18 Jul. 2006

Australian–Lebanese Friendship, 2006

I feel that I ought to issue some kind of statement here on the Israeli aggression against Lebanon.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports over 200 Lebanese dead. Of these, perhaps 2% are Hizbollah fighters, the stated targets of the attacks.

Australia is unsurprisingly unmoved. The Australian media reports the mass killings by the Israeli 'Defence' Force on a par with the comparatively few Israelis killed in Hizbollah's retaliatory attacks, following the grotesque li(n)e that this is a 'war', that Israel's wholesale investment of an entire country is somehow equivalent to some guerillas taking pot-shots at them from said country, or as not-quite-war, but an event with no identifiable logic, "an upsurge of violence in the Middle East".

This situation is complicated however by the fact that Australia has a significant Lebanese minority, that Israel's utter callousness about Arab life involves a certain callousness about technically-Australian life. Australia doesn't care about Arabs either, but is in a difficult position. Consequently, it must try to evacuate its citizens from Lebanon. This is not just for their safety, but also so that Israel does not kill any 'Australians'. Israel can kill as many Arabs it likes and maintain Australian friendship, so long as those Arabs are not Australians. Of course, even if Israel does kill large numbers of Arab-Australians, the friendship with Israel will continue – it's more a matter of it producing public relations problems for the Australian government, particularly with its already-dissatisfied Arab citizens. So Australia must get its citizens out of the firing line, but without in any way disrupting Israel's depradations against Lebanon, its massacring of non-Australian Lebanese. For shame.