Friday, May 26, 2006

We should all be proud Australians

The success of John Howard’s US-European tour is giving all of us tremendous pride of belonging to this nation.

Our Howard was able to represent us on global arena and reflect our values, as only he could.

I should be proud most of all of his tour in Ireland, where the Parliament of that nation gave him the welcome he deserves. That’s right: the Parliament of Ireland was a quarter empty. So – although I wouldn’t want people to think me disloyal - I was really proud when a few Irish politicians gave him the description that he deserves.

Of course I was not proud of him, but proud of the Irish brave politicians.

“Xenophobic warmonger” is the description that the UN Human Rights Committee could not quite give him during the last 10 years, despite the repeated criticisms of his government’s policies regarding human rights.
It took the Irish politicians to put him in the box that he should be in.

But who did lose the most?

John Howard?

Of course he will be remembered as the worst devil in the contemporary history of Australian politics, but so what?

For the people like him, this is irrelevant. Even if he will be kicked out in the coming years (by his own party, or by Australian voters), he will walk away with a fortune of millions of $s.

The real losers are the Australian people and the people who were affected by his bloody policies.

The Australians who started to be known as xenophobic racist people around the world will pay some price.

The Australians that lost their life style, will be among the losers of this “xenophobic warmonger”.

The Australians that lost their Telstra, National Airport, free education, good health system, relaxed life-style, … will be the ones who will pay the biggest price of his 10 years in power.

The Australians who were welcomed anywhere they went, and now are treated with contempt and suspicion, will feel the disastrous 10 years of Howard.

The Australians that never witnessed violent attacks do know the difference.

The Australians that can compare the freedom of speech, the level of civil liberties, would realize who are the real losers.

The women who wear hijab and veil fully understand the political agenda why they were spat on in the last few years, and do fully understand that this was part of the price for the prosperity he promised us.

And?

The refugees, who lost 6 or more years in detention center then were released on temporary protection visa, would be the one who paid some of the price for the king to keep his throne.

The refugees who were sent to their death, in order to teach the “people smugglers” the lesson of not trying to send boats to Australia, would understand (but in the other life), how devastating was the last 10 years.

The SIEVX’s human cargo who was drowned in the ocean, because the Australian navy had orders to enable “little Johnny” to win 2001 election, were the ones who paid by their blood for the success of Howard in his Irish tour.

The women, kids and men who were detained and then released on constant medication of anti-depressants, would know that their health and mental status was the price.

The kids of Iraq, who lost their fathers, mothers and their childhood because of his agenda invading their country, would know exactly how dear the price was.

The kids of Palestine know very well how evil is this Howard.

What a bloody record.

Were the Irish politicians not right to boycott the speech of the “butcher of Baxter and Woomera”? Were they not right to describe him as xenophobic and warmonger? How did he feel when he was described on International media as “Xenophobic and Warmonger”? And the more important how did the Australians feel at that moment?

The Irish politicians deserve the hand-clapping.

But the picture would be more clear if the other politicians took the same stand.

Shamelessly The Greens and Social Democrats were more polite to this “war criminal”. They were more reconciliatory with “Xenophobic warmonger”, who cannot be even reconciliatory with the native people of his nation.

We should do our best to erase this shameful chapter from the history of Australia, by sending this warmonger not to his home, but to Hague.

Long-live Irish bravery.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My speech at Nakba day vigil - 14 May 2006

Hi Everybody

First of all I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land.

Thanks for coming today to mark the 58th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba. As you probably all know, Nakba means in Arabic “catastrophe”, and 58 years ago it was catastrophe, at least for Palestinians.

750, 000 Palestinians overnight found themselves refugees in other countries, or inside their own. Hundreds of villages and towns were destroyed and erased from the map. Most importantly a very bloody conflict started, which cost tens of thousands of innocent lives, and lasted for more than half century, and is still going on.

We, in the Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine, decided to hold a vigil outside the British consulate, because we are holding the British politicians historically, legally and morally responsible for the Nakba and the subsequent suffering in the area because of it. The British Empire was the one which created and allowed this Nakba to happen. The British politicians in London gave the land that they do not own to the people that do not belong to.

The Nakba did not only affect the 750,000 Palestinian refugees. It affected the lives of their children, and grandchildren who were born and raised up as refugees till today.

Also, and subsequent to it, there were several bloody conflicts in 1967, 1973, 1978, 1982, 1989, 2000… which resulted in more refugees, deaths, invalids and orphans.

At the moment, and subsequent to the Nakba and the insistence of Israel to remain Jewish, to use any means to be the most powerful in the region and to keep the occupation, even if this means refusing to implement UN resolutions or recognize International law and suppressing the fundamental human rights of Palestinians.

Israel at the moment is acting as above-the-law state that can do whatever it wishes. Yesterday’s shooting on the peace activists, one of them Australian, is a very good example where Israel is disregarding any consequences of violation of human rights and international laws.

These acts were well covered because 2 of the injured were Western citizens. The same acts are committed daily by Israeli soldiers, and even on more deadly scale, under the eyes and ears of international community and even with no mentioning in the media.

Instead of holding Israel responsible for its acts, the Palestinian people were punished for exercising their democratic choices. US and EU, instead of demanding from Israel to implement UN resolutions, withdraw from the occupied territories, stop the killings of innocents, stop the destruction of homes and allowing the return of the refugees and their compensation for the years of sufferings and their losses, instead of all this, they are infact starving the Palestinian population under occupation, creating humanitarian crises and encouraging Israel to continue with its violations and abuses.

We should all keep the campaign to demand from Israel to abide by international law and the UN resolutions, including the dismantling of the Apartheid Wall and the end of occupation.

Thanks again for coming here and keep up the good work. The Palestinian people need your help.