Monday, March 12, 2012

419 Woman found guilty of raping another woman in hotel toilets

Woman found guilty of raping another woman in hotel toilets

(1) Woman found guilty of raping another woman in hotel toilets
(2) Gaddafi demands £4 billion from EU to fight illegal immigration - or Europe will turn 'black'
(3) Julia Gillard abandons her election committment to reduce Immigration
(4) Indian students, victims of attacks, express shock at the unruly teenagers in Australia
(5) Vikings Brought Amerindian to Iceland 1,000 Years Ago, Researchers Say
(6) Don't Gag the Euthanasia Debate - Bettina Arndt
(7) Retiring politician Julia Irwin reveals Zionist influence on Australian Labor Party

(1) Woman found guilty of raping another woman in hotel toilets

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/nurse-guilty-of-raping-another-woman-in-brisbane-hotel-toilets/story-e6frf7l6-1225965320021

Nurse guilty of raping another woman in Brisbane hotel toilets

by Mark Oberhardt  The Courier-Mail  December 03, 2010 5:27PM 

A NURSE has been found guilty of raping another woman in the toilets at one of Brisbane's most popular hotels.

A District Court jury in Brisbane took 13 hours to convict Anne-Marie O'Loughlin, 25, on two counts of digital rape and one of deprivation of liberty at the Caxton Hotel, near the CBD, on November 29 last year.

O'Loughlin, who wept as the verdicts were delivered, was found not guilty of a fourth charge of sexual assault.

She had pleaded not guilty to all four charges.

O'Loughlin had been in Australia on a criminal charge visa and would have returned home to Ireland on Monday had she been acquitted.

However, she was remanded in custody and is unlikely to be sentenced before February.

Barrister Damian Walsh, for O'Loughlin, said he wanted an adjournment so he could get a psychological report to put before the court.

Judge David Reid agreed a report would be useful and adjourned the trial until next Friday when a sentence date will probably be set for the middle of February.

The five day trial heard O'Loughlin attacked the 34-year-old woman in the female toilets of the hotel where she digitally vaginally and anally raped the woman.

The victim, who cannot be named, told the court that although she kissed O'Loughlin in the toilets for up to three minutes, she had not given consent for Ms O'Loughlin to pull up her top and bra and touch her breast.

She further claimed she had not consented to being digitally penetrated by O'Loughlin.

In a police interview played to the jury, O'Loughlin said she had no memory of kissing the woman but admitted it was possible.

She claimed it was not in her nature to force someone to have sex with her.

The court heard also heard evidence from the victim's husband who said he was extremely upset after his wife emerged from the toilets and told him what had happened.

He called police and tried to detain O'Loughlin outside the hotel.

(2) Gaddafi demands £4 billion from EU to fight illegal immigration - or Europe will turn 'black'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8170956/Gaddafi-demands-4-billion-from-EU-or-Europe-will-turn-black.html

Gaddafi demands £4 billion from EU or Europe will turn 'black'

Muammar Gaddafi has demanded that the European Union give him more than £4 billion to fight illegal immigration or else Europe will turn "black" and be swamped by Muslims.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi  Photo: AP

By Bruno Waterfield, Brussels  5:19PM GMT 30 Nov 2010

During an EU-Africa summit, that ended on Tuesday in Tripoli, the Libyan leader described European's economic relationship with the African continent as a "failure".

Unless "Christian, white" countries gave him extra funding, Colonel Gaddafi predicted that Europe would be flooded with illegal immigrants leaving impoverished Africa.

"We should stop this illegal immigration. If we don't, Europe will become black, it will be overcome by people with different religions, it will change," he said.

Col Gaddafi has so far received only £42 million in EU funding to improve treatment of refugees heading for Europe amid human rights fears and a recent refusal by Sweden to sell Libya surveillance planes.

The Libyan leader is critical of the EU for linking trade and aid to free markets and progress on human rights. He told EU officials at the summit that African leaders say they are ready to abandon ten years of trade talks because of European demands.

"Africa has other choices," he said "Let every country and every group govern itself. Every country is free to serve its own interests. Africa can look to any other international bloc such as Latin America, China, India or Russia." ...

(3) Julia Gillard abandons her election committment to reduce Immigration

http://www.smh.com.au/national/population-boom-inevitable-pm-told-20101113-17rtz.html

Population boom inevitable, PM told

Date: November 14 2010
Josh Gordon

JULIA GILLARD's election pitch to avoid a ''big Australia'' is to be abandoned after a Treasury warning that strong future immigration is ''probably inescapable''.

In another policy retreat, the government's population review has been delayed and ''recalibrated'' to focus on skills shortages and regional growth, rather than nominating population targets.

During the election campaign in August, Ms Gillard said Australia should not ''hurtle'' towards a big population. At the time, she said a Treasury projection that Australia would have a population of 36 million people by 2050 was excessive. ''I don't support the idea of a big Australia with arbitrary targets of, say … a 36 million-strong Australia,'' she said.

However, a Treasury briefing sent to Ms Gillard after the campaign suggests she could have no choice. The briefing warns that the prediction of 36 million people ''factors in a significant reduction'' in migration, from a recent peak of 300,000 to an annual average of 180,000.

It concludes that even if annual net migration was lowered to an unrealistically low 60,000 per annum, Australia's population would still reach 29 million by 2050.

''Given the powerful global forces driving the Australian economy, net immigration figures well in excess of that low number are probably inescapable,'' the briefing says.

''Strong population growth is not necessarily unsustainable. It need not adversely affect the environment, the liveability of cities, infrastructure and service delivery, provided the right plans and policies are put in place now in anticipation of it.''

A senior Labor source said business groups had been pressuring the government to adopt a default position ''where the issue of specific targets is not addressed''.

''I believe the government has accepted the reality that it is not prepared to cut migration to the extent needed to significantly reduce population growth,'' the source said.

Population Minister Tony Burke has indicated the government might miss an April 2011 deadline for its population review, blaming the extended caretaker period while a new government was being formed.

''I don't want to give a commitment that we'll be able to get to that [April] time frame,'' Mr Burke said.

Days before the election was called in July, Mr Burke appointed three population panels to provide advice on demographic change and liveability, productivity and prosperity, and sustainable development.

Treasury's budget update released last week predicted that unemployment will fall to 4.5 per cent by June 2011, heightening concerns that skills shortages could re-emerge as a key issue.

Asked if it was prudent to be talking about immigration cuts at such a time, Treasurer Wayne Swan said the government had refocused the migration program on skills.

(4) Indian students, victims of attacks, express shock at the unruly teenagers in Australia

Comment (Peter M.): This is a problem to parents and teachers as well. A certain anarchism has prevailed for 40 years.  {end}

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/arts/return-to-the-scene-of-the-race-crimes/story-e6frg8n6-1225957927205

Return to the scene of the race crimes

Fiona Gruber    The Australian    November 22, 2010

THE title of the latest Melbourne Workers Theatre production refers to a cartoon that appeared in a Delhi newspaper in January.

It was published soon after the fatal stabbing in Melbourne of Indian student Nitin Garg. Beside a picture of a KKK member wearing a Victoria Police badge, the caption read: "We are yet to ascertain the nature of the crime."

Gorkem Acaroglu, director of Yet to Ascertain the Nature of the Crime, was keen to delve beneath the surface of the attacks.

She wanted to find out if, as the Indian media repeatedly stated, Australia was a racist country and whether attacks on south Asian students were racially motivated. The result is a piece of verbatim theatre, a documentary play where the text is largely comprised of the words used by people interviewed about the topic.

Acaroglu and the cast, Georgina Naidu, Andreas Littras and Greg Ulfan, conducted a series of 25 interviews with victims of crime as well as politicians, doctors, teachers and those who identified as white supremacists.

One of the most surprising outcomes of the interviews, despite several high-profile demonstrations by Indian students in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide and a moral panic in the Indian press, is that victims overwhelmingly rejected the conclusion that the attacks were motivated by race.

Instead, they pinpointed a dark criminal seam in Australian society that flares up after hours and engulfs those whose work or social lives put them in harm's way. Many Indian students, the director said, work anti-social hours as taxi drivers, petrol station attendants and in 24-hour convenience stores: the "coal face" for encounters with the underbelly of city life.

"All identified violence, alcohol and drugs as reasons for attacks," Acaroglu says, "and all said they were shocked by the place of teenagers in Australian society."

Descriptions of children as young as 14 routinely hassling and begging passers-by, teenage girls collapsed on roadsides, opportunistic theft and random violence form the nightly and even daily pageant that those in more cosseted employment rarely see.

Roanna Gonsalves, a writer from Mumbai who moved to Sydney in 1995, created a script from these interviews with the collaboration of dramaturgs Raimondo Cortese and Damien Miller and the company.

"This play doesn't claim to give any answers or solutions. It's about uncovering the complexities of the experience of being an Indian student," she says.

These include the difficulties of finding safe accommodation in inner-city suburbs, of finding part-time work and the problems of colleges and courses that lack proper accreditation and are often run by fellow Indians.

Gonsalves has written extensively on the experiences of Indians in Australia. Her radio documentary Doosra, the Life and Times of an Indian student in Australia was broadcast on ABC Radio National in February and Curry Muncher, a short story, was published in the magazine Eureka Street in 2009.

She claims exploitation is rife and starts with education expos in India that paint false pictures of automatic residency visas and exciting study in an enchanting environment.

"Indians don't know much about Australia: some think it's still full of convicts," she says.

"It is associated with cricket and a lot of Bollywood films have been made here, which feed into the idea of Australia being beautiful and glamorous. The reality [for many Indian students] is hot bedding and exorbitant rent."

Yet to Ascertain the Nature of the Crime fashions the interviews into a shifting kaleidoscope of voices, dialogue between students commuting in a train, older migrants reminiscing and white Australians giving their views. In some scenes the actors wear earphones and repeat word-for-word the testimony of interviewees, including every pause, cough and stutter. The myriad voices are indicated by projections of faces and scenes, the static delivery enlivened by a sudden eruption of Bollywood dancing, or the singing of an Australian nursery song.

Littras, who plays several characters including Parmi, a Ballarat taxi driver, says many interviewees felt their stories had been manipulated by the media and that they had been used as political footballs.

"We're trying to recreate their voices and explore the humanity of these people," he says.

In 2007-08, 1447 Indians were victims of crimes in Victoria. From India, Australian police and politicians were perceived as being in denial about the vulnerability of Indian students or admitting there was a problem.

Premier John Brumby claimed that assaults on Indian students were under-represented as a population share. It was a remark that some Indian observers thought smacked of insensitivity.

As India becomes an emerging superpower, members of its growing middle class are travelling and studying overseas in far higher numbers than ever before.

The added lure of a permanent residency visa - though many say they plan to return home after finishing their courses - saw the number of Indians studying in Australia rise from 30,000 in 2004 to 97,000 in 2009, with 45,000 living in Melbourne.

The bursting of the international student bubble in the past two years is only to a small extent due to perceived racism.

An Australian government study before Garg's death forecast a 20 per cent drop in Indian students expected to study in Australia in 2010, compared with 2009. Factors include the global financial crisis, a reduction in the number of visas granted, a change in the criteria for student visas, a tightening up of laws concerning migration agents and colleges, and the increased strength of the Australian dollar.

For those already here and for those who do come, Gonsalves says the demonstrations and Indian media attention has helped open a dialogue between the two countries and between Australians and Indians living here.

"At an individual and collective level people are doing things to say 'hey, Australians don't hate Indians'," she says.

These include academic initiatives such as the Australia India Institute, established by Melbourne University in October 2008 and a Facebook page dedicated to "Australians who love India and Indians who love Australia".

Acaroglu, who came to Australia with her family from Turkey when she was six years old, believes racism is played out in myriad subtle and not-so-subtle forms.

"My background makes me more sensitive in terms of being treated differently. Racism is often about a lack of inclusion and this is something for which the media is very responsible. The image we perpetuate is not even close to who we are as a nation. Every week you see a new miniseries depicting a white Australia that doesn't exist any more."

Acaroglu, who took over as artistic director of Melbourne Workers Theatre in February this year, says the company plans to continue its 23-year commitment to socially relevant plays, although she plans to change the company name.

"We don't make plays either for workers or by workers," she says.

The name change will be announced early next year to reflect the company's plans to concentrate on the documentary format shown in this production.

"We intend to concentrate on verbatim theatre," she says, "with a commitment to real words and real people."

Yet to Ascertain the Nature of the Crime is at the Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, from November 24 to 28.

(5) Vikings Brought Amerindian to Iceland 1,000 Years Ago, Researchers Say

From: IHR News <news@ihr.org> Date: 24.11.2010 02:00 AM

AFP

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101117/sc_afp/sciencebiologygeneticshistoryusiceland_20101117170943
http://www.archaeologydaily.com/news/201011205572/Vikings-brought-Amerindian-to-Iceland-1000-years-ago-study.html

Vikings brought Amerindian to Iceland 1,000 years ago: study

AFP/SCANPIX/File – The Oseberg viking ship at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. The first Native American to arrive in Europe …

– Wed Nov 17, 12:09 pm ET

MADRID (AFP) – The first Native American to arrive in Europe may have been a woman brought to Iceland by the Vikings more than 1,000 years ago, a study by Spanish and Icelandic researchers suggests.

The findings boost widely-accepted theories, based on Icelandic medieval texts and a reputed Viking settlement in Newfoundland in Canada, that the Vikings reached the American continent several centuries before Christopher Columbus travelled to the "New World."

Spain's CSIC scientific research institute said genetic analysis of around 80 people from a total of four families in Iceland showed they possess a type of DNA normally only found in Native Americans or East Asians.

"It was thought at first that (the DNA) came from recently established Asian families in Iceland," CSIC researcher Carles Lalueza-Fox was quoted as saying in a statement by the institute.

"But when family genealogy was studied, it was discovered that the four families were descended from ancestors who lived between 1710 and 1740 from the same region of southern Iceland."

The lineage found, named C1e, is also mitochondrial, which means that the genes were introduced into Iceland by a woman.

"As the island was virtually isolated from the 10th century, the most likely hypothesis is that these genes corresponded to an Amerindian woman who was brought from America by the Vikings around the year 1000," said Lalueza-Fox.

The researchers used data from the Rejkjavik-based genomics company deCODE Genetics.

He said the research team hopes to find more instances of the same Native American DNA in Iceland's population, starting in the same region in the south of the country near the massive Vatnajokull glacier.

The report, by scientists from the CSIC and the University of Iceland, was also published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

The journal said 75 to 80 percent of contemporary Icelanders can trace their lineage to Scandinavia and the rest to Scotland and Ireland.

But the C1e lineage is "one of a handful that was involved in the settlement of the Americas around 14,000 years ago.

"Contrary to an initial assumption that this lineage was a recent arrival (in Iceland), preliminary genealogical analyses revealed that the C1 lineage was present in the Icelandic mitochondrial DNA pool at least 300 years ago.

"This raised the intriguing possibility that the Icelandic C1 lineage could be traced to Viking voyages to the Americas that commenced in the 10th century," said the journal.

(6) Don't Gag the Euthanasia Debate - Bettina Arndt

http://www.bettinaarndt.com.au/articles/reject-gag-euthanasia.htm

Reject Gag on Euthanasia Debate

This article appeared in the West Australian, 20 February 2006.

The news that Brisbane Customs officers recently seized copies of the Peaceful Pill Handbook should be a wake-up call. How could we have allowed the Government to make it illegal to discuss end-of-life options, to close down debate over euthanasia in this draconian fashion?

My baby boomer generation is now in the thick of it. As our ageing parents grow frail and die, many of us have been forced to witness awful, undignified ends for the people we love most. We have watched helplessly as they died in mental and physical agony.

My strong, wonderful mother had a living will and was determined to avoid the fate of so many of her friends. At 87, she had seen so many people die and dreaded spending her final days helpless and in misery.Yet that is just what happened. She had a fall, broke her hip and ended up in a surgical recovery ward. Then she had a pulmonary embolism, which should have delivered the fast, peaceful death she so wanted. She lingered for two horrible weeks. Everything went wrong. She screamed every time the nurses turned her over. She's just afraid of falling again, the nurses assured me. It tore me apart.

But a palliative care nurse happened to be on night duty. She asked what was going on. It turned out my mother was in terrible pain, having grown tolerant of her morphine level and missing the medication for her crippling arthritis. That superb nurse tried to fix things. She had her moved to a ward which had proper palliative care, arranged for higher morphine levels, less regular turning. But then she got terrible diarrhoea which led to more pain, intrusion, endless assaults on her dignity.

It was devastating struggling so ineffectually to provide that peaceful death my mother so deserved. Here I was, an educated, assertive person, thoroughly familiar with the medical system having for many years taught both doctors and medical students. Yet I failed dismally. Wandering the hospital corridors with me were other families totally crushed by their impotence to ease their parents' suffering.

It is a total nonsense to suggest that the solution to a peaceful, dignified death is now available through palliative care. Yes, this care can make a huge difference. But many, perhaps most of the elderly, die in nursing homes and normal hospital wards, often cared for by people who lack the skills to provide that care. And palliative care experts acknowledge that even with state-of-the-art palliative care, terminally ill patients can still experience distressing symptoms that make their lives unbearable - weakness, breathlessness, nausea, suffocation, psychological distress, confusion.

Our community knows this - Morgan research shows less than a quarter of people polled believe palliative care is enough for terminally ill patients. Most of us (over 70 per cent) want laws changed to allow doctors to provide assistance to terminally ill patients to commit suicide and to be able, where appropriate, to give lethal doses to such patients. Yet we continue to allow a noisy minority to lean on politicians and prevent Australia from providing the legal support for assisted suicide available in other parts of the world - Oregon, Switzerland, the Netherlands, for example, well-functioning legal systems which have not resulted in the dire consequences predicted by the doomsayers.

The shameful result is old people in Australia are choosing to end their lives in the most horrific ways. The leading method of suicide for the over-70s is hanging and suffocation. Others try to kill themselves sitting in cars filled with foul-smelling exhaust fumes, or use poisons, often unsuccessfully, with the result they spend their final days with even greater levels of pain, disability and despair, as a consequence of their failure.

My friends often joke about shooting each other when the time comes. But we will face the same dismal end-of-life prospects as many of our parents unless we get moving now. The noisy, activist baby boomer generation should have what it takes to turn this issue around.

Forty years ago, we were demanding control over our bodies, a greater say in our own medical care. Surely we are not going to allow politicians to ban books which simply talk rationally about control over the final days we spend in these bodies.

(7) Retiring politician Julia Irwin reveals Zionist influence on Australian Labor Party
http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/10/departing-alp-member-tells-of-deep-zionist-influence-in-party/

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Departing ALP member tells of deep Zionist influence in party

by Antony Loewenstein

The departing Labor member for Fowler, Julia Irwin, has revealed the deep influence of the Zionist lobby on the ALP and the inner workings of her party towards the Middle East in an exclusive interview with Crikey.

Irwin says Israel must engage with Hamas, argues that the two-state solution may be a lost cause, remains open to backing a cultural and academic boycott of Israel and provides unprecedented details about the Zionist lobby’s capture of newly minted Labor MPs.

Irwin claims that her statements on the Israel/Palestine conflict over the years “have been broadly in line” with party policy and urges “an active role for the United Nations in the peace process”. Such a view “upset Israel supporters in Caucus” from 2002 onwards. Irwin comments that the UN is generally backed by the ALP?—?note the party’s opposition to the Iraq war due to a lack of UN support?—?but the Middle East crisis is seemingly different.

 “When I put the question of UN involvement to [current Israeli Defence Minister] Ehud Barak when he visited Australia, he almost exploded,” she says.

Irwin stands firm on her belief that the UN is central to solving the conflict.

When asked to explain why virtually every Labor MP backs Israel uncritically, Irwin responds that Zionist lobby free trips to Israel are central to cementing views. “Many members and senators from right-wing unions have had close links with the Israeli union movement over the years and have maintained entrenched views.”

AWU boss and Labor aspirant Paul Howes is constantly backing Israeli unions in the public sphere, despite the call by Palestinian civil society to boycott such groups due to their connection to maintenance of the West Bank occupation.

Irwin tells me that her critical stance?—?best revealed in two recent speeches in parliament, one calling for a full investigation of the massacre on the Mavi Marmara and the other condemning increased Israeli colonisation in Palestine?—?has cost her some friends in the ALP. “I should add that many of my colleagues these days begin a conversation with the remark, ‘I know we don’t see eye to eye on the Middle East but’ …”

She repeated her claim in a recent Sydney Morning Herald article that Labor power-broker Mark Arbib [alongside ALP officials and NSW Jewish treasurer Eric Roozendaal] have demanded her speeches be vetted before presentation. But she reveals to Crikey that it went further:

 “[I was told I should] visit the Holocaust Museum, visit Israel and meet with members of various Jewish organisations [but] these requests have not been followed up.  After one speech on Palestine, the ALP chief whip tore up my application for leave from the House when I was to attend an Inter Parliamentary Union meeting in Geneva. This was later approved but not before some emotional displays on both sides.”

Significantly, Irwin says that she “enjoyed strong support from many rank-and-file members of the ALP” after a speech or statement on Israel/Palestine and would receive mountains of positive letters and emails. “There is obviously a strong groundswell of support within the ALP for a more independent position when it comes to the Israel/Palestine conflict.”

There is no evidence that Prime Minister Julia Gillard is even willing to entertain this issue, placing blind backing for Israel as one of her key foreign policy objectives. Opposition leader Tony Abbott is no different.

Irwin says that former leader Simon Crean called her many years ago to briefly discuss the Middle East but until recently neither Kevin Rudd nor Julia Gillard had approached her:

 “Then, strangely, at the Caucus meeting on the Tuesday before he was deposed as Prime Minister, I had gone up to Kevin to ask him to sign a hardback edition of The True Believers which had been signed by all Party leaders from Gough Whitlam.  Kevin was surprisingly friendly and inquired about the reaction of supporters of the Palestinian cause to the government’s handling of the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat over the theft of Australian passports and his statement calling for an inquiry into the Mavi Marmara incident.  His remarks led me to believe that there had been some change in the government’s position with regard to Israel even if it was only a small step from being totally uncritical.”

Irwin laments the lack of MPs speaking out on Palestine (except Victorian MP Maria Vamvakinou and West Australian MP Melissa Parke) and blames enormous pressure from ALP officials. Furthermore, “most members regard Foreign Affairs as a specialist policy area and rarely make public statements on these matters. Tibet, Burma and Zimbabwe would be exceptions”. But Irwin continually spoke out over Palestine.

Irwin’s departure from parliament will leave virtually nobody from the major parties to speak critically about the Middle East.

She tells Crikey, without revealing the name, that “at least one ALP member receives big donations from Palestinian interests but is silent on the issue.” Irwin says she has never received donations from groups with “direct links to Palestinian interests”.

Irwin cites the belief within the party that “support for Palestine will swiftly end any prospect of a front bench position. Even a hint of offence can result in an immediate unconditional apology.” She continues:

 “For all MPs there is the desire to ‘play it safe’.  Why make enemies over an issue which does not directly affect your local community? And I have to add that many Labor members have an intense dislike of Arabic people. That’s something that comes across in their less-guarded moments.  They will talk about human rights abuse in every corner of the world, but not Palestine.”

One of the least understood realities of modern politics is the insidious influence of unelected lobbyists on the political process. Irwin is remarkably forthcoming in detailing how the Zionist lobby operates within the ALP:

 “On the Labor side (and as far as I know the same applies to the Liberals), a newly selected member for a winnable seat is hosted to a private fund raising dinner.  A table full of Jewish businessmen are happy to hand over $10,000 for the candidate’s first campaign.  That’s a big bonus for a new member and many never forget the generosity. I was never afforded such an honour but I can say that I would have been suspicious of the motive.”

Irwin also cites the never-ending free trips to Israel?—?“a visit to Israel is almost a rite of passage for new MPs and Senators” and display by hosts of “backward Arabs threatening such an enlightened society”?—?and acknowledges that the lobby needs backing across the political aisle. “It cannot afford to snub Labor even if most Jewish voters live in blue ribbon Liberal seats.” Labor’s closeness to the lobby is well documented.

She tells Crikey that although she survived four terms in parliament, “I have no doubt that senior ALP figures have promised to end my career on more than one occasion.  At the grass roots level, in the branches and the wider electorate, the lobby has no influence.  Only at the highest levels can a member be threatened. But a party which allows that to happen is not worthy of public support.”

Once a strong believer in the two-state solution, today Irwin wonders if Israel has “passed the point of no return” with ongoing colonisation across the West Bank and isolation of Gaza. “There can be no ethnic cleansing of the occupied territories,” she warns and urges “unconditional engagement” with Hamas to facilitate a peace treaty. She remains pessimistic of future prospects. “Despite the belief of the Israeli leadership, time is not on their side.”

Irwin raises the possibility of backing the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, a growing global movement to non-violently pressure Israel to embrace true democracy in Israel and Palestine or face increasing isolation.

The departing MP says that she grew up greatly admiring Jews and was shamed “at our complicity of abuse and discrimination against Jewish people” but “now I ask, what has changed? How could such a people condone the oppression of others?”

Irwin believes Israel can survive economic isolation but, like apartheid South Africa, the Jewish state “cannot survive a cultural and academic boycott … While politically Israel lurches further to the right, Israelis must come to realise that they are all judged by the actions of their leaders.”

While both major political parties continue pandering to Israel’s pro-settler fringe, the BDS movement is exploding everywhere, including Australia.

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