20 May 2007

In A Sane World This Would Be Political Suicide: The John Howard Negev Forest

So Howard is finally going green - in Israel! A Jewish organisation that was set up to steal land from Palestinians has just dedicated a whole forest to him.
The Jewish National Fund will use the John Howard Negev Forest, to be located in the Negev, as the focus of its Negev Now campaign.
Howard was honoured by the JNF at a Crown Casino dinner on Friday.
Howard’s JNF honour is the latest in a recent string of Jewish community awards conferred on conservative political leaders and their supporters.

Last month, the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce awarded him its top prize at a luncheon attended by 1200 of the biggest names in political, legal and corporate Australia.
The guest speaker at Howard's dinner was a Muslim-hating US propagandist, Brigitte Gabriel:
"The difference between the Arabic world and Israel is a difference in values and character. It's barbarism versus civilization. It's democracy versus dictatorship. It's goodness versus evil."
- Brigitte Gabriel, October 14, 2004
So there's Johnny, one hand waving away the polls, the other hand shaking on deals with his Zionist mates, and now it seems his green climate change revolves around planting trees in the deserts of southern Israel:
The Jewish National Fund was founded in 1901 to buy and develop land in Palestine (later Israel) for Jewish settlement. By 2006, it owned 14% of the land in Israel...

Today, tree planting continues to fight desertification and create green "lungs" for Israel's communities. Due to JNF's afforestation work, Israel is believed to be one of the few countries, if not the only country, to end the twentieth century with more trees than it began.
If only he had shown the same commitment to the Murray-Darling river system ten years ago!

What gets to me about this story is that Howard is still desperately pretending that there is any kind of logic to our involvement in Iraq, even though he cannot articulate a serious reason for our refusal to leave, or even a good reason why we went there in the first place. Every angry Muslim in the world knows that the Iraq situation is inextricably linked to the Israel-Palestine debate (with the US and - obviously - Australia on the Israeli side, whether we, the people, like it or not). But here is Howard openly and defiantly flaunting his Zionist credentials!

Maybe it's a sign of his retirement plans?

UPDATE: I toned this story down a notch after doing some more investigation into the area where Howard's forest will be planted. Apparently it won't be on Palestinian land but in Israel's southern desert region, where Jews outnumber Bedouins by about 3 to 1. Nevertheless, I think the very idea of Howard having a forest in Israel named after him is obscene, comes at exactly the wrong time, and is totally counter-productive to any real prospects of Australian involvement in settling the problems of the Middle East.

Moreover, this story is part of a dangerous pattern of top-level Australian support for Israel's apartheid state. You won't hear much about it in the Oz press, of course, because our media moguls all have their own close ties to Jewish business leaders. For anyone interested in this topic who doesn't already know the name, I recommend you go take a look at Antony Loewenstein's blog, and his excellent book: "My Israel Question".