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Jews support asylum seekers while the NSW Greens deligitimise Jews – the week in politics

December 12, 2010 – 4:43 pm35 Comments

Ironically, by boycotting Israel, the NSW Greens will be boycotting some of the most advanced green technology in the world, such as this really cool electricity-producing skylight

By Anthony Frosh

Last week, the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC) issued a press release calling on “Australians to welcome asylum-seekers into their communities and embrace the benefits refugees can offer Australia.”  The full statement is available on J-Wire.

As someone sympathetic to the plight of refugees, I naturally welcome the statement, which is strong and unambiguous.  And to those that have criticized the ADC for only being concerned about the mistreatment of Jews, it is another sturdy example demonstrating that such critics need to reassess their criticisms.

However, the question needs to be asked as to why such a press release did not materialise sooner.  The optimal time for such a release would have been prior to the Australian federal election held this August.  Indeed, when the immigration debate was at its most heated phase, Galus Australis published an article by Mandi Katz titled “People of the Boat – A Jewish Perspective on the Asylum Seeker Issue”.  That was July 8. The ADC’s press release was precisely five months later, December 8.  Would it not have been more relevant back then, rather than now?

If this statement had been released in the lead up to the federal election, one consideration (and I have absolutely no knowledge whether this was a consideration of the ADC) for those who might have been influenced by the statement is that the most mainstream political party with a refugee policy approximating the ADC’s was the Greens.

While many Australian Jews would naturally be pre-disposed to message sympathetic with the plight of asylum seekers, it also needs to be said that a significant proportion of the Jewish Australian voting population has reservations about the Greens in terms of their perceived antipathy towards the State of Israel.  Of course, some Jewish supporters of the Greens did make the case that the Greens were kosher in the lead up to August election.

Last week, the NSW Greens officially threw their weight behind a boycott of Israel. Their official support for the anti-Israel BDS movement will only make it harder for the majority of Jews to feel comfortable voting for them.

Ittay Flescher, one of the authors of the much read Greens advocacy piece cited above, has stated that he is disappointed with the resolution, and has written a letter to the NSW Greens explaining to them why their BDS resolution is not the right way to go, and most importantly will not further the cause of peace. The Melbourne-based Mr Flescher has also pointed out that this resolution is specific to the NSW branch and supported neither by the Victorian branch of their party, nor the federal branch.

Federal senator Bob Brown, has issued a statement to the Jewish Australian media distancing federal part from the NSW motion on BDS. “The motion passed by the NSW Greens is not the position of the Australian Greens … A proposal to call for a broad boycott of Israel was put to this year’s Australian Greens National Council meeting but was not supported,” Senator Brown said.

Even Sol Salbe, a person whose fulltime job it seems is to put up links on his Facebook page to stories critical of Israel for the pleasure of his hordes of fanatically anti-Israel “Facebook friends”, wrote, “the NSW Greens position in support of BDS is the least nuanced version I’ve encountered. The fact it is allegedly unanimous tends to indicate a fairly narrow range of views within that branch which is not duplicated in other branches where a broad shul exists.”

If even someone like Sol Salbe, a relentless critic of the State of Israel, albeit one who is always careful to leave himself wiggle room, is offering this kind of nuanced reaction, one can only imagine the reaction of the vast majority of Australian Jews who resent the inexcusable attempt at the deligitimisation of Israel represented BDS.

Unless the federal branch of the Greens vocally and unambiguously (as opposed to making more discrete assurances to Jewish audienced) condemns this resolution of the NSW branch, they will be hard pressed to gain a handy (let alone top) position on the ballot paper of the vast majority of Australian Jews.

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35 Comments »

  • Larry Stillman says:

    And please remember Ant, that the AJDS motion in support of boycotts of West Bank goods and services in no way supports a general slag-off against Israel.

    And I think calling the people who read Sol’s FB posts hordes of fanatically anti-Israel’ is off the mark, particularly since many of them are Israelis including some very strong anti-occupation proud Zionists. I’d argue that most are highly critical of Israel. There are I know a few hardlines with whom I joust but they are not in control. You misread the audience.

    But things are getting hot out there. Look at today’s NYTimes where Thomas Friedman has blown his stack at both Israel and the Palestinian leadership.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/opinion/12friedman.html?_r=1&hp

    ” I understand the problem: Israeli and Palestinian leaders cannot end the conflict between each other without having a civil war within their respective communities. Netanyahu would have to take on the settlers and Abbas would have to take on Hamas and the Fatah radicals. Both men have silent majorities that would back them if they did, but neither man feels so uncomfortable with his present situation to risk that civil war inside to make peace outside. There are no Abe Lincolns out there.

    What this means, argues the Hebrew University philosopher Moshe Halbertal, is that the window for a two-state solution is rapidly closing. Israel will end up permanently occupying the West Bank with its 2.5 million Palestinians. We will have a one-state solution. Israel will have inside its belly 2.5 million Palestinians without the rights of citizenship, along with 1.5 million Israeli Arabs. “Then the only question will be what will be the nature of this one state — it will either be apartheid or Lebanon,” said Halbertal. “We will be confronted by two horrors.”

    Now, if you have a crude understanding off the problem, what the NSW Greens have gone for is understandable, though not very clever and will piss off more people than it wins over.

  • frosh says:

    Hi Larry,

    A) I never mentioned the AJDS, so please don’t get so defensive.

    B) Even I am one of Sol Salbe’s Facebook friends, so clearly, I do not mean the entire set. I could devote a separate article to some horrendous things said by people within that set, such as those who were glad to see the back of a pregnant Jewish woman gunned down by terrorists… but for now, that would be getting off topic.

  • Sol Salbe says:

    Antony,

    I cannot see why needed to get into character assassination when it is not relevant to your argument. It would have been sufficient to say even Sol Salbe, a frequent critic of Israel who runs a Middle East News Service providing alternative information chiefly from Israeli sources… Your point about the NSW Greens would have been just as strong.

    But if we are to engage in personality politics perhaps it just a little bit relevant to mention that I’m an Israeli who believes that Australia provides a good model of the kind of country I want Israel to be. These days Australia belong to Australians all Australians and no-one but Australians. It is no longer tied to anyone apron’s strings. Israel should be as Israeli as Australia is Australian, as Jewish as Australia is Christian and as Hebrew as as the bilingual Canada is English. I doubt that too many people in the broad Australian community will regard it as anything too radical or something to bee ashamed off.

    Yes running the M E News Service is a full-time job but if you linked to my Facebook page, those people who are on Facebook could check fro themselves the kind of article I translate from Hebrew.
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=523794418
    Alternatively they can subscribe to the Service by writing to ssalbe@westnet.com.au. Facebook, However, is better.

  • philip mendes says:

    Ant: good article. My friend Nick Dyrenfurth’s earlier article supporting asylum seekers in the light of his family history is also worth a read. See
    http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/asylum-seekers-another-lost-opportunity/

    When I researched my earlier ADC report on the Greens (see URL and brief citation below), I similarly found that their NSW Branch was by far the worst, and almost reminiscent of the Victorian Hartleyites in the old ALP Socialist Left of the 1970s.

    http://www.antidef.org.au/secure/downloadfile.asp?fileid=1001363

    a) A motion passed by the Greens NSW SDC (State Delegates Council – the peak decision-making organ of the state party) in April 2002 titled ‘Call for Immediate Peace in the Middle East’ bracketed the Israeli occupation of Palestine with the historical ‘dispossession’ of Australia’s indigenous population. The motion urged the Australian Government and the international community to immediately ‘implement sanctions through the United Nations, and suspend diplomatic relations with Israel until Israeli forces have withdrawn from the Occupied Territories and peace negotiations have resumed’. The motion also calls for discussions with trade unions to discuss ‘the imposition of possible sanctions on the Israeli Government’. (For discussion of this motion, see the article by Jamal Daoud, a Palestinian community activist who is the Greens NSW Immigration and Refugee Spokesperson (Daoud 2002).

    Some well-meaning supporters of asylum seekers – Green or otherwise – get sucked into the “abolish Israel” cause. One prominent Victorian advocacy group even distributed fliers promoting the recent visit to Australia of Palestinian hardliner George Bisharat who advocates the removal of Israel and its replacement by an Arab State of Greater Palestine.

    Some of these people forget that if Israel was eliminated, there would be six million new Jewish refugees.

    PM

  • philip mendes says:

    Ant: forgot to say that interestingly that NSW Greens Manifesto endorses legally baseless right of return claims suggesting wrongly that the Palestinians who became refugees in 1948 as a result of a combination of Palestinian, Arab and Israeli actions have an unconditional right to return to their former homes.

    In fact, the December 1948 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 was clearly conditional, and formally linked to acceptance of the earlier UN partition resolution creating both Jewish and Arab states in Palestine, and a negotiated peace. The resolution stated that ‘the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return’.

    In practice, both the Palestinian leaders and the Arab governments initially rejected the resolution precisely because it implied recognition of Israel’s legitimacy.

    The only sane and dignified solution to the refugee tragedy is the resettlement of all Palestinian refugees with compensation as either full citizens in the neighboring Arab countries in which most have lived for over 60 years, or alternatively as citizens of a new Palestinian state to be established alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

    PM

  • Larry Stillman says:

    Ant, I was only making a pre-emptive strike re AJDS to prevent some of the criticisms that inevitably appear. …nor should you criticize what people say just because they are linked by Facebook.

  • Larry Stillman says:

    “egally baseless right of return claims suggesting wrongly that the Palestinians who became refugees in 1948 as a result of a combination of Palestinian, Arab and Israeli actions have an unconditional right to return to their former homes. ”

    This is an entirely different thread, but I think many Palestinians, and not just hardliners would object to this statement which seems to blame P. & Arab for their own exile as well as Philip’s characterization of the compensation issue and what happened through the Israel Enemy Property Laws (or similarly named legislation and associated practices).

    As we all know, the issue of refugees/compensation/right of the return is one of the most contentious issues with respect to a settlement.

    For those who are interested, there is a related discussion about the absence of a mention in J-street’s recent statement and related matters stemming from a post by Mark Baker on FB. In the same way that giving up the right of return is an ideological kick in the guts for the sake of peace, giving up the notion of a ‘Jewish state’ that relegates others to 2nd class status might be part of concessions that Israel needs to make or some version of it e.g. a new Basic Law with specific recognition of the rights of Israeli Palestinians. But this is tangential to criticizing the NSW Greens motion and its absolutism.

  • Ilana Leeds says:

    B’H
    @ Sol I nearly bit my tongue off, but now I have to say something in answer to a few things in your post but particularly this:

    “But if we are to engage in personality politics perhaps it just a little bit relevant to mention that I’m an Israeli who believes that Australia provides a good model of the kind of country I want Israel to be.”
    Israel should not be another non Jewish nation like Australia and I am saying this fully aware and appreciative of Australia’s unique national character and being in no way derogatory of Australia and Australians. I am born here and I am both an Israeli and Australian citizen.
    Israel is a unique land and nation. Sadly it is the secular Israelis who ache to recreate their country in the mold of a secular goishe nation like Australia instead of working to make Israel a light unto the nations and elevating life there to achieve the kesdusha that is its true heritage.
    I have seen it all, from a young Israeli woman who came down to stay at my house who trawled RSVP for her ‘goishe bershert’ instead of dating Jewish guys for a permanent marriage/ relationship because the Australian country guys were sort of ‘Israeli’ in flavour (yes in your dreams, as in reality they are poles apart) to Australians on the Kibbutz I spent time on in 1986, who had made Aliyah and yet spent hours watching AFL grand finals from 5 or 6 years ago. It has always amazed me that secular and even some traditional Israelis would look to a state like Australia for the direction that Israel should take.
    I say G-D forbid that Israel’s future direction is to develop into a very secularised Jewish version of Australia. Do you know what I would like to see for Israel? One state from the Golan Heights down to the Suez Canal and a strong peaceful border with Jordan where it is now. I don’t believe in a two state solution. I believe it is some tiddly winks appeasement plan that has cost countless Israeli and other lives and has further bolstered aggressive hopes of the Palestinians and Arab world for the complete delegitimisation of Israel as a Jewish state.
    I would like to see a Jewish Israeli state that has no buses or sheruts running on Shabbat and yom tovim. People being fined if they open their businesses on Shabbat and Yom tovim. Yes, some people would protest but they would learn to cope the same way secular Muslims cope with living in Saudi Arabia or other religious Arab states do. Israel is a Jewish state after all and should have a Jewish government that respects the unique Jewish status of the country.
    and Sol this takes the cake.
    “These days Australia belong to Australians all Australians and no-one but Australians. It is no longer tied to anyone apron’s strings.”
    Our politicians are everyone’s patsie on many issues involving overseas trade and bend like willows this way and that. Do you really know what is happening in Australia at present? I do not present myself as an expert but I do know that our Australian pollies run to attach themselves to anyone important, hadn’t you noticed?
    I have to say that Bibby Netanyahu and Kevvie Crudd and Julia G do have certain character traits in common.

  • Ilana Leeds says:

    B’H
    And on the topic of the NSW Greens or any greens, I do not want to say I told you so. Green is just another shade of dark red from the socialist left of the NSW ALP in NSW.

  • Mohan says:

    Great hasbara! So the ADL supports asylum seekers which the Greens do not oppose. And the Greens support to the BDS campaign de-legitimises Jews ! Of course NSW Greens MP is Jewish and as are several Greens candidates! Support to the campaign, being championed by Jeff Halper, Illan Pappe, Haim Beersheeth,Stephen Rose, Rick Kuhn to name a few, is “de-legitimising” Jews! This is anew low in the opposition to Israel is anti-semitism smear.

    No mention of the fact that Israel has not even agreed to a three month halt on expansion of settlements and Israel will not permit a Palestinian state with its own military, control over borders, air space and its radio spectrum.

  • frosh says:

    Sol,

    I would have thought you’d have been thanking be for boosting your profile, and giving you an opportunity to further promote your presence (an opportunity you have rightly and wisely taken).

    That aside, I agree that you provide “alternative information”. Regrettably, it’s only the one alternative, and not multiple alternatives.

    However your comment comparing Australia and Israel I must take issue with. The indigenous people of Australia have on average standard of living that is abysmal in comparison to the non-indigenous population. All this despite the fact that Australia is NOT surrounded by 22 hostile “Aboriginal states” that would like to extinguish its existence.

    I think the NSW Greens should be a lot more concerned about the state of Indigenous welfare in NSW, rather than concerning themselves with the Arab-Israeli conflict, taking sides, and passing resolutions that will not further peace. This is not just my view, but the view of many members of the Australian Greens (outside NSW).

  • frosh says:

    Mohan,

    It looks like you have been reading “The Finkler Question” (recent winner of the Man Booker Prize). I’ve surmised this, since you seem to have trotted out a list of some of the most esteemed members of the ASHamed Jews.

  • Marky says:

    Mohan, thanks for you hasbara..

    I personally know quite a few muslims-from Gazza, West Bank, Iran, Afganistan, Lebanon who agree with Israel’s policy. Unlike these Jews(or any) opposed to Israel, the former would not dare to set foot in their country of birth-they know what awaits them.

    Just goes to show what types Israel would need to deal with..

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Frosh I agree that the ADL should have made this statement prior to the federal election. In the weeks leading up to the election the only comments I saw in the AJN from Jewish organisations were in full on support of government policy as distinct from the Liberal party’s position and I think that was pretty poor and is evidence of the gap between the organised community’s position on things and the way many Jews feel about social justice issues in particular.

    Mohan -is may be unbelievable to you but there are many people who would have or did vote for the Greens in the federal election because of genuine support for its policies including on asylum seekers, but who believe that BDS is not good for Israelis or Palestinians and will not bring about the right sort of change, and in itself is not just.
    You my not like it, and you may not believe it, but many Jew are genuine in both their opposition to BDS and their support for better policy on asylum seekers.
    Your response that this can only be hasbara is part of a pattern of seeing Jews and Judaism in a way that doesn’t understand the range of views and opinions within the Jewish world on all manner of things.
    We may all look the same but we’re not all the same and you do yourself no favours when you express those sort of silly opinions.

  • Ilana Leeds says:

    B’H

    @frosh
    I could not agree more with the following:
    “I think the NSW Greens should be a lot more concerned about the state of Indigenous welfare in NSW, rather than concerning themselves with the Arab-Israeli conflict, taking sides, and passing resolutions that will not further peace. This is not just my view, but the view of many members of the Australian Greens (outside NSW).”
    I think it is sheer arrogance on their part to want to poke around in a conflict that is so far removed geographically and otherwise from them, when they have such a dirty backyard themselves with regard to the treatment of indigenous people, the health, welfare and education of young indigenous Australians leaves a lot to be desired especially in NSW. The rate of suicide in young indigenous Australians is the highest in the country because these young people are subjected to prejudicial attitudes of education providers and employers more often than not. When you go against the tide of opinion with regard to this, you are targeted and told you are a trouble maker. Then you are dealt with accordingly because they like a consensus of opinion for their reports.

  • Mohanto frosh says:

    I have not read the book in question. And what are “Ashamed Jews” do they speak the truth or don’t they ? Do the deny the facts on the ground or don’t you ?

    Has Israel halted settlements ?

    Has it stopped robbing minerals from the Dead Sea ?

    has it stopped expanding military, agricultural settlements in the Jordan valley ?

    Will Netanyahu/ any other government agree to the creation of a sovreign Palestine ?

    Will Israel agree to withdraw to the 1967 borders or even declare its permanent borders ?

    Ad hominem smears on Jews – some of the actually Israelis – will not make the truth disappers/ deal with it if you can.

  • Sol Salbe says:

    Ilana,
    I don’t want to stray too far off-topic so I will make it brief:

    1) You are correct in your assessment of Australia. I was only using Australia as a model, not as an ideal outcome.

    2) You are entitled to your view regarding foreign countries. The views held by you, Antony Loewenstein and Kim (my Vietnamese-Australian neighbour) should be treated by Israelis in the same way as the views of Tzipy Livni, Uri Avnery and Leah (my neighbour in Tel Aviv)on Australia be received by Australians.

  • Sol Salbe says:

    Antony,

    Allow me to take up the issue of News Service briefly. There are plenty of news sources giving the Israel-first point of view (I receive dozen of emails a day from the likes of MEMRI etc.) While not as numerous, there are plenty of sources from the Israel-last point of view. What has been missing is the more nuanced, critical but fair approach. As a rule I do not circulate the hard-line Alternative Information Centre nor do I forward Ilan Pappe’s musings, or anything similar. When Robert Fisk writes crap I say so. But there is no one else translating Shulamit Aloni or the Haaretz TV column that teaches you more about the country. And BTW I don’t know of anyone else who read the Hebrew and English version of certain articles and adds in the bits taken out for the English translation. I would actually contend that the range of views I circulate is much wider than MEMRI’s or the AIC, or almost any other specialised source you come across.

    Re the NSW Greens. I do not like the position they have taken and intend so much more about it soon. [It will make some of the criticism by you and the read-only expert(s) sound pretty milquetoast.) But I can’t understand the logic of telling the Greens not to get involved in foreign policy until this country gets its act together. Australia was almost as racist as South Africa. Does that mean I should not have gone to anti-Apartheid demonstrations? What about Timor should I have gone to those demos?

  • ariel says:

    I just came across this message to UK Jewry, but I’m sure many who frequent this website could take from it, particularly the main protagonists on this page…

    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=199142

  • Sol Salbe says:

    Ariel,
    Agree with (at least my reading of) the principle you seem to be putting forward. So like Ilana el as and Tzipi et al with their respective audiences above, Katie Green should get the same kind of attention. Like the other two audiences we can choose whether to pay any attention to her words. She has got no moral right to tell Australians what to do.

  • Sol Salbe says:

    Sorry: moral right per se.

  • frosh says:

    Sol,

    It’s not about commenting on Israel so much as is about implementing BDS against Israel.

    I’m hoping you can understand this very big distinction.

    It is hypocritical to boycott as state for some perceived flaw when your own state is as bad or worse.

  • frosh says:

    Sol, I just read the article Ariel linked to.

    Ms Green isn’t so much telling you “what to do”; she’s telling you what she thinks of you.

  • Ilana Leeds says:

    B’H
    @Sol
    The views held by you, Antony Loewenstein and Kim (my Vietnamese-Australian neighbour) should be treated by Israelis in the same way as the views of Tzipy Livni, Uri Avnery and Leah (my neighbour in Tel Aviv)on Australia be received by Australians.”

    I kind of resent being lumped with Antony Loewenstein who is notoriously anti Israel and I don’t know what the views held by your Vietnamese-Australian neighbour who has probably never lived in Israel, are. I am sure they are valid for the people concerned but I do have a vested interest because I do intend with G-D’s help to return and let my son do his high school there and for me to live eventually.

  • Sol Salbe says:

    Ant (6.28pm),

    Looks like I was a fully pledged hypocrite in the late ‘seventies and early eighties boycotting South Africa (even returning a reasonably-priced, beautiful, high-quality saucepan to the stand once it was confirmed that it was made in the RSA) while Australia had almost as racist policies.

    Ant (6.35) I’m not sure which meaning you had for the word you — I thought Ms Green was talking about Diaspora Jews and not expatriate Israelis.

    Ilana, I have no idea what Kim’s views are [For that matter I do not know what Tzipi Livni thinks of the NT intervention]. But you , Kim and Antony Loewenstein all belong to the same category of being Australians who are not Israeli Australians. Whether you have similar or different views is immaterial. I was classifying according to category (which is the same) rather than views (which are probably quite different.)

  • ariel says:

    Sol,

    Did you really demonstrate against the UNIFET program to facilitate East Timorese independence?

    So you would have rathered it remain under Indonesian occupation?
    If this is what you intended (and I hope you’ll explain to me otherwise), then perhaps we can’t take you too seriously.

  • Sol Salbe says:

    Ariel,
    As far as I remember the first demonstration I attended on Timor were circa 1975-76. That was a few decades before UNIFET was thought off. As far as I know the only Timor demonstrations in Australia were in favour of Timor Leste’s’s self-determination.

  • Marky says:

    Thanks, Sol. I used to wonder what the nail in the coffin was for apatheid in SA or in other words what was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Seems it was a saucepan..

  • Sol Salbe says:

    Marky,
    Your humour is great. Loved it! Your maths, however, is as challenged as the Australian Friends of Palestine Christmas card geography.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    Sol your illustration bringing together Loewenstein, Lipni, Ilana and your neighbours Kim and Leah brings to mind one of my favourite stories.
    The late intellectual Frank Knopfelmacher was a member of staff at Melbourne uni when I was a student and I heard him speak when we invited him to speak at Monash as a guest of MONJSS.

    I’m not sure if I heard him say this or I heard it repeated but he was speaking about how Australian Jews identify and he was discussing how many Jews give their children a very Aussie firstname but retain their clearly and identifiably Jewish surname. He gave examples: Doreen Rosenberg, a fellow faculty member in the psychology department if I remember correctly, and Craig Marmurstein “you know Craig Marmurstein” , he asked, “No of course you don’t, he’s my cat”.

  • frosh says:

    Sol,

    If you believed Australia to have similarly racist policies to SA, but you boycotted SA products but bought Australian products, how would this not be hypocrisy?

    At any rate, Israel’s situation is nothing like either of the above. Are NSW green currently implementing BDS against any other nation?

    Regarding Ms Green’s article, most expatriate Israelis are a subset of Diaspora Jews (including yourself I believe – “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave”). Reading Ms Green’s article, it’s pretty clear who her article is aimed at.

  • Elliot says:

    I note the reference to Jamal Daoud in Phillip Mendes’ piece. He is described as the NSW Greens Immigration and Refugees Spokesperson. I vividly recall coming upon him about that time at a meeting at the NSW Greens office on Israel/Palestine policy (I was representing the Victorian Greens). He was exceptionally abusive towards me – it was clearly his view that the only Jews who had a right to talk about about this issue were those who had confessed their sins and were willing to denounce the existence of Israel. I was very shaken by this experience and can say the only reason why I remained in the Party was the strong support I received from other Greens members (Victorian) after that meeting.

    I don’t think you will find that Jamal is still a spokeperson for the NSW Greens. I understand that his targets for abuse spread to senior members of the NSW Greens, including their then Senator. In the end they had to get rid of him from the Party – they did not like being his target.

    Given the tone of their recent resolution, I wonder if they will be inviting him back in?

  • frosh says:

    Mandi,

    Did he steal that bit from Jackie Mason?

    “Irving, Saul … Jews aren’t taking Jewish names anymore. Today it’s: Tiffany Schwartz. Ashlie Lipshitz. They’re trying to out-gentile the gentiles. Crucifix Finkelstein. The only people left with Jewish names are black people: Whoopi Goldberg.”

  • philip mendes says:

    Elliott: thanks for your interesting comments on the NSW Greens. As an aside (given our common interest in the anti-Vietnam War movement), have you read Michael Hyde’s new book, All along the watchtower, re: his memories of raising money for the NLF at Monash University? I’m curious to hear the thoughts of people who were involved in student radicalism at that time.

    PM

  • Elliot says:

    Phillip,

    Thanks for that reading tip! Mike is of course a more moderate chap these days, so his reflections on his wild youth should be interesting!

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