Letters 7.9.19

Colin was right
AFTER reading about the theft and rorting in yet another council (“Rorts ‘a fact of life’”, Voice, August 24, 2019), I feel vindicated about all my arguments with people about the smart and forward-thinking ex-premier Colin Barnett.
He wanted to get rid of these vultures and scrap councils because he obviously knew what was going on.
All these rotten apples disguised as local government councils were screaming blue murder and organised a massive media campaign to sway the minds of people to fight against it.
It’s amazing to me that this ridiculous and phony campaign actually swayed the minds of normally smart people into believing their BS, even with enormous evidence on how corrupt these entities actually were.
Not a year goes by without another council being caught out.
Why do we even need this corrupt form of government, especially while it is not compulsory to vote in their elections?
The way these councillors get in is by having enough votes from family and friends.
Perhaps we should have compulsory voting at the same time as state elections.
My preference would be to get rid of the whole corrupt infestation and make do with just another department in state government.
If I had a bet I would put money on the fact that all these shysters in Perth council will get no time in jail, and even more laughable no fines and will probably keep their entitlements.
I wonder what would happen if other people did these things to their employers?
Larry Arrigoni
Loftus Street, North Perth

Bravo Vincent
I CONGRATULATE Vincent Sammut (“How I became an anti-Semite without trying,” Speaker’s Corner, Voice, August 17, 2019) for highlighting the injustices done to the Palestinian people by the Israeli government.
He promptly received an avalanche of allegations that he is anti-Semitic.
But how can this be right?
If I criticise the Australian government am I labelled anti-caucasian?
Of course not.
If Israel behaves badly it must be criticised – history is full of examples of when we have not spoken out when we should have.
And Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, who were thrown out of their homes to make way for Israel, is both immoral and illegal.
The United Nations has labelled much of Israel’s territorial transgressions illegal.
Moreover, David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, said to the president of the Jewish Congress in 1956: “If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel…That is natural: we have taken their country… Why should they accept that?”
Or more succinctly, Berl Katznelson, a close ally of Ben-Gurion, said: “The Zionist enterprise is an enterprise of conquest.”
But if anyone 60 years later points out that that enterprise of conquest continues, they are to be labelled anti-Semitic?
If so, all reasonable, thinking people must be labelled anti-Semitic.
Mr Schildkraut alluded to the Jewish people’s 4000-year connection to the land of Israel as justification for evicting Palestinians who were living there at the time of the creation of Israel after World War II.
First, this knowingly ignores the equal connection to the same land by the Palestinians.
But such territorial arguments from history are generally disingenuous – Mr Schildkraut might consider his reaction if Australia’s Aboriginal people, who undoubtedly have a longer connection with their homeland, were to evict every non-Aboriginal person from their house and leave them stateless in refugee camps (Mr Schildkraut included I assume).
The Aboriginal people were brutally colonised, but two wrongs don’t make a right.
Israel is doing wrong by the Palestinians, and we must call them out.
Michael Wood
Bernard Street, West Leederville

Supporting Sammut
I FULLY support Vincent Sammut’s Speakers Corner (“How I became an anti-Semite without trying”, Voice, August 17, 2019)
Any legitimate criticisms of Israel’s unjust and illegal treatment of the Palestinian people is falsely claimed to be anti-Semitic and could indeed be labeled the “new anti-semitism”.
Vivienne Dayman
Drabble Road, Scarborough

You’re missing the point
IN Mr Sammut’s letter (“Trigger Happy”, Voice, August 31, 2019) he goes to great pains to recount his opposition to anti-semitism which is not really the point in this matter.
The real point is his ignorance (bias?) in the matter by claiming that Jewish settlement on “the very land on which Palestinians would build a future state” is “stealing” and is an “illegal practice”.
This, quite simply, is not true.
Despite being “condemned by the United Nations for decades to no avail”, no UN resolution can override Israel’s existing legal rights and title of sovereignty over any region of the land of Israel (including the disputed territories) based on earlier acts of international law.
Following the fall of the Ottoman empire the Arabs have already received their lands under the mandate system (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq).
It does not include “Palestine”.
The International Court of Justice has consistently recognised that the mandate survived the demise of the league and binds the subsequent United Nations.
As such, Jewish settlement, on their historical land, has always been legal and whether Israel exercises its right to settle the disputed territories at a particular time is thus a matter of prudence, not of law. Such prudence can, of course, be questioned.
As evidenced by the debacle of the Hamas takeover of Gaza after full Israeli withdrawal, the real obstacle to peace and Palestinian self-determination is continuing Arab refusal to accept and make real peace with Israel.
This is bound to and indeed has had territorial consequences, which hopefully will help to persuade the Arabs and their boycott divestment sanctions boosters that 71 years of intransigence is enough.
David Schildkraut

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