This is a New Year greeting from NSW Labor to the NSW Jewish community just a few weeks after NSW Labor served up a big bowl of something red and smelly to the NSW Jewish community and for that matter everyone else who might think the Middle East Jews are just as entitled as their neighbours to basic civil and human rights including in particular the right to be left in peace in their own sovereign state.
Look at this . This is Bob Carr’s resolution adopted by NSW Labor condemning Israel and rewarding “Palestine” for the Hamas (and Fatah) war crime of attacking the civilian population of Israel from the shelter of the civilian population of Gaza.
It is now official.
From the policy standpoint of NSW Labor, attacking innocent civilians with lethal force carries no particular moral opprobrium at all so long as those civilians are Jews. Or at least Israeli Jews. Please do not dismiss this as hyperbole.
This is so even if the attacks are carried out from behind women and children as calculated battle tactics to deflect or inhibit directed retaliation aimed at stopping the strikes. That the intended victims are Israeli Jewish civilians overrides everything. Terrorism on a massive scale. Cold blooded murder. Genocidal antisemitism. Everything. Nothing is too vicious, depraved or obscene for Carr and NSW Labor to draw in a flash an immediate moral equivalence with Israel’s military response to the attacks.
Can you think of any other circumstance where Carr and the ALP would stoop so low?
On the other hand Israelis defending themselves against these war criminals are condemned with a resolution that quite explicitly holds them responsible for the violence that Hamas coldly launched and the casualties the terror gangs have quite deliberately caused even among their own population.
Why does Fatah always get a free pass by the way, in the muddy airy world of Bob Carr and the other strange and unpleasant men and women of NSW Labor? Given that President Abbas’ boys were right in there from the start doing their best to murder civilians with the rest of them?
Why does it take a political resolution to determine a matter of international law? Why would a party ever seek to resolve any matter of law at a political conference? The answer I suggest is obvious. That “Israel and the settlements are in breach of international law” has long ceased to be an issue of law, at least as the concept is understood in countries such as Australia, US or Israel. The only international law that Israel is in breach is Sharia. The rest is politics and puff.
We may be witnessing the death of international law as a concept that is worth retaining.
Carr and NSW Labor have sold out much more than you might think when they sold out Israel and the Jews.
We can say something for certain about international law that NSW Labor in it new role as arbiter, or at least resolver, on issues legal, could save for its next conference. Firing thousands of rockets across a border at random on a civilian population in an attempt to murder as many people as possible is a breach of international law. That’s an opinion NSW Labor can have for nothing.
On reflection NSW Labor should avoid resolving that murder is illegal at the next conference. Let alone that civilised states have a duty to stop if they can with police and soldiers if they must. NSW Labor has already shown its true colours on these matters.
This is Bob Carr’s resolution, now NSW ALP policy. NSW Labor’s Rosh Hashanah message follows. It’s a peach.
MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS – Resolution adopted at NSW Annual Conference
Deploring the tragic conflict in Gaza, Conference supports an end to rocket attacks by Hamas and an end to Israeli incursions, which have led to the deaths of innocent civilians.
ALP Conference applauds the last Labor government for its commitment to a two-state solution in the Middle East and specifically:
– voting to enhance Palestinian status in the General Assembly;
– restating the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is occupied territory;
– opposing Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land; and
– joining the world community in branding settlements illegal under international law.
1. NSW Labor recognises a Middle East peace will only be won with the establishment of a Palestinian state.
2. The state of Palestine should be based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps and with security guarantees for itself and Israel.
3. NSW Labor welcomes the decision of the Palestinian Authority to commit to a demilitarised Palestine with the presence of international peacekeepers, including US forces.
4. If, however, there is no progress to a two state solution, and Israel continues to build and expand settlements, a future Labor Government will consult like-minded nations towards recognition of the Palestinian state.
It is impressive that NSW Labor achieved a world scoop on the PA committing to a demilitarised Palestine with international peacekeepers. Or at least it would be if it wasn’t the mother of all crocks. That’s NSW Labor for you. I doubt if they even care that this is a lie.
But I digress. Back to NSW Labor and Rosh Hashanah.
I was a regular at Annual Conference for my first 21 years of membership. Not so in the last 20. I was surprised at how few foreign policy resolutions were sent in by party units for consideration by the 2014 Conference. There was nothing about Syria’s devastating civil war, nor the brutal conquests by the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – including the massacre of religious opponents, persecution of the historic, remnant Christian communities, and the introduction of sharia law including the mandatory circumcision of girls by excision of the clitoris. Nor anything about conflicts and outrages against human rights in Nigeria, Ukraine, North Korea, Eritrea, Sudan and a host of trouble spots. No doubt this is partly a reflection of the long term decline of the vibrancy of ALP branches, a theme this Newsletter has commendably addressed over many years.
At this year’s Conference, there was just one resolution on ANZUS, several on Julian Assange, and 33 on Israeli settlements and Palestine.
There is obviously going to be a campaign led by Carr into the National Conference. As he stated to Arab Friends of Labor at the Sunday fringe event – “next step, Federal Conference”.
There’s a blow by blow description of what went on at the NSW Labor Conference on Israel (you would think they had nothing better) at that link.
An article by Michael Easson – 16 August 2014 in the Spectator provides some history to this parting of the ways.
Labor must not turn its back on Israel.
The ALP has a long history of support for Israel. As it should.
Like many supporters of Israel across the Australian community, I am stunned by the erosion of sympathy and advocacy within the Labor Party in defence of the only democratic nation in the Middle East.
Shrugging one’s shoulders and writing off Labor as a lost cause would be a mistake for three reasons. First, there are plenty of advocates of Israel within the ALP, probably a majority of the Right outside NSW. Second, notwithstanding recent setbacks such as the loosely worded Bob Carr motion carried at July’s NSW Conference, social democrats still have more in common with Israel than against. Third, giving up the ghost with one side of politics is to make support for Israel, or the Palestinians, partisan causes – a dangerous position in the longer term.
What is needed is re-engagement with emerging, future generations of Labor. New strategies are also required to restore balance to the debate.
As a student in 1977, I joined Labor Friends of Israel, an organisation formed by Carr with plenty of backing across the centre and right of NSW Labor. It was morally right then and now to resist thinly disguised antisemitism from the far-Left on campuses and elsewhere.
There was then a lot of deep attachment from many NSW Labor figures like Lionel Bowen (1922-2012), Deputy Prime Minister under Hawke and Joe Riordan (1930-2012), anti-communist union leader, MP for Phillip and briefly a Whitlam Minister. Riordan admired the Leon Uris book Trinity as one of the best accounts of the Irish experience. He also loved Uris’s Exodus which told the story of Zionist immigration to existing Jewish communities in Palestine by refugees and others from around the world. Riordan believed the Jewish struggle for statehood was akin to Irish battles for independence.
The support for Israel from Australian Workers’ Union leader, President of the NSW ALP from 1960-1970, Charlie Oliver (1901-1990) was so ardent that his Will stipulated that the President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies read the Old Testament at his funeral – which ALP member Leslie Caplan duly did. In this era, Bob Hawke’s passionate defence of Israel against the truly mad Labor official Bill Hartley (1930-2006) and others in the Victorian ALP inspired generations of Labor moderates. In NSW, Jewish Labor luminaries like Premier Wran’s Ministers Syd Einfeld (1909-1995) and potential successor as Premier Paul Landa (1941-1984) enjoyed wide respect.
Almost exactly ten tears ago, former ALP minister Barry Cohen wrote a watershed article on what he termed the Anti-Semitic Labor Party.
Carr says it is Israel that has changed but Carr knows that is a lie. Every single concession made or offered in an attempt to forge a peace deal has come from Israel. Carr knows that the Arabs can have another Arab Muslim state if they want it and they can call it what they like. They can do with what they want. This is old and settled ground and for NSW Labor to hold out that it is Israel that is an obstacle to a “state of Palestine” is nothing but a convenient and cowardly lie.
It is not Israel that has changed since Carr helped form Labor Friends of Israel in the sixties or seventies. That is Carr lying at his worst. Since then Israel has made three formal and detailed peace proposals all of which met any remotely legitimate demand or grievance. They were all viciously and violently rejected.
It is the demographics of western Sydney, and in particular in a swag of Labor held federal and state seats, that have changed.
It really is as simple as that. It really is that cynical and cowardly. Abandoning or attacking Israel is the course of least resistance in a world where political Islam is rampant and Jew hatred is core to the ideology. We have seen all of this before.
There is absolutely nothing new about Bob Carr and NSW Labor.
You have to respect Michael Easson for what he does and indeed for his expert knowledge but the truth is that despite him NSW Labor gave up on Israel and the Jews the moment there was some pain in it.
Federal Labor is on the precipice. Carr abandoned Israel the moment he was able and regards this as a career highlight. He instinctively and viscerally blamed Israel for flaming the 9/11 attacks. He is determined to have his way (if you have any doubt how obsessed he is with Israel and Jews you should read his published diary) and he has the tide of his party with him.
This is the kind of friends they are. It is good that we found out in time.
Sorry John Robertson MP and NSW Labor. Coming from you, all this talk about a society where all are valued and free from hate speech and racism, about strong beliefs in peace and freedom, rings about as true as tinnitus.
You abandoned all that when you abandoned the only state in the Middle East that prizes those concepts. And for that reason you have to agree with the rabid left, and now it seems NSW Labor, that indeed the matter of Israel, “Palestine” and the eternal racist war on the Middle East Jews is a threshold entry level issue for all.
How bloody disgusting. So be it.
You can define a person morally and politically, and make an assessment of their character, by where they stand on this issue. That is worth thirty-three resolutions for a start.
You can thank Bob Carr more than most for that.
First published at ‘Geoffff’s Joint’