May 16, 2018

Government’s Gaza response part of our enabling of Netanyahu’s butchery

After Trump, the Turnbull government is the biggest international enabler of the Netanyahu government's commitment to the brutal status quo of occupation in Palestine.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The Netanyahu government finally slaughtered so many Palestinians that, after weeks of silence about dozens of other killings, the Turnbull government had to react. Like plenty of media outlets, though, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was struck by a sudden attack of passive voice. In a media release titled "Palestinian Protests in Gaza" (not, say, "Mass Murder By The IDF"), Bishop expressed the government's "deep regret and sadness over the loss of life and injury", as if some vast accident had struck the sixty dead victims of Israeli Defence Force bullets and tear gas.

The nearest the government came to actual criticism of Israel -- or even a faint allusion that the sixty people were dead as a result of IDF actions -- came in its call for "Israel to be proportionate in its response and refrain from excessive use of force." Of course, Palestinians were also urged to refrain from violence, in the time-honoured "we urge both sides to show restraint" model of equating heavily armed government forces and unarmed protesters who have been mown down by them.

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