Thursday, November 13, 2014

The sad decay of Bob Carr (Once ALP Premier of NSW, Once Foreign Minister)

By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

As an American who is married to an Australian, whose children are Australian citizens, and who visits this beautiful country annually, I care deeply when the decency of Australia is maligned by the likes of Bob Carr. His vicious assault on Israel demands a response.

In April of this year Carr made his bid for continued relevance by signing on to a version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in a bizarre claim that Melbourne’s Jewish lobby controls Australia’s Middle East foreign policy. To be sure, a distressed former political figure scapegoating the Jews with claims of Jewish control of governments to get into the news is nothing new. And it usually works. Carr’s book, Diary of a Foreign Minister which, like himself, would have been relegated to obscurity, sold a couple more copies through the press coverage he received with his claims of a Jewish conspiracy. Still, it’s sad to see a once-influential man reduced to crude antisemitism to remain relevant.

But not content to impugn the Jews of Melbourne with the scandalous charge of dual loyalty, Carr has just come out with his newest allegation. Israel is an apartheid state committed to disenfranchising the Palestinians, as evidenced by their expansion of settlements. It is for this reason, Carr claims, that he is turning on Israel and becoming a supporter of Palestine instead.

In this too Carr is wholly unoriginal. If you’re going to savage the Jewish state surely you can do so by saying something novel? But is this all we get, the over-roasted chestnut of Israel as pre-Mandela South Africa?

But in his obsession with Jewish world domination there are things that Carr omits.

He omits the fact that the land ceded by Israel to the Palestinians in peace deals has been transformed every time into terrorist enclaves.

He omits the fact that Hamas is a genocidal organization committed in its charter to Israel’s destruction and the murder of Jews worldwide.

He omits the fact that the Palestinian Authority is now a dictatorship run by Mahmoud Abbas who has not gone to elections in more than a decade.

He omits the fact that Abbas runs a kleptocracy enriching his sons Tarik and Yasser who illegally control the construction and cigarette trade, among other lucrative industries.

He omits the fact that Nelson Mandela was a true apostle of peace who languished in jail for 27 years, while Yasser Arafat is the father of international terrorism who made his name by blowing up children.

He omits the fact that Arab citizens of Israel enjoy more rights than Arabs anywhere in the Middle East. In his charges of Jewish racism he omits the fact that Arabs serve at the highest levels of Israeli officialdom, including the Supreme Court, something unthinkable in an apartheid regime.

He omits the fact that Israeli hospitals treated Abbas’ wife and the daughter of the current Hamas leader.

He omits the fact that the single greatest threat to world civilization today is not the Jews and the puny State of Israel but radical Islamic terrorism which is producing monsters like ISIS, Hamas, and Boko Haram.

Oh, were it so, Bob, that Australia’s biggest worry was Melbourne’s Jews, a community famous for its philanthropy, civic responsibilities, and patriotism.

All this Carr omits as he assails the Jews as apartheid racists. And in so doing Carr not only shows his cards but offends the brave black population of South Africa who are models of reconciliation and forgiveness.

Sorry, Mr. Carr, but the Jews are the indigenous people of Israel. It is not I who says it but your own Christian Bible.

Read the New Testament and try and find mention of a single Arab resident of ancient Israel.

The Jews were the land’s inhabitants and they were displaced by a European colonial occupier named Rome. They were forcibly removed from their land and displaced for 2000 years, while a small remnant always remained. The Jews prayed thrice daily to return to their land. And when finally granted the political opportunity, they came and drained the swamps, irrigated the sands and made the land so much more inhabitable for Arab brethren that had migrated in the interim.

    The Jews were happy to share the land but it was a sentiment that was sadly rejected by the Arabs.

    They rejected the 1936 Peel Commission Partition.

    They rejected the 1947 UN partition plan. They rejected Israel’s offers to return all conquered 1967 lands with their famous three “No’s” in Khartoum: No peace, No recognition, No negotiation.

    And they turned the Oslo peace accords – which granted Arafat political autonomy over 95% of the Palestinian population – into a murder-fest by launching a never-ending terror war against Israel’s buses, schools, and cafes.

Rather than Western statesmen like Carr demanding from the Palestinians to stop the never-ending incitement against the Jews and the promises to push them into the sea, rather than calling out Mahmoud Abbas for his monstrous lies about an Israeli genocide in Gaza, rather than objecting to the rampant assassination of Palestinian gay men by Hamas and the honor killings of innocent women, Carr would defend this barbarity by pointing the finger at the Middle East’s only democracy.

Australians are some of the warmest, tolerant, and peace-loving people on earth. Australia is a model of social harmony and ethnic integration. Australia took in scores of holocaust survivors who fled Hitler’s ovens after World War II. Australians love and support Israel. I know that they will reject pathetic attempts at Jewish character assassination leveled by desperate former politicos like Bob Carr.


Australian Labor Party walks away from renewable energy negotiations

Labor has quit its negotiations with the Abbott government about Australia's renewable energy target saying there is "no prospect of reaching an agreement".

In an escalation of the high stakes clash over Australia's energy future, the opposition's environment spokesman, Mark Butler, has written to Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane to end discussions that were aimed at restoring bipartisan support for the renewable energy policy.

In a letter to Mr Macfarlane on Tuesday, Mr Butler said that the government's plan to dramatically scale back the target had not budged throughout weeks of negotiations.

He said Labor would not "stand by and watch" billions of dollars in investment in Australia's renewable energy sector head overseas because of deep cuts to the target.

Mr Butler wrote that while Labor was committed to restoring bipartisan consensus, it "will not support certainty if that means certainty of destroying the renewable energy sector".

"Considering the Government's fundamental position remains a 40 per cent cut to the RET, I do not see there being any value in continuing discussions at this point in time," the letter says.

The parties had been in talks since Mr Macfarlane confirmed three weeks ago the government wanted to wind back the target to a so-called "real 20 per cent".

That would be done by reducing the agreed green energy target of 41,000 gigawatt hours of baseline power by 2020 to about 26,000 gigawatt hours.

It is understood Labor had been seeking to negotiate an agreement that would set the target in the mid-to-high thirties as a compromise to try to restore investment certainty for the clean energy industry.

The $20 billion alternative energy sector has been plunged into uncertainty since the government launched a review of the target, headed by businessman and climate sceptic Dick Warburton.

Mr Butler acknowledged on Tuesday that walking away from negotiations would not return certainty to an industry that was relying on bipartisan support for Australia's target to attract continued investment.

But he said the gap between the government and Labor on clean energy policy was simply too great for the parties to reach agreement.

"Labor held a number of talks with Abbott government ministers to explore any options we could find to get this policy back on the rails and restore investor confidence," Mr Butler told Fairfax Media.

"But it is clear from the discussions that the Abbott government remains committed to making deep cuts to the renewable energy target that will be enormously damaging to the industry.

"On that basis Labor has reached the view that there's no value in continuing these discussions because there is no prospect of reaching an agreement."


Must not disrespect Vegans

What's a Vegan doing in a hamburger restaurant anyway?

A Hunter restaurant owner says he has received threats and is afraid for the safety of his workmates after comments on Facebook about a vegan customer.

Mark Clews, part-owner of Tuk Tuk – in the Tempus Two complex at Pokolbin – was deluged with online complaints and phone calls after he said a customer's clothing was probably made in a "sweat shop"

"Well we had our first ever vegan in yesterday. Wearing a tie dyed T-shirt, I'm serious, didn't matter that it was made in a Chinese sweat shop.  Anyway it went as well as could be expected," he continued, adding the woman was told her felafel burger would be cooked on the same grill as meat but ate it anyway."

After the comment, Mr Clews was hit with a torrent of complaints on his page.

"To publicly shame a customer with special dietary requirements, comment on her attire and be so blatantly nasty is inexcusable. I will never step foot in this establishment," one reviewer said.

"Rude and disgusting," another added.

In screen-shots of posts, Mr Clews refuses to apologise and labels detractors "vegan Nazis".

Although he originally stood by his "flippant" comments on social media,  Mr Clews later told the Newcastle Herald he would apologise to the customer if she came back.

Mr Clews said disgruntled social media users had tracked down his mobile number and made threatening calls up until midnight. He feared for his safety and that of his family: "What I have learnt is some people have thinner skins than I."


Ban On 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' Among Melbourne Kindergarteners

The word "black" in the nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep is derogatory and racial for its allusion to black people—an implication that can be derived from the decision of staff at childcare centres in the Southeastern suburbs to change the lyric of the song. Also, a childcare centre in Melbourne mulls alteration to the line "one for the little boy who lives down the lane" for sexist insinuation, the Herald Sun reports.

The decision sparked unwanted reaction from parents saying the desire for political correctness was overblown. One parent said the rhyme is in no way alluding to a race. Another parent, who said he had black skin, said the issue is becoming a joke. While one parent pointed out there are black sheep and there are white sheep, the decision is like banning the use of the colour black.

Speaking to the Herald Sun, Celine Pieterse, co-ordinator of Malvern East's Central Park Child Care, said it will be more appropriate to introduce a variety of the sheep instead of banning the term "black." The term denotes the colour of the sheep and nothing else, Belli Spanos, owner of Bubbles Pre-School, told the Herald Sun.

The song's political correctness has actually been a long running issue. Back in 2000, a school council inspector in Birmingham City had told schools in the region not to teach the song anymore. The inspector said the song is filled with all the negative connotations like being the "black sheep of the family." The inspector also underlined the negative history behind the song, saying it originated back in the time of slavery. "The rhyme has colonial links: 'Three bags full' refers to the three bags of wool which the slaves were told to collect and 'yes sir, yes sir' is how the slaves would reply to the slave masters when told to do a task," the inspector was quoted saying.

The Birmingham City Council ruled otherwise, scrapping the advice. Parents had appealed the advice was ridiculous. The song had since been taught as is.


Europcar again

Rental car company Europcar will be prosecuted for allegedly deceptive conduct and unfair contracts in a test case that could have far-reaching implications for the vehicle hire industry.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleges Europcar misled customers about how much they were liable for in the event of damage to hire cars and wants some conditions in its rental agreements removed.

It launched proceedings against the hire car business in the Federal Court after examining its processes as part of a review of consumer contracts across the airline, teleco, fitness and travel industries. 

The ACCC said unfair terms in Europcar's rental contracts should be made void, including charging customers a damage liability fee – irrespective of whether they were at fault – when their hire car is damaged, stolen or if there is third party loss.

The watchdog also wants removed clauses exposing customers to full liability for damage in cases where they breached their contract, regardless of how trivial the breach is or whether the breach caused the damage.

Chairman Rod Sims said Europcar customers were charged a damage liability fee of up to $3650 and that it was not always reimbursed if the company recovered the money elsewhere.

"It's common to have a damage liability fee and why we're concerned both with Europcar and with others is that they immediately deduct it when you have this damage, yet they may well recover the money from the person who was at fault," he said.

"They're taking the money off who they can get it [from] and then they have no incentive to pursue it further."

The ACCC also alleges Europcar engaged in deceptive conduct and made misleading claims on its website about customers' maximum liability when a vehicle was damaged or when there was third party loss.

Mr Sims said certain damage to hire cars, such as to the roof, underbody or some types of water damage, could leave customers exposed to more liability than they thought they signed up for.

"Europcar is representing that the maximum amount you can pay is 'x' when in fact it is not," Mr Sims said, quoting a recent complaint from a customer who was charged $16,000 for damage to the roof of a hire car that they thought was capped at $3650.

"What's different with Europcar is that they'll charge you unlimited amounts for certain types of damage and we judge that consumers weren't told about that," he said.

Europcar hit back at the ACCC's allegations, issuing a statement rejecting suggestions its damage liability fee was unfair and vowing to oppose an attempt to prevent it being charged.

Responding to the allegation that customers were liable for trivial breaches, a spokeswoman said senior staff always reviewed cases involving potential contract breaches.

The company also denied allegations that it engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false or misleading representations, saying full disclosure of customers' liability is available on its website.

It said the allegations would be "robustly defended". "Europcar has invested substantial resources in making the booking process fully transparent and user friendly and has attempted to engage with the ACCC as part of an industry-wide review and inquiry into the car rental industry."

The matter is listed for a directions hearing in February.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Boteach is also a scumbag himself. I'd hardly concede any kind of moral authority to him.