Federal

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.

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions

19 comments

Leave a comment

19 thoughts on “Government’s Gaza response part of our enabling of Netanyahu’s butchery

  1. Paul Guy

    Thank you Bernard for a great article about the slaughter and land theft the Israeli’s are committing against the Palestinians. Israel doesn’t want peace with Palestine, Israel just wants another piece of Palestine.

    1. Luckyduck

      I have always been disgusted with the behaviour of Israel with respect to the Palestinians. The Jewish people were themselves treated horrifically by the Nazis. Surely they should feel some sympathy for the Palestinians. Instead, they are incrementally taking their land away from them and want to completely get rid of them from their own homeland. This is totally unacceptable.
      If the Muslim countries were not fighting amongst themselves, they will be a powerful bloc and they can force a solution. Unfortunately, like the British of yesteryear, the US has managed to divide and conquer. Why cant the Sunnis and Shias get together. They both believe in Allah and the Koran.

      1. kyle Hargraves

        Cast and eye over Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars..” The energy required to unify the Arabs (collectively) against the Turks/Ottoman (for the Arab Revolt) was so great Lawrence wondered, more than once, if it was going to be worth it.

        1. AR

          Hence his emergent interest in aircraft mechanics.

          1. kyle Hargraves

            and aerial photography; his specialty in the RAF (that he joined twice – as an airman and declined all promotion).

        2. kyle Hargraves

          I ought to have added – for emphasis- that the current situation had nothing to do with perceived (former) colonial divide and conquer methods or latter-day political methods. Nasser achieved damned all with his vision of pan-Arabism. Now, the Saudis are actively destroying any hint of such a construction.

          For anyone with the least interest in this subject I recommend Mansfield P. “The Arabs”. The book is in its “nth” edition and has been around for 40-odd years. It covers much more than the “here and now” and is first class but it is not an elementary text.

    2. Luckyduck

      Israel wants all of Palestine.

  2. old greybearded one

    Indeed and which president’s son-in-law has construction of illegal settlements in the family business. I believe that Israel has forfeited the right to sympathy and is disgracing the great cultural history of its people and the memory of those who fought oppression. They are nothing more than money changers in the temple. Neten the Yahu is a murderer, who is now doing so much that the Jews once had done to them, as are those who support him.

  3. swimming the Hellespont

    Murdering 60 odd innocent people is a significant crime in anyone’s criminology. But for the IDF snipers to slowly and calmly set about shooting thousands more in the legs with live ammunition, is a shockingly unforgivable depravity proportionate to no human morality. The economic cost of this to the Palestinian community will be felt for decades.

  4. AR

    It should be pointed out that pogroms did not occur in the muslim world – they were are euroid phenomena – the word being Russian.
    Until New York took the title last century, Baghdad had the world’s largest Jewish population and there wasn’t a large town in the Arab world, from the Atlantic to the Gulf, that didn’t have a mellah quarter.
    Perhaps Crikey could reprint that Le Lievre cartoon that saw him & Mike Carlton fired by the SMH.
    Jews, like xtians, are ‘People of the Book’ in the Koran.

  5. kyle Hargraves

    Quite a good summary of events of late Bernie but (with no implied criticism) not a lot of new material. Interesting how one (single) country – invented by the UN in 1948 – can conduct itself with impunity, in doing what it damned will pleases; whereas any other country would incur severe sanctions at the very least for such (irresponsible) conduct. Interesting that the wo(man) in a street in Israel hasn’t been interviewed. My guess (based upon experience) is that they would not be too pleased to be “lumbered” with the proceedings of their government.

    Lastly, for Paul, the penny has dropped for a number of prominent people who were pro-Zionist decades ago. Now that they realise that Israel will be content with nothing other than the whole of (what was) Palestine their perspective has changed. Another case of “better late than never”

    1. Jim Egan

      Turn it up Kyle. You write a lot of sensible things, but the latest episode of Palestinian provocation playing to the world’s media has had its predictable effect.

      Arafat had his chance and ratted away from a deal….the Palestinians have conducted a fratricidal war between Hamas and Fatah, while playing the rest of the donor world for suckers.

      My great uncle shot his faithful Waler in Palestine at the end of WW1. He would not see it sold or given to the locals….Palestinians. He had a vastly better opinion of the few Jews then settled there….says it all really doesn’t it?? Lawrence….it wasn’t worth it!!

      1. kyle Hargraves

        “Turn it up Kyle. You write a lot of sensible things, but the latest episode of Palestinian provocation playing to the world’s media has had its predictable effect.”

        With my tongue firmly against the inside-left of my cheek Jim, may I recommend your good self (referring to your recent posts) as an acknowledged expert on gender issues and personnel selection as it affects affirmative action? – an idiotic phrase : I agree.

        Taking your “arguments” in sequence :
        “Arafat had his chance and ratted away from a deal….”

        The ‘deal’ was to return all occupied land from the war in ’67 to the Palestinians. The very existence of Israel is capricious (at best) and I have reported on the country’s monthly pocket money (+ funding for specific projects – notably upgrades to the army and air force), which has been in place since inception, on the pages of Crikey.

        “the Palestinians have conducted a fratricidal war between Hamas and Fatah, ”

        It is the case that the two organisations have been played off (by the west – not least Israel) against one-another with remarkable success. Ditto for the various groups in Syria. Without the incessant interference by the west (playing off the various “rebel” groups) al-Assad would have been flicked some years ago.

        > while playing the rest of the donor world for suckers.
        suffice to observe that there are a lot of “reformed” “suckers” that now see the game only too clearly – that were once (Jewish and non-Jewish) Zionists.

        “My great uncle shot his faithful Waler in Palestine at the end of WW1.”

        For my experience, Jim, I have seen good and bad wherever I have been. I’ll wager that your great uncle knew of some inept horsemen who were Australians and would have been loathed to sell a horse (at good money) to a prat in Oz. Its a pity that we can’t re-run the exercise but I’ll wager that he could have found a farmer with “some idea” as to animal husbandry. At 1918 the place had been farmed almost from the Neolithic – so, clearly, the inhabitants had some clue. Of course there would have been (both) good and bad farmers.

        “He had a vastly better opinion of the few Jews then settled there….says it all really doesn’t it??”

        Actually, with all due respect, “it” doesn’t say anything – at least not without a definitive account. Empiricism ought to guide us Jim. Inference (trials by ordeal etc) is just a tad Medieval.

        > Lawrence….it wasn’t worth it!!

        Oh.. I suggest that it was Jim. The sick man of Europe finally, after circa 450 years, got “the tablet”. Having written that, the administration of the Ottomans (from about the late 1890s) was throughly moribund. It was moderately moribund for most of the 19th century.

        What fucked the victory up was the (secret) Sykes–Picot Agreement – recently celebrated by which country? Lawrence, it is argued, had a (delayed) melt-down
        over the agreement and after leaving Churchill’s (administrative) staff in 1922, at the end of his promise to Churchill of four yeas service, joined the RAF.

        Now, since the coup of 1974, Turkey is about as “rational” as Israel – which brings us (back) to the commencing point on the circle. What sanctions, would you envisage, to be applied to Turkey if Turkey decided shoot-up (murder?) the Kurds in the same manner?

        Last question : are the Palestinians expendable (in your opinion) inasmuch that they “deserve” to be sacrificed to the State of Israel? Wiped-out if you prefer? If “yes” then Israels policy has the virtue of consistency. If “no” then the Two-State “solution” ought to happen tomorrow with Palestine being admitted, unreservedly to the UN – with terms of office on the Security Council (as with any “normal” country.

  6. Bobby

    Yarmouk Camp. Crickets

    1. kyle Hargraves

      A useful link Ruv but the article does (seem to) imply that Palestine was the first choice for the Zionists whereas locations such as Broom (WA) an Uganda were considered as realistic for a Jewish State. Without the collective guilt occasioned by WWII Zionism would have struggled as a political entity. As has been pointed out previously, events at Passover must be deemed ironic for the country as a whole (for the last 70 years) when compared with the circumstances of Jews during the late 30s (and of course the war) in Europe.

      1. kyle Hargraves

        Sorry Rais; I have an embargoed reply. I wrote “Ruv” in reply. UTC+8 is my time zone. I ought to make a point of posting later into the day.

  7. 3 Policy Options

    How can anyone say that putting unarmed protesters, including children, in the cross-hair of a sniper rifle and then firing a bullet is not simply murder. Israel and those that support them are forever damaged by this.

  8. David Nicholas

    Bernard, right on. Netanyahu’s obsession with the dream of Greater Israel has made him a monster corrupted by desire and power. He has made an art of oppressing people who are defenceless and made so by through no fault of their own. I speak of the Nakba, the catastrophe 70 years ago today. In 1948, 700,000 were misplaced by lines drawn in the sand and booted upon by the United Nations. Since then Israel’s leadership has made a point of making sure they were oppressed and every obstacle put in place to deny their righteous claims for recompense.
    At some point, which is what I think we are beginning to see is that Palestinians rising up and saying no more. It’s their right in my view and Israel is obliged to make good and until they do Israel will never know the peace of their soul.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...