David Macilwain (VIC) writes to Mark Colvin re his interview with Anna Baltzer on the ABC’s “PM” show 25Oct10 October 25, 2010

Mark Colvin’s interview with ANNA BALTZER on the ABC’s PM program 25 October 2010.

I am quite disturbed to hear the part of the interview with Anna Balzer that you chose not to air, for what it suggests about your own views on democracy in Palestine. When Anna was talking about Hamas being elected as the representative government of ALL Palestine – not just Gaza, in elections which as she said were widely held as free and fair, you made some incomprehensible comment about ‘the last time’, which seemed to suggest that Hamas would become some sort of autocracy.  Where on earth does this idea come from?  If you want to know the recent origins and fate of Palestinian elections you should read an article in the New York Review of Books by Nathan Thrall, called ‘Our Man in Palestine’, which details the way that the US and Israel cooperated over the last 6 or 7 yrs to produce the situation we have now, where Palestine is ‘represented’ by an unelected president Mahmoud Abbas and controlled by Salam Fayyad.

Meanwhile in “Israel” we have a ‘Jewish and Democratic’ state to which new immigrants ( ie Palestinian refugees wanting to return home) must swear allegiance to the country which has stolen their land and their water and moved people from their comfortable homes all over the world to squat on this stolen land.

I also take issue with your remark about Palestinians renouncing violence by not throwing stones. Do you not think this is a little bizarre, when the Israeli soldiers that they throw the stones at fire back with tear gas and rubber bullets and regularly injure and even kill these people ON THEIR OWN LAND?

How can we hope to change the ABC’s institutional pro Israel bias when our experienced commentators are also so biased?

I am still getting round to writing again to the ABC about why they have not replied to my Flotilla letter — given recent developments I think I have some more to say – as for instance tonight’s revelation from Gabi Ashkenasy that the commandos fired 308 LIVE ROUNDS (at the “Mavi Marmara”), 70 of which were intended to injure people.  I thought they said in the film that they had not used any except as a last resort, yet they admit to firing 238 live rounds as ‘warning shots’.

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