Bill Anderson addresses Israel and the Zionist vision from an Australian perspective. And he does something I do not recall having seen before – making the analogy between the Jews and Australian Aborigines.
Imagine, if you will, that after the arrival of the first fleet and European settlement in Australia the Aborigines, the indigenous people of Australia, after the failure of their struggle to maintain their lands and freedoms were rounded up and expelled from Australia.
Such an event may well seem implausible and even ridiculous but a campaign of this sort could be seen as being simply and extension of the infamous “Black Line” in Tasmania in 1830 when an attempt was allegedly made to round up and eradicate the Aboriginal population of Tasmania. Bear with me and further imagine that the expelled Aboriginal population were then dispersed around our region and eventually around the world forming a substantial Aboriginal diaspora.
Given the love that Aborigines have for this land and the centrality of the land in their religion, culture and sense of identity it is surely not hard to imagine that the Aborigines in the diaspora would maintain their love of their native land, would maintain their religion, their languages and cultures and would pray for the day that they could return to the land that they loved.
Imagine that in the fullness of time these diaspora Aborigines did somehow succeed in returning to their native land — the land that they had continued to hold close to their hearts, their hopes and longings — and, through a near miraculous effort, managed to re-establish an independent Aboriginal homeland on part of the land that was once theirs.
Ask yourself: would such a return, such a rebirth, be a colonial enterprise? Would it be an oppression of the European settler community?
Like most Australians I recognise the ancient and special relationship that Australia’s indigenous people have with the land and because of this recognition I support Aboriginal Land Rights. For exactly the same reason — an ancient and special relationship with the land — I unreservedly support and celebrate the State of Israel.
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