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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, September 05, 2005

Takes one to know one

"I don't want to be so bold as to say that the U.S. was hit with Hurricane Katrina because President Bush pressed his Road Map upon Israel, but..."

Tamar Yonah, Israel Insider, September 2

It's refreshing that Jewish fundamentalists are as demented as Christian zealots, though their agenda is much less well-known.

Back in Australia, the Liberals are currently dealing with their own religious fanatics. Health Minister Tony Abbott has no issue with the thuggery of his party's newfound direction. "The Young Libs these days would be — to use a tag — to the right of the party. I don't think that's a bad thing. I think that's a good thing", he said. Issues such as republicanism, abortion, heroin injecting rooms and homosexuality are all being led with a Christian-right mentality.

Howard's svengali, Grahame Morris, told Lateline on Friday night that this Christian Right faction in the NSW Liberals "doesn't have the clout that everyone thinks it does." He didn't criticise their extremism. After all, he still wants to work with the party at the next Federal Election. He warned that the abortion issue was one that had the power to split the community. "The abortion one is a real problem. It's a problem for all political parties if anyone wants to re-open that one. It's a shocker."

Howard doesn't publicly chastise these forces because he sees them as politically useful. Besides, Abbott shares many of these views and remains a favoured son, far and above Treasurer Peter Costello (ably assisted by a journalist such as the SMH's Peter Hartcher, fan of the sanctioned leak.)


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