VICTORIA'S Labor Premier Steve Bracks will take his third oath of office in coming days and as he does so, he will introduce new ALP Upper House MP Khalil Eideh, a dual Syrian-Australian citizen who has sworn his absolute loyalty to the tyrannical dictatorship of Syria.
Like Lakemba's Sheik Taj el-Dene Elhilaly, Eideh has already claimed to have had his words taken out of context and to have had his flowery Arabic phrases misinterpreted but there is no doubt that controversial letters which surfaced during his stormy pre-selection battle are genuine and the translations in which he expressed his loyalty to the Syrian dictatorship, accurate.
Though he came to Australia as a teenager in 1970, Eideh has maintained such strong ties to Syria that he felt obliged to inform the Syrian dictatorship of his concerns about events within the Australian Syrian community, in his role as head of the Alawi Islamic Association, and as a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, a self-proclaimed anti-Semitic revolutionary Arabic group.
In his first letter to the Syrian government, Eideh introduced himself as an "Arab Syrian citizen'' and complained that Syrian influence in Melbourne, Australia, was "completely absent and doesn't play any role in the Australian political arena''.
In his second, he expressed concert about the activities of Syria's then honorary consul Issa Zaraybi and the Association Baath Party which he said were creating conflict in the local Syrian community through intimidation.
Writing to Syrian dictator President Assad, he said: "At a time when the danger and threat from the colonial and Zionist is increasing on our Arabic world in general, particularly our Arab-Syrian country, at a time when it is required that all forces mobilise their power in our country Syria and overseas and be recruited to support our crucial causes and support the Arab Syrian stance, an oppressive mentality surfaced in Melbourne, Australia, aiming to create a tremendous crisis within the Alawi Islamic Association.''
He ended that anxious note with a ringing pledge: "Loyalty, absolute loyalty to your courageous and wise leadership and we pledge to continue to be faithful soldiers behind your victorious leadership.''
...The general lack of media examination of Eideh's background in the Victorian media outside the Herald-Sun newspaper and by political bodies other than the Liberal Party indicates the degree of self-censorship which now applies in that state.
Had a candidate expressed admiration for a Christian-oriented political grouping such as the Exclusive Brethren, perhaps, there is little doubt that the Greens, Labor and others would have been strident in their denunciations.
Not a word of criticism, however, for a supporter of a tyrannical regime implicated in the assassination of the Lebanese prime minister, a government which proudly flaunts its ties to international terrorism.
...In Eideh's last publicly reported address, to mark the second anniversary of the first president Assad's presidency, in 2002, he expressed his view of those celebrated cultural differences noting: "Satan's brigades are getting ready to enslave the Arab world ... We could see the light of your soul in the face of the martyrs, the heroes, the greatest of free Arabs - those who carry the flag of dawn from South Lebanon and Palestine.''
Let's hope he's since learned the difference between suicide bombers carrying flags of death and Australians who proudly and freely fly our flag of democracy and liberty.
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