“We say that Israel has a right to defend itself, but how it defends itself matters and we want to see all innocent lives protected,” PM Anthony Albanese told a 1 November 2023 press conference in Sydney, which appears to be the last time he’s publicly addressed the slaughter Israel is perpetrating in Gaza.
“Every life matters. Every Israeli, every Palestinian. Innocent people have been impacted by this in Israel and in Palestine,” continued the Labor leader, who certainly has a strange way of showing concern, as all he’s done is repeated the White House-approved line regarding the right to defend.
“And we are concerned about humanitarian issues,” he added. Yet, 10 days later, these words ring shallow, as the crime of genocide continues, and in the interim, we know that the only child cancer ward in the whole of Gaza had to be bombed this week.
“That’s why we continue to advocate for, as well, Australian citizens in Gaza to be allowed to move to safety,” Albanese rounds off his response to a question about Tel Aviv’s bombing of Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp, as he admits he’s greenlighted the massacre knowing that Australians are involved.
Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on the planet, with Jabalia being its most populated region.
Albanese will go down in history as the PM who looked the other way as Israel knocked off thousands of Palestinian children and adults one-by-one inside the walled-off territory that’s only about 40 kilometres long, with our closest ally, the US, fitting the bill.
Blood on all our hands
The image of Albanese saying the same one line repeatedly, “Israel has the right to defend itself”, while this settler colonial nation is randomly and purposefully trying to wipe out the inhabitants of Gaza is something that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange knows well.
Albanese promised hope pre-election: a hope beyond the long decade of Coalition rule, topped off with three megalomanic years of Scott Morrison in the top job.
“Enough is enough” Albanese said on the Assange issue in 2021, whilst in opposition, and that’s what he’s still saying two years later.
And while Albanese has simply kept to the “enough is enough” banter, he’s left it up to foreign minister Penny Wong to spell it out on a number of occasions that the government is so hitched to the US that it doesn’t have any power beyond what might have been used to intervene in the matter.
Then, on a March trip to San Diego, the PM dropped it on the nation that we’re to fork out $368 billion over the next two decades to obtain nuclear-powered submarines for the upcoming war on China, only to be find later down the track that US congress may not even approve the deal.
The remaining cherry on the cake, now, is that, as of a month ago, the PM has made us all complicit in the Gaza slaughterhouse. And this is no joke: every one of those dying children is being killed by Israel on the US pocket, and we’re just standing by and watching on, with federal Labor’s approval.
Stains that just won’t wash off
In supporting the full-scale massacre of the Palestinian population in Gaza, Albanese has repeatedly upheld the Israeli right to self-defence. However, the rights equation being posited by western leaders doesn’t appear to equally apply to the Palestinian people as they’re bombed into oblivion.
Indeed, under the US-determined international rights-based order, hijacked universal human rights only apply to certain types of people. And since this system of international law was established post-World War II, there has been an attempt to extinguish the rights of Palestinians.
A massive outpouring of civil society opposition to the ongoing wholesale slaughter has shown itself on every continent. An the massive disconnect the western political class has not only with the Global South, but its own populations as well, has been exposed.
And the image of Biden and Albanese, Sunak and Macron, defending the right of Israel to perpetrate this 24/7 globalised and televised atrocity on a civilian population will remain and its impacts will reverberate long after the bloodshed in Gaza has ended.