Team Talk - Shirley Allan: Final Thoughts


It’s a beautiful morning here in Auckland, the sun is streaming onto my front porch and I’m meant to be writing another Team Talk about my travels but all I can think about is the torrent of information from overseas that I’ve been reading this last week or so.

I’m struck by the confluence of a handful of events;

There’s a huge railroad extension project, Beer Sheva-Avad, just been announced in Israel. It will expand on the Beer Sheva-Eilat line announced in 2010. It runs through the Negev desert and this new link will see 1,200 acres of Palestinian land confiscated and will result in the demolition and/or removal of up to six Bedouin villages.

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Israel is revoking the citizenship of hundreds of Negev Bedouin, leaving them stateless. Some were citizens for 40yrs, they served in the army and paid their taxes but have had their status canceled with a single keystroke and no further explanation offered. Lawyers and human rights activists claim this has been going on since 2010.

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The President of the United States has just today pardoned Joe Arpaio, an Arizona sheriff convicted of contempt of court for refusing a Judge’s order to stop racially profiling Latinos. This action is performed to the backdrop of the largest displays of racial division that country has seen for over two generations; white supremacists are marching in the streets, brandishing swastikas and chanting, “Jews will not replace us!” while carrying flaming torches. They’re not wearing masks.

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Israeli flags are being proudly flown next to Confederate flags throughout the States. Israeli leadership refuses to condemn the US President’s equivocal response to the marches. Openly anti-Semitic US alt-right leaders, who regularly dog-whistle for the expulsion of Jews and other minorities, are singing the praises of the Israeli government’s nationalist policies while claiming themselves to be ‘white Zionists’. Israel’s silence is deafening.

Locally, our usually batshit-boring political scene is on fire. A woman has been forced to step down from leadership after facing trial-by-social-media. Her crime; pointing out the criminal-inducing parameters of our social safety net. On the flipside, a man got promoted to PM despite cynically rorting the system while he was the country’s deputy leader and another was pronounced a martyr for getting ‘overpaid’ for his superannuation. I smell a rat.

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Online, a small but slick pro-Israeli website was launched a few weeks ago. One of it’s videos about being a proud Zionist Kiwi has been viewed over 600,000 times and celebrated in global news.

Here in Morningside, I get a small thrill when I login to Facebook and see a notification that He Ao Kotahi has another page ‘like’ or ‘share’. They’re tiny wins but I promise that every. single. one. is savoured.

Considered together it’s sobering stuff, meantime the great unwashed are performing mental gymnastics at an exponential rate to try and uphold the logic-defying morality of their dominant culture.

Yes, the mainstream narrative is invasive and spreads faster than bloody weeds but hey, if we’d been told it was going to be easy then we probably wouldn’t be here, right?

Team TalkClea Pettit