The aerial photograph of Jerusalem's glorious blue and gold Dome of the Rock, Islam's 3rd holiest shrine, was in the 2008 Rosh-Hoshanah supplement to The Australian Jewish News. Bizzarely, the caption read: "Jerusalem is the holiest Jewish city in the world." What, one wonders, were the AJN's readers supposed to make of this shot of Arab East Jerusalem's most famous landmark? What were they expected to see? Only the Wailing Wall (where the 135 Palestinian homes constituting the Mugrabi Quarter used to be before they were bulldozed in the final days of the 1967 war) obscured in the bottom right-hand corner? A demolition-to-be, a future Third Jewish Temple?
The question of what Zionists see, and more importantly don't see, in Palestine was raised by ABC Radio National's Encounter program on 21/9/08. Ties that Bind: Jewish Australians & New Zealanders was produced by Rachael Kohn, presenter of Radio National's The Spirit of Things and the ABC's most shameless spruiker for the Zionist project (see my posts Breathtaking Zionist Hypocrisy (27/6/08), Schmoozing with Aaron Klein! (2/7/08), & Schmoozing with Aaron Klein!2 (3/7/08).
To say that Kohn's piece was one-eyed is an understatement. Indeed, the only Palestinians to put in an appearance (as background noise) are introduced merely as "Arabs hawking postcards." Israel's systematic and daily violation of Palestinian rights is alluded to only in passing as "ongoing tensions with the Palestinians." And such tensions, of course, produce only Israeli victims: an "unprovoked attack" in Ashkalon, for example, and claims that "Gazans are getting better at shooting rockets" because they've been trained in Iran.
Kohn's sole focus is a party of Jews from Australia and New Zealand, "returned to the land of their forefathers." "What does Israel mean to you?" she wants to know. "Everything," says one. "I can't imagine our life without the context and background of Israel and the position of the Jews within it," says another. "A connection to history," says a third. "For most Australians who identify as Jewish Israel has strong emotional ties," concludes Kohn.
How wonderful for her interviewees. Comfortable homes down under, plus the wherewithal to indulge their fantasies. And they get the option of staying as long as they want, or even citizenship if the pull of that nebulous "everything" should prove too strong. That's because they've got the right mothers, Jewish of course. Millions of Palestinian refugees were expelled in 1948 to make way for a state for all Jews, including this lot. Alas, millions of Palestinian refugees, who haven't got Jewish mothers, cannot come and go in the land of their forefathers. Their "emotional ties" - not to mention the title deeds and keys they've clutched now for over 60 years - count for nothing with Kohn and her group huggers.
In keeping with the Zionist propaganda strategy of hyping Australia's role in evicting the Turks from Palestine (see my 1/5/08 post Myth In-Formation) to maintain Australian diplomatic support for Israel*, Kohn & Co visit the Australian Memorial Park in Be'er Sheva ("a gift of the Pratt Foundation") where the Israeli and Australian flags fly side-by-side. And in case that didn't quite sink in, we have Rabbi Aviva Kippin telling us that "among the Anzac Corps there would have been ancestors of the present Jewish community who long pre-date those of us who came from holocaust survivor background."
[*Think I'm exaggerating? Note the caption to the photograph of Frank Lowy in the Sydney Morning Herald, 29/9/08, p 7: "Frank Lowy at age 17, circled, in a unit of the Golani Brigade operating in the Lower Galilee in 1948. Photo from Australia & Israel: A Pictorial History by Leanne Piggott. Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, 2008." That's taxpayer funded propaganda, folks.]
Where the program really gets interesting, however, is Kohn's lament that "... in Australia, there's little understanding... of that Jewish loyalty to Israel. Zionism is a term of opprobrium for so many Australian non-Jews." [Needless to say, there's zero understanding on Kohn's part of Zionism's impact on Palestinians.] Her interlocutor, Rabbi John Levi, responds revealingly: "Yes, I think the anti-Israel campaign [Campaign, what campaign?] has been very successful. However, I also have to say, with very few exceptions, most Australian Federal politicians have either been to Israel or understand the importance of Israel to the Jewish community in Australia [There you have it - as long as we make sure that Australian pollie waffles are well and truly rambammed (See my posts Ram Bam Thankyou Ma'am, 19/2/08 & Rambammed, 23/2/08), that's all that really matters]. We're dealing really with either professional anti-Semites who cloak their anti-Semitism by being unduly critical of Israel, which after all, it's all right [So it's all right to be unduly critical of Israel, but be prepared to be smeared as an anti-Semite]; or the younger generation who find that they really want a great creation [? reaction] to what they're saying, then they stir up trouble on campus and then go their merry way when it's all finished and they have fun teasing their fellow Jewish students [So debating Palestine-Israel on campus amounts essentially to stirring up trouble on campus and teasing Jewish students]."
Just another promo for Israel on Your ABC, courtesy of the Australian taxpayer.