Like many I often have the television switched on in the next room so I can listen to the news channel whilst doing something hopefully constructive like writing a book, working on the animation project or cleaning the kitchen. Usually what’s coming from the flat box is not all that interesting but the other day something did make me put down the mop to pay more attention to what was being reported. Namely, our prime minister together with state premiers and first ministers fronting the media at the end of their COAG meeting. COAG, for those who don’t live here, is the ‘Council Of Australian Governments’ which are the state and federal government. What struck me listening to each premier (head of a state government) and the federal prime minister was the level of agreement on giving our law enforcement and intelligence services yet more power, “the tools and powers they need to keep us safe” was more or less how they all put it. Not a dissenting voice and no mention of a sunset clause nor how these extra tools and powers would be independently managed.
Benjamin Franklin’s words come to mind,
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
Thinking about Britain, recent terrorist attacks and the slippery slide towards becoming a nation governed by fear something else comes to mind and it is that in WWII Britain could have surrendered to the Nazis and avoided 67,200 civilian casualties and the greater part of their 383,700 military casualties. But they didn’t because for a nation that has strong beliefs with courage to match, surrender to tyranny was not an option. They stuck it out, took the blows and won. With help of course from like-minded nations but it is true that had the British given into fear and surrendered, the world would be a worse place and to this day. No nation has ever stood proud of its fear. Terrorism? Nothing new and not a reason to give away freedoms and rights that cost all wars and nations combined, literally millions of lives.
The problem we have is that we are fighting an idea and don’t have a better idea and strengthening state, history has shown, weakens nation.
OK and I also wanted to draw attention to an article on the al Jazeera website about the hypocrisy of Hollywood. You might have seen “Wonder Woman” and you may remember the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza which killed over 2500 thousand people including 511 children. Here’s what the little actress who somehow landed the role of ‘Wonder Woman’ had to say,
As quoted in the al Jazeera article.
I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children…We shall overcome!!! Shabbat Shalom!
Hiding? Like cowards? The ‘boys and girls’ risking their lives? Does she mean as in dropping bombs from a great height and shooting shells, from heavy tanks and at a safe distance, onto schools and hospitals? Brave indeed and as for ‘hiding’ behind children and women (sexist comment that implies women are as helpless as children btw) instead of fighting would she also say the Jewish heroes of the Warsaw ghetto were ‘hiding behind women and children’? Sorry but Gaza and that WWII Jewish ghetto have a few disturbing similarities.
This ‘Wonder Woman’, whose name is Gal Gadot, was an Israeli soldier and a ‘settler’ on land stolen from the Palestinians. A feminist idol maybe but also clearly a member of the ultra-right – the same from which her fellow citizens had to be liberated by others – and is an outspoken supporter of land theft and genocide.
Now, remember the Oscars and all the outrage about the lack of females, of non-white actors, directors, etc? You could be led to believe the arts community has a morale concious and is socially progressive but – apparently not when it comes to children surviving as best they can in the world’s biggest prison.
I’m not anti Israeli – honestly – but strongly feel that enough is enough, we need to fix this puss-oozing sore and that means Israel needs to respect the international law that created it and withdraw to the 1967 green line as it has been repeatedly told. If it fears further attack then the United Nations can disarm both sides and put peacekeepers in place for as long as it takes for the extremists, on both sides, to die of natural causes. Happy days for all.