And SB is still grimly hanging on to his weasal words “singling out”.
    Yes, that’s right, Israel is the only country in the world criticised on human rights grounds. No? OK, there’s no ‘singling out’, so what SB really means is that “condemnation [of Israel]….does raise the issue of anti-semitism”.

    And this is the really funny point where everything gets turned on it’s head. Despite their history as the home of anti-semitism, conservatives are in love with Israel. This is the important point – with Israel…..as a geo-political entity. Their ardour is strategic, and accusations of anti-semitism are primarily a tactic to defend this interest from the unwelcome glare of a human rights perspective on its behaviour as a state.
    ‘The left’ took a very different journey- support for Jewish poeple as an oppressed minority and enthusiam for the creation of the state of Isrel as an expression of self-determination, that slowly waned as it became lcear that the state was becoming a source of oppression of rights and opposition to the self-determinatiom of others (especially post-67).

    Broadly, the left’s beef with Israel is one of principle relating to human rights, while the conservative love affair is geo-political rooted in self-interest.

    Whatever you read in The Oz on the topic can be fairly accurately interpreted through this lens.

  87. I wonder how many Greens are members of the Melbourne Club?

    “Don’t be so hard on yourself. Every village needs an idiot”

    I wouldn’t go that far, you’re the weirdo around here, the wriggling, back-pedaler who refuses to answer a VERY simple question. ;)

    What I mean is (because it obviously went over your head) there are some smart buggers here, that’s the impression I get, oh, you’re not one of them, you consistently come off second best… ;)

  88. SB – I’ll ask you again since you seem to have avoided the question: do you accuse the Greens anti-semitic policy or not?

    It’s a straightforward question, why won’t you answer it?

  89. Splatterbottom

    ‘Gadj: “Shorter SB;
    I’m not saying the left is anti-semtic, it’s just not clear that it’s not.”

    True. The obvious discrimination raises the question of the basis of that discrimination. Most leftists are so confused that is dangerous to leap to conclusions when it comes to their motivations.

    The “singling out” comes in because of the rabid BDS campaign against Israel. Just look at all the other countries Marrickville council boycotts. Oh wait. Why only Israel? I guess it just happens that way in Green-land.

    RobJ I have already dealt with your question above:

    “On the other hand, it is far from clear that the Greens are an anti-Semitic party. Bob Brown, who has a few more brains than many other Greens, has been quick to distance himself from the loonier elements of his party on this issue.”

  90. Sorry, we’re all waiting for you to answer mondo. It’s a straightforward question, what are you? An idiot?? :)

  91. What do you mean, ‘only Israel’?
    What about Marrickville Council’s condemnation and boycott of Burma? Not ‘Semitic’ enough for the MSM to notice, I see.
    And do please try to remember that it is/was not merely the Greens members of Marrickville council – it was almost ALL members of Marrickville council, Labor included. Who of course aren’t GREEN enough for the MSM to notice.

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