The Australian government has no idea what’s happening in Palestine

Michael Shaik, from Australians for Palestine, on Australia’s slavish support for Israel:

Just last week, at a Sydney lunch for a delegation, led by Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, Rudd asserted “the Australian people’s deep and high regard for the modern state of Israel”.

And on Sunday night, Shalom was hosted at a “gala dinner” in Melbourne by Julia Gillard, who cited, without a hint of irony, her decision as acting prime minister to support Israel’s assault on Gaza as an example of how “those who strive to achieve peace and security should be encouraged and supported” before proclaiming Australia’s support for “Israel’s right to self-defence and its right to self-determination”.

“Never before in history,” noted Jimmy Carter referring to Israel’s current blockade of Gaza, “has a large community been savaged by bombs and missiles and then deprived of the means to repair itself.”

Gillard’s studious failure to mention the plight of the Palestinians, as an occupied population living as refugees in their own country, would seem to indicate that she regards the rights to self-defence and self-determination as only Israeli prerogatives.

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