Danby: Carr got it wrong

Written by Adam Kamien.  Australian Jewish News. Aug 23rd 2013..

Michael Danby is the Federal Member of Parliament for Melbourne Ports, which has a large Jewish population.

   Michael Danby has accused Bob Carr of accepting the “narrow view” of a department within his ministry on the legality of Israeli settlements, and said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was yet to form his views on the matter.

      Danby came out swinging follow­ing comments earlier this month from Carr that the government and the Prime Minister viewed all Israeli settlements as illegal.

 Speaking at the Lakemba Mosque in Sydney, Carr said “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.”

 Danby, however, told The AJN yesterday he was “disappointed” by Carr’s comments, but said the Foreign Minister’s claims that it was the gov­ernment’s official position were patently false.

 “There’s a narrow view in the Department of Foreign Affairs, in their legal section, that the settlements are illegal. It’s not the view of the govern­ment as I understand it,” Danby said.

      “He [Carr] has accepted their [the legal department’s] view. The Prime Minister hasn’t accepted that view as far as I understand it

 “I disagree with the Foreign Minister‘s interpretation of this. I was disappointed; of course I was disap­pointed.”

 Danby said the only official posi­tion of the Commonwealth was sup­port for peace negotiations without preconditions, something he believes is at odds with Carr‘s statement about settlements.

 “How can we support the interna­tional peace negotiations if we’re cut­ting off one area of discussion?

 “If you support the peace negotia­tions, and they involve settlements and land swaps, then arcane views on what the Department of Foreign Affairs’ legal section thinks of legality is not the political view that should prevail.


“The prevailing view of the Australian government is to support the [peace] negotiations and they were agreed without preconditions. If you support the peace negotiations as your primary thing, other views are subsumed by that”

      The Member for Melbourne Ports said it wasn’t the place of the Australian government to meddle in the foreign policy of sovereign nations.

 “Australia’s not a party to these [peace process] discussions. We’re openly supporting the Palestinians and Israelis making these decisions them­selves and we should leave it to them”

       Danby said he had made “strong representations” to the offices of the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and that his views were “working through at the moment”.

       The Prime Minister’s office was contacted for comment, but no response was received at the time The AJN went to press.

       Also this week, Danby announced he would preference the Coalition and not the Greens in Melbourne Ports at the upcoming federal election.

      Danby said he was making good on a promise that he would dump the Greens if the Liberals preferenced Labor in the seat of Melbourne.

     “I promised people in the commu­nity I would do that Sometimes you lose preferences but win extra support by sticking with those issues.”





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  1. Carr certainly did ‘get it wrong’ – many times – but he did so on behalf of the Labour Party.

    Gillard was a good friend of Israel, but it was obvious when the UN vote was taken, that she was in the minority – and the powerful in Labour are not friends of Isreal. Albanese and numerous others are supporters of anti-Israel groups and the fact that these anti-Israel individuals have been promoted in the Dudd government is further support for the fact that it is not Carr in isolation, but Labour which has turned against Israel.

    Danby does a great job for Israel. Without him there would be no significant voice of support in Labour, or perhaps parliament at all and it is important that he retain his seat. However, make no mistake, if the rest of Labour were elected, Dudd and his team would sell Israel down the river at any opportunity…. Moslems/Arabs outnumber Jews 3:1 in voting power.

    • Julia Gillard is still a VERY good friend of Israel. I know from journalist sources that she was very upset that we abstained at the UN on the Palestine issue. She was outvoted and would have been ‘rolled’ if she hadn’t gone along with it.

      Fat lot of good it did her in the end though.

      Much more than 3 to 1 in voting power. Muslims make up 2.2% of the population. We are 0.05%.

  2. Danby appears to be unaware that in January , Carr and then Defence Minister Stephen Smith – and the UK Foreign and Defence Secretaries, William Hague and Philip Hammond, met in Perth for the Australia-UK Ministerial Consultations and issued a communiqué which stated:

    “All settlements are illegal under international law and settlement activity undermines prospects for peace.”

    What is Danby saying? Is this the Government’s position or not? Did Carr sign a high level communiqué with a foreign state that was not the view of the Australian Government?

    If so, why hasn’t he resigned? Why hasn’t he been sacked?

    And why is Rudd refusing to confirm or deny that Carr was stating what Rudd believes?

  3. And how can Michael Danby face his electorate with a straight face as a part of this Government? If he was serious he would quit the party and stand as an independent. Likely he would be returned with an increased majority.

    If a veteran MP has to run an election campaign that makes no mention at all of his party because it is so on the nose with his voters about something basic, and includes criticism of him by his own FM and colleagues as somehow an endorsement to be waved about, then I will suggest we have a serious personal values/ethics Vs political expediency conflict situation here.

    • Michael Danby is a wimp. He’s been an elected MP for 25 years and has just only made it to ministerial level, because half the ALP Ministers resigned with the dumping of Gillard

  4. Our Friend Mchael Danby would be right only when Mr. Government would say what Michael reckons it should say.
    So far, THE Government Michael is refering to is credibly silent on objecting to ITS FA Minister’s statement re the legality of the settlements. In my book, silence means approval.