11 July 1980. Thought for the Week: "The basic American fear of Communism and the danger of the U.S.S.R. making further inroads into the Middle East have been fully exploited by Israel and her friends. U.S. policy makers, wittingly or unwittingly, have turned their backs on the best possible ally against any Communist threat, namely the strong theism of Islam. Deep Muslim spirituality is rooted in natural repugnance of a totalitarianism that wipes out religion. If the strengthening of anti-Communism is deemed to be a primary aim of U.S. foreign policy then U.S. behaviour in the Middle East has certainly been totally counter-productive."
Alfred Lilienthal in "The Zionist Connection."
THE MIDDLE EAST TIME BOMB
Once again the Zionists' blatant arrogance and the philosophy of the one way street has been demonstrated concerning the proposal by ALP leader Bill Hayden to meet with Palestinian Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat. Like the Zionist terrorists, the PLO has also resorted to terrorism, which no civilised person can condone. But there is one difference which, as the distinguished American Jew, Dr. Alfred Lilienthal, and other anti-Zionist Jews, point out: The Zionist terrorists, one of their leaders being the present Israeli Prime Minister, Menachin Begin, used terror against the Palestinian people in order to deprive them of their homeland; the PLO is using terrorism in an attempt to get the Palestinians their homeland back.
As Sir John Glubb has pointed out, official British policy during the-Second World War was to back sabotage activities by the French and other European underground movements, which resulted in many innocent civilians being killed. It is easy to quote violent threats by Yasser Arafat and others concerning intentions to liquidate Israel. But large numbers of Palestinians, backed by moderate Arab leaders, stress that they do not seek the liquidation of the three million Israelis. These people have been used as pawns by International Political Zionism. And as the Western nations played a major role in establishing Israel, they have a moral responsibility to ensure that the people of Israel are guaranteed security inside clearly defined borders.
If the Zionist leaders were genuine in their expressed concern for the three million Israelis, they would back a settlement of the Middle East, which defused the major cause of unrest, the Palestinian problem. But they flatly refuse to do so, and encourage the provocative and insulting expansionist policies of the Israeli Government.
King Hussein of Jordan, who has no reason to feel any affection for some of the Palestinian leaders, sought while in Washington last month to have President Carter face up to the basics of the Middle East crisis. But President Carter has an election ahead and has already felt the Zionist lash. So he can offer little more than empty words. A Saudi Arabian inquest for American F-15 fighters has produced a new dilemma for President Carter. How can he meet the requests of a major supplier of oil and, as yet, a Pro-Western Arab nation, without upsetting the Zionists? These developments come at a time when there are increasing criticisms of Israel in the American Congress.
With the U.S.A. allocating approximately 43% of its total foreign aid to Israel, some Congressmen feel America is being insulted with Prime Minister Begin refusing to negotiate meaningfully with Sadat of Egypt, who has risked his political life on the Israeli issue, and continuing a policy of aggression on the West Bank. The biggest insult has been the establishment by Begin of his office in the Arab section of East Jerusalem in complete violation of a previous United Nations decision.
We would hope that Mr. Hayden will not only talk to Yasser Arafat, asking him some searching questions, but that he will also talk to moderate Arab leaders, ascertain what they believe would resolve the Middle East crisis, and then report back faithfully to the Australian people. They have never been given a well-published and balanced picture of the Middle East situation. Occasionally, however, some illuminating facts emerge from the most surprising sources.
In a front page report in "The Australian"
of July 7th, headed, "Hayden bid to placate Jews over PLO talks", there
is an editorial note concerning the background of Israeli Prime Minister
Begin, in which it is stated, "In April 1948 Mr. Begin's Irgun (terrorist
movement) took part in the massacre of Arab villagers in Deir Yassin,
outside Jerusalem. Mr. Begin has always claimed the attack - 250 women
and children were slaughtered - was 'a legitimate military target"'.
In the meantime Western European and American opinion is moving towards a more critical anti-Israeli attitude. But unless that attitude develops into a constructive policy, the Middle East time bomb must eventually explode with the Soviet making further advances.
JEREMY LEE REPORTS FROM AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
"I arrived in teeming rain last night at Auckland
Airport at 7.00 p.m. and by 8 p.m. was on the platform in the first
engagement of what looks to be a very heavy tour schedule. For the blustery
conditions, it was a very well attended meeting, with heavy book sales.
This morning's "Auckland Star" (July 1st) is dominated by the
economic views of three politicians. Labour Opposition leader Bill Rowling
is putting forward a "social contract" (shades of Britain's Harold Wilson!),
which involves a wage and price, freeze. If Rowling would only take
a look at what happened to Wilson's identical package he might not be
One of the first cuttings I was given after the meeting concerned New Zealand's oil shale deposits. Like Australia, New Zealand has big deposits of shale, and, again like Australia, shale oil was produced in New Zealand at the end of last century. New Zealand's "Truth" (22/5/79) said; ".... For three booming years from 1899 to 1902, the oil rich shale beds of Orepuki in western Southland were mined for kerosene, paraffin and lubricating oils. Motor spirits were run off as a waste product - cars were still a rich man's novelty.
The London based New Zealand Coal and Gas Co. sunk 140,000 pounds into the Orepuki plant. It built 20 retorts capable of processing nearly 100 tonnes of shale daily, yielding 20,000 litres of crude oil...." According to "Truth" the Orepuki shale yields over 200 litres of oil per tonne, which is higher than anything in Australia. In addition, there are promising fields in Central Otago's Nevis-Valley. Surveys run as far back as 1941 and 1943 estimated shale reserves in the Orepuki field at 7 million tonnes, and in Central Otago's Nevis Valley at nearly 2,000 million tonnes. Much of it is on the surface, making open cut mining easy.
However, despite the fact that New Zealand is, at this stage, much less self sufficient in oil than Australia, the Government's tax take, while savage enough, is more moderate than Australia. "The Evening Post" (15/3/80) gave a breakdown. An imported barrel of oil costing $30 rises to $76 a barrel by the time profits and tax have shaped the final cost to the consumer. Of this, $21 a barrel, or 28 percent, is taken in tax. However, since those March figures, there has been a huge price jump of 14 cents a litre. New Zealanders now pay a staggering 52 cents a litre, and the price increases have by no means come to an end.
Before Australians become too hopeful about the ability of Mr. Bob Hawke to solve Australia's financial problems, they should consider what has happened to the A.C.T.U's Bourke's Discount Store in Melbourne, launched with considerable fanfare to demonstrate how much people were being "ripped off" by the "capitalists". Bourke's suffered a huge loss of $276,404 for 1978-79; treble the loss of the previous year. Mr. Hawke's friend, manager Mr. George Revelman, has agreed to accept a plan to end a 1971 agreement to buy the store.
During a period of high inflation, financial figures can be most misleading. It is true that those farmers who managed to survive the worst period of the rural crisis have received relatively higher real incomes over the past three years, in many cases permitting them to upgrade their properties and equipment. But the position is not quite as good as figures suggest. Figures released by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics project that the average gross income per farm would be about $29,250, an increased 8 percent on 1979-80. However, inflation is running at 10% and likely to go higher, which means that primary producers will slip back again.
Prime Minister of Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) Robert Mugabe, started to show some of his real colours at the recent Organisation of African Unity summit in Sierra Leone, where he denounced the South Africans and said he would back the campaign to overthrow the South African Government. The South Africans have been ordered to close their diplomatic headquarters in Salisbury. At the same time there is further evidence of a growing split between Mugabe and Nkomo. Nkomo complains that Mugabe is driving him out of the coalition government. The white exodus continues and the economy is sagging.
Some good news from the Emerald Isle. The Irish Republic's Premier, Mr. Haughey, and other Members of his Government have declined to take big pay rises because of the country's economic difficulties. Mr. Haughey earns $53,000 a year and declined a rise of $7,700. Here is an example Australian politicians might emulate. After all, they are some of the most highly paid in the world. Switzerland has some of the lowest paid politicians in the world with taxation more directly determined by the taxpayers. This may help explain why Switzerland has one of the lowest inflation rates.
"On Target" is published by the Australian League of Rights, Box 1052. G.P.O. Melbourne 3001.