Councillors in what was known until recently as the Victorian city of Moreland in Melbourne’s inner north feel that their municipal talents should not be limited to such tiresome tasks as collecting rubbish and filling in potholes. They ought to have a voice, they think – even as they reel from the blow of the ignominious collapse of their other cherished “Voice”– a voice this time that ‘racists’ and rednecks can’t torpedo, that will carry beyond their dreary municipality of jerry-built apartment blocks and unenticing cafés, one that will be heard in the counsels of the world. So they sign up to the idiocy that currently reigns supreme in the West (they’ve long been on board with the earlier idiocies of race and sex) and pass a resolution that goes beyond the usual wishy-washy requests for a ceasefire in Israel’s war of self-defence against Hamas but actually condemns Israeli military action in Gaza full stop. They mutter about “war crimes”, though not those committed by the terrorists of Hamas, and they wouldn’t mind a boycott too.
Moreland is a hotbed of “progressive” prejudice. As befits a Greens-Labor stronghold you only have to think of any silly or mendacious leftist notion and they’re all for it. They recently changed the name of the city to Merri-bek, using as justification a great slab of leftist-invented misinformation about wholly imaginary “links with slavery”. One would have half-expected them to call the place Andrewsville in tribute to the now mercifully vanished figure who gave every indication of becoming ruler-for-life of Victoria (and is now reduced to being blackballed by golf clubs. Ei fu – “he was” – as Manzoni said of Napoleon). But they selected instead one of those “Aboriginal” names which you can never be sure weren’t invented by the redrawing-the-map-of-Australia unit at Pascoe House, the head offices of the First Nations Corporation Pty Ltd. They decided on Merri-bek’, which to me sounds less Aboriginal than Dickensian – “Mr Merri-bek, meet Mr Fezziwig.”
The Arab constituency in Merri-bek is a large one, and the Jewish one presumably small, since it is Israel’s “constant bombing and the total siege of Gaza” that the councillors wring their hands over. This, they say, (the bombing not the hand-wringing) is “traumatising for many Merri-bek residents who have relatives in the region”. “Traumatising” – but not half as traumatising as babies with their heads hacked off, who get no mention in the resolution beyond a brief reference to the “tragic and horrific loss of civilian lives in the current conflict.” And somehow the council resolution forgets to mention that most of the traumatising – even of many Palestinians – is perpetrated by the subhuman savages of Hamas.
In keeping with all the lies over the years about Israel’s aggressive behaviour, this resolution, though but a squeak in the orgy of anti-Israeli vituperation sweeping the West, lays all the blame on the efforts of a small country to defend itself against a Palestinian enemy that shouts from the housetops its intention to eliminate it. And though the Palestinians have long persuaded themselves that they have a grievance, they have several generations of their own devious leadership to thank in part for that – remember Yasser Arafat turning down the Camp David peace offers in 1978?
That’s when the Left turned on Israel – not on the weaselly Arafat – with a bitter loathing. Till then the hatred had been more selective, with a distinction made between “Zionism” (bad) and Jewishness (less bad, but only because the spectre of the Holocaust was still haunting Europe). It is impossible to imagine now but up until the 1970s Israel was internationally acceptable enough for platoons of leftish female students in anoraks to go there to work on kibbutzes. They’d be shrieking in the streets now, baying for Netanyahu’s blood.
Abhorrence of Israel is now near universal and few apart from politicians with Jews in their electorates make any pretence at distinguishing between the race and the nation. But why the concentrated hate? Why the coordinated mobs worldwide, why is there not even a vestige of sympathy for butchered victims whose only offence was to have been Israelis? Why is it the Israelis whose “war crimes” are condemned in our federal parliament, with the sinister Adam Bandt, showing all the compassion of a judge in a Moscow show trial, parroting Hamas about “illegal occupation of Palestinian territories”? Doesn’t he know Israel no longer “occupies” Gaza? Doesn’t he know that the “ceasefire” he and the rest of the Left harp on about would leave Hamas unopposed in its crusade to destroy a state and its population? Leftists are always going about the evils of genocide. Ah, but this would be an acceptable genocide, the triumph of justice, evil “occupiers” and “colonialists” getting their just deserts – you wouldn’t put it past some on the Left to want to try the same thing here.
Why a hatred so visceral that it has led to derangement? One thinks here of that quaint group Queers for Palestine at Sydney University who provided a rare moment of hilarity in the dismal proceedings. Did it never occur to the queers, blind with “intersectionality”, what would happen to them if they actually went to Gaza to lisp their support in person?
In truth, the hatred has little to do with the labyrinthine politics of the Middle East and everything to do with Israel’s existence as a free and functioning democratic state. The Left hates Israel because it hates ourselves. Hatred of Israel is a vicarious manifestation of the Left’s insane detestation of our own culture and society. Leftists never cease trying to tear down our civilisation by any means available – climate fanaticism to weaken us economically, gender tinkering to destroy our sense of self, racial discord fomented to tear us apart. There has been no war since the Left went on the march in the 1960s in which they haven’t supported an enemy of the West, Vietnam being the textbook example.
Add to that the grubby antisemitism, not confined to the Left unfortunately and still lurking beneath the surface in corners of Australian life, and you have a case of poor Israel, stuck with a double whammy – Jewish and a Western democratic state. A true international outcast. You wouldn’t bet on its survival if the Americans pulled the plug.