Dora McPhee (VIC) on Sheridan article The Australian 25 June 2009 June 25, 2009

The Australian: “Gillard prime ministerial in Israel” by Greg Sheridan,25197,25685538-5013460,00.html

It is little wonder that the great majority of the time-poor and media
reliant Australian public is so ill informed on the Israel/Palestine
conflict when our own government leaders and media correspondents are in the
business of air-brushing history. Reading Greg Sheridan’s account of the
trip Julia Gillard is currently heading in Israel requires great
forbearance. Not only does he slam those who strongly protested this trip in
his effort to discredit decent people who in good conscience could no longer
support Israel’s occupation, apartheid policies and recent assault on Gaza
that was enacted with such impunity. He falsifies history by implying that
the British drive through to Jerusalem facilitated by the Australian 1917
light horse charge against the Ottoman Turks in Beersheba led to the
establishment of Israel as if that was the aim of the British offensive.
This is a sly rewriting of history and no doubt is easier to do these days
when war veterans of this era are no longer alive to draw attention to its

Likewise recent history was rewritten as Julia Gillard was feted in Israel
for going out on a limb in support of Israel’s 22-day military assault on
Gaza – one of the very reasons people were protesting this trip. Gillard was
one of the first  to peddle the lie that Hamas had broken the truce and
Israel was acting in self-defence, which has  now been established as a
false reading of the situation. What is being left out of all the discourse
is the fact that Israel has been occupying another people for the last 42
years and it is the cruelty and illegal actions that Israel has taken in
occupying and dispossessing the Palestinians on a daily basis that is the
reason Israel has a security problem. Illegal settlement construction
continues as Gillard is in Israel, while Gaza continues its humanitarian
decline under a punitive longstanding siege. This leaves one wondering about
our so-called even-handed approach to a problem that is really about the
denial of human rights.

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