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For the young, the elderly, and for Israel, vote Liberal

August 10, 2010 – 11:06 am33 Comments

By Nadav Prawer

The dual identity of being both Australian and Jewish can present a conflict of loyalties when it comes to elections. Do I vote as an Aussie first, or as a Jew? Is there a conflict? Can I be selfish and vote for the party offering me personally the best deal? These are questions of philosophy, of identity and of personal values. But let’s face it; politics today in Australia is about people, not parties. On most issues there is little ostensible difference in the positions held by most Australians, and hence politicians as they desperately scramble towards the centre. Both the major parties and the Greens scramble to find competent and capable people willing to subject themselves to the merciless spotlight of political life, people whom the parties’ members feel can make a real difference.

In this, all sensible political parties are the same.  Whilst Labor has more convoluted and controversial selection processes, with affirmative action, factions and a central committee parachuting in some candidates, at heart federal elections, driven by passionate volunteers in each electorate, are a series of local contests played out to the tune of national media campaigns.

This is because governing a country is about more than campaign promises and pledged spending. All the spending promises by both sides combined amount to only a few percent of the total budget for the Federal Government. Elections are really about deciding who you want to have running the country when the unexpected happens. Just as no-one in politics predicted the global financial crisis, the Asian currency crisis, the Bali bombings or September 11, no political plan, like in war, survives first contact with the changing reality of the world we live in and the needs of our country.

This leads us to then to the core contrast between the two parties. The last term has seen a government that has simply, by any measure, done a bad job. Rudd and Gillard have borrowed an unprecedented amount of money to fund a series of programs. This is not of itself a problem. However, the poor cost-benefit return and the bungles seen in home insulation, green loans, the national broadband network, childcare, laptops for students, Fuel Watch (remember that one), Grocery Watch, school halls, healthcare, tax reform, foreign policy and every other major area of policy operation demonstrates that the people put forward by the ALP to run the country simply haven’t been competent to manage general affairs, much less ‘revolutionise’ the country. If Gillard and Rudd were CEOs, the shareholders would have long since shown them the door. As Australians in general, there is no value for us in rewarding incompetence, rather than installing managers of real capability. By contrast, the Coalition showed real ability to manage the country and grow the economy.

As Jews, however, we also have other interests. As we are diverse people, whose opinions are more innumerable than the stars, I won’t attempt to argue, as some have, that the values of any one party are a complete embrace of all that our community holds dear. However, amongst Australian Jews, there is at least a general consensus on support for Israel, the importance of quality education in accordance with our Jewish and/or religious values, childcare and, increasingly, how we look after our elderly, ‘Kibud Horim.’ On all of these issues, any sensible comparison shows Labor falling well behind. The expulsion of an Israeli diplomat served to legitimise the demonization of Israel for taking necessary actions in self-defence. Coming from the Australian government, this has been taken as a dramatic victory for the other side and has been embraced by such ‘leading lights’ as Antony Loewenstein. Coupled with the marring of the proud record of voting with Israel in the UN, Labor has shown a willingness to let Israel fall by the wayside in pursuit of other interests, allegedly a seat for Rudd on the Security Council.

On education and childcare, Labor has shown that it is not just a question of poor service delivery, but values. Gillard showed herself to be an incompetent education minister, who has only grudgingly agreed not to slash funding for private schools, at least for another two years. Even then, in real terms under Labor, private school students will face annual decreases in funding. On the question of childcare, Labor’s broken promise to build childcare centres has created critical shortages in places like Caulfield, Bondi, St Kilda and Rose Bay, particularly in infant care. The Liberal policy of both indexing childcare benefits and paying rebates weekly to families will make a real difference, especially to young families. On aged care and the elderly, the ‘Labor Rat’ has already shown us Gillard’s priorities.

We, as Australians and as Jews, can and should evaluate how good governments are based on their performance, not their promises. Government, at heart, must have policy that meets our needs and the capacity to deliver it effectively. The last three years, compared to the decade before that, highlight why, in terms of both capable people and compatible values, Jews and Australians should vote for the Liberal Party.

The opinions in this article are those only of the writer. The writer is not an official spokesman for the Liberal Party.

This article is part of a series Galus Australis is running for the 2010 Australian federal election whereby we publish articles by supporters of  various political parties.  Please contact us if you are interested in contributing.

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33 Comments »

  • What?? says:

    This is not an analysis or anything new. It’s a promotional advertisement straight out of the liberal party script book. Australian Jews, just like any Australians, should vote for whoever they think is best for this country. Don’t pretend like we have some link to the liberals – Gillard was in Israel Just last year with an ALP Jewish member.

    Dissapointing galus

  • frosh says:

    You are dissappointed that Galus publishes a diverse range of opinion?

    Galus commenced this series with an advocacy piece for the Greens

    As per the post script on this article, you are welcome to contact the editors if you wish to write a similar piece for the Labor Party.

  • What?? says:

    I am disappointed with a series that disguises advertisement as discussions of Jewish ideals and thought.

    Ps I never claimed to be a labour supporter

  • frosh says:

    A key difference between this series of advocacy pieces and paid advertisements published in commerical newspapers is that Galus readers are able to publicy scrutinise these articles in the comments section.

  • ariel says:

    At the heart of all elections should be this:
    “We, as Australians and as Jews, can and should evaluate how good governments are based on their performance, not their promises”.

    I am firmly of the opinion that anyone who votes based on what is said during an election campaign rather than basing their choice on past competence is a fool.

    As we say though, in a democracy, the people get the government they deserve…

  • Jdoc says:

    Not sure I agree with the idea of a shortage of childcare places in the suburbs listed – may I suggest that for a significant proprtion of the kids that attend in these suburbs (often significantly subsidized by the tax payer) it is not because both parents are working but because it is the social norm, for kids from the age of 1, to go to childcare for 2-3 days per week to give the mother some “me time” or for “socialization” Not that they dont need some time to themselves, but one must question the usefulness of this being subsidized particularly in these areas, and the need for quite so many childcare places. Kids have been shown to do best with care provided by the family, and can be socialized in many ways other than organised care

  • ariel says:

    Although I do somewhat agree that this article is more of an advertisement rather than an intelligent appraisal of Liberal policy.

    I would say that there are several reasons to vote Liberal:

    1) scrapping the $43B NBN which will clearly be obsolete before it’s finished and replacing it with a seemingly more versatile $6B version to be run by the private sector

    2) abolishing area health services and appointing boards to each and every public hospital, consisting of doctors, nurses and physios who are qualified to make medical decisions for their patients. this is how the hosipital system ran from 1901-1973 and it was efficient and reliable.

    3) abolishing GP super clinics which are nothing more than government trying to muscle in on existing GP surgeries…a copy of Britain’s disastrous NHS

    4) stopping the borrowing of money from China and paying an INTEREST bill of $100,000 a day! The economy is on the way to full recovery and there’s no need to put ourselves in China’s pocket by borrowing from them

    5) having the Coalition in power will render Mark Arbib impotent.

    see: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/focus-groups-and-factions-tear-heart-out-of-labor/story-e6frgd0x-1225903163255

    and more:
    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/role-reversal-from-swan-and-hockey-20100809-11u1w.html

  • Aki says:

    Nadav, I am not sure that I follow your argument. Don’t you say that both parties are essentially the same on policy? If that is the case, how then can you honestly argue that the Liberals are the ones to vote for? As for Israel, apart from the fact that Gillard was there last year, both parties have very strong views and Israel and an ALP Minister was at the helm when the UN voted on Israel in the first place. If anything, Jews should vote for both parties. But if not, given that we vote for our local members, hasn’t the Jewish member for Melbourne Ports done a heck of a lot for Israel and the Jewish community? Surely that should count for something..

  • Sam says:

    I disagree that the above article is an advertisment disguised as Jewish ideals and thought.
    The writer states that it is only an opinion piece, and he/she is clearly a Liberal supporter from the content. There is no attempt to delude the reader into believing that it is anything more.
    We have had “Are the Greens Kosher?” and it would be reasonable for Galus to publish an article by some-one prepared to extoll the virtues of the Labor Government and also an analysis of their election campaign so far.

    In the postscript,Galus Editorial invites some-one to contribute in this area. Some-one? Any-one?

  • Aussiebattler says:

    On the matter of childcare. What happened to parent responsibility? Why bother having children if you plan to farm them out to childcare facilities to enable yourself to be a slave to the Capitalistic pagan materialism god?

    Australia has a wonderful education system, but if it not up to your expectation would you consider having your children educated in Israel?

    “For the young, the elderly and for Israel…” Israel? What next will be expected from political parties? Money for religious collection plates?

  • petrol watcher says:

    I BLAME the Liberals for not implementing the Fuel watch system nationally. In WA everyone can see how much the price will be, and it stays the same all day – easy to find a bargain. In fact, i used to find out what tomorrow’s price will be! Nowhere else, thanks to the in bed with big business Libs. I miss it, now i live in NSW.

    In fact, you’ve reminded me how much i dislike them because of that – so I’m sure the labor party now says thanks to you cause they’ve now got another voter.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    ah..AussieBattler is Michael Leunig!

  • Ittay says:

    I’d be interested to hear from women who intend to vote Liberal how you can be comfortable with a leader who has said the follwoing statements.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJTX0iWYX9A

    “Work Choices was one of the Howard government’s greatest achievements”
    “I wont be rushing out to get my daughters vaccinated against cervical cancer”
    “Climate change is absolute crap”
    “There may not be a great job for indigenous people, but whatever there is, they just have to do it, and if it’s picking up rubbish around the community, it just has to be done”
    “we just can’t stop people from being homeless if that’s their choice”
    “I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons,”
    “Abortion is the easy way out. It’s hardly surprising that people should choose the most convenient exit from awkward situations,”

  • Just a little diddy I made up about our new PM:

    My Name is Julia, by Shoshanna Silcove

    I am woman, hear me strong,
    even though my nose is long,
    it doesn’t mean that I will lie to you.

    My hair and politics are red,
    and I climbed as Kevin bled,
    as I promised, to the summit, with a grand view!

    Now I have real plumb job,
    which is to put a new facade,
    on old Labour policies bound to fail.

    Tony Abbott please beware,
    to a lady you must be fair,
    lest I use my feminine wiles,
    and my partner’s free hairstyles.

    I will try to garner votes,
    exploiting people of the boats,
    making deals with union friends, and miners too.

    I am woman hear me strong,
    as I told you all along,
    to be the first female PM, it was my due

  • Ittay, as a woman I feel very uncomfortable with Julia Gillard as a who stated:
    1) that she never wanted to have children
    2) that she doesn’t believe in G-d.

    That is enough for me to NOT want her as PM because it indicates she is selfish, power hungry, and cannot understand the problems of mums and families. She chose power-lust and opportunism over being a mom. She is antheist meaning she will not pray for the well being of our country. Not the type of person that will make a good PM in my view.

  • ooops correction; Julia states she never wanted to be a mum and doesn’t believe in G-d.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Hi Ittay – I’m not your demographic. I wouldn’t vote Liberal in a pink fit but I’d like to say something about diversity in politics or business for that matter, in response to Shoshana’s comments. Diversity is about the pool from which leaders are drawn and we want that to be as big and diverse as possible. Diversity is not about having someone up there who exactly mirrors me or you or anyone else. That’s clearly not going to work because no one person can mirror all of us (duh). We want empathetic leaders, drawn from a diverse pool, not leaders who have just our experience or have made the same choices that we did.So unlike Shoshana I’m OK with Julia Gillard as PM even though her beliefs and life experience are different to mine. I wish she was more empathetic about asylum seekers and the most disadvantaged in society but I suspect she’s better than Abbot in the empathy stakes, even if he is a “family man”.

    And on that, Aussiebattler/Leunig and Jdoc (lehavdil), child care is not women’s business, its the responsibility of parents, extended families, the community, society. People need child care for a range of reasons: including so they can work and where they are not well equipped to care for their kids on their own (its not always that easy – I had three children in 3 years, the hardest thing I have ever done by a mile and I could not have done it full time on my own ). We need new solutions and approaches to affordable and quality child care – here’s a great story from The Age – Racing to the Rescue (back in May)http://www.theage.com.au/national/racing-to-the-rescue-20100514-v4mh.html
    about a consortium of advisers, investors and financiers which successfully beat other interests, to purchase the ABC learning centre child care centres from the liquidators to run on a not for profit basis, using some innovative arrangements. And needless to say the movers and shakers and innovators in this deal were not Liberals.

  • Mandi,
    It has nothing to do with diversity. I could care less that Julia’s personal beliefs and choices are different to mine. The fact that she was determined to never become a mother and, that she is an avowed unabashed atheist is a reflection of her lack of certain character traits that I believe are critical to being a good PM for our country.

  • ariel says:

    First, I’d like to correct a typo in my earlier comment:

    The Government’s interest bill to China is $100 MILLION a day, not $100,000.

    Second,
    Any discussion over what the leader said or may have said or didn’t say is irrelevant. In this country we don’t elect the PM, as we saw just a few weeks ago!
    We vote for our local members. I will not be swayed by a leader’s comments in deciding on who my local MP should be. After all, the leader could change at any time and I have nothing to do with that choice!

    Bottom line: unless you live in the electorates of Lalor or Warringah, you ain’t voting for who’s to be PM!!

  • ariel says:

    petrol watcher,

    your comment makes no sense whatsover.
    how can you blame the liberals for something that labor tried to do and failed dismally?

  • Sam says:

    Mandi,

    Are you sure that Aussiebattler is Michael Leunig? I am quite sure that one of those dudes has some literacy issues to add all his pre-existing ones!

  • Jdoc says:

    IMHO Liberals cannot be an option due to Tony Abbott’s statements on climate change. I can’t get past this onto the rest of their policies! Although I cannot see Labour with the mess of the economy and their affairs over their past term being a viable option. Seems pretty dire this time around. Sitting in front of my postal vote and wondering what on earth to do.

    ANd Mandi Katz, I wasn’t disputing the need for childcare, having 3 (nrly 4) young ones of my own and a managing that and work. However, I think we are over subsidising childcare (ie everyone gets it subsidised pretty much), and it (the child care places and the subsidised care) is possibly not being allocated to the people who need it most. Of course if you work, you need childcare, or other means of support. And of course women need support and help even if they don;t work. I am not sure though that doing coffee/ hair etc several days a week needs to be subsidised by the tax-payer (as happens in the suburbs listed), or prevent a working mum from being able to work. Childcare should not be the norm for all kids. That was my point. I also believe there is a big hole in the community, particularly in the Jewish schools in after school care – daycare is all well and good, but it seems to be far more complicated once they enter school.

  • Aussiebattler. says:

    Shoshana, your poetry. A timely reminder that caricatures of the Jewish nose have been unkind.

    With regard to workers union movements and the Australian Labor Party. Jewish Australians have played a significant roll in bringing about changes for the better for all Australians in the work place.

    It may be difficult for younger Australians, Jewish and non Jewish, to fully understand the ideal conditions and wages enjoyed by workers in this country (especially for women) were not always as they are today.

    Julia Gillard herself grew up in Australia during an era before many of the positive changes in the work place came about. Had she been a wife and mother (without the child care/assistance of today) her first priorities would naturally have been her family… in a wider sense, a nation is a family. Gillards push for better education of Australian children is a gift to all future generations.

    Regardless of her appeasement to the mining giants, and her non condemnation of Israel’s willful behaviour, Gillard has dedicated herself to Australia. She is the best option for PM!

    However, because the line between Liberal and Labour policies have blurred we need the Greens in the Senate to keep the balance.

  • philip mendes says:

    Nadav: I presume you are aware that 23 per cent of Jewish students in Victoria do not attend private schools. Many of these students come from working or middle-class backgrounds, and the priority for them is well-funded public schools that are available to all.

    In contrast, the other 77 per cent mainly come from middle or upper middle-class backgrounds, and their families make a free choice to send them to expensive private schools.

    I personally do not believe that governments should be providing such generous funds to private schools which still overwhelmingly cater to the top 20 per cent of income earners.

    The best way to fix the Jewish schools funding issue is not to give more money to elitist schools with unaffordable fees, but rather to create new Jewish schools which are affordable for those not in the top income brackets. Those schools would deserve government funding because they would be far more accessible.

    Philip Mendes

  • Nadav Prawer says:

    Phillip- as a general rule, I believe that engaging in a back and forth debate once a piece is published is neither productive nor in the spirit of sound political debate; a descent into details and off the point seems inevitable.
    However, seeing that you have been cited, with some authority, in Jpost as editing a publication on Jews and politics, I think it is appropriate to address the suppositions and facts underlying your statement. Again, this issue is somewhat different from the article, but worth addressing. My qualifications to comment come not only from working in the Jewish school system and the education sector more broadly, but also from my previous role as a parliamentary intern; you can view my reports on Victorian Government school closure mechanisms and funding policies there.

    In short, the argument that it costs the government money for private schools is fallacious. Private schools receive almost no state funding. Funds that are received are almost always from the Commonwealth. Totaling all funding reaches a result of a per student contribution to private and Catholic schools well below the per capita funding levels given to public school students. This excludes public school capital works, but includes private school capital works. Were private school students to move to the public sector en masse, or even as few as 10-15%, by most accounts this would cause a collapse in resourcing and in budget for the public sector and for the states.

    The other myth is that Jewish schools are expensive. You state that governments should “rather to create new Jewish schools which are affordable for those not in the top income brackets.” The implication being that run of the mill private schools are in fact cheaper. The reality is that whilst the ‘sticker price’ of attendance at Jewish schools is high, more than half of all students are on fee relief. The cost to put a student through a public school education is approximately $8000 per student in the public sector, excluding capital works, maintenance and management services provided by departments centrally. Jewish schools, offering a premium in terms of Jewish education, class size, student services, teacher quality and community involvements, especially for students requiring fee relief, are not that far off this amount. Coupled with the fact that Jewish schools need to purchase land, pay bank interest, import specialist teachers for Jewish studies and Hebrew and deal with security costs (though successive governments have assisted in this regard) and the actual fees paid per student are not exorbitant. Almost all the Jewish schools have policies ensuring that no child who is truly determined to get a Jewish education is left behind. But in any event, Phillip, what you are proposing is unreal- cheaper schools offering real services? There is, in my experience, very little fat to be cut without digging into the product.

    So, without delving further into the matter, (please feel free to contact me via the editors, as should any other readers for a further discussion on this line) government has a net saving through parents subsidising education through private schools. it is a free choice of parents, but one that intelligent government policy should subsidize as the results and economic benefits are very real. At the same time, really doing the maths shows that Jewish schools are not realistically able to offer the kind of bargain basement prices that you are seeking, and constructing new schools, dividing students further and consequently diminishing resources would achieve the opposite. Dollar for dollar, government has the potential to operate more efficiently. We know that it doesn’t- that’s why Liberal philosophy of personal choice is so important- but to be even competitive with a government school requires substantial funding from some source. Making good schools accessible to all requires not new institutions, but a more equitable funding model that doesn’t penalize parents for wanting the best for their children.

    Nadav Prawer

  • Dennis the sensible one says:

    Nadav,
    Thanks for the heartfelt note you dropped into our letterbox supporting Kevin Ekendahl.
    The only thing is, we live in Goldstein and our local Liberal candidate is Andrew Robb.

  • Aussiebattler. says:

    Nadav Prawer,
    I wish to draw your attention to the following: “Letters to the Editor” Green Left Weekly 15 August 2010 http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/45131

    Does it concern you that money donated to the JNF by Australian Jews is helping to demolition homes of Arab children in West Bank/Negev/East Jerusalem?

    With increased government subsidy from Australian government to private schools (of Jewish and Muslim denominations) isn’t there the potential to free up money for duel citizenship Australians to send money to fund various overseas projects, such as terrorist groups/state occupation terrorism?

  • Sam says:

    Aussiebattler
    No one is asking you for money! It is absurd for you to be suggesting to readers that they re-think their donations to JNF on the basis of your hateful anti-semitic agenda. Maybe you are appealing to the handful of people who are like yourself that make unwelcome contributions here, but that is absurd as well.

  • Nadav Prawer says:

    Dear ‘AussieBattler’
    Though this is hardly the forum, and the letter to which you refer is hardly authoritative or impartial, I might make two brief points.

    1. The connection between increased school subsidies and the use to which financial resources are put by others is spurious at best. It is equivalent to saying that increased disposable income leads inexorably to drug use. The logical corollary of your point is to bankrupt everyone who disagrees with you so that there is no possibility of them using funds in a manner which may be controversial. Funding of private schools is done because of the above-mentioned good reasons, not in any way connected to our fears of what people might do if they have money.
    I might go one step further, and suggest that your worry about ‘duel citizenship’ (sic) Australians is precisely a good reason for funding private schools, and thereby maintaining national framework interactions with private schools, though this is besides the point.

    2. Aussiebattler, if you conduct proper investigation, as opposed to propagandizing, you’ll find that there is a lot more to the alleged land appropriations than you gratuitously imply. Consider, for instance, the reality that most, if not all, of the demolitions are of illegally built houses (as is standard global practice,) houses being built on ILA land and villages being built in accordance with the ‘burn and build’ process, whereby groups burn areas of forest down and then set up housing in those areas. All demolitions in Israel are subject to court orders and interventions. This is a process of the rule of law. Imagine if a young family decided to build a shanty town in the botanical gardens, and then declared it genocidal to uproot them. Or if I set up an encampment in Melbourne’s CBD and demanded that traffice be rerouted around my ‘house.’ Note that the organisation that Yeela Ranaan allegedly represents relates to ‘unrecognised’ villages- for which case law, both internationally and in Israel’s domestic system is substantial both in terms of mechanisms for rexognising land and in responding to squatters.

    And even if, according to your rather trite presentation of homes as belonging to children, we were to accept that this is a differentiating factor, and we were to accept Yeela Ranaan’s arguments, her knowledge of JNF’s funding processes is unlikely to be significant. My last discussion with JNF Australia relating to their funding priorities was almost solely research- processes like eradication of the gall wasp, desalination queries and other areas of joint agricultural benefit to both Australia and Irael.

    A factual analysis, from respected primary sources, is probably a better way of discussing things that second-hand letters to the editor of a publication aptly distributed through ‘resistance centres.’

  • Aussiebattler says:

    Fact is dear Nadav, it is illegal for an occupying power (such as Israel) to build on the land it occupies. “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” – Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949

    From Antony Lowenstien: 28 August 2010
    “The Israeli government should immediately stop the arbitrary destruction of Palestinian homes and other property in the West Bank and compensate the people it has displaced, Human Rights Watch said today. Israeli authorities destroyed 141 Palestinian homes and other buildings in July 2010, the largest number in any month since at least 2005, and have already carried out dozens of demolitions in August.

    “While Israel is demolishing more and more Palestinian homes, it continues to subsidize the Jewish settlements nearby,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Israel has flouted international law not only by supporting settlements on occupied territory, but also by erasing longstanding Palestinian communities next door.”
    AUGUST 19, 2010
    http://antonyloewenstein.com/2010/08/28/you-want-to-negotiate-with-these-fools/

    Human Rights Watch: August 19 2010 Israel: New Peak in Arbitrary Razing of Palestinian Homes
    Discriminatory Israeli Policies Demolish Village, Forcibly Displace West Bank Residents

    As for “unrecognized villages,” are you referring to the Palestinian villages that were razed to make way for Canada Park funded by the JNF? I’m sure many Palestinian children once lived in those villages.

  • Nadav Prawer says:

    Again, AussieBattler, this is not the forum or the thread for this discussion. But once again, I will make a few brief points.

    1. The legality of construction in the West Bank, Jerusalem etc is not as you describe. Far be it from me to enter into complex questions of international law, rules of occupation etc, and far be it for me to suggest that the legality of such acts is a relevant concern for you- it seems that the principle is what bothers you, at least based on your earlier comment. But what is clear is that, even in accordance with UN doctrine and rulings, Israel’s rights are more involved than this post, or I, have the scope to discuss. After you’ve studied international law, and after you consider the relevant UN resolutions, the question of whose territory israel is occupying, Israel’s own rights of ownership, the question of populations transfer when pre-extant Jewish populations already abound, and so on, we can resume this discussion, again, in an appropriate forum.

    2. My comments about qualified and informed comment still apply- Mr Lowenstein’s notoriety notwithstanding. Have a look at where the homes demolished were located- how many were built in public lands, illegally? How many were homes of terrorists, which are demolished under a court order? What makes you think that it is at all arbitrary? Again, informed comment is necessary for informed debate.

    3. I note that you have now entirely abandoned your original positions and contention. I would suspect, perhaps uncharitably, that your original comments were merely a segue to another ill-informed Israel-bashing exercise in an article on Australian political decisions.

  • Nadav Prawer says:

    And another thing: What connection, at all, do the presence of children have to the legality of the housing or of a government making dispositions in that regard? I’m sure many children live along the Victorian government’s proposed rail corridor, but that doesn’t have any legal impact that I am aware of.

  • Aussiebattler. says:

    Nadav you say, “… this is not the forum or the thread for this discussion…” I wish to disagree, in a friendly manner. After all your article is headed, “For the young, the elderly, and for *Israel,* vote Liberal.”

    Australia is a colonized country. The foundations of our cities sit on Aboriginal ethnically cleansed lands, and that includes the corridor of the proposed Victorian rail corridor where contemporary White founded townships now exist.

    We cannot change the past, but we, as Australians enjoying the abundance of this Aboriginal land we call Australia, cannot condone the same type of cruel colonialist activities being carried out by Israel today.

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