So, very sensibly, remarks Vic Alhadeff, chief executive officer of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, of the decision to hold a Nakba Day rally (composed of the usual suspects) in the Sydney central business district. Police had opposed owing the disruption to traffic, but on appeal by march organiser Patrick Langosch, Justice Christine Adamson ruled that the march should proceed , though from 7 p.m. rather than the 5.30 p.m. proposed, in order to minimise such disruption.
An online poll on the Sydney Daily Telegraph shows that an overwhelming majority of respondents deplore demos taking place in the CBD.
According to Henry Benjamin, reporting for J-Wire, during the hearing Justice Adamson cited "the continuing grievances of the Palestinian people" in understanding the reasons for the protest.
In delivering her ruling she agreed with Langosch's contention that "it is not an option to have it on any other day than May 15" (he added that "the demonstration will go on regardless of the decision of the Court"):
"I do not regard it as reasonable to expect persons commemorating a particular date to defer or bring forward its commemoration so that it can be commemorated on a weekend.
Nakba Day ought be regarded as a day which, like Anzac Day, Christmas Day or Australia Day, is referable to a particular date which is not movable....
If one's purpose were to disrupt commuter traffic, one could hardly choose a better time or place. But this is not the defendant's purpose. His purpose is to conduct a public assembly to commemorate Nakba Day. The date is the product of history."Sydney Telegraph blogger Tim Blair, in a post mocking the notion of a Nakba Day as described by the judge, notes sarcastically that the Sydney march started later than organisers wished
"But there’s no holding back other revellers:
Arab terrorists attacked southern Israel with a Kassam rocket early Tuesday and attacked Jews in the Hevron area with two firebombs overnight as “Nakba Day” began …"Good on yer, cobber. As Bibi Netanyahu has said of the latest perpetrators of violence against the little Jewish State:
"Their struggle is not over the 1967 borders, but it questions the very existence of Israel, which they describe as a catastrophe which must be resolved.
We are determined to defend our borders and our sovereignty."Update: click here for Ben Fordham's interview with Langosch and here for Ray Hadley's take on events (hat tip: reader Shirlee) See also my next post, where I'll post or link to any relevant videos that come my way...