Bob Carr: Danby has his say

November 12, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Federal Labor MP Michael Danby has responded to Bob Carr’s proclaimed support for the Palestinian cause…

Michael Danby

Michael Danby

Foreign Minister in the former Australian Julia Gillard Labor Government Bob Carr recently wrote an article explaining his reasons for supporting the Palestinians whilst declaring he remains a friend of liberal Israelis.

Michael Danby told J-Wire: “Bob Carr never says anything about the 7 million peaceful Tibetans living under Chinese oppression. He has never said anything about the 300,000 North Koreans in concentration camps. He said relatively little about the 200,000 dead in Syria, or the Christians and other minorities facing death right across the Middle East.

Sadly, Bob Carr’s obsession with Israel, and his focus on one aspect of this long-standing and complex conflict, namely settlements, and one party to that conflict, Israel – to the exclusion of anything the Palestinians say or do and whatever is happening in this highly volatile region – does not indicate that he is genuinely concerned with peace or encouraging all parties to come together to negotiate a two-state solution.

We will not resolve the conflict, nor impose a solution on the Israelis or the Palestinians, with pious words from Australia. Bob Carr seems to have appointed himself the “Pope of Social Democracy”, where he can announce doctrine ex cathedra. It is sad that in his political afterlife he obsesses about Labor abandoning a two-state solution negotiated among the parties.

Bob Carr’s claims that Israel is unwilling or unable to evacuate settlements to achieve a two-state solution are simply false. Israel withdrew from Gaza unilaterally in 2005; evacuating all of its settlements and military presence in the strip. The settlers, despite protests, left – demonstrating that the Knesset, not the settlers, will ultimately decide the fate of the settlers. Bob Carr certainly fails to mention the fact Israel’s reward for the Gaza withdrawal was Hamas taking control of the strip and bombarding Israel with constant rocket attacks. Bob Carr also fails to mention that both Olmert and Barak gave the Palestinian leadership concrete final peace offers to vacate settlements in exchange for peace. Both offers were rejected. Olmert’s (pictured below), in particular, was extremely generous and demonstrates, contrary to Bob Carr’s claims, that Israel can and will solve the issue of settlements when a peace partner is ready to accept such an offer.”

Ehud Olmert’s peace plan



37 Responses to “Bob Carr: Danby has his say”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    Now I am beginning to understand the way your mind works, Otto. Thanks for the discussion. Happy Chanukah to you and yours, too.
    Oh, I would so love to be in Barcelona!

  2. Liat Nagar says:

    Dear Otto,
    Your generalities are breathtaking, and you must surely recognise that? Within them there are so many exceptions to be considered that it renders them useless in meaning. This, coming from a man of your intelligence, can only be put down to (a) an impetuous element of your personality or (b) a means by which to provoke and thereby incite lengthy discussion until such time as those engaged in the discussion come to a satisfactory, or otherwise, conclusion.

    As I am sure you must recognise, not all creative artists use drugs, and if those who do are creating while not using, then the creation and the drugs are not inseparable.

    What a sublime experience you will have on January 9, listening to Joyce Didonato in Barcelona, and my imagination embraces what I think will be a wonderful setting.
    I am glad for you.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Dear Liat

      Impetuous personalities are perfectly suited for all kinda comments, aestetic in particular and , when it comes to fine art, drugs are mixed with their paint and, in some cases, particularly abstract, with their “subject”. Otherwise other inducements found in vino veritas. Nothing to be ashamed of, a rite of passage.
      In the political “genre” one is supposed to be sober and well balanced, but when we sense silly forays, a certain rush of blood, mixed with ideological preconditions, cannot be avoided. Much better noticed if political opinion condimented with slightly coleric tones, they notice and compelled to reply. One can always rely on a solid dose of vanity cum insecurity at the “elite”. In the more arrogant cases , the quantum of aggressiveness/chromatic address by the commenter must be adjusted accordingly. Flexibility of style is a must.

      Liceu is one of the most exclusive, elegant stages in the world, same as Barcelona itself.

      Happy Chanukah

  3. Liat Nagar says:

    Dear Otto,
    After all that, it seems we actually agree. That’s fine, it’s often the discussion itself that proves the most worthwhile, both with what it unearths and how it’s expressed, rather than agreement itself.

    Your reference to ‘indispensable substance trading’, and artistic creation by way of its artificially/chemically induced influence these days, needs comment though. Substance abuse and addiction is across the whole strata of society, not just partaken of by ‘Bohemian’ types. It’s the scourge of our time and a depressing, even despairing situation, due to the inadequate response to it by government, law-makers and the health industry. If we have eastetic (sic) – ecstatic ?? – genuises creating while under the influence, rest assured they will not be creating at their best, indeed if they continue along this course, ultimately their work will diminish dreadfully. It’s a misnomer, and completely incorrect, that drugs of any kind enhance creative output. It’s a popular misconception. Not only do drugs impair physical co-ordination and mental acuity, they also prevent entrance to the soul. How then can good or exceptional art emerge? Answer, it can’t. Never mind all the tales of phantasmagoria, fantastic trips and the like … nothing to do with art. Of course, Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan’ was supposed to have been written during his addiction to opium, and closer to home and our lifetime Brett Whiteley painted and was a heroin addict (although I’m not sure if the paintings were produced either side of using heroin or during), and we have numerous accounts of alcohol riddled artists and writers, but truth is the evil that it is gets them in the end and they and their works are the worse for it.

    When will your musical tour be finishing?

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Dear Liat
      my musical “tour” ain’t finishing at all, as a matter of fact, on Jan. 9, ’15 you’ll find me at the Barcelona Lyceu Opera House sitting pretty ( and excited) and listening to Joyce Didonato in that looooong and fantastic “Maria Stuarda”. I’ve seen her (Didonato) before and I reckon she is perhaps the best mezzo gracing the stage these days.
      As about creative artists and drugs, I’d venture that it’s hard to tell what comes first – or “who’s on foyst” -, but they are inseparable.

  4. Liat Nagar says:

    Oh, Otto, you are now steering in a new direction, vis a vis, undue focus on the Communist Party. Some of the best works of art, particularly in literature, have come out of oppressive, authoritarian situations where official censorship was the name of the day – see Osip Mandelshtam, Pasternak, Akhmatova, Solzenhitsyn, et al, and many other writers who are not Russian. And in earlier times, playwrights used their superior skills to get away with murder by metaphorical allusion, thereby foregoing a rap on the knuckles or worse from presiding governments who didn’t get it, going right back to Aeschylus and Sophocles.

    Culture is not available to everyone, not in a realistic sense. And not all depends on the home front, even though that can play a significant role. Talent and genius in art forms have sprung from the most unlikely home environments, and it does my heart good to know that not everything by any means is dependent on the handing down from generation to generation some sort of ‘appreciation of the fine arts’ inheritance while wallowing in the comfort that money and contacts bring. I am not at all interested in categorising artists, or anybody else for that matter, by way of class or anything else for that matter. Some people have special gifts, and a particular sensibility, that defies their very surroundings. And it’s a wondrous thing indeed to see that prevail.

    It is a highly dangerous assumption to make that every person who lives in ‘Australian specific suburbs’ is vulgar and ignorant. The danger lies in its likely inaccuracy and its nasty stereotyping. I lived in an outer Melbourne suburb once long ago where the butcher had paintings (not prints) on the walls of his shop and played classical music as he worked. One of the furniture removal men packing up my house for me in inner Melbourne a few years ago quoted poetry as he worked. These are just two lovely examples of the universality of art. There will always be those, in Europe too, not just Australia, who rhyme art with fart, and that’s a fact. However, never ever think for a moment, Otto, that you can wrap up suburbs and construction workers in a neat little bundle and assume their knowledge or predilections.

    We started out talking about artists (or more specifically) composers creating to a proscribed agenda, as it were. And it’s this that in the main I refute; it’s this I’ve provided enough examples for to lean in the other direction. I defend for them their own voice, created within the spirit of their art.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Dear Liat

      Samizdat and anti establishment authors in totalitarian regimes are a completely different story (hic) to what I was alluding to when referring to the culturally oppressive climate. I spent my first 23 years in precisely such a country, including school, university, working as a journalist.

      Hubs of varied educational standards, both residents and schools as such, are well documented and, generally quite immediately known/sensed. Exceptions will be found everywhere, but culture and demographics is a very well proven tandem.
      “Bohemian” quarters will have a contradictory mix of types and, these days, anyway, the confluence is mostly found at the “exchange” level of ( seemingly) indispensable substance trading, that’s when our eastetic geniuses appear to be able to create ONLY if artificially/chemically induced…
      Otherwise, I am all too aware that the social origins of a multitude of artists were at the lowest stratum. I the case of fine art , it stands to reason that only a highly gifted individual could paint, carve marble etc. and those virtues were NOT class related, but naturally endowed qualities. Same with music. Literature is, predominantly, distinct.

  5. Liat Nagar says:

    Dear Otto,
    I didn’t mean to imply that all classes of society attended opera and concerts under discussion. Of course, they did not. This due to lack of money/education and people assuming their own lower or poorer status due to the governing mores of their time. It might be said here, that the cost of attending such in Australia now will be sealing the fate of those bound to be left out through no affordable options, too. Money should not define the arts, nor snobbery. Look at Russian society, where after communist reign the masses could, and did, attend Bolshoi Ballet,with verve, etc. Also, in Spain and Italy people across the board have been more than in touch with their poets and their music. Painting and sculpture have always been revolutionary in the making, when one thinks of the Impressionists, after rejection from the French Academy which therefore denied exhibition of their works, who organised their own independently. Also, the marvellous Rodin, many of whose works were considered ugly for their realism and entirely inappropriate. Manet was found incomprehensible with his more ‘flatly’ projected nudes who spoke differently to the viewer and his work ‘The Picnic’ evoking a provoked displeasure. Van Gogh sold only two paintings while alive, despite his brother’s efforts as art dealer on his behalf. Poor old Cezanne was greeted with incomprehension and derision, and battled on despite it. Modigliani bartered his works for food and coffee at a much frequented local cafe due to poverty and some works commissioned were found to be repugnant due to his unconventional ‘style’. Many, many artists who now sell for astronomical amounts of money were not recognised in their time and created their particular art despite their time. El Greco was completely out of favour with the Royals and art critics of his time, and Goya, although commissioned by the Spanish Royal Court for many family paintings, managed to create what’s recognised to be a caricature of King Charles IV and his family, and created works that criticised social and political problems – see his ‘Los Capriches’, 1799, never forgetting ‘ordinary’ people. For a long time the English Turner was spurned for his fudging of definitive lines and use of colour mood. Getting away from the fine arts, Bach’s compositions were largely unrecognised during his time, and don’t even get me started on writers! Artists of all kinds create THEIR OWN creations, with their OWN VOICE, despite the banality and restrictions of class and politics around them, and it has been forever thus. The whole of the Romantic tradition was against the egoism in bourgeois liberalism and, of course, against the booming industrial age.

    It is the moneyed and snobs of societies, with illusions of their own superiority and entitlement, that continually attempt to keep the ‘working class’ in their place. The artists would have it other. Art ‘sophistication’ may very well have a starting point (and that starting point is how to learn anew), however, any person with the sensibility for receptivity can be moved by fine music, words and painting/sculpture, even if they can’t, at first experience, understand intellectually what it’s about.

    I’m disappointed to hear that the Romans are forever clearing their throats during a performance – that’s a shocker! When I was in Verona in 2006 I saw their calendar of concerts mapped out for the year – many, many – all to be held in the uncovered venue of an ancient building remindful of the Colosseum in architecture, which lit up at night, as indeed did much of the city. The timing was out for me then. Have you attended anything like that?

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Dear Liat

      There must be a misprint in your last reply where you say that ” after the communist regime in Russia ” ( which is NOW ) people could afford and did go to the Bolshoi etc. Well, I was in Moscow in April 1984 and went to Bolshoi – saw “Cosi” – and paid some FOUR DOLLARS – in rubles – per ticket, box seat . Today at the same Bolshoi one ticket for Rigoletto starts at US$152.00 and on the evening of Dec.24.2014 YOU can see the Nutcracker ballet for……..wait…………US$897.00 a ticket !!!(eight hundred ninetyseven ). If you meant “after the communist regime was installed” then the four bucks a ticket applied.Careful, though, during the communist regime, while tickets were on a poultry basis, the cultural Party-led control, repertoire and , sometimes, modifications to libretti were at the discretion of a kind of terror/censorship which is a bit difficult to get excited about.

      Culture is available to everyone. Any literate person can read books, yet the practice as such depends on the “atmosphere” on the home front. Same with appreciating classical music, fine art etc.
      Once again, the known tribulations of numerous artists, painters and more so poets/writers, was not due to their working class standing, but either to their defiance of the high society aesthetic/thematic impositions and in some cases even political “fronde” or, in some other, at the opposite end, to the platitude conventional, fashion compliance. Yet, I insist, in all cases you listed, the clientele of all started well above the working class. Van Gough is a special case and same for OUR own Modigliani.
      Look at Chopin, he did not own even a one bedroom flat in a mansarde, yet he was hosted and performed only from Barons upwards to the highest aristocracy. Rembrandt ended up broke, but only the richest merchants would place orders etc. Mozart…….and Beethoven only rented a flat on the 2nd floor of a modest house in Vienna while Counts were queuing at his door for quartets and partitures were sold/played only in salons where fortepianos were in place – the price of one being roughly the income for five years of a carpenter.

      I suggest next time you go past a construction site ask one of the blokes if they know whereabouts is in the neighbourhood a certain sushi restaurant called Gustav Mahler; I do it all the time, including Rafaelle da Urbino dry cleaners. In Australian specific suburbs art is only meant to rhyme with fart.

      In any case, the cost of attending high culture in Australia is ridiculously higher than other civilised centres which host regularly much bigger names. Moscow is an exception, same St. Petersbourg.

      • Otto Waldmann says:

        Before I forget, romanticism was precisely bougeoisie liberalism against the old aristocratic order, as Marx said, romantics complained about the old world, but did nothing to change it…He was wrong, of course in as far as the “doing nothing” part when he contradicted himself by stating the his beloved working class can only be lead by the….bourgeoisie.

  6. Liat Nagar says:

    Dear Otto,
    Interesting discussion on the various female roles in opera. I realise there are variations in exposition of the female, however, often the more subtle elements get left behind when men want to take on the ‘angels vs. whores’ dichotomy. Bizet’s ‘Carmen’, based on Merrimee’s novella, was in turn, I believe, influenced by Pushkin’s 1824 poem ‘The Gypsies’ (startling to me to reflect upon is that the poem in my book I referred to earlier, is entitled ‘Gypsy Love’! and this had nothing whatsoever to do with Bizet/Merrimee/Pushkin influence, it just came from my own subterranean depths at the time).

    One can never assume that what is created in the arts at a given time is due to what the middle class, or any other class, want to see at the time. Apart from formally commissioned works by government or benefactor, music, literature and painting/sculpture is largely dictated by the inner stirrings, inspiration, ideas, of the individual artist. Often, in fact, it is rejected or detested by people of the time due to being ‘ahead of its time’. In the case of Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ I believe it was not at first liked at all.

    Total submission to the senses is fine for a short period of time. However, not everybody allows themselves to do it – precisely Carmen’s point when she’s teasing and berating Don Jose.
    See that consummate English poet, John Donne (1572-1631):
    ‘And now good morrow to our waking soules,
    Which watch not one another out of feare;
    For love, all love of other sights controules,
    And makes one little roome, an every where.
    Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
    Let Maps to other, worlds on worlds have showne,
    Let us possesse one world, each hath one, and is one.
    (from ‘The Good-Morrow’)

    I’m glad you grant ‘ordinary blokes’ some room to move in politics. As for me, never, not ever, can I love a snob. Our main topic of Michael Danby’s non-response to Carr’s vitriol keeps getting superseded by other, and that’s due to your passion for opera and my passion for literature. However, let it be said that I have equal passion for justice for the Jewish people and justice for the State of Israel. I agree with you that no matter how many cups of hot chocolate were consumed in order to support the BDS against Max Brenner, it does not make up for silence on Bob Carr’s twisted, hateful attacks.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Dear Liat

      As it happened, arts have been for ages class”drawn” and targeted, for centuries corseted within fairly strict cannons in most creative genres.
      In fine art strict stylistic, not to mention thematic, guidelines were …the norms. A few notable exceptions were , particularly XV-XVI cent. Flemish, Dutch, my favourites Breughel and mad about Bosch and a bit later Vermeer on subjects as well as Rembrandt’s more “private” moments etc.
      But music had to succumb to the paying public, whether imperial courts, larger aristocracy and, later again, bohemian bourgeoisie. In Mozart’s Vienna lingua franca of opera was strictly Italian, with two of his exceptions, Il Seraglio and the Magic Flute, indeed played for a more popular audience in a more popular place, still for the lower middle class, at least. Later, romantic and post romantic, sorry , but opera houses were strictly black tie and the highest couture. Libretti were also designed so that a compulsory ballet had to occur in the SECOND act, not earlier as to give time to the “blokes” to arrive at the opera AFTER the races were ran. Idea being that they needed to be regaled with their demoiselles in their tootoos and whatever could be noticed in between; I stressed “theirs” because it was also de rigeuour that all respectable gents would be “looking after” a select ballerina in their spare extramarital time. Your rough, ordinary punter could not afford the high maintenance, trust me.
      Let me tell you about fine art; IT NEVER belonged to the working classes, except for the proletcultism which we are not delving into here.
      From the middle to the high society, aristocracy, that’s where you’ll find art aiming at . Here’s a short story;
      In mid 90’s I found meself in Moscow, at the Tretiakov. Organised groups were visiting, working class, with guides and folks avid of cultcha taking notes about Repin, Ayvazovskyi etc. When they reached the basement, there were a few early 20C. abstract, cubism etc., facing those, the same note taking , wide eyed art passionates burst into vulgar laughter, deriding and mocking….So there. Sorry, but art sophistication has a starting point, well above the popular pedestrian side walk. Just remember the riot caused by Pollock’s “Blue Poles” when first hang in Canberrra.
      Music even more so. At the Paris Opera one could not show up unless black tie and the best silk satins. Vienna the worst snobs and who, if not a pretentious Biedermeier masochist could sit through Berg’s “Lulu” !!!
      Just back from Rome’s most fantastic modern concert hall ( the whole bloody ceiling veneered for the best acustics ) , the relatively new home of Santa Cecilia ( a very calm disecting directing Ken Nagano ) and, the same, only the best, most elegant audience. Here’s my other comment: the difference between the Italian and the German audience is that the Romans go to concerts with the specific intention of clearing their throats, kinda expect them to expectorate in competition with the music, whilst during a performance, the German chest is connected to the Reichzentralle of die Koffstoppenmaschineshmuckgemacht, in other words, not one bloody whisper; they only burst in an organised fashion at the short pause intervals, und das ist it !!!Bloody krauts……, yet, still the best cakes !!!

  7. Liat Nagar says:

    Ouch, Otto, what an angry, class-ridden perspective of Bizet’s Carmen – so upright and stuffily perceived, as if you yourself lived in European 19th century and had taken on all the patriarchal and societal mores of the time.
    For when talking of Carmen we must do so within her particular time, only a century after the 300 years before that had had women burned at the stake as witches for any notion of sexual appetite. She’s a very different protagonist to the serenely beautiful lady of chaste purity, burning inwardly and passively for a different kind of love that she must wait to receive rather than pursue, a heroine throughout the ages. Why do women have to be angels or whores? That’s a male construct devised for their own purposes. Your notion of a ‘morally respectable’ main protagonist would invite a different kind of music, no? And we would all be asleep after 30 seconds of listening to it. This is not about ‘morally respectable’; it’s about a woman not being false to herself, not allowing anybody to dominate her spirit, and feeling free to be fearless in love (a love which owns sexual yearning or hunger as a legitimate part of it) and candid in exposure of her natural sexuality – she is courageous, earthy and intelligent, and completely unforgiving of a man not capable of seizing the moment and living it with honesty. She is not a whore (such nasty connotations that word has when abusively mouthed by a man!) – she’s a fully developed woman. Please, when we even think of her ‘calculated cruelty’ and her in your face confrontation, may we spare a thought for the treatment dished out by men to women at that time (the prison of life within which they were confined), and now, that is cruel in expectation and explicit in behaviour. As with everything, there are exceptions, so don’t think I’m not taking that into account. Why, we might ask, is it so shocking to see calculation with self in mind, and a kind of brutal honesty, coming from a woman? Would a man prefer pretence and sly manipulation, which so many women succumbed to through sheer lack of personal power? Most men feel threatened by strong women who know what they want – these men know not what they miss out on in being unable to embrace fully what is offered.

    Again, Otto, you are allowing snobbery and notions of ‘class’ to dictate your opinion of the hapless Jacquie Lambie. If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s that. I do not measure a person by what they appear to have attained, which school they went to, or who their parents were. Having the title ‘Major’ or a prestigious University degree is not the measure of a man or woman. Doesn’t even come close. Fact is Lambie has had more than a tough life, and is trying to do something to both develop herself and improve on that. All kudos to her for that. And she’s just the sort of person who would at least be capable of appreciating a nice little political retirement fund due to having lived in poorer circumstances. I’m sure it’s no easy task to successfully run a fish ‘n chip shop, and it certainly would not be a comfortable way to live.
    I knew a Greek couple once, in the place I brought up my children – my older son was best friends at primary school with their son. They ran the local fish ‘n chip shop, and the father of the pair had two degrees from an Italian university, while the mother had been a senior school teacher in Greece. Their language skills in this country were not up to it, you see, for like positions here. You must always look beneath the veneer of any kind of title, and that includes a fish ‘n chip shop.

    Ah, Roma, how I love it … you most fortunate man to be there (although Firenze is my favourite). I look forward to hearing of the Richard Strauss Festival in Dresden, that city Cardinal George Pell had such overt sympathy for because it ended up bombed to smithereens during World War II – he didn’t even mention the Nazi concentration camps at the time.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Dear Liat, let’s be clear, my comments about Merimmer’s/Bizet’s Carmen are only a reflection upon what, mainly, the middle class of the period wanted to see in respect to certain facets of a dramatic/lyrical representation of the female character/heroine/individual. In the same genre – opera- at the same ( approx.) time there are operas where female protagonists are portrayed as completely different characters – Elvira in “I Puritanni”, Norma, Lucia and another of Carmen’s ilk, Azucena in “Il Trovatore”, where dramatic justice is rendered with just as much “zeal”. A bit later, the same social class was enjoying a certain, completely distinct from Carmen, Aida and, at the other social end end, a delicate Mimi, while in Traviata we are coming back to easier virtues. Carmen, though, remains the emotional manipulative trait of very much the same gender.Do you want romantic purity, plenty of it in Onegin. These are not characters I see as definitory of the woman at all, they are the varied panoply of male visions of the times, easily detectable when perusing the stage plots. No secret that the bourgeoise was/is what can be falsely termed as a contradiction of a domineering desire coated in total submission to senses.

      Back to our Hon. Senator, I am not saying that certain formal drills are expected of those, in fact, quite capable to do a credible job at the highest level of politics, all I alluded to was that a certain type of pupulist strategy can be seen at our tough lady, coupled with a style which, once again, is not at all unnatural to the very electorate she is supposed to represent, your ordinary blokes, far more numerous, therefore entitled to representation than the snobs we all know ( and love ). Her political trajectory is a bit unlike most other harder working-longer waiting party aparatchniks marking time on those comfy seats. I do not regard the more “dedicated” politicians more sophisticated, capable to hold their own on ANY topic political competence would demand. Some exceptions and some so pathetic, Lambie could do a better job on any day with just her instincts – which she relies on plenty ….
      Just to stick to the MAIN topic, here we must come back to the way in which a public figure must be very careful when a certain ideological profile is carved out for public consumption – here the ACTUAL selected public has the right to expect a performance commensurate with the complexity of the group he belongs to and the Rep. claims to be a dependable voice. Certain concessions will be made, but they, usually, are of the family occurrences, some time off, small surgical intervention and such. Not reacting strongly to Bob Carr’s vile attacks on sacred notions is NOT such a concession, regardless how many cups of hot chocolate one had to endure to fight the BDS monster as a great sacrifice against a doctor’s express slimming diet directions .

  8. Liat Nagar says:

    Dear Otto,
    Poetry is multi-dimensional and needs to be felt as well as read – heard in the heart and soul, just as music can be. So, your quick dismissal of Gwen Harwood and your reading of her poem as ‘bitter diatribe’ hasn’t gone anywhere towards doing her justice. Her poems comprise many elements, but she’s never bitter. When you get home, perhaps borrow a copy of her Collected Works from the library (I’m assuming you won’t want to buy it) and browse through.

    The bits and pieces you’ve mentioned about Wittgenstein merely go towards the many elements informing the whole. His sexuality is neither here nor there. And we are not defined by any one thing as a person, whether it’s philosophical thought, musicianship, writing of poetry, or any other speciality.

    How intoxicating to be in an audience that applauds the end of an opera for 30 minutes or so – it would take on a life of its own just so long as it was genuine in nature. It’s awful that something as potent as ‘Carmen’ would be performed in such light vein – shame on the tenor and those responsible for casting him. The very least Carmen deserves from a man is a powerful voice passionately rendered! She’s the embodiment of woman in full stride, unabashed to proclaim self and sexuality – the men around her are not up to it, so at least let them sing for their supper. She didn’t get what she deserved, that was the problem. For me, the definitive Carmen is Julia Migenes. (One of the poems in by book ‘curving my eyes to almonds’ has a Carmen persona, even though not meant to have any direct connection Bizet’s Carmen.)

    The only politician I know of who tries to exercise her role in the way you expect is Jacquie Lambie! New to the job, and obviously not well-educated in the formal sense, nevertheless she speaks out no matter what and is always proclaiming that she will fight for those she represents, without compromise. Methinks she probably hasn’t got a future in the nasty corridors of power.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Dear Liat

      I shall leaf through Gwenn at the first opportunity and part with my impending thoughts in the manner I know best.

      Sorry, Carmen is the bourgeoisie’s loathing version of a low class Madamme Bovary. Calculated and cruel and rogue enough to say it with impunity. Some impunity , considering that she even tells in the approaching tragic end that she expects to be slaughtered by the man she confronts with cold hearted disdain. She is the type of classical whore middle class creyoned in their vision of a society unequal both socially and sexually. Except for Bizet’s music given to the character to sing, there is nothing morally respectable about the main protagonist. She states it clearly “…shouldya fall in love with’me , you betta watchit , mate !!!” while working her witchery on the INTENDED victim. She is a female/sexual buldozer. Sure, blokes ask her to play her inebriating charms on them, but that is precisely that,….testosteronic abandon.

      As about the Tasmanian amazon, let’s not forget that all she has achieved until a cozy sat in the bloody SENATE was a stint as a CORPORAL !!!!!
      Yet, today is the Sydney Harbour size mouth of the “downtrodden” national heroes in uniform…..Most pundits reckon she’ll end up with a nice little political retirement fund in view of a looooong and comfy seat in “that” Chamber. A lot to be achieved by someone who, indeed, probably could not operate even a fish’n chips shop.Not to mention the kudos of having her words devoured by millions in most pubs in the country…..

      Next time I will have some wonderful words to say about some incredible Richard Strauss Festival in Dresden, but right now I am in Rome and loving it.

  9. Liat Nagar says:

    Dear Otto,
    It seems that both Gwen Harwood and I find Wittgenstein more generous within the framework of our perceptions than you do. Oh, and I find the writing of Bertrand Russell absolutely brilliant for its expression of the complex in simple, elegant language. I’m not talking here about his views, merely his way of expressing them.

    For further consideration have a look at Wittgenstein’s discussion of Ernest Renan’s ‘History of the People of Israel’, where he (Wittgenstein) says, among other things, “Man has to awake to wonder and so perhaps do peoples. Science is a way of sending him to sleep again.” He doesn’t think for a moment that arguing with ‘definitive’ facts can take one from a truth to a falsity and vice versa, especially given the vagaries of grammar.

    As to Michael Danby, I think you’re being unduly harsh. It’s not a question as stark as loyalty to a political structure as against loyalty to identity. I really don’t believe Danby shies away from his identity (perhaps I’ve been privy to more information about this than you due to reportage in the Melbourne press not being replicated in Sydney, after all he represents an inner Melbourne electorate – the two cities are like different countries with their knowledge and interests); there have been a multitude of occasions where he comes out and speaks forcefully on Jewish issues, they’re not limited to the occasional. It’s not only a question of ideology for him to take into account, but the actual job of representation itself, as I keep saying. I am, however, disappointed that he had nothing to say on Carr’s speech to the Labor Friends of Palestine Association, or whatever it’s called. I suspect that might be because he’s well known as Jewish, and ultimately it might have worked against him to plow into the Jews vs. Palestinians argument on a vitriolic level, which is where Carr took it. Although, if he’d calmly torn apart Carr’s blatantly distorted ‘facts’ it would have been a great service to truth on the matter. I’m arguing with myself here.

    You are having the time of your life musically!!

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Dear Liat

      First, just to get your mate Gwenn out of the way, I read her “verse” as a bitter diatribe very well against the strict, dismissive, exclusion of literary – and general rhetorical – licence when “dealing” with these tools of communication. She is cheesed off good and proper with the intolerant philosopher. As about conflicting statements one finds in almost anyone’s musings upon existence, W is not alone nor is he really denouncing his fundamentals in and when dealing with the strictness reclaimed by his”profession”. Wittgenstein was, as I lauded before, a controversial bloke at once adamant about the manner of thinking “procedures” and also given to the vagaries of “slight” abandon when, for some time, he was enjoying the gay quarters of the less salubrious end of the Kurfurstendamm, not to mention the serious incident at the primary school in some God forsaken Austrian village. All these tit bits I am, indeed mentioning while saying that they are NOT definitely of the logician himself.
      As about Danby, you are right, in the case of the repulsive Carr outbursts, his voice should have been one of courageous resolve in defence of a community which needs clear, immediate and articulate attitudes. If Danby were a grocer or watchmaker I would not have expected him to show up in the public domain saying stuff which needs said on each and every relevant occasion, but , as an MP, this is the main job he is expected to show up without fail. Back again to the possible conflict between a political career and a communal responsibility – not that we do not have professional communal blokes who fail us on occasion(s) even when they DO talk !!!!!

      Me musical life very exciting, just saw Carmen at the Berlin Oper and felt like a Viennese operetta . Berliners are a funny lot ( same in Dresden actually and I suppose anywhere in Chermany ); at the end of an opera they applaud for some 30 minutes after which the whole audience gets into a bruderschaft and cut into a rendition of Liebe Augistin for some time. The performance is not quite finished in winter especially, when the final act is at the “garderobe” where another 45 minutes is needed to collect your stuff ( advantage , NO TIPS ).
      This time around, as soon as Don Jose did to Carmen WHAT SHE BLOODY WELL DESERVED I grabbed my Frau Waldmann and made it to me schmatte, again NO TIPS !!! In Bucharest, at concerts, I always leave at least 1 leu – approx 33 cents – as a matter of noblesse oblige and that’s why I am known here as “Great Mr. Otto “, also easier than Mr. Waldmann , noticed double “n”. Not tax deductible, but who cares…
      Anyways the tenor was clear, musical but so pissweak it sounded like he was entertainig his mates at a bucks party or whatever the krauts are having for musical fun.. It was just musical fun, although Señorita Carmen not bad at all and Micaela very good. Sets strictly traditional as not to confuse paying public. Tickets here for concerts are far more reasonable than back home, the dearest at Berlin Phil. would be Euro130.00 when good names playing, but you can get even for Euro24.00 seats. All concerts sold out…..Opera very reasonable, good seats, stalls @ Euro30.00. ( nobody delves into this kind of musical critique and for G-d’s sake, it is so bloody essential, like talking about Wittgenstein and not mentioning that he WAS a raving poof……)
      Further, best cakes still in bloody Chermany and pretzels to die for and they also know how to make a flavoured cappuccino; also fantastic range of shoes and general shmatte. Now you know it all about kulture und gescheft; sadly the Jewish centre on Phasanenstrasse is very poorly attended, reduced to a small library, but , if you speak Russian you’ll get some attention from the stuff, usually the standard ” we don’t have/do it !!”.

  10. Liat Nagar says:

    Dear Otto,
    There is obviously more to Wittgenstein than science, given that he had to actually live life while he was theorising. Perhaps that’s where my previous quote comes into it. You speak of fiction, which you say he disdains, and yet you don’t mention poetry (the creme de la creme of literature, and my own forte). Have a look at the great Australian poet Gwen Harwood and you will see she refers to Wittgenstein many times in her poems, even includes a quite long poem in her ‘Selected Poems’ (revised edition 1985), Angus & Robertson, entitled ‘Wittgenstein and Engelmann’. Here’s a shorter poem for you to consider, hopefully while using the left-hand side of your brain!:

    “Thought is Surrounded by a Halo”
    – Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations 97.

    Show me the order of the world,
    the hard-edge light of this-is-so
    prior to all experience
    and common to both world and thought,
    no model, but the truth itself.

    Language is not a perfect game,
    and if it were, how could we play?
    The world’s more than the sum of things
    like moon, sky, centre, body, bed,
    as all the singing masters know.

    Picture two lovers side by side
    who sleep and dream and wake to hold
    the real and the imagined world
    body by body, word by word
    in the wild halo of their thought.

    Ah, how poetry can speak the most complex thoughts in the most simple language, while at the same time give feeling, and yet so many are afraid of it, or ignorant of it. How absolutely clear it can be by way of suggestion.

    I don’t disagree with your view on the pedestrian nature of what we receive from our politicians. It is so. The difficulty is the machine that is politics. Many might start out with ideals and good ambition, however, ultimately, if they’re not Independents, they must compromise themselves to follow party lines and/or promote their own political careers. It is better for us as Jews to have some Jewish political representation than none at all, for the fact that occasionally Jewish perspective is aired. And I think there have been many occasions where Danby has been outspoken and given media coverage as a result of it. That’s probably about the best we can expect for our numbers.

    Are you still in Berlin?

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Dear Liat

      I shall indulge slightly further about Wittgenstein, his ideas, theories and some of the few snippets of his more personal angles.
      The lyrical interludes, your friend poet Gwenn reflects precisely on the less than generous allowances Wittgenstein ( and to this, W’s best friend Bertrand Russell, accedes as well, and earlier , see “Mysticism and Logic”, Pelican,; my little bubele Felix, while himself at Cambridge, relates that , once at a seminar when the question came on the whereabouts of Wittgenstein’s tomb, he cut a cute line: “Under a big W !!”, like Daddy, like Son…)made to the exploits of the word interpretation and respective accepted values.
      Like the modulated acceptance of lexical expression, so the political positions taken by public fora professionals, such as our Michael Danby,precision in expectations are as important as the various claims public figures adopt in accordance to circumstances.
      Wittgenstein – and Russell -rely on the clarity of definitory categories while not denying the emotive state , itself definitory of the human species. Here’s a good example of variants of the same; during WWI Russell was the most outspoken anti war activist, whereas Wittgenstein – and his brother Paul – joined with aplomb the front line, Wittgenstein abandoning Cambridge until his 1929 return ( remember the line ” God has arrived – at Cambridge railway station – with 12.33 train ” ) and Paul ended up losing his right arm as a pianist… Thus passions of the non-academic type could be expected.
      Miles away from Wittgenstein or Russell, Danby is expected by his ” de genere ” constituency, yes strictly the Jewish lot, NOT to abandon a complex, demanding function and adopt that silence which, whichever poetic way some may indulge in, can only frustrate those left WITHOUT a voice. Being busy occasionally giving course to Jewish matters in the House and, thus, also occasionally NOT attending to the same problems is not acceptable. Here we do not trade places for any “reason”. Verticality of a certain identity comes well before loyalty to a political structure which, as we have seen already, may turn ideologically pretty well against the very identity we expect to act with dignity, courage and consistency.

      • Otto Waldmann says:

        Oh, I forget, I left Berlin and Dresden already, where I was fortunate to have been to some memorable concerts/opera; a recital of Staruss lieder with Thomas Hampson and a brilliant cast , including Renee Fleming in “Capriccio” during a Richard Strauss Festival….
        Currently back in Bucharest, but flying again to Berlin on Thursday….concert with Martha Argerich and Riccardo Chailly, Berlin Phil. and “Carmen” supposedly with Roberto Alagna.
        Also a disappointing Berlin Staatscapelle Orchestra of Schumann 1st. Symphony.

  11. Liat Nagar says:

    Dear Otto,
    Michael Danby is indeed a Parliamentarian. However, living as you do in Sydney you will not perhaps realise that Melbourne Ports, his electorate, comprises a large mix of people, only around 4% of whom profess to be Jewish. You have 35% with ‘no religion’ and 20.8% Catholic, with the next majority following of 10.7% Anglican, followed by Buddhists 2.2% and Islam 1.1%. You have people from English, Scottish, Irish and New Zealand roots, as well as Greek, Italian, Russian, Chinese, French, Spanish, German, Indian and Indonesian ethnicity. So, you see, Mr Danby, not only should, but is bound to, represent all of these. Suffice to say, this is a big agenda to address, and it must be taken into account when judging the way he performs his job. In saying that, I too am disappointed in his J-Wire response to Carr and silence on the irresponsible ‘facts’ Carr bandied about during his address to LFOP. (I have not taken him on as a protege – please be aware that when I form opinions I think around the scenario as fully as possible, taking into account as many details as I can glean, in order to arrive at a fair conclusion, whether or not I like a person/event or not. That doesn’t prevent me from being passionate and clear about what I think, and saying it how I think it is. I find your reference to ‘the OTHER loser’ appalling because on a very deep level it brands a person with utter hopelessness and nobody has the right to do that to another – without hope there can be no life, so to take away hope in a complete sense is an act of the utmost inhumanity.)

    Things are not as black and white as you paint them, Otto. The grey in between is always important to know about and consider if you’re really interested in truth, and to act or speak ‘regardless of a situation’ at all times is foolhardy.

    You know, whether we’re ‘interpreting’ literary work or scientific work, there is always a degree of subjectivity coming into it that can either enhance or distort. So, in that sense when can something be unequivocally right? It’s not of great importance to me whether I’m right or not. There are even some things I’d prefer not to be right about. It’s the truth, as far as I can push it, that I’m after. And that’s a really illusive thing.

    You might like to ponder the following:
    ‘A man may say, “From now on I’m going to speak the truth, but the truth hears him and runs away and hides before he’s even done speaking.’
    ‘Some men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.’
    Winston Churchill
    ‘When all possible scientific questions have been answered the problems of life remain completely untouched.’

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Hi Liat

      In am in Berlin right now and not a berliner and all I can say is that, if OUR Michael is NOT our voice (!!!) in in House let’s not, then, make and pretend he is such a thing. That 4% you are talking about is , therefore, amply, if not excessively represented by what he does ( and does NOT ) do for us, so let’s not paint his portrait as the voice of the Jews and their (our) concerns ….
      This simply means that, once again and again, I was right….

      chuss von Berlin,
      Otto von waldmann

      • Otto Waldmann says:

        I rushed somehow my last posting, yet addressed the main issues, but seeing that you indulged into a bit of Wittgenstein, let’s make it clear; Wittgenstein was, by far, the most cynical observer and commentator of all things “creative”, mainly when using words. He insisted on an uncompromising distrust of the meaning of words. In addition , he was merciless on historians, – writers of fiction did not get even the most cruelest disdain – allowing them strictly the function of “reporting”, while editorials, opinions, any embellishment under the guise of “expert” conclusions, lessons etc. were all dismissed out of hand. To him ONLY science was relevant and logic only as expressed mathematically, so there…..
        I must look up your quote, unless it was something he would have said on his death bed, when he, belatedly accepted having anything to do with his Jewishness, among other stuff.

        Anyway, I should not elevate the subject of a politician to Wittgenstein’s lot.
        Trouble is that, as politicians see their ambitions through the structural oversight of a Party “ideology”, I do NOT expect any of them to abandon platforms which would not include/accept variations on some idiosyncratic theme. Even in Israel a certain political formation would accept a member only if he/she is the kind of Jew they “designed”.
        ALP in Aust. HASN’T got any provisions for Zionist expressions, not now, well post young Hawke era. This means that we, who can afford to be 100% and uncompromising Zionists must look at people outside our square in a realistic manner and refrain from affording everyone the mantle of trust in our pursuits just because that persons meets SOME details.
        Just being generically Jewish is NOT enough, one must do stuff to be afforded qualities and praise. It’s like a carpenter who hits a nail and claims that he has CREATED a hole.
        I DO NOT EXPECT Michael Danby and, similarly that other bloke, Dreyfuss, to do much for us . I expect other blokes and sheillas to do their bloody jobs; they sit comfy in all those you beaut organisations and Board of Deps. we have created for them and sometimes we see good stuff coming out, but, sadly most of the time we see gurnisht or pedestrian drek.

  12. Liat Nagar says:

    Dear Otto,
    the term ‘eloquent in silence’ is perfect for my meaning. The reader can do whatever he/she likes with it, as with any text, scientific, literary or otherwise. It is not a non sequitur at all, as it addresses the fact that Danby being silent on the issue I was discussing spoke volumes. This issue was not a Parliamentary one, but one on the side where Carr was anointing himself as patron of the Labor Friends of Palestine Association, so in this regard perhaps your tying it to his Parliamentary role is the non sequitur!

    ‘Eloquent in silence’ cannot be dissembled and judged using only a logical mind set, as you have already recognised, albeit grudgingly it seems. If we followed your line of reasoning, language would become so prosaic as to prevent heart-felt connection, and the thing is, Otto, good writing to succeed in getting its message across must be not only specific in its clarity and accurate in its facts, but also allow a ‘felt’ knowledge, so the reader gets the double whammy (but, no sentimentality and/or grandiosity – that’s a killer), the important facts with that extra dimension to engage head and heart. This applies to fiction and non-fiction. So, please leave my somewhat metaphysical, lyrical ‘eloquent in silence’ alone, standing as it does in powerful elaboration of what Mr Danby has not engaged in.

    Who knows, he might have felt it ‘untouchable’ due to the immediate connection the public would have made of a Jewish person denouncing membership of a support group for the Palestinians, even though it would have been Carr’s ridiculously false statements he would have been attacking.

    It does not necessarily follow that if someone does not contradict you you are right, which I am sure you will realise.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Thanks Liat for confirming and strengthening my argument.
      By expanding on the literary licence/freedom of interpretation, satisfying thus the “need” for some to think – and even act – outside the incorsetation of stringent definitions ( scientific approach as you put it ) we demonstrated that I was, alas once again, so right.
      Now, back to our little lamb, Michael Danby; what would this nice, smiling bloke be, a broadcaster, an academic, a celebrated author, a formally appointed communal leader, a bricklayer, a courierf or gas fitter, NO, he is a bloody Parliamentarian and this is how we have known him in the public gaze. Wherever he goes, outside his strict family circle, he is a – I repeat – a bloody Member for Whatever. As such any Member for Whatever applies him/herself to the job by using the ONLY tool they have available in their kit, their GOB , like it or not !!! Being silent ain’t what they are expected to do, regardless of situation. A courier delivers parcels, letters etc. for a living, he does not deliver speeches !!! Conversely a MP deliver speeches or a living, unless he does not what to say or some other impediments come into play.
      Look at yourself, you are a thinker/writer, I threw a challenge and you answered at once, articulate, generous and incredibly wrong, but you did apply yourself in accordance to your calling. THIS is what I expect of your newly found protegee ( lets forget about the OTHER loser !!! -.
      Se how right I am again, but, hey, you ain’t that bad either.

  13. Liat Nagar says:

    ‘eloquent in silence’ is a very powerful assertion due to its intent of showing how much is left out by not being commented on, in this case, everything. It creates a ringing effect that resounds and points up the thing discussed dramatically. The similes you provide don’t do that at all.
    Danby represents a diversity of people in Parliament, many of whom are not Jewish, which is what I meant by referring to his efforts to incorporate Jewish issues into the whole brief. It’s not easy because it’s multi-faceted. Sometimes you expect too much. Doesn’t mean, of course, that we shouldn’t complain if we think it necessary.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Dear Liat
      let’s make the radiography of an absurdity.
      “Eloquence” and “silence” are antonyms; “silence” preceded in the same context by eloquence is a non sequitur. In certain conditions , where literary licence is allowed and even creates contextual dynamics required by the genre ( and the “generosity” of adjudicator/reader/target ).Such allowances/indulgences do NOT alter the immutables dictated by the merciless character of linguistic, “ontologic” values of the discussed terms.
      The case in point, being the behaviour in a specific place, THE Parliament, we must consider the function of each, individual term.
      The activity of the Parliament, the definitory function of its humn element, our parliamentarians, is to use the means of verbal expression as their essential function. In simple language, a Member is supposed to participate by USING actively THE rhetorical tool. In our case, Michael Danby does NOT acquit himself of his position by not taking active VERBAL attitude in ANY circumstance where alternative, opposite verbal action is taken. He cannot refrain in any circumstance from producing a verbal retort to ANYTHING said in the same place which needs the SAME mode of expression. Silence contradicts his function once a statement is made which concerns his elected position. He is expected, indeed compelled to react verbally, otherwise the said notion concerning his status WINS the day. The only analogy I shall indulge here is a pugilistic encounter. He who does not reply/hits back CANNOT win the contest.
      In the same manner, if you or anyone does not contradict VERBALLY ( in writing) what I just said, I, the infallible Otto Waldmann, win, prevail, I am absolutely, unchallenged, RIGHT.

      Over to you….. unless you choose silence !!!!!

  14. Liat Nagar says:

    ‘eloquent in silence’ is a very powerful assertion due to its intent of showing how much is left out by not being commented on, in this case, everything. It creates a ringing effect that resounds and points up the thing discussed dramatically. The similes you provide don’t do that at all.
    Danby represents a diversity of people in Parliament, many of whom are not Jewish, which is what I meant by referring to his efforts to incorporate Jewish issues into the whole brief. It’s not easy because it’s multi-faceted. Sometimes you expect too much. Doesn’t mean, of course, that we shouldn’t complain if we think it necessary.

  15. Liat Nagar says:

    ben Eliajah,
    I see you, too, use ‘Zionism’ as a dirty word. Now that’s a dead giveaway. Makes you not worth talking to because you’re poisoned by your own bitterness and hatred.

  16. ben eliajah says:

    Standard worn out tactics of “but what about …..” The UN reported in October that Israel has doubled its settlements in the last 54 months. So Palestine is being cut up bit by bit and neither Danby not the Zionist lobbies can deny this.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      …and stay tuned, there will be more to come and all your criminal intruders will be put in their places, i.e. well out of OUR land !!!!
      Being a true Zionist does NOT mean pleasing your kind. Get used to it !!!

  17. Liat Nagar says:

    On the whole I think Michael Danby does good work incorporating the issues that arise all the time in regard to Israel, and some of the time with local Jewish matters, into the larger framework of his parliamentary job.

    In his response to the latest Carr verbalising, I don’t think he goes easy on Carr at all. However, bearing in mind the extract published in The Australian of Carr’s address to the Australian Friends of Palestine Association in Adelaide last Friday night, as new patron of the Labor Friends of Palestine, Danby’s response is eloquent in its silence. Any Labor person with predilection for the Palestinian cause can be part of LFOP – it’s a relatively free country. However,to push their own barrow publicly without regard to truth and fairness is an abomination. And this is what Carr has done, again, flagrantly.

    He has no excuses for his incorrect and inflammatory account of Israel in this address, when one considers his purported capacity for scholarship and analysis, his self-professed ‘interest’ in history. His discourse starts out based on an ‘epiphany’ he experienced in Sydney after speaking with a Christian volunteer who went to the ‘occupied territories’ to escort Palestinian children to school, to protect them from verbal and physical violence by Israeli settlers. It was this epiphany apparently that changed his previous allegiance to Israel to that of ‘Palestine’ (he actually states that in 1977 when he and Bob Hawke launched Labor Friends of Israel, ‘we knew, to our disgrace, none of their (PLO) narrative’ – only knew they were terrorists blowing up planes at the time). He refers to Israeli historians who are opening up the archives of their army to tell the full story of how massacres were used during the foundation of Israel in 1948 to drive out 700,000 Palestinians. (Well, we’ve heard all that before – that’s old hat, Bob. You’re probably referring to the one massacre already admitted to some time ago and, of course, ignoring knowledge of the fact that it was the Arabs who urged their people to flee after waging war on Israel in the first instance – they expected their imminent return.)

    From there his rhetoric mounts with careless use of facts distorted by what is left out, pejorative statements that misinform, ridiculous assertions such as ‘Palestinians have been part of a peace process for 25 years.’ Full stop – just like that: a flat statement of ‘fact’; never mind the years of intifadas in the meantime, the ongoing intent to rid the land of Jews and the State of Israel. Nope, the Palestinians are just waiting around for this peace process to be accomplished, forever patient and all-suffering. The settlers Carr bases his whole sensationalist rant on are, as we know, a very small percentage of Israel’s Jews, as are the Ultra-Orthodox Jews who apparently now run the country. There is no mention of correlative Palestinian behaviour anywhere to be seen. He continually uses the word ‘occupier’ and ‘occupied’. He actually says the ‘occupation’ has lasted 47 years, when as we all know, and so should the world, that Israel’s necessary victory for its own survival came after the Six Day War 47 years ago due to war waged by neighbouring Arab states. He uses the word ‘Zionist’ as if it’s a dirty word, as, of course, increasingly do many others. There is much more, however I shall not paraphrase the whole address. I can’t resist adding though Carr’s use of the American TV series ‘The West Wing’ to enhance his case, viz. “Discussing Gaza and the West Bank, a White House adviser says to another, ‘Revolutionaries will outlast and out-die occupiers every time.” Well, good on you, Bob, that’s the way – incite revolution and death – that’s just what we need more of!! It’s a profound thing to use a television series to speak for you, too – clever.

    This rubbish that gains easy publicity through the figure of Bob Carr should be countered with a focussed, disciplined passion and succinct relation of how it really was and is, and he should be shown up as the irresponsible, publicity-seeking, egocentric man he is, playing with complex, real issues that deserve more than his shallow, careless take on things. Of course, it doesn’t help that the excuse for his epiphany related by this Christian volunteer is most probably true in the story related. The ultra-religious in Israel’s settlements are doing Israel and Jews everywhere a lot of damage with their behaviour, which is violent and extremist, as fundamentalist as their counterparts in the Arab world. They are a small minority, not representative at all of Israeli population, but they and the revisionist Israeli historians (again, only a few), are skewing things the Arabs’ way as the world chooses to extrapolate their behaviour and thoughts onto the whole of Israel.

    Why is this address by a former Foreign Minister of Australia, which in its kind of content, in its very tenor, does nothing but inflame and incite an already intolerable Middle East situation, receiving no real redress?!

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Liat dear

      “eloquent in silence”, you say, why not “healthy in disease” ,” peaceful in violence” or, me favourite, “philosemitic in nazism” !!!
      The bloke, OUR Michael, is – more or rather less – there in “that” House to express support for issues we regard important. ACCENT on “express” which, incidentally means, whichever way one may wish to twist it, NOT keeping stumm.

  18. Otto Waldmann says:

    The article drew my attention at once. I was surprised that Danby would take to task a fellow Labor member. Let’s see where Danby fails not only as a genuine defender of Israel’s case but in eliciting the genuine issues discussed by Carr.

    The comment that it is not the settlers but the Knesset that decides on settlements retains the general “validity” of Carr blame on Israel generically on the issue of settlements ; a minor shift of real blame Danby retains on Israel, a major Labor trait, thus, once again, Danby is first a Labor man and somewhere in the distance a reliable advocate for Israel the way real Zionists see it. Subsequently Danby does not display the disposition of standing by the notion that the settlements are part of the legitimate claim of Jews over Judea and Samaria, a solid historic argument to which Danby does not seem to subscribe. All this does not distinguish Danby from Carr much at all in spite of the claim here that Danby would “object” to Carr. Labor crows of the same feather……consistent disappointment of false claims coming from Danby. I wonder why he bothers at all or is he really deriving pleasure from irritating genuine Zionists !!!

  19. BUTSeriously says:

    Muslims ain’t Palestinians and Israel has never occupied another peoples’ land in all her 4,000 year history.

  20. Fiona Yael Sweet Formiatti says:

    I note Bob Carr’s careful distinction: he supports Palestinians but remains a friend of ‘liberal’ Israelis. In other words, he will be ‘friends’ with Israelis who agree with his stance, yet he makes no qualifications for Palestinians, whether they be active members of Hamas or those who denounce terrorism.

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