Five star hotel, one star article
The Age (27/8) ran a profile by Guardian Middle East correspondent Harriet Sherwood of Gaza’s only five-star hotel. Adopting the usual kid gloves on Hamas but iron fist for Israel approach the Guardian excels at, Sherwood blamed the blockade for the hotel’s lack of guests: “At times there have been long delays in getting imported supplies through the tightly controlled crossing from Israel into Gaza”.
The blockade was co-enforced by Egypt on its shared border with Gaza until recently but the article ran in Britain last month at a time when Egypt had supposedly lifted the blockade. Failure to mention either of these facts, suggests alarming ignorance, partisan bias or both.
Gymnast for Palestine
If Australians for Palestine co-founder Sonja Karkar’s gyrations were not in the Age’s opinion page (29/8) but on a trampoline at the Olympics she would surely win gold for her half twist and full twist.
“A comparison with Israel’s own unilateral move in declaring statehood after the UN’s intention to partition historic Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state cannot be avoided. It underscores that Palestine was never a land without a people and that Israel’s existence was imposed on Palestinians, robbing them of their homes and land and destroying their proud and millenniums-old society.”
Ignoring the unbroken Jewish presence in Palestine stretching back four millennia, Karkar also omitted how the Jewish leadership accepted the UN Partition Plan, while the Arab leadership rejected it, instead vowing to launch a war of extermination. Israel was only declared after the British Mandate ended, and then only to give effect to the Partition Plan.
The piece can, conceivably, be read as Karkar arguing the case for UN recognition of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders but her real meaning becomes clear nearer the end: “Negotiations are, in fact, a ruse to keep the old discredited paradigm of a two-state solution going for as long as it takes Netanyahu to achieve his goal of a Greater Israel.” Leaving aside the nonsense about Netanyahu, who has agreed to a Palestinian state and the 1967 borders with land swaps formula, to describe the two-state solution as a “discredited paradigm” gives Karkar’s game away. Her goal is almost certainly Israel’s demise, even if she knows it is impolitic to say so.
Palestinian UN-truths exposed
Visiting Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies Director Professor Efraim Inbar offered several reasons in the Australian (30/8) why the Palestinian Authority’s push for UN recognition of statehood is a giant fig leaf masking the essential hollowness of the campaign: “The UN cannot turn the Palestinian factions into one political entity…Can it mellow Hamas’s lust to kill Jews and to eradicate Israel?…Is the UN in a position to infuse pragmatism into Palestinian political culture? The Palestinians insist on the invented “right of return” for Palestinian refugees, which most of the world sees as an unrealistic demand and an obstacle to peace. The Palestinians are trying to deny Jewish history in Jerusalem… The UN cannot deliver a state. It can change neither the facts nor Palestinian behaviour.”