Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bob Hawke calls for Palestinian Well-Being

Bob Hawke, one of Australia’s most popular and long serving Prime Minister, though some dislike him too, has been a staunch supporter of Israel, like most (or should I say, all) Aussie prime ministers. Therefore I was most surprised when I read of him speaking on the most important factor that has caused Arab/Muslim resentment against Western nations.

Rhodes scholar, intellectual, sportsman, union leader, once a piss-head, and compassionate bloke, Bob Hawke said correctly that until the Palestinian problem is resolved, the issue of international terrorism will not be solved, abated nor won over.

He called on the international community to pour massive supply of capital, technical and educational aid and expertise into the Palestinian community, so that the Palestinians, now living in semi-bondage under the Israelis, may perceive that there may be hope in life afterall.

He wants the World Bank (unfortunately under neo-con Paul Wolfowitz, who is pro-Israel), US, Europe, moderate Arab state and even Israel to provide the delivery mechanism, technical assistance, commitment and a massive supply of capital into Palestine.

Only by helping the Palestinians become a community enjoying decent standards, would the Palestinian feel that living in peace may be worthwhile. Right now, when one is at the bottom of the heap, life is considered cheap and associated with despair, and we know that’s how terrorism gets its recruits from.

He pointed out that the Palestinians exist in a hopeless economic environment with virtually no hope of employment or maintenance, let alone improvement of their living standard. What he didn’t say was that Israel has contributed towards that state by restricting Palestinian economic movements and placing all forms of trade, immigration, social and political limitations, subtle or otherwise, to prevent the Palestinian from progressing towards the develoment of a viable state economy and independent Statehood.

He took a shot at his old ally, the USA, by criticizing President Bush for the latter’s adventurism in bombing and invading Iraq. Hawke as Aussie prime minister had supported Bush’s father in Gulf War I, which didn’t invade Iraq. That war had a more above-board objective, which was why it was supported by most nations. Compare Bush Snr's handling of Gulf War I with his son's handling, or more correctly, mishandling of Gulf War II.

Hawke said the American argument that war on Iraq was essential to the fight against terrorism was bullshit - OK, he didn’t exactly use the word ‘bullshit’, but I thought a more colourful equivalent might add some spice to his condemnation of the US claim.

One thing I notice of his speech. He didn’t criticise Israel for its land grab from the Palestinians, nor did he mention once the Israeli continuous frustration of Palestinian Statehood. As I mentioned, Hawke has been very pro-Israel so it may still be difficult for him to tell his friends in Tel Aviv to stop the land robbery, and the 'Berlin Wall' that snakes avariously to embrace choice Palestinian land plots.

But for such a pro-Israel politician, Bob Hawke in delivering such a frank and spot-on speech must certainly be considered as revealing. I consider it as an incredible milestone for the cause of the Palestinian people.


  1. Oh KTomec

    Along with Saint Malcolm Frazer you now add Hawke, a boozer, wife-cheater, and a PR man for the Burma dictatorship.

    Hawke was called "the Messiah" when he was PM because he could suck people in. He obviosly still can.

    The Palestinians receive $billions from Arab contries - much is wasted on weapons, most goes into the Swiss Bank Accounts of Palestian officials. Mrs Arafat is happily sitting on around US$4 billion - a legacy of her husbands work/siphoning for the Palestinian people.

    If Arab countries allowed Palestians to be citizens of their countries - no more need for war. But, yes I'm naive. I realise its better to have continuous conflict than getting Arabs to ever agree on anything.

  2. Why should the Palestinians be citizens of other countries? Why not the Jews? Your logic doesn't seem reasonable. Afterall there are more than 5 million Jews living in America, which is more than the population of Israel, so why not place them there to join their brethrens - they should be safe there and the Arab world will be happy as well.

    And why should the Palestinians squat with other Arabs when they do have their own land, except it was taken away from them without so much as by their leave, and given to the Jews because of the guilt of Europeans over the Holocaust. In fact Lloyd George offered Madagascar to the European Jews but Chaim Weitzmann (hope I have the name spelt correctly) insisted on where Israel is now. PM George was very beholden to Weitzmann in a number of ways, which was unfortunate for the Palestinians.

    54 years ago there was no Israel, and there had been none for 2,000 years since the Romans scattered them to the 4 corners of the world, until 1948 when a superstitious British PM and a guilty Europe assuaged their feelings at the expense of the Palestinians, by recreating something that had vanished for 2 millinium.

    I accept that today Israel is a reality and should be allowed to exist - one cannot chase 5 million Jews away from Israel, as that would be not only unlikely but another Holocaust - we don't want that. But Israel must pull back to the 1967 borders or there will be no peace.

    As for the rumours about Mrs Arafat having stash of billions, and other associated rumours that she demanded millions from the PLO, that's nonsense - please refer to my earlier postings at BolehTalk blogsite, where I blogged on these accusations last years.

    Of course there has been corruption among the Palestinian officials just as there are among the Israeli officials and politicians, eg Ariel Sharon's son, and politicians of other nationalities.

    Some of the alleged Arafat's billions have been actually traced to investments in America and around the world, such as bowling alley and suchlikes. In fact ironically there was an Arafat investment in a business run by, unbeknown to him, a Jewish concern.

    There have been lots of unsavoury rumours such as his widow being naughty and whatnot, and Palestinian corruptions grossly exaggerated to disgust the world, which can be attributed to those who wanted to destroy his and the PLO image among the Palestinians. It's called PR sabotage.

    Sorry mate, your suggestion is totally unacceptable as some Muslims' proposal to kick the Israelis out from the middle East.

  3. As for Hawke's infidelity, if you want to term it that, I don't judge people on their private affairs. As for his boozing I mentioned that in my posting, but everyone in Australia knows that Hawke had acknowledged that and actually gave up the booze. I am not sure what you mean by PR for Burma though I am aware he has business interests there. As I blogged in the posting, some Aussies don't like him - looks like you're one of them ;-)