From: The Australian, May 14, 2013:
THE Sydney Peace
Foundation's ... chairman Stuart Rees, ...has cast a cloud over the
organisation's bona fides by dismissing the London Declaration on Combating
condemnation of Julia Gillard and opposition education spokesman Christopher
Pyne for "cowardice" in signing it almost beggars belief.
The Prime Minister and Mr Pyne
are two of more than 125 politicians from 40 countries who have signed the declaration,
which is a well-modulated affirmation of "democratic and human
values" advocating societies built on respect, combating anti-Semitism and
discrimination. As Mr Pyne said last week, it is sad that, 70 years after the
Holocaust, it remains necessary to defend the right of Jewish people to live in
Israel - the Middle East's only mature democracy - free of anti-Semitic
activities such as the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions campaign.
Professor Rees's stance, in line
with many on the Left, contains a curious anomaly. In recent years, while the
Left has become more critical of Israel, its Palestinian opponents have become
more jihadist. Israel's critics also pay little heed to the encroaching
influence of Iran, one of the world's most oppressive and menacing regimes.
Late last year, after supporting the Palestinian Authority's bid for statehood
at the UN, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated his nation's
attitude to Israel when he said any deal that accepted the Jewish state's existence
would leave a "cancerous tumour" forever threatening Middle East
Through Sudan and Egypt, Iran has
been shipping major new weapons supplies to the Hamas terrorists in Gaza, who
have governed there since winning a majority of parliamentary seats in 2006.
The rockets and missiles are being stockpiled in anticipation of military
conflict with Israel, to be sparked by action over Iran's nuclear ambitions or
the civil war in Iran's ally, Syria.
Iran also has cemented its
influence in the Middle East by arming its other surrogate, Hezbollah, with
Iranian-supplied rockets in Lebanon. The evidence is incontrovertible that the
Assad regime in Damascus, in close collusion with Iran, is seeking to transfer
stockpiles of Fateh-110 missiles, with the capacity to carry a half-tonne
warhead more than 300km, to Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. Such a prospect
represents a serious threat to Israel.
Against such a background, the
focus of Professor Rees's "peace" foundation is what he calls
"the internationally illegal policies of the government of Israel".
...the professor fails to address the religious fanaticism of Israel's main
opponents. For the head of an organisation ostensibly committed to peace, such
bias suggests underlying values that are strangely skewed.