Saturday, 11 March 2017

Israel and Palestine: Dr Sigmund Freud interviews Warren Mundine on his recent Australian Financial Review article

SF: A lot of people seem to think your article, deriding the idea of a Palestinian state and expressing unqualified support for Israel, was ignorant and unbalanced. You were a bit selective, weren’t you now?

WM: Of course, I bloody was. I’m not going to put in stuff that undermines the point of view I’m expressing on behalf of those who wish it expressed, am I?

SF: Mmm … very interesting, are you confirming that the article in fact was written by someone else?

WM: Look here, my name was on it, and it was spelt correctly. What more do you want?

SF: Perhaps we might explore some of the elements in your article. You wrote that in 1917 Britain declared support for a Jewish national home in Palestine. That was, of course, the famous Balfour Declaration.

WM: Never heard of it.

SF: I’m not surprised. The Declaration said, and I quote, “His Majesty’s government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object—”

WM (interrupting): Yeah, ripper!

SF: Let me continue, please! I quote again: “It being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”.
What do you make of that last comment, Mr Mundine?

WM: Bloody Brits were simply pandering to a tiny minority of those with no ties to the land whatsoever.

SF: At that time, Mr Mundine, there were less than 60,000 Jews in Palestine and an Arab population of about 600,000. So could you clarify who the tiny minority was?

WM: No, I could not! There’ll be no gotcha moment when I’m being interviewed.

SF: Did you know that in 1891 a well-known Jewish writer observed, and I quote again: “If a time comes when our people in Palestine push out the native inhabitants”, note the use of the word native, Mr Mundine, “they will not give up their place easily”.

WM: Now look here doctor Freud, or whatever you are, I’ve never claimed to be a student of history, it’s the feel of these things, the vibe. Facts are useful, but only when they suit the purpose.

SF: Perhaps we should touch on more contemporary issues.

WM: Now you’re talking, I’m a very contemporary man.

SF: Your article, I’m tempted to put your in inverted commas but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, commented that since 1967 Israel has been surrounded by countries who want to drive it off the face of the earth. Which surrounding countries exactly did you have in mind?

WM: Aw, well, um, give me a mo, Iran, Uruguay, Albania, Ethiopia, Jordan, and that’s just for starters.

SF: When’s your birthday?

WM: What’s that got to do with it?

SF: I want to buy you an atlas. By the way, Jordan has had a peace treaty with Israel since 1994.

WM: No-one told me that!

SF: Did anyone tell you that in 1993 the Palestinian Liberation Organisation formally recognised the state of Israel in an exchange of letters between Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin?

WM: Can’t remember, and I have no idea who you’re talking about. What I do remember is being told that everything that goes wrong is entirely the fault of the Palestinians.

SF: There are quite a few people, including Israelis, who strongly disagree with that.

WM: Well, they’re nothing more than, there’s a phrase for it, got it here somewhere (reaches into coat pocket and extracts a small, tatty piece of paper), yeah, that’s right, self-hating Jews. Good phrase that one. Come to think of it, doctor Freud, you probably one of them.