IT'S fascinating how one word can change so dramatically the meaning of one sentence.
Since the allegations emerged surrounding the use of Australian passports in the assassination of Hamas arms smuggler Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai it's interesting to read how different Australian journalists have referred to the man.
Some journalists and commentators have taken to referring to al-Mabhouh as a "Palestinian militant" implying therefore, that he, and indeed Hamas, as a whole are some kind of national liberation movement - not unlike Fretilin in East Timor or the American revolutionaries of 1776.
It's unfortunate that so few of them seem to have sat down and read Hamas' own weird, extreme conspiracy theory, fascist racist charter.
Amongst other things, the charter repeatedly names the Freemasons, Lions and Rotary clubs as Zionist fronts, saying that all are actually spying outfits using Jewish money to take control of the world and make movies and create other PR events to, amongst other things, undermine the morality of the good Muslim woman!
So categorising al-Mabhouh and Hamas as "militants" or "national liberation fighters" is not just plain wrong, it provides a cover for Hamas to hide the reality of this ugly Islamo-fascist terrorist organisation under the cloak of international law.
Let's be clear: the death of al-Mabhouh is a positive outcome for those who believe in peace and justice.
Yes, I accept that a liberal conscience will worry about the compelling moral arguments against extrajudicial killings.
But we're talking about a man who has turned Palestinian children into human bombs to murder and terrorise Israeli civilians, not to mention the terror Hamas has waged against Palestinians who are deeply worried about Hamas' fundamentalism being imposed by authoritarian diktat.
Al-Mahbouh and his Damascus military faction are said to be responsible for undermining the negotiations between Israel and Hamas to release the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
The question of the use of Australian passports in the operation in Dubai raises many issues for the Australian Government.
Traditionally, Australia has been a loyal friend of Israel, no matter which party is in government. This is something that should make us all proud.
Some have argued that if Israel has illegally used Australian passports, this is not the action of a friend. Maybe.
But in my view, friends stand by each other in the good times and the bad, and a friend is someone who lends a hand when the going gets tough.
That's why I'm proud that our nation has played a small, and accidental role, in the removal of the terrorist al-Mabhouh from our planet.
Many may say that's to be expected of a pro-Israeli. But it should be clear that al-Mabhouh's death is quietly welcomed by the vast majority of the moderate Arab world.
Al-Mabhouh will be mourned only in the capitals of the despotic Middle East regimes such as Iran and Syria.
Many anti-Israel activists around the world, and in Australia, have seized on the passport issue to develop a new front to push their anti-Israeli propaganda. That, too, is to be expected.
But Australians shouldn't fall for the giant lie they are pushing. Israelis are actually allied with a clear majority of the Arab world fighting a war against the forces of anti-democratic Islamo-fascism.
The world defeated Nazism. Now the world must support those countries fighting Islamo-fascism.
It is a war that is being fought on the streets of Tehran, where democratic forces battle that Islamic dictatorship; it's being fought on the streets of Gaza, after Hamas launched their coup there; it's being fought in Lebanon against Hezbollah and in the mountains of Afghanistan against the remains of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
The fighters had a small victory in a Dubai hotel.
The Australian Government has a responsibility to protect Australian interests abroad and while some may say the possible illegal use of Australian passports in the Dubai operation is against our national interests, I say they are wrong.
It is in our nation's interest and the interests of the world as a whole, to ensure democracy, liberty and freedom thrives.
It is in our interest to ensure that a free, secular and healthy democratic Palestinian state is created.
It is in our interest to ensure that when private citizens leave their homes and go to work or school that they don't have to fear suicide bombers will kill them.
This is not an easy war to fight, or to win. It has to be fought in many different theatres.
But it is in our interest to ensure that all human beings regardless of their sex, race, religion, sexual orientation and political belief can live their lives free from persecution or harassment.
Hamas and al-Mabhouh stand against all these values - values we hold dear.
Therefore, it is in our nation's interest to do whatever we can to remove these vile people from power - by any means necessary.
Paul Howes is national secretary of the Australian Workers' Union
Compare this with Amin Saikal"s recent article in the SMH, and you wonder where the moderate voices are in the Moslem world. Are they too afraid to stand up, or is support for the terrorist factions so widespread that even the "moderates" support them? I for one never hear a moderate leader of the Moslem community condemn terrorists. Why is this, and what is your experience?
Posted by mm on 2010-03-09 01:48:37 GMT
remarkable! - thank you
Posted by gid on 2010-03-08 23:55:10 GMT
Fantastic article! Great to see a top unionist with the deep insight and knowledge, and also the courage to speak out about the important democratic values shared by Australia and Israel. He certainly exposes the hypocritical anti-Israel smears from some quarters. Well done Paul Howes.
by Mary on 2010-03-08 13:51:06 GMT