Make no mistake he wants this argument.
He seriously can not expect the Government to be re-elected so he wants this to be his legacy. He wants to deliver the ALP to the Arab/Muslim/Left side of the cold war against Israel because he thinks that will make this a better world. Then we can expect him to see out the rest of his political career as the Jimmy Carter of the Australian Senate.
He locked himself into the timing of this argument with those who reckon dumping on the only decent humane liberal free productive law-ruled human rights based democracy within a neighbourly missile range and where pretty most everyone else are at bloody war with themselves might be a little on the Bizzaroland end of the Superman comic for even a nerd like him when last year he famously complained to just about anybody who would listen about what he was supposed to say the next time he was speaking in public at the end of Ramadan from … you know … those steps. He said it. Not me.
This is one suggestion he received:
“The Arab “right of return” to Israel is the greatest crock in history. You must implore the “Palestinians” to accept Israel, accept Palestine, accept peace and live in security and prosperity in economic union with Israel. And if they do not then they have forfeited all Australian sympathy. Their leaders will forever remain the authors of their own people’s misery and to say anything else is to feed a delusion and is anti-“Palestinian” .”
So what did he say?
Now we know. As you can see he did not take on board all of this blog’s advice in anything approaching full measure.
And we also know that if you want to hear major and emphatic statements on foreign policy concerning Israel and the Jews then you need to know what this FM says when he is addressing a Muslim audience in Lakemba on Eid al-Fitr. No need to take a camera. SBS covers it.
This is what he said.
” I’ve been to Ramallah, I’ve spoken to the Palestinian leadership, and we support their aspirations to have a Palestinian state in the context of a Middle East of peace. And that means respect for the right of Israel to exist. But we want that Palestinian state to exist, in the context of a peace in the Middle East, and that’s why we say, unequivocally, all settlements on Palestinian land are illegal under international law and should cease. That is the position, of Kevin Rudd, the position of the Federal Labor Government, and we don’t make apologies for it.”
He also said he was proud about rolling the PM last year and humiliating her because she was showing too much backbone standing up to yet another big push from the tyrannies and the trenblies intent on appeasing and rewarding “Palestine” with an UN vote upgrade for ignoring its own treaties, rejecting Israel with undisclosed contempt and doing its best to murder as many Israeli civilians as possible and a good many more of their own besides.
Well perhaps not in so many words but something is clear. Carr regards this as a highlight of his career and perhaps his greatest achievement as FM.
No one want to fight the Arab/Israel wars all over again least of all during an Australian election campaign except apparently Carr and the ALP. For now they can have that on their own. Even the Greens are doing their best to hide what they are about and to keep the ugliest of their uglies strapped to the walls in an underground basement with ball gags so members of the public don’t accidentally see or hear one of them.
Here are a few reasons why this speech is a pretty classless act for an Australian Government at any time but especially right now; apart from the dubious merits of a smelly case. Pick your own order. Some are worse than others. Some are real bad.
- Claiming that “the settlements” are illegal is not just wrong in law on several levels but deeply offensive at a visceral level. If these people are “illegal” there is no law as we understand it. Instead there are the laws of Nuremberg or Sharia. It is that basic. We are better off without this law. What is at stake is the very concept of law. There is a vast difference between saying that “settlement activity” is unhelpful, or even a tactical or strategic mistake, and saying that the settlements are illegal. The former is a matter of opinion and as it happens the Israeli Government apparently agrees given there has been a de facto freeze for some time. The latter is to declare that the Middle East Jews almost all of whom now live in Israel do not have the same basic legal, civil and human rights as everyone else in the Middle East and the world simply by virtue of being Jews. This is the law of dhimmitude. There is a duty to ignore laws like that and take the consequences.
- The allegation of illegality is directed at civilians and not just a state and have as its object a sham legal justification to dispossess and displace these people, precisely what the Geneva Conventions are meant to condemn. Therefore it is an inversion.
- There are face to face negotiations in progress between the PA and Israel; the first in years and they are about these core issues such as what is “Palestinian land”. No one expects the talks to come to much but an enormous effort has gone into arranging them especially by the US and Israel that has had to pay a terrible price just to get the Palestinians to the table. Carr pre-empts all this with a speech which might not have attracted much attention in the heat of an election campaign, and indeed there is evidence he did not want too much domestic attention, but which you and he can be certain would be all around the clouds from here to Gaza in a flash. Australian FM says the Jews are illegal from outside mosque during Eid al-Fitr. That is also the prevailing opinion in the Middle East outside Israel and there are other laws around there that could freeze your blood in the arteries. One might have hoped that diplomatic courtesy among friends and the need to be seen to be acting with some sense of propriety would compel Carr to at least pretend he was taking the Middle East peace process seriously especially now that Australia is on the Security Council.
- I’ve been to Ramallah, … we support their aspirations … and that means respect for the right of Israel to exist…. But … There is no reassurance in these words. The “moderate Palestinians” have no difficulty mouthing what people like Carr want to hear and Carr and others are certain not to probe. This is because it is code. It is a language with meanings on two planes and no intersection. To the “moderate’ enemies of Israel it means the right of Israel to exist but not as a sovereign Jewish state. Not as a sovereign state at all really because it requires Israel to open its borders to five million or more Arabs around the world who claim to be refugees from 1948 even though almost none were yet born. As this can never be accepted by free people it is code for never ending war, or war until there are no free people.
- The timing and place even appear to have been calculated to exploit possible ethnic divisions and flame community fears for political advantage. It shows no sensitivity for the very real concerns of Australian Jews and others about the spread of antisemitism including violence around the world and to Australia. What does the Australian government think of Jews and their future in the world? They tell you in a speech to Muslims at least some of whom are pretty clear about what they think about that future. That the government is silent on the systematic racist hate agenda of the “Palestinian” schools, politics, mosques and media compounds this. Just like “Palestinian” intransigence it cannot be acknowledged.
- It emboldens the existentialist core of anti-Israelism and weakens efforts to nurture a rational new idealism to finding a solution to the condition of “Palestinians” and all other Arabs living under the perverse political cultures of the Arab/’Muslim world. As such it is anti-“Palestinian”, anti-Arab and betrays those risking there lives to free the people from Iran to Ramallah. As such it makes war more likely.
- It adds to isolation of Israel who knows this is an existentialist struggle even while Carr and Hague are in denial and are mesmerised by the one big lie that this is a rational struggle by a national group for a state of their own despite all the evidence. As such it makes war more likely.
- This giant policy shift was made at the behest of the UK in a joint communiqué on 18 January 2013. There are very strong historical reasons to regard the UK as in a particularly poor position to assert what is international law when it comes to Israel, Palestine and the Jews. There are also strong historical reasons for Australia to not echo the UK on this. Not heed the British at all really. Given their record they are disqualified as honest brokers. So is the rest of Europe.
“All settlements are illegal under international law and settlement activity undermines prospects for peace.”
George Orwell once remarked that the defining vice of the British is hypocrisy. He would know. Never mind the Israelis. This is offensive to Australians.
Once again the Australian Government has shown it has no understanding of the Middle East and that it is determined things will stay that way.
Three more weeks.
Cross posted at Israel Thrives