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Showing posts from July, 2014

Why Do "Good People" Hate Asylum Seekers?

As the government sank to new lows in its treatment of asylum seekers this week, disappearing people and returning others fleeing persecution and torture to the countries they'd been escaping, the reactions of horror and disgust from caring Australians have been matched by vitriol and fury from the right. Right wingers and Liberal voters are flooding comment sections and the Facebook pages of groups such as the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

But why? Why do conservatives, RWers and Liberal voters - who would otherwise think of themselves as good, caring people - hate asylum seekers so much? Why do they feel the need to spew their venom on online sites dedicated to helping and supporting asylum seekers?

Because it's cognitive dissonance. They have to.

Conservatives, unable to acknowledge the government's abhorrent treatment of asylum seekers and still sleep at night, instead demonise the asylum seekers themselves and those who support them. They react with fury when called ig…

Were The Deaths of the Israeli Boys An Inside Job?

When I heard the missing Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frankel, missing since June 10, had been found, apparently murdered, in the West Bank, my heart sank. First at the tragic loss of these young lives, the anguish of their parents. No matter the political situation, innocent teenagers on the way home from school do not deserve to be dragged into the conflict and slaughtered.

But also, I was dismayed to imagine Israel's inevitable reaction to the news. Already, the drums of war are sounding as Israel vows revenge; hawk Benjamin Netanyahu has declared "Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay"; rocket strikes have begun already and the Israeli Defence Force has blown up the homes of the suspected kidnappers - despite that Hamas has not as yet taken responsibility and there is no direct evidence pointing to any one organisation. But whoever committed this crime, they must have known Israeli retaliation would be swift and devastating. Surely any Pa…