Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Marcia Langton slams Blak sovereignty’s Palestine stance

Distinguished Indigenous leader Marcia Langton has condemned the “Blak sovereignty” movement’s proposition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians feel solidarity with Palestinians as “simply untrue”, saying there is very little that is comparable in the two peoples’ situations.

Professor Langton offered a withering assessment of the pro-Palestinian strand of the Indigenous rights movement after Australia Palestine Advocacy Network president Nasser Mashni wore a pin with both Aboriginal and Palestinian flags on his jacket during a discussion of the Israel-Hamas war on ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night.

It follows a decision by independent senator Lidia Thorpe – the voice of the Blak sovereignty movement in parliament – to announce on social media last month: “I stand with Palestine!”

Jewish leaders such as Liberal MP Julian Leeser and prominent lawyer Mark Leibler were longtime and vocal supporters of the campaign for an Indigenous voice to parliament, which remote Indigenous communities mostly supported on referendum day but which the Blak sovereignty movement vocally opposed.

Professor Langton is the first Indigenous campaigner for the voice to write in the mainstream media about the Israel-Hamas war. Writing in The Australian on Wednesday, Professor Langton begins by describing the loss of thousands of lives in Gaza as unjustifiable. She condemns Hamas and says she is horrified and deeply saddened by the loss of lives in the Levant, the Israelis who were murdered and kidnapped by Hamas and the innocent Palestinians who are being used as human shields by Hamas.

“As an Indigenous Australian, I can have little effect in stopping these horrors but it is necessary to be clear about a few matters,” she writes.

“‘Blak sovereignty’ advocates have entwined two extraordinary propositions – one that is simply untrue and one that is a moral ­outrage.

“First, they claim that ‘Indigenous Australians feel solidarity with Palestinians’. This is false; it is the view of a tiny few, if put in those words. Most of us are aware of the complexity and that there is very little comparable in our respective situations, other than our humanity.

“Second, they refuse to condemn Hamas. I am aghast and embarrassed. They do not speak for me. I fear and loathe the possibility of further loss of life in this terrible crisis.

“I fear also that our multicultural society is being torn apart by people deluded about terrorism who have used their protests as a cover for anti-Semitism. Our Jewish and Palestinian communities deserve respect and compassion. I do not support the violence we have seen in Australia recently as a result of this conflict.”

Professor Langton is categorical that Hamas are terrorists and that Palestinian Islamic Jihad are terrorists.

“The slogan ‘Not all Palestinians are Hamas’ denies the fact that innocent Palestinians are being used as human shields by these terrorists,” she writes.

“No legitimate Aboriginal leader will permit our movement to be associated with terrorists. I can state confidently, based on my long experience in Aboriginal communities and giving advice to Indigenous corporations, that the majority Aboriginal view is a repulsion of terrorism.”


When identity trumps merit we all lose in the end

Possibly the most important contribution Western liberalism has made to the development of civilised society is the notion that we should judge people on their individual characteristics, not on what tribe or collective they belong to.

Tragically, this foundational principle is being challenged everywhere – sometimes overtly, sometimes by subterfuge. If one went in search of a sure-fire way to dumb down our society, this is it.

Cue the Queensland government and Queensland University of Technology. Both are abolishing merit-based hiring for public servants and academics, allegedly to stamp out “unconscious bias”.

The government and QUT are dumping the word merit from their selection policies and will instead hire staff based on “suitability”. Apparently, bad references or a history of disciplinary action – such as being fired from a previous job – will be handled differently for Indigenous applicants on cultural grounds. In other words, applicants will be judged at least partially on the colour of their skin.

A courageous woman, Roch­elle Hicks, has blown the lid on the real-life impact of this sort of discrimination. Earlier this year, Transport for NSW failed to take steps to remove Aboriginal man Ian Brown from being involved in a major infrastructure project she oversaw even after he made a death threat against her. Hicks wanted to deal with the situation herself. If a white employee or a contractor had made a death threat against a woman, they would have been removed swiftly. End of story.

Not here. Imagine the diversity tangle for Transport for NSW. Senior honchos want to attract more women into its traditionally male-oriented construction and infrastructure areas. Then an Indigenous man on its payroll makes a death threat in front of a witness against one of their most respected executives.

A workplace safety report finds the threat credible. Does Transport for NSW support Hicks? Or does Transport for NSW apply a different standard to Brown? In short, in the hierarchy of diversity claims, does race and cultural sensitivity trump gender and safety at work? Transport for NSW effectively choose the former, leaving Hicks feeling unsafe and unsupported by her employer.

This debacle comes from not judging a person on their merits. And there are a million different ways to sideline merit.

A more subtle method is to redefine merit or demand it be assessed in a more holistic way. Just change the criteria applied to judge merit so that it fits whatever hiring result you want to reach.

Earlier this year I suggested, tongue in cheek, that it wouldn’t be long before diversity divas in corporate Australia demanded that the criteria for picking company chief executives be broadened to allow for more heads of human resources and in-house general counsel in the top job. I said if you thought it was bad enough that HR departments controlled chief executives, wait until HR people actually ran the joint.

It was a joke. Except, right on cue, and as if to prove there is no claim so outrageous that Chief Executive Women can’t make it with a straight face, the organisation’s new president, Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, was quoted as saying that boards should broaden the talent pool from which chief executives were selected to include people from HR.

Lloyd-Hurwitz referred to her own experience as chief executive of Mirvac, claiming “90 per cent of what I did was around people, so why would coming through a human capital and culture function not equip you very well for that?”.

This is surprising coming from a woman who once said she needed to do an MBA because “having done urban geography as an undergrad, I was woefully underprepared for the world of finance and commerce”, and then proceeded to follow an extremely high-powered career in funds management and real estate.

Isn’t there something ever so slightly revisionist about a woman who now thinks you can be a chief executive while still having your training wheels on when it comes to reading a balance sheet?

Given the gullibility with which every breathless new CEW claim is greeted by latter-day equivalents of the late, unlamented Male Champions of Change, a little hard-nosed cross examination of these claims might help avoid wholesale adoption by scared boards of this latest lunatic piece of gender activism before it dooms our public companies to financial and commercial illiteracy.

The problem is this. Women now significantly outnumber men at universities and institutions of higher learning. But, damn it, not only do they choose the wrong courses (at least if you want to be a chief executive) but they keep compounding the error by subsequent career choices.

As the Workplace Gender Equality Agency coyly puts it, “Women and men continue to follow different educational paths and the pattern of female and male segregation into different industries remains.”

For example, recent figures show that around 60 per cent of women tend to study education, health, society and culture, and creative arts while information technology and engineering are male-dominated.

CEW would no doubt blame the dreaded patriarchy for dragooning young women into filling out their tertiary application forms in traditionally sexist ways, and by logical extension doing the same to young men. This is rubbish.

Judging from the assertive young women I know, treating them as automatons choosing university courses and subsequent careers at the whim of some great unseen sexist god is offensive in the extreme.

At this point in their lives – the time of university entrance – there is a strong argument women appear to have achieved equality of opportunity with men. Their apparently superior school results give them first crack at whatever university choices and careers they wish. It is the voluntary choices that young women make then, and later, that lead to different career outcomes.

One of the biggest failures of CEW and other like organisations is the determined refusal to recognise, indeed celebrate, freedom of choice and individual responsibility. This brings us back to why merit is being defined down.

As the 2022 CEW survey revealed, while numbers of women in executive leadership teams continue to grow, they largely choose so-called functional roles (HR, legal, marketing, communications and so on) in greater numbers than the operational or line roles that lead naturally to CEO succession.

This infuriates the CEW ideologues for whom equality of opportunity is never enough. Only equality of outcome will do.

You would think CEW would recognise the lessons of centuries of business practice, the learnings of companies through business cycles, the acres of academic texts and simple common sense, all to the effect that, as a general rule, executives with line and operational experience make the best chief executives.

Not CEW. If the facts don’t fit CEW’s preferred hypothesis, it seeks to change the facts. If the assessment of individual merit doesn’t get you the right outcomes, change the definition of merit.

CEW seems to accept it can’t force more women to choose the career paths that lead to the chief executive’s office, so its solution is to try to redefine the CEO’s role and qualifications so it fits women’s preferred career paths. CEW wants to welcome you to the world of chief executives who may be financially illiterate, commercially obtuse and strategically sterile but who have empathy, are terrific at compliance and know HR backwards. No thanks.

My advice to you is that if any company you have invested in appoints an HR executive or the general counsel as CEO, do what I think a young Lloyd-Hurwitz would have done when she was a fund manager: short the stock.


The ocean isn’t rising, your island is sinking

Studies using 40 years of satellite imagery of more than 1,100 coral atolls in the Indian and Pacific Oceans have shown that most coral atolls have been growing in area, especially large atolls such as at Tuvalu. A few were static and some smaller atolls decreased in size. Some atolls had decreased in size because of compaction, extraction of coral for roads, airports, buildings and cement manufacture and groundwater extraction. Again, these satellite measurements confirm earlier theories that coral atolls grow when there is a relative sea level rise.

There is absolutely no science whatsoever to support the view that Tuvalu, or any other island nation, will be inundated by a speculated sea level rise. Only the contrary. The past shows that a relative sea level rise results in a growth of atolls. This has been known for nearly 200 years. The cash grab by the island atoll nations’ unctuous politicians and the UN should be called out for what it is. Maybe younger folk educated on Rugby Australia scholarships and with a Christian ethical foundation could change political thinking in the Pacific island atoll nations upon return to their homelands.

Come on Australia. Break away from your woke chains. Rather than hand out shedloads of cash to Pacific island nations for some silly hypothetical future catastrophe


The poisonous results of a refusal to compromise

Their enmity to Israel hurts Palestinians most of all

One month into the latest round of the Gaza war, Saturday has become Protest for Palestine Day among TikTok generation students and Islamists.

It follows the same pattern as the Friday Strikes for Climate championed by Greta Thunberg, her high school acolytes, and the Socialist Workers’ party members of the teachers union.

With the inevitable clash this Saturday of youthful, useful idiots and their parents’ generation who will be commemorating Remembrance Day, here are some Post-it notes to point out to the protesters that they won’t see in their social media feeds.

November 11 is Armistice Day but not all armistices are equal. In the West, an armistice signals the end of hostilities. Not in Islam. Ever since Hamas invaded Israel on 7 October it has repeatedly called for a ceasefire yet it is Hamas that shatters each ceasefire to which it agrees. It’s not an accident. What Hamas calls for, a ‘hudna’, is a fake ceasefire in today’s parlance. It’s a term that Mohammed used in his battle with his own tribe, the Quraysh. It allows each side to regroup and in the case of the Prophet to craftily defeat his enemy.

The war between Hamas and Israel has nothing to do with Palestinians who were assaulted in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in September 2023, mistreatment by Israeli security forces, settlements in the West Bank, or returning to the 1967 borders; indeed there is nothing Israel can do to broker lasting peace because Hamas doesn’t accept the right of Israel to exist at all. As Mahmoud al-Ramahi the secretary-general of the Palestinian parliament put it, ‘We accept that Israel as a state exists, but we will never recognise the right of Israel to exist in our land.’

For the same reason, Hamas will never agree to a two-state solution. The only solution it will accept is a Palestinian caliphate in the entire area once referred to under the British as Mandate Palestine and even then this is just a stepping-stone to a global caliphate. Protesters should note that they will not be able to choose their gender or pronouns in a caliphate. As Hamas commander Mahmoud Al-Zahar put it in a video published in December 2022, ‘Israel is only the first target.’ The plan is that, ‘The entire planet will be under our law.’ This is the goal of all Islamists. At the Mufti Mehmood conference in Pakistan on 14 October, Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, emir of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl told the crowd that ‘we are ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with the mujahideen… to destroy Israel, and throw its corpse into the Dead Sea’ and as Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al said at the same conference, Hamas is working for the implementation of sharia law not just in Palestine but all over the world.

The disruption of Remembrance Day commemorations should serve as a reminder that Islamists did not side with the West in the second world war; they fought with Hitler. The Islamist ideology of Hamas and its spiritual forerunner the Muslim Brotherhood stems directly from a strand of Islamist antisemitism that fused with Nazism before and during the second world war. Unfortunately, despite the well-documented collaboration of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem with Hitler and his enthusiastic endorsement of the Final Solution he was never indicted for war crimes and after the war became a hero to Islamists continuing to propagate lies that fuelled religious intolerance, antisemitism, rejection of liberalism and of the state of Israel. His nefarious influence continues to this day. That’s why a former Guantanamo prisoner associated with Al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taleban posted a speech by Hitler on Telegram (translated by the Middle East Media and Research Institute MEMRI) inciting Muslims to kill Jews.

Islamist support for Nazism leads to genocidal gymnastics in which Islamists celebrate the Holocaust, deny the Holocaust occurred, and claim Israel is a Nazi state. Examples of each abound. Dutch Islamist soccer fans chant ‘Hamas, Hamas, All Jews to the Gas’, an Australian Islamist ‘scholar’ Nassim Abdi referred to in a Facebook post on 10 October ,‘the so-called oppression of the Jewish people, and the so-called Holocaust’ (translated by MEMRI) while UK Labour councillor Hajran Bashir last week compared Israel to Nazi Germany.

Hamas is not interested in protecting Gaza civilians. Instead, it counts on the Western media to attribute every death in Gaza to Israel and to put pressure on it to let Hamas get away with its perpetual attacks and rearmament. In the messianic mission of Hamas to build an earthly caliphate, the suffering of Gazans serves a useful purpose. As Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas, put it in a speech on 26 October, ‘The blood of the women, children and elderly… we are the ones who need this blood, so it awakens within us the revolutionary spirit, so it awakens within us resolve.’

When Mousa Abu Marzouk, a member of the Hamas politburo was asked on 27 October why Hamas, which has built 500 kilometres of tunnels, hasn’t built a single civilian bomb shelter he said that the tunnels in Gaza were built to protect Hamas fighters from airstrikes, not civilians, and the protection of the people of Gaza was the responsibility of the United Nations and the ‘occupation’ ie. Israel, even though Hamas has had full control of Gaza since its bloody coup in 2007.

Given the ruthlessly cynical way in which Hamas inflicts and exploits the suffering of Gazans, it’s hardly surprising that Hamas isn’t popular in Gaza. In 2023, polling indicated that a majority of Gazans were opposed to breaking the ceasefire with Israel and almost three-quarters think Hamas is corrupt. Unlike Hamas, most Gazans are prepared to support peace plans and Hamas is far from popular throughout the Middle East. Egyptian TV host Ibrahim Eissa slammed Marzouk and the Hamas leadership calling them ‘disgraceful cowards’ who were ‘peddling’ the lives of Palestinians instead of protectng them.

Yet thanks to TikTok, young people get a constant flood of pro-Palestinian propaganda which has persuaded young Australians to sympathise with Palestinians as the victims. But if they are victims of anyone, they are victims of Hamas.

Unfortunately, thanks to migration, Australia has also imported its share of Islamist ideologues. Islamic ‘scholar’, Brother Ismail, used a Friday sermon in Sydney on 27 October to call on Muslims to wage jihad, raise the flags of Isis and Al-Qaeda, and condemn the ‘betrayal sheiks’ that ‘suppress the rage of Muslims who cannot wait to wage Jihad and die as martyrs’. He told Australian Muslims that, ‘By Allah, (Australians) don’t love us and they would like to kill all of us.’ ‘But,’ he said, ‘whether the Australian government or the Australia Security Intelligence Organization likes it or not, or wants to deport me, jihad is the solution… there is no other way to defend the Muslims and erase this humiliation from the Islamic nation, but to fight for the sake of Allah. Jihad is … one of the highest pillars of our religion. Hamas freedom fighters … are the most honourable men, and more honourable than you, who are labelling (them) terrorists.’

With sermons like these and with TikTok propaganda brainwashing young people, Australia can expect Remembrance Day disruptions for many years to come.




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