Daily Archives: June 16, 2010

Boycott the State of Origin

Let’s Boycott the State of Origin

Wait a minute… listen to what I am saying.

Timana Tahu should be in the State of Origin NSW team. Let us make sure he is there for the third game and that the players welcome him back. He should not be a victim of racism.

Racism in sport is not a rare event. The recent controversy regarding racist-speak in the rugby league ‘State-of-Origin’ competition is but a continuation of typical racism in Australia and in Australian sport.

As far as racism goes, there is not much of particular interest in this case except the celebrity status and associated sensationalist but unhelpful media coverage.

Listening to the sports commentators on Sunday afternoon, I became increasingly agitated by the stupid remarks. While no-one made comments in support of the racist offenders, there were some problems with the discussion.

Most remarks avoided the words ‘racism’ or ‘racist’, preferring instead to talk about ‘race’ or ‘racial’. ‘Racism’ and ‘racist’ as words, are almost banned from the english language in Australia. If someone were to use these words, most likely in an accusation, there would be an immediate rush of denials of racism in Australia.

I do not want to have to listen to sports ‘jocks’ adjudicate on whether the act of racism occurred or how racism should be addressed. Unless they are black or experienced racism they have no idea. ‘Taxi-driver opinions’ are of no use here.

But why is the incident getting so much airing. The problem is that the NRL, or ARL, QRL and NSWARL, have no firm stance on racism. The answer is easy – ZERO TOLERANCE.

As the Johns – Tahu incident slowly leaked into public viewing, drawn out over a number of days and still undisclosed in full detail, it has shown that no-one had a clue how to handle the situation.

Johns’ racist rants were obviously thought to be acceptable until Timana Tahu openly reacted. Johns should never have made the remarks and, if the football code had been serious about non-racism, he would have already been well aware of it.

It seems that Tahu discussed his concerns with the coach but that obviously did not lead to satisfactory resolution of the basic breach of trust in the football camp caused by Johns’ racism.

Tahu left the NSW team without going public with his complaint. Since then there has been a flurry of stupid and inadequate comments and responses.
As I mulled over the incident and public commentary, I came to a point of concern. Why is Timana Tahu now out of the NSW team?

Why is he carrying the burden of missing out on a career highlight? He should be on the field and we should be applauding him for his stance against racism and his commendable personal conduct in responding to it.

Yes, he withdrew from the squad. That was his choice. But the NSWRL should be making a statement that Tahu, and others, were rightfully offended and confirming that Tahu’s actions were supported by the league. The logical next step is to return Tahu into the team by giving him good reasons to return.
They should have immediately set about apologising to Tahu and asking him for his terms to re-join the squad. Tahu’s terms if they are as I would expect, in accordance with his conduct, should be immediately accepted.

So why didn’t I come to this conclusion earlier so that Tahu was not penalised by missing the second game? Too slow, I think.

(I will not fuss with any views that Tahu should have handled it in a different way. Rugby League has failed to establish the code of conduct and to enforce it. Tahu was the victim of a system tolerant of racism! Otherwise everyone in that NSW side should have complained as Tahu did.)

I had made my plans to watch the State of Origin game, on tomorrow night, but yesterday I asked myself why am I putting aside the racism to gratify my desire to watch this prominent sporting event. (I know many people who would refuse to watch the game, but they hate football anyway.)

So now I am resolved; they must reinstate Tahu to the NSW side and they must make it clear to the NSW players, the Queensland players, the fans and everyone that there is ZERO TOLERANCE of racism in rugby league. This is the only way out of this mess.

Even Andrew Johns should be agreeing with this and also be calling upon the NRL etc to include and enforce a code on racist comments. It is no good saying Johns is not a racist. If Johns had known and understood the code, he would still be the assistant coach for NSW.

So I am sending a message to the rugby league that they must reinstate Tahu for the third State of Origin game, OR ELSE, they will lose my valuable support. Please join in this call.



Federal parliament used as a forum for Israeli lies

Senator Scott Ryan (Victoria) was sponsored by the Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs council on a paid business class trip to Israel in August 2009.

In his speech to the federal parliament yesterday Scott Ryan returned the AIJA favour by attacking the TIME TO HOLD ISRAEL ACCOUNTABLE ads placed in national newspapers by Australians for Palestine.

Middle East
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 SENATE 103
Senator RYAN (Victoria) (7.53 pm) Several weeks ago we were informed that Israel had allegedly outrageously intervened to stop a so-called peace flotilla, with commandos launching themselves at a peaceful armada seeking nothing more than to take humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Excuse me if I was a little cynical when I first heard the news, for despite days of a highly orchestrated media campaign to vilify Israel and her defence forces, the truth subsequently came out.

These were not peace activists; they were agents of provocation, radicals seeking a violent confrontation as they broke the legal maritime blockade of Gaza.

I did not realise that peace activists were so well armed, in this case, with knives, chains, firearms, molotov cocktails and pepper spray.

By viciously attacking the soldiers, they quickly betrayed their true agenda with their anti-Semitic cries, as they did by their refusal to cooperate with the UN, Israeli or Egyptian authorities, who could have facilitated the entry of the humanitarian materials to Gaza.

This was no peace flotilla; it was part of an orchestrated campaign to vilify the state of Israel for doing nothing more than would be expected of us in this place: to protect her own citizens.

…So what was the real agenda of this alleged peace flotilla?

It was part of the campaign to delegitimise Israel in the West.

It was intentionally aimed at weakening the historic friendship between many nations of the West and the only liberal democratic state in the Middle East.

Over the past decade, a campaign of vili- fication against Israel has been undertaken by elements of the left in the West. Using NGOs, an occasionally ignorant media and a lack of understanding in the West of the existential threat faced by Israel, they have joined with other groups, including violent Islamic groups in the Middle East who seek to destroy Israel.

The incidence of academic boycotts and the use of terms such as apartheid are all an attempt to achieve through factual manipulation what the enemies of Is- rael have not been able to achieve through other means.

It could not be achieved by three wars and it could not be achieved by an unprecedented terror campaign against civilians, so now these organisations seek to weaken Israel by demonising and delegitimising it, weakening its alliance with other nations to diplomatically cripple and hopefully destroy it.

This was merely the latest media stunt in that campaign.

A group called ‘Australians for Palestine’ has been running a campaign entitled Time to hold Israel Accountable.

Israel is accountable to its people via elections, courts and the rule of law, while Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and Israels other neighbours are not. Israel has a right to protect itself, and the campaign to undermine this must be opposed.

More importantly, it must be exposed.

The lies and misrepresentation of facts and the application of double standards in considering Israels legitimate right of self-defence cannot go unanswered.

Contrast the Senator’s account of what happened aboard the ‘Mavi Mamara’ with that of one of the peace activists, Ken O’Keefe, who was aboard the ship when it was attacked in international waters by Israeli commandos:

“While in Israeli custody I, along with everyone else was subjected to endless abuse and flagrant acts of disrespect.

Women and elderly were physically and mentally assaulted. Access to food and water and toilets was denied.

Dogs were used against us, we ourselves were treated like dogs. We were exposed to direct sun in stress positions while hand cuffed to the point of losing circulation of blood in our hands.

We were lied to incessantly, in fact I am awed at the routineness and comfort in their ability to lie, it is remarkable really.

We were abused in just about every way imaginable and I myself was beaten and choked to the point of blacking out and I was beaten again while in my cell.

In all this what I saw more than anything else were cowards and yet I also see my brothers.

Because no matter how vile and wrong the Israeli agents and government are, they are still my brothers and sisters and for now I only have pity for them.

Because they are relinquishing the most precious thing a human being has, their humanity.”

Ian Curr
June 2010