Fond Memories Soured

October 5, 2011 by J-Wire
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I retain fond memories of my genuinely warm association with Malcolm Fraser when he was Prime Minister and I headed the Australian Jewish community. Our relationship was based on shared values and my appreciation for his inestimable assistance on behalf of Soviet Jewry, ensuring that whilst in Moscow the Australian embassy provided support for my efforts on behalf of Jewish dissidents. I also recollect that in those days, he was enthralled with Israel and he would spend hours discussing and enthusiastically lauding the achievements of the Jewish state…writes Isi Leibler.

In Jewish mystical folklore we relate to a Dybbuk – a malevolent spirit capable of dramatically transforming a person’s entire outlook. I am tempted to attribute Malcolm Fraser’s dramatic reversal of attitude to a Dybbuk.

In his recent Age column (3/10/11), Fraser repeated his now standard portrayal of Israelis as villains and Palestinians as noble underdogs.

Isi Leibler

But on this occasion, the numerous demonstrable falsehoods he expresses impel me to respond from my vantage here in Jerusalem.

For example, he says that in 1948 the Israelis “pushed out” the Palestinians, omitting to mention that Israel had accepted the UN partition plan but that it was the Palestinians supported by five Arab armies, who invaded the new Jewish State with the objective of destroying it.

He repeats the mantra that settlements over the green line are at the core of the Arab-Israeli problem but conveniently omits to mention that the PLO indulged in terrorism well before 1967 when the first settlements were established and that even today, they represent less than 5% of territory beyond the 1949 armistice lines.

Fraser also  repeats the canard that “Israel refuses to talk substantially about realistic boundaries” ignoring the fact that two Israeli prime ministers, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, had offered the Palestinians 95% of the territories formerly occupied by Jordan. But they were rebuffed.

Malcolm Fraser

What I regard as even more offensive and perhaps pathetic is the praise that Fraser extends to Hamas, the evil Islamic fundamentalists who share much in common with Al Qaeda. He says that Israel should be negotiating with them. Is Fraser aware that the current Hamas charter calls explicitly on the faithful to murder all Jews and that there their Islamic faith prohibits them from engaging in any form of compromise because the Jewish state must be utterly destroyed?

He even makes a bizarre observation that the thousands of rockets and missiles launched by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians “caused little damage” and did not justify Israel’s response. I wonder how Fraser as a Prime Minister, would have responded if residents in his neighborhood  were forced to live with their children in shelters for extended periods of time because their neighbors were lobbing missiles at them.  Not to mention dispatching suicide bombers to target them in shopping malls.

He enthusiastically supports Palestinian efforts to bypass UN Resolution 242 endorsed in 1967 which called for direct negotiations to resolve the territorial conflict. But even after Prime Minister Netanyahu in an unprecedented move froze all construction in the settlements for 10 months, the Palestinians refused to negotiate. Furthermore, in his recent speech at the UN General Assembly, the intransigent PA President Mahmoud Abbas rejected compromise on any issue, reiterated his determination never to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and even denied the historical association of the Jewish people with the Holy Land. He hypocritically accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” employing terms against them such as “racist” and “apartheid” without retracting his earlier proclamations that not a single Jew would be permitted to live in a new Palestinian state. The speech reminded many of us that Abbas obtained his PhD thesis at Moscow University based on justifying Holocaust denial.

Only a few days ago, Abbas Zaki, one of the Central Committee members of Fatah, an offshoot of the Palestinian Authority, proclaimed that the establishment of a Palestinian state was merely the first step towards the complete dismantlement of the Jewish state.

Netanyahu has made clear that he is willing to compromise and make major sacrifices for peace by ceding land but will not endanger the security of his citizens. If the Palestinians had accepted this 10 years ago, they would already have a state. They can have one tomorrow if they display a willingness to accept Israel as a Jewish state and are willing to peacefully coexist with it.

Prime Minister Netanyahu accepted the latest Quartet’s call to negotiate without any preconditions. President Abbas refused. Many believe that he is not seeking a settlement and even if he were, he would not have the political power to implement it, especially having reiterated his determination to reunite with the genocidal Hamas.

I am truly saddened that the Jewish community has lost the friendship of Malcolm Fraser and hope that in the course of time, he will adopt a more rational and open minded approach


8 Responses to “Fond Memories Soured”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    It seems we may have to stay allert for a while yet on the course of explaining simple facts, attend to prejudice, ignorance, extrapolations, in one word ( or five, six ) the dynamics of stupenduously stupid palestinian political rhetoric. Some new terms have crept happily into the palestinian national-criminal discourse, such as “colonialist Zionists”.Anything to impress among their troups the meagre minded fellow travelers. Ben obliges and is teacthing US Jews, thoroughly tested with each generation for the past minimum FIVE THOUSAND YEARS, our own history.

    Yes Ben, you are so incredibly right, Jews have …colonised their own country. Happy now !!!???

    Max Byalistock was right : ” Where do they come from !!!??”

  2. ben says:

    both Goldman and bryant smear Fraser without bringing out a shered of evidence to support their claims. Goldman seems appeal to ignormnce more than knowledge of the history of colonisation of Palestine – even Herzl did not conceal the colonial nature of the Zionist project, as even any reader of his diaries and Der Judenstat will acknowledge.

  3. Otto Waldmann says:

    I am increasingly confident that the “wisdom”we are affording Malcolm Fraser in his old and formally irrelevant days is seriousli misplaced.Contrary to Jewish tradition, Romans beleved that ” barba non facit filosofum” , the beard (old age) does not make one a philosopher.It would be too easy, and untested by me, to assert that Fraser’s judgement has deteriorated that it is spinning in a centrifugal manner away from reason. That his opinions about Israel are NOT connected to objective, comprehensive reality imperatives is as obvious as it is the very fact that the entire rhetoric in support of the palestinian/Hamas strategy is based on farcical,heavily prejudiced, destructive strategies. That Fraser prefers to ignore one side of the argument is of concern in regards to his intellectual approach,but, as one observs at Fraser with almost all his public appearances , emotion seems to play a very obvious major role in his internal “deliberations” on the merits of issues that involve human aspects. You may say that this is normal and I’d agree, question is,however, to what extent emotions displayed are the result of the emotional, deeply self-concerned, repudiation by Fraser of a World that has marginalised him for decades now as a relevant player in major decision making political forums. As such, Fraser embraces causes that seem to struggle under aparent forces of oppression, victims of oprression exerted by forces seemingly impossible to overcome. Such is the image Fraser must conjure of a perpetually dominant Israel over its palestinian enemies. The “mere” fact that Israel has won all its armed encounters with all its enemies, always far more numerous , has been “dfenying” Israel of its image of a just and normal victorious side. Parepetually losing aggressors have acquired the mantra of…victims. And thus marginalised palestinians become Malcolm Abandoned, one ,by now, dominated by the kind of “passionate” empathy for the palestinians that does not require balanced reason in order to function.

  4. patricia jones says:

    I always had a great deal of respect for Malcolm Fraser – and considered him to be very much his own man. What a shame he has sought to change his mind on such a contentious issue. Israel needs all the support it can muster – it’s enemies are legion. No need for Fraser to milk the cow for all it is worth- we have enough lily livered Leaders doing that presently. Malcom Fraser must be wanting to go out on a HIGH – but in actual fact it will be a LOW. Does he, I wonder, know how much he has lost by making such stupid, follow the herd statements? The Jewish community has lost no friend here – they have been alerted to the ‘enemy at the gates’.

  5. Judi Drennan says:

    Perhaps Malcolm Fraser is reflecting his need to remain “popular” by switching alliances to fit with what seems like an epidemic of negative opinion about Israel based on incorrect information. It is indeed dangerous for Israel that our politicians and journalists seem to either omit the facts or make them up. Why dont I see articles of fact in our major papers ? Perhaps we should promote Malcolm Fraser and his kind to visit/re-visit Israel and take a Shurat HaDin tour (one coming up in November) essential for anyone who may have doubts about Israels legitimacy for existence.

  6. Tom Moss says:

    The time has come for Malcolm Fraser to (re)commence his medication.It is patently obvious that galloping dementia is overtaking his rational thinking.How else can his distorted rantings be explained?

  7. sam goldman says:

    It seems that Malcolm Fraser knows very little about the facts or history of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. But as an Australian Prime Minister in the 1970s surely he knows something about the Australian Aboriginal history, its genocide, its lost children, its poverty etc, as these things were on going in the 1970s.
    Maybe he should turn his mind to make correct the situation for Australian Aboriginals before he tackles saving the “poor” Palestinians.
    The old saying about “people who live in glass houses”!

  8. NIC BRYANT says:

    I am not Jewish or Palestinian but I don’t have to be either to know whats right. I know its right for Israel to exist .
    I truly feel sorry for Malcolm Fraser and I am sick to my stomach of so called prominent people supporting Hamas. Are they so blind.

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