Saturday, October 29, 2011

Greg Sheridan's Worst Nightmare

Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan is a troubled man these days. The Australian's foreign editor is wracked by this terrible thought:

"Ireland is the land of my ancestors. I still have close family connections there. Without any qualification, I love Ireland deeply. It has, sadly, again fallen on tough economic times, but it is facing up to them resolutely. And it remains an astonishing source of culture. But if it elects [Martin] McGuiness, a former IRA terrorist, as president, for the first time in my life I will be thoroughly ashamed of the Irish... If they elect a wretched terrorist like McGuiness, the Irish will have demonstrated a loss of faith in themselves, their own inherent decency and moderation." (A figurehead should not be elected, The Australian, 27/10/11)

Needless to say, as far as I'm aware, Sheridan's never had a problem with Israeli terrorists, such as Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, becoming prime ministers of his even more beloved Israel (1977-83 & 1986-92 respectively), so there you go.

That aside, if I were Sheridan, I'd be consoling myself with the thought that things could be worse - much worse. How about an anti-Zionist for governor-general of Australia? Or worse still, how about a governor-general who actually was an anti-Zionist?

And why raise what for Sheridan must be the ultimate in nightmare scenarios?

Well, in the same column, having noted that the Irish presidency is largely ceremonial, he blithely alludes to "the solid steady people who have been our governors general - Quentin Bryce, Mike Jeffery, Bill Hayden, Zelman Cowan, going all the way back to Isaac Isaacs," seemingly unaware that the first of these native-born G-Gs, Isaac Isaacs (G-G: 1931-36), who was a Jew, was also an anti-Zionist!

The following quotes, which may be found at reveal that not only was Isaac Isaacs solid and steady, but remarkably clear-thinking and utterly principled as well:

"[T]here is no warrant, legal or moral, for making Palestine a Jewish State, any more than an Arab State, but there is every reason for making it what the Mandate terms it, a Palestinian nationality, that is bi-national..." (The Nationality of the Australian Jew, 9/9/47)

"[Political Zionism] has run the entire gamut of racial nationalism from the... very modest hope of restoration of Palestine as the centre of a new, positive, and intensive Jewish cultural life to the extreme theory of Jewish nationalism practically identical with Nazist and Fascist theory, which holds that the bonds of Jewish racial nationalism are eternally indissoluble, that there can only be ever one Jewish homeland, only one land in which the Jew can ever feel himself completely at home, that eternally he is a member of the Jewish racial nation, however that term may be defined, that he resides among the nations, as at present, only a temporary sojourner, that he is in Diaspora, in 'Galut', in exile, and that Israel's redemption from the sad fate of the last 1500 years or even the last 2500 years will be only when it will be restored to the role of completely and predominately Jewish independent statehood in Palestine, in whatever form and however achieved this Statehood may take, Commonwealth, Republic, or Dominion." (Palestine: Peace & Prosperity or War & Destruction? Political Zionism: Undemocratic, Unjust, Dangerous, p 23-4, 14/1/46)

"A most serious responsibility... for affording a just and acceptable basis for a peaceful and harmonious solution rests primarily on the shoulders of Political Zionism because it is actively pressing for political measures intended to swamp the Arab population [of Palestine]..." (ibid, p 5)

"[The demands of political Zionism are] inconsistent in demanding on one hand, on a basis of a separate Jewish nationality everywhere Jews are found, Jewish domination in Palestine, and at the same time claiming complete Jewish equality elsewhere than in Palestine, on the basis of a nationality common to the citizens of every faith." (ibid, p 11)

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