The 2025 Federal Election – what are we to do?Jan 30, 2024
For many of us a burning issue in our lives at this time is clearly what is happening in the Middle East – or more particularly Palestine.
That genocide on a massive scale has been occurring cannot be denied. One hoped for a stronger preliminary finding to support interim measures by the ICJ. But it was always going to be a provisional ruling.
Some of us may be reserving judgment on the guilt of Israel. Such reservation would no doubt be a remnant of the sympathy held for the Jewish people consequent upon the Holocaust. It would also follow the favourable narrative commencing with the kibbutz era and flowing through until today, or more particularly, perhaps, yesterday, which narrative has emanated from a supportive West, and spread by a compliant media.
The truth is coming out. Pearls & Irritations has already commented upon Our Narrative…Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, put out by the Hamas Media Office: January 19, 2024. The document should be read by all of us. It is honest and accurate. It allows for the possibility of some criticism of the action – “maybe some faults happened during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’s implementation…” – but it is essentially accurate and acceptable.
Where does it leave Australia? Unfortunately, it leaves us as an accomplice in the perpetration of genocide and all the lesser wrongs. How an accomplice? Let us consider the particulars.
In the first place, Australia has done nothing to advance a resolution of the underlying conflict. Australia has refused to recognise that Israel is practicing apartheid. Our government, at least our Labor led governments, have mouthed support for a two State solution. However, that is all that it has done. It has taken no steps to bring it about. The first thing that it could do would be to recognise Palestine. Some 139 other members of the community of nations have done so, why not Australia, particularly when the last two ALP National Conferences have adopted resolutions calling upon an incoming Labor government to do so.
Let us come forward to the last 12 months, pre-October 7, 2023. Australia has flirted with the adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-semitism which conflates criticism of Israel with antisemitism. Australia has contractually committed to provide military equipment to Israel, and has concurred in supplying the IDF with intelligence from Pine Gap.
Then let us consider what we have not done since October 7
Australia declined to condemn Israel’s declared intention of a “total siege” and to cut food and water supplies from Gaza. We delayed inexorably in calling for a ceasefire, finally doing so only on 12 December. We failed to bring the matter of genocide before the International Court of Justice, an action which we were entitled to do. And when South Africa did so, we failed to join the action in support.
We have failed to call out Israel and its major backer, the United States, in regard to the destruction of a people, the slaughter of same, starvation of same, the elimination of its culture and society.
So what should we, that includes you, do?
Well of course there are rallies. These are important, and to our credit, they have been occurring with regularity, around the country. However, rallies can only do so much.
Then there is BDS, the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions strategy. That too is important, but it is directed primarily against the principal criminals, Israel and the US.
What we must turn our mind to is the exercise of our vote. We must promote the catchcry “I vote for Palestine”. We must send a message to our political parties and to our politicians that we will no longer stand for inaction.
When can we do this? Well, the next Federal election is not due until 2025. But now is the time to make it known to those politicians, particularly those in the ALP, that their inaction is going to be punished. We can forget the Coalition; can anyone imagine Peter Dutton holding a candle for Palestinians?
We cannot support the ALP. This is hard to comprehend for people who have traditionally supported the party of Gough Whitlam and Paul Keating. However, we must call a spade a spade and our present government has totally failed us and humanity.
That leaves the Greens and independents. We can accept that the Greens will do the right thing. That has been their policy for many years; and it was the Greens who moved a matter of public importance in the final weeks of Federal Parliament last year “That the Senate opposes Israel’s invasion of Gaza”. Only the Greens supported the motion. Independents will each have to be questioned as to their position; and their stated positions will then have to be publicised. Let’s get that all important catchphrase. What we should advance are ‘Greens or a pro-Palestinian independent’, i.e. GoPPI.
So where to start? The writer is aware of two forthcoming bye-elections. Scott Morrison’s seat, albeit a federal seat, may have limitations given its historical voting record. Nevertheless, it should be tackled.
The other is the State seat of Dunstan, that of South Australia’s former Premier, Steven Marshall, in the Adelaide suburb of Norwood – Don Dunstan’s old seat. It will be a good litmus test. At the last election, the results were as follows: Liberal – 46.7%, Labor – 35.2%, Greens – 13.7%, Family First – 4.4%.
If a “Send a message” campaign is undertaken, and I believe it is to be, a result such as: Liberal – 40%, Labor – 30%, Greens – 30%, would certainly send a message.
That is what we must strive for.
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