AIJAC Statement in response to remarks by Foreign Minister Bob Carr at Lakemba

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It was disappointing to hear the remarks made by Foreign Minister Bob Carr outside Lakemba Mosque at the celebrations to mark Eid al-Fitr on Thursday. While we commend Senator Carr for recognising that Palestinian statehood aspirations require “respect for the right of Israel to exist”, it is unfortunate that he did not take the opportunity to also recognise the need to ensure Israel’s security, to call for an end to all rocket attacks against Israeli civilians and incitement by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas against the Israeli population, or to reiterate Australia’s support for the current peace talks between the
Israelis and the Palestinians.

His opinion that “settlements on Palestinian land are illegal under international law and should cease” is highly contentious. Any implication that the West Bank is sovereign Palestinian territory – something it has never been – prejudges core issues of the peace process that must be negotiated.

We call on the Foreign Minister to place realistic and informed support for a negotiated two-state peace at the centre of Australia’s approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues, and to refrain from one-sided statements which prejudge the outcome and complicate peace negotiations.

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  1. What more does the ALP need to do to convince Jews that at the top of the ALP’s Middle East agenda is the elimination of Israel?
    What the ALP says is: “sure, Israel should exist but we want Israel to commit suicide, and we support the Arab efforts to do so.”
    It is not at all fanciful to hazard a prediction that in due course the ALP will mount a campaign to target all of Israel’s supporters in Australia.
    To date the coalition has been spineless, but not overtly hostile. Time will tell if it will go the way of the ALP.

  2. It’s obvious Carr has never heard of the idiomatic expression ” It Takes Two to Tango”
    with the Palestinians its always take ,take, take and give nothing in return.. and idiots like Carr only encourage them, perhaps thats why the Palestinians still live in the dark ages always playing the victim….

    …. Good statement AIJAC

  3. Very diplomatic.

    It should be proclaimed by all pro-Israel groups that for the first time in decades there is a clear and wide policy difference between the ALP and the Coalition and frankly the ALP’s position is pretty rancid. After all there’s an election on and there is a grave and unacceptable risk that Carr will still be FM in a month.

    Look at the leaderships. Could there be any greater contrast than between Rudd/Carr on the one hand and Abbott/Bishop on the other in the attitude to Israel? Can there be any doubt who are the friends of Israel (and for that matter Australia — this directly affects Australians) and who are not?

    What we are seeing here is a cold political calculation. The ALP knows that Michael Danby is probably safe no matter what Carr says because he is such a good bloke and in Sydney you can be certain that Michael Turnbull will be in no danger. Two seats. That is the end of that side of the calculation they make.

    On the other side there is a disciplined and strong anti-Israel vote for whom this is an important issue and is concentrated in certain suburbs of the big cities and in the inner cities where the ALP is in a contest with the Greens and does not want to be wedged in the greenie/luvvie/pixie vote.

    So the ALP has adopted a policy that offensively and very wrongly declares an undefined number of Jews living in regions that it also does not define,as “illegal” , knowing as they must that the “Palestinian” position is that all Jews in Israel are “illegal” and that this is the prevailing opinion throughout the Muslim world.

    The ALP does this even though it knows there are peace talks in progress that have been kick started at an enormous cost and where all these matters are supposed to be on the table in direct negotiations between the parties which two weeks ago the Government was pretending they welcomed.

    It is that cynical.

    This is the contribution of the Australian Labor Party to the Middle East peace process while in election mode. Thanks fellas. I think that demonstrates how much they care about peace for Israelis and “Palestinians”.

    There is a month to go. There is still time to change that calculation. That’s never going to happen while we present as neutral in this contest. .


    Melbourne Ports is probably safe enough for the Labor Party with a margin of almost 8%, but in current circumstances Danby could be vulnerable to a Liberal surge.

  5. I know AIJAC has to be careful how they phrase their public statements, but I would have liked them to have come out more strongly in its criticism. For instance, the overworked word “disappointing” is very weak. “Appalled” would surely sum up the reaction to Carr.

    Also, they commended Carr for recognising that Palestinian statehood aspirations required “respect for the right of Israel to exist”. It would have been good if they had emphasised his omission to add after exist “as a Jewish state.”

    Rather than saying Carr’s statement that settlements were illegal under international law were highly contentious, they could have said that it was incorrect.

    AIJAC should be unequivocal when Australia’s Foreign Minister makes provocative remarks which denigrate Israel.

  6. AIJAC’s statement was anaemic, I agree, Pam.
    They could have cited, e.g., that eminent Australian authority on international law, the late Professor Julius Stone, who wrote about the kind of position that the ALP is now taking, and called it “an assault on the Law of Nations.”
    The ALP has been assaulting international law and conventions in order to harm Israel because its perception is that no one can stop it, obviously.

    I use the term, “the nation-state of the Jewish People” rather than “Jewish state”, so as to pre-empt the disingenuous faux argument of those who claim that there is no place in the modern world for a state to be based on religion (ignoring the host of Islamic states).
    These people either don’t know or pretend not to know that Israel does not have an official state religion even though it has a Jewish majority.
    As we know,the Muslim,, Christian and other religions are freely practised in Israel.
    Some hostile people latch onto the phrase, “Jewish state” to claim that it is an expression of state discrimination against residents other than Jews.

  7. Weak as dishwater.

    The ECAJ is releasing one this week, let’s see what that is like. Unfortunately they are weak !!

  8. We’ve seen how successful less “aggressive” writing has been in making the ALP see sense.

    • It’s not all of the ALP. I know from someone very near the source that Gillard had no choice at the time but to go along with the abstention vote at the UN, or she would have been rolled.

      Fat lot of good it did her anyway !!

      • “The Australian” reported at the time that the entire caucus except for Gillard and 2 or 3 others actually voted YES, and it was only Gillard’s Prime Ministerial weight that brought them to the compromise of abstaining.

        The following true personal anecdote is a metaphor for the mentality and behaviour of the ALP at least since Whitlam:

        At the time of the Iraqi loans scandal I attended a meeting of my teachers union.
        One of the items on the agenda related to an offer that apparently had been made by the Iraqi government (at the time Saddam Hussein was vice-president) to fund the establishment of a Muslim school in the district of my workplace.
        I told the meeting that such funding would come with strings attached, such as Iraqi input into the teaching curriculum and that, given the nature of the Iraqi regime, that input would very likely be utterly inconsistent with Australian values such as democracy, liberty, openmindedness, tolerance etc etc. Therefore, I argued, the union should oppose the offer.
        Another speaker was the head of one of the subject departments, a financial member of the ALP with political ambitions. He said, “Well, Moriah gets money from Israel, so why should this proposed Muslim school not get money from Iraq?”
        I denied that Moriah got money from Israel, and told him that, even if it did, its curriculum was entirely consistent with Australian values. He wasn’t going to change his mind. He might not even have believed his own assertion.
        Some time afterwards I learned that he had been elected the mayor of that municipality.
        On another occasion my union wanted to impose a special, extraordinary levy on all members for a certain campaign (i’ve forgotten what for).
        I spoke against the motion saying that in large organisations there was always the temptation for executives to act without financial prudence, exceed their budgets and then clamp extra levies onto their members- the proposed levy was a small amount, but I argued on principle– why couldn’t the campaign be funded out of existing union funds?

        Well, the abovementioned person was not impressed: he called my positions “reactionary.”
        So you see, folks, in the ALP mind Saddam Hussein was “progressive”, and I am “reactionary.”

        • Never mind what it said in the Australian, it’s not true. It was a very close vote and Gillard was teetering on the edge. As I said this is from someone close to the source. I am not at liberty to name names

  9. Mark Dreyfus is very silent on the matter . I laugh when our enemies claim the Jews are so influential , if only we were. Unfortunately some of the more influential Jews are mainly on the left and are more sympathetic or help the other side .

  10. Australia’s largest Palestinian Lobby Group are boasting on their web site comments ALP ‘s Bob Carr made at a Lowy Institute debate Carr had with Bishop on Thursday Night.

    He [ Carr] said something like “we are different from the Opposition on Palestine because we voted proudly in the UN not to block enhancement of a Palestinian state.

    So the most influential MP on Foreign Affairs in the Labor party has made it very Loud and clear , the Labor party Policy on Israel/Palestine is very different to the Liberals Pro- Israel Policy.
    Hopefully this is clear enough for all our Jewish community leaders who in parrot fashion like a mantra keep saying both parties are on a par when it comes to Israel. It is time for them to bite the bullet and stop taking their constituents for mugs and admit it. I understand it is not PC for our leaders to publicly proclaim what is indisputable so as not to get on the wrong side of any Party but I think now even Bob Carr wants it known to all so time to man up guys……..

    [ admittedly not that it would make any difference what so ever to the Jewish Left or Progressives as they now like to be called]

  11. I just looked it up on ‘The Tally Room” – a great site.

    Carr’s term doesn’t expire until 2014

  12. Shirlee, I agree. There is nothing progessive about the progressive movement, which is actually anti-civilisation and anti-progress and looks likely to regress us to the Stone Age.

  13. For all Gillard’s faults, she was pro-israel and would not have voted to abstain. As for Rudd, he has chosen people like Albanese who are pro-Palestinian. as for Carr, he is proudly in the pro-Palestinian camp.

    • We all knew where Carr’s sympathies lay. The point is why has he now chosen to be so outspoken about those sympathies?

      • My theory about his timing: 1. approaching elections and precarious south-west Sydney seats- a very obvious one.
        2. part of the Europeanisation of the ALP-[ nanny state, push to create outsider supremacy over domestic law, e.g., the UN, international conventions. That is, to erode the sovereignty of the Australian people and parliament in favour of the UN.
        Evans was the godfather of this trend.]
        3. Machiavellian theory: Obama wants to lean more heavily on Israel in the “peace” talks.
        He doesn’t want to do it all directly, so he harnessed the EU ( is it just co-incidence that the EU right now has made a big deal of its anti-Israel sanctions?) to act against Israel and he harnessed the ALP to do the same. Obama’s reasoning is that these blows against Israel will soften it up for more concessions.

  14. Okey, I agree with what you say. The more a party supports global entities like the UN and Eu, the more anti-Israel they become. We already know whose side Obama is on – it was evident when he reached out to the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo some years ago – and how he is undermining the power of America. So a convergence of all these factors, plus the fact that there are Austrlaian votes to be had by coming out firmly against Israel, bodes ill for Jews in Australia.

    • I thought it was pretty obvious he was a Muslim, or at the very least had strong feelings in that direction, before he even set foot in the White House.

      His father and stepfather were both Muslims. It is highly unlikely he was raised as anything but, as some of his comments have shown. He also was educated in Indonesia at a Muslim school.

  15. It might be obvious, but we’re no longer allowed to state the obvious, which is that
    Islam, unlike Judaism, goes through the paternal line, so as his father was a Muslim, he would be too – unless he renounced his faith, in which case he’d be an apostate and liable to be put to death.

  16. I’d love to introduce here a very befitting term : “division of Labor”.
    Considering that the ALP suffers from chronic ethical indigestion caused by a terminal electoral condition, the troops are designated the panic mission of doing ANYTHING that could reverse the inevitable. Principles, and “in principle” loyal friends, as quite a few prominent Australian Jews have been the their Labor party of choice over the years, are all but gone.

    All ALP polies are out there in force employing whatever it takes to change their political fortunes.

    Carr was deemed best suited to address the Muslim electorate simply because the only stuff they could have possibly talk about was the ME crisis. Who within this amalgam of nondescript pseudo-educated rhetorical parrots, could dwell on any substantive issues related to the Islamic faith !!

    What topics could have anyone within a Party of piss-pots could have been broached beyond some polite forgettable greetings. An impact of the panic type had to be made and the only phrases which could have made any Muslim jump from his squat position were those containing the leading words: “Palestine”, “occupation” and “illegal” regardless of the syntactical arrangement.

    A simple enough job for a simple enough Bob Carr. Another job well done !!!

    These are the valid tangibles upon a political entity rolling irreversibly down the hill of oblivion.

    Bob Carr is but the mouth for hire in an amalgam of rabbits running headless and so on, because these elections have so far inspired me to some adjectives and comparisons which even surprise me.