Again and again. We were hit with Greens cheap moves designed for political score pointing with no practical commitments or record of achievements.
The Greens has successfully put motion to the Marrickville council to “support the principles of the BDS global campaign”. And as expected, the move attracted huge media attention. And the community took notice too.
Before we go further into the issue, let us ask few questions:
1- Why now: 3 months before state election?
2- Why Marrickville: we know that the Greens are hoping to win Marrickville state seat?
3- What are the practical implications of this motion?
4- Why the Greens councillors, despite the total support from ALL Labor councillors, are attacking the Labor state and federal members of the area?
And before we go further into exploring the issue, let us hear the opinion of the motion initiator, Greens councillor Cathy Peters. In early interview with 2SER radio station (you can hear the interview on http://2ser.podomatic.com/entry/index/2010-12-17T21_34_06-08_00), Ms Peters admitted that:
1- The council does not urge residents to boycott Israeli products.
2- The practical implications of this motion are still unknown, and possibly nil on local government level.
3- The conflict in the Middle East because of Israeli occupation was going for long time.
4- It would be more practical for Federal and State governments to act on this issue.
Now let us start from the points we extract from Ms Peters interview:
1- While the issue of Israeli brutal occupation of Palestine was going for more than 6 decades, the Greens did not discover this issue but in recent years. The Greens never talked about this issue or had any idea about this issue until after 2002.
2- Even after the Greens discovered that there is Israeli brutal occupation, the Greens history on taking practical steps to oppose Israeli brutality is nil (you can read on this issue my early piece on http://jamaldaoud.blogspot.com/2009/01/rallies-business-enough-trading-with.html)
3- If the council is not advocating residents to boycott Israel and there is no known relationships between the council and Israeli companies and companies trade with Israel, it is very clear that he Marrickville Greens put this motion just for political score pointing for the coming state election.
4- Marrickville Greens should first write to their federal politicians to lobby them to start talking about the Israeli brutal occupation, before asking Labor state and Federal politicians to do so. We understand that Mr Tony Albanese has good track record on this issue, more than Bob Brown or any Greens federal politicians. Mr Albanese paid solidarity visit to Palestinian territories at the beginning of 90s of the last century, while the Greens politicians are still refusing to make such visit until now.
Then let us ask few other questions in this regard:
1- While the BDS campaign started long time ago, why the Greens put this motion just now. We should remember that the NSW election is on 26 March 2011 (3 months from now).
2- Why Marrickville: The Greens have councillors in other local government areas that are more suitable to introduce similar motion. For example, there is Greens councillor in Auburn, where the support for such motion is overwhelming as Muslims account for more than 50% of the residents. On the council, there are at least 4 Muslim councillors on the council. The answer is very simple: the Greens did not get more than 4% in the last state election (2007) in Auburn seat. While in Marrickville there is real chance for the Greens to win the seat from Labor (while I do not think that this will happen). So the story of the motion is not more than an item part of early election campaign in Marrickville area.
We know that the Greens will accuse us of attacking Palestine friends here. But as usual, the Greens gave themselves the right to attack everyone, but block such right from rivals to attack them (read my piece on this on http://jamaldaoud.blogspot.com/2010/11/greens-unique-attitude-we-can-dig-dirt.html). The Greens are attacking the Labor Federal members who has strong record of supporting Palestine and opposing Israeli brutality (Tony Albanese and Tanya Plibersek, for example), but would lead vicious attack against our criticism of them on this issue.
We are now very aware that the Greens is a party about nothing. They are just power hungry for the sake of accumulating power. The Greens Federal senate-elect in NSW, Ms Lee Rhiannon, has no credibility on any issue (read my early piece on http://jamaldaoud.blogspot.com/2010/07/story-of-greens-mp-lee-rhiannon-lies.html). So we, as strong advocate of Palestinian rights, do not take the latest motion as serious step to achieve anything. The motion, along with the NSW Greens motion on the issue earlier, will have one fate: the rubbish bin. The Greens has long track of passing motion after motion, adopt policy after policy, but practically they honoured none. (example of this could be read on http://jamaldaoud.blogspot.com/2010/07/bob-browns-press-club-address-what.html, http://jamaldaoud.blogspot.com/2008/12/greens-blocking-of-action-on-climate.html and http://sjpmediacentre.blogspot.com/2009/09/submission-in-regard-to-discussion.html)
The Greens think that they achieved a lot by attracting media attention. They think that they are closer now to win Marrickville seat in the next state election, March 2011.
We think that this is not accurate. The community will hear from others, before they will cast their votes.
As before the Greens seek community vote, they should convince us why the NSW (and Australian) Greens were absent from all solidarity aid missions to Gaza and West Bank.
We deeply believe that actions are louder than talks (and motions). But the Greens insist to be the mountain that always gets into labour, but always give birth to mouse. (From Arabic proverb)