American and other readers outside Australia who think they have problems with Beinart and "progressive Zionists" and worse may be interested in this sideshow melodrama currently unfolding in Australia.
Small Hurricane Hits Melbourne -- No One Hurt. Not Many Homeless.
I once heard Hartley, once an ALP Senate candidate for Victoria, complain on national radio that there were too many Jews in the ALP Victorian branches. He thought this inappropriate, even suspicious, given "their middle class backgrounds" and "this is the Labor party" which was supposed to be the party of the worker and the disadvantaged.
Sure. That must be it.
Hartley himself was always coy about his background. Given that he was a Young Liberal at university at a time when only people with money could even think about going to university there has to be more than a suspicion Hartley knew what he was talking about. The "Jews" may or may not have had a "middle class" background. But Hartley sure did.
I mention Hartley because it shows how easy it is for an extremist group to get itself assimilated into trade union politics and into a mainstream political party and from that platform preach their religion to the wider community. Make no mistake Hartley and his colleagues were extremists. They advocated the overthrow of Western values such as liberalism, individualism and the trade economic system and their understanding of "democracy" was something very different to what you might have in mind. Not that leftist extremists had that game to themselves. Right wing extremists have also been a problem. At one time during this era the League of Rights nearly took over the (then) Country Party in Queensland at grass roots by deploying very similar tactics.
Nor were the leftist cults in the ALP shy about the need to crack a few eggs to make an omelette when they were behind closed doors and they most certainly approved of those who did smash eggs and heads. Indeed they had an obsession with foreign policy. It was probably their main interest. They were violently anti-American of course which was fashionable in those Vietnam War days. Then as now. That never goes out of fashion with this lot come to think of it. They were also violently anti-Israel naturally. Always a favourite evergreen. They were "anti-Zionists", you see and you could tell by just looking at them they had never heard of the word a year before. "Zionism" is "Racism". The Bible tells them so. This is a religion do not forget.
This and reflexively supporting every armed revolutionary leftist group from the Sandinistas and the Provisional IRA to the PFLP was pretty well the extent of their foreign policy interest really but they spent a lot of time on it.
They were specialists you see.
Nor am I the first to notice the close resemblance between the old Hartley style extremists of the pre intervention Victorian ALP branch, who were never properly cleansed from the party nationally, and the modern Greens and especially the dominate faction in its NSW branch. It's uncanny really. Sometimes they are even the same people.
It is a sad fact of modern politics that a threshold entrance qualification to the ideological left all over the West is hostility to Israel and the Zionist enterprise. National liberation and self determination for the Jews is anathema to the hard left. To be pro-Israel is an intolerable heresy for this religion. It is perhaps the one thing that is never tolerated in these circles.
Which brings us to the AJDS now vigorously campaigning for the boycott of "settlement produce" beyond the Green Line. Why? Surely this campaign begs some questions.
The starting point is their own BDS-lite campaign web site. Here are their ten reasons for boycotting Jews who are living and earning a living where they say Jews should not.
The first is that it is illegal for Jews to live over a line that no one recognises as an international border, least of all the "Palestinians" but is a no-Jew zone notwithstanding. Even in Jerusalem it seems there is a line beyond which Jews should not be. They must be confined to a certain part of town. That is the law according to the AJDS. "International law" no less. It is a law that applies only to Jews. It does not apply to Arab Muslims no matter what they do even if they have the temporary misfortune of being Israeli citizens. Does this law have a familiar ring?
They cite the Geneva conventions as the source of this law in what would have to be the most cynical and spit in your face dishonest misconstruction of an international treaty of the last century. Other than what is illegal under Israeli law the settlements are not illegal, even if Bob Carr, the ALP and the British foreign office declare them so. That the Israel bashers have the audacity to claim application of article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention says everything you need to know about the Israel bashers and the state of international law. This again is a law that applies only to Jews except in the event that the AJDS and its international allies are successful in the campaign to remove the Jewish population of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. The ethnic cleansing of Jews, and only Jews, as proposed by the AJDS and its allies is not a breach of article 49. That is not illegal.
None of this is to contend that a two state solution based on ceding large tracts of Judea and Samaria and combined with a contiguous Gaza is off the table. On the contrary it is the "Palestinians" and their urgers in the Middle East and the West who are shoving this solution where it can't be seen.
And then we have reasons 2-10. Nothing here is original. Nothing here is the truth. It is a mistake to engage on the detail of this because the moment you have they have won. This is war propaganda the AJDS is retailing designed especially for a Jewish market. They themselves do not believe in a Jewish national home and State and as individuals they say so. They are not antizionists of course even if most of the sites they link are and sometimes violently so. They are "post-Zionists" you understand. Post-Modernists more likely where truth is another planet and perception and deception rule reality. They sure look like antizionists to me.
Like all anti-Israel activists they mine Israel's vigorous liberal democracy and traditions of free expression for ammunition to attack the foundations of the state. Far leftists do that and they are completely unconscious of the iron paradox of this. Like all free people Israelis as individuals say all sorts of things in all sorts of contexts. This is because they are allowed.
They arch at any suggestion that their policies utilise antisemitic tropes, (don't they all?), despite the antizionism and the narratives sourced fresh from the "Palestinian" and radical leftist propaganda mills. Here is a couple of limbs of what antisemitism means for a start that some within the AJDS must have some difficulty with despite the outraged denials.
The AJDS job is to deceive the idealistic and naive longing for peace that if Israel was to abandon the settlements presumably by force and unilaterally withdraw to what Abba Eban called the Auschwitz borders that would be a step to peace. They don't even believe that themselves. That's why the Arab Muslim right of return is always part of the recipe. An extraordinary and glib notion that they must know Israel and any other self respecting sovereign nation would never accept. They are "Zionist" or "pro-Israel" only on condition that the Jewish state commits national suicide.
That is not going to happen without a fight to the death. That is what free people do. Wouldn't you, rather than acquiesce to what much of the Arab and Muslim world makes very clear it has in mind for the Jews? That is why AJDS and its global allies are pro-war. There is no two ways about it.
This is a free society, unlike what AJDS and its allies would fit up Israel with, and the AJDS is entitled to say what it likes just as Bill Hartley was. Communal bodies and political parties are also well within their rights to ensure they do so without affiliation with them when their views and campaigns are repugnant. That is how a liberal democracy works.
cross posted Geoffff's Joint