16 Oct. 2006

The Israeli ambassador speaks:

"We are in Asia without the characteristics of Asians," he reportedly said. "We don't have the yellow skin and slanted eyes. Asia is basically the yellow race. Australia and Israel are … basically the white race."
Well, this is a pretty bizarre statement in that it does not seem to me that the Arabs or Indians are either yellow or slanty-eyed. OTOH, it's quite clear that Australia and Israel are basically white countries, settler-states moreover, implanted in a foreign context. The ambassador is correct that this unites the two countries.

It is moreover incredible that the ambassador's remarks are being castigated as 'racist'. Certainly the vocabulary is pretty outmoded, and the claim is empirically bizarre as I previously stated, but this is a country that imprisons and shoots Arab children, but only gets disapprobation in Australia when it accuses those people of being 'yellow'.