30 December 2016
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has signalled that Australia likely would have broken with the US and New Zealand by opposing a UN Security Council resolution criticising Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Her revelation came as former foreign minister Bob Carr declared Donald Trump’s election could empower Israel to seize the West Bank, comments that will stir a growing debate within Labor about its position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Ms Bishop yesterday said the Turnbull government remained “firmly committed to a two-state solution” and indicated that, had Australia been a member of the Security Council, it would not have supported last weekend’s controversial resolution that demanded an end to Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories.
“Australia is not currently a member of the UN Security Council and therefore not eligible to vote on UNSC resolutions,” Ms Bishop said.
“In voting at the UN, the Coalition government has consistently not supported one-sided resolutions targeting Israel.”
New Zealand was one of four countries that co-sponsored the vote. The US, which holds a veto vote in the UN Security Council, abstained.
Earlier, Mr Carr, an influential voice within NSW Labor’s dominant Right faction, said Mr Trump’s election could “unleash (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu to approve a rash of new settlements and even annex the West Bank … that would destroy a two-state solution”.
“If that happened, nobody would be getting up at a (Labor) conference to shield a Trump-Netanyahu axis from the strongest criticism,” Mr Carr said.
His comments come as groundwork is laid for NSW Labor’s conference, due to be held in July, and follow sharp divisions in the US over its abstention from the UN vote.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, in a speech on Wednesday, again rebuked Mr Netanyahu, saying the West Bank was being “broken up into small parcels like a Swiss cheese that can never constitute a real state”.
Mr Carr’s comments follow a visit to Israel last week by Bill Shorten, who met and praised Mr Netanyahu but was criticised for spending only a few hours in the Palestinian territories.
Tensions within the NSW Right, formally known as Centre Unity, are expected to increase over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as policy committees begin to meet in February to discuss motions for the conference. Any toughening of the Right’s stand against Israel would represent a rebuke against the Opposition Leader, who enjoys the support of the faction.
Labor’s position recognises a commitment to a two-state solution, and notes “settlement building by Israel in the occupied territories that may undermine a two-state solution is a roadblock to peace”.
NSW Labor general secretary Kaila Murnain said the party’s position had been “unanimously supported” at the last conference. But that position followed months of negotiations in the NSW Right and Left and the wider party, at times including federal and state players including Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek, frontbenchers Tony Burke, Jason Clare and Mark Dreyfus, state health spokesman Walt Secord, and Mr Carr. Those talks would make it more difficult for the party to change its policy again.
Some in the Right have raised concerns about Mr Shorten’s meetings with Israeli politicians, including Mr Netanyahu.State MP Shaoquett Moselmane, linking to a tweet from Mr Shorten’s account praising Mr Netanyahu as “a good friend of Australia”, said the Israeli leader should be tried for human rights violations.
In an email circulating among party members, a former candidate suggests the Queensland Labor Friends of Palestine and its partner body in NSW should work “to entrench the recognition of Palestine as federal Labor policy before the next federal election”. But Acting Opposition Leader Chris Bowen said Labor continued to support a two-state solution.
29 December 2016
As predicted, on the eve of his retirement President Barack Obama betrayed Israel. The former long-standing congregant of the paranoid anti-Semitic pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright who has a penchant for supporting to the Moslem Brotherhood, broke with forty years of U.S. bipartisan policy of protecting the Jewish state from the wolves at the United Nations.
23 December 2016
“We are leaning toward recommending that his work permit not be renewed due to suspected BDS activity,” Chen said. “We are checking the incident because unfortunately, the journalist did not give enough information to our staff. We will learn to check better so there won’t be such incidents in the future.
“Is there not a deluded idea here that many Israeli politicians, including yourself, continue to believe that one can talk to the world about democracy, freedom and human rights while denying that to millions of Palestinians, and will there not come a time soon, in a year, five years, 10 years, when you and other politicians will be treated like South African politicians during Apartheid?” he asked.
“He is a prominent anti-Israel activist in his native Australia and a public supporter of the BDS movement,” Plosker wrote. “His own blog includes a post titled Personally supporting BDS against Israel where he published a statement that he made at a BDS event in Sydney in 2014.”
“Freedom of speech and freedom of the media are key in a democracy likes ours, but that doesn’t extend to BDS activists pretending to be journalists,” he said. “It harms Israel and it harms the media. This is another example of the lies of the BDS movement. We have a duty to protect ourselves from people who seek to demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel.”
The following column appears in Australia's Herald Sun:
On Saturday morning, I recalled a conversation over the summer with a German lady who had "found herself on the receiving end of some vibrant multicultural outreach from one of Mutti Merkel's boy charmers":
As a result, she no longer goes out after dark. She had also decided - with reluctance, because she enjoyed it - to cancel her participation in a local Christmas market, where she'd sung carols every year - in broad daylight.And I concluded:
"Why would you do that?" I asked.
"Because it's Christmas," she said, "and I'm worried Christmas will be a target."
Christmas markets are a grand German tradition, but probably not for much longer.Forty-eight hours later, twelve people are dead and 48 are injured (at the time of writing) because they attended a Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin. This BBC headline effortlessly conveys the madness of our times:
Lorry kills 12 at Christmas marketAh, so the truck did it. So it's nothing that can't be fixed by some basic truck-control measures - like, say, licensing and registration of trucks.
Within moments, the familiar rituals of this latest vehicular misfortune emerged: "It was definitely deliberate," said one intended victim. And as CNN reported:
Witnesses told police the attacker had shouted out...Go on, take a wild guess!
...'Allahu akbar' and 'Infidels must die' as he carried out the attacks.The less obviously evasive responses were almost as dispiriting. An English tourist visiting from Birmingham complained that in his native city ugly bollards line the sidewalks to obstruct any similarly homicidal lorries in the vicinity. The Christkindlmarkt is a German tradition dating back to the Middle Ages: Munich's is over 700 years old. A society that can only hold three-quarters-of-a-millennium-old traditions behind an impenetrable security perimeter is a society that will soon lose those traditions.
My own preference, as I've stated, is that, if free countries have to have unsightly security controls, why don't they have them around the national borders rather than around every single thing inside those borders?
"I think this is insane when I listen to people say 'oh, we're now going to have to have metal detectors in night clubs, security in nightclubs. Ok, so what happens next? They blow up a bakery, they blow up a little pastry shop, so then you're gonna have to have metal detectors to get into the pastry shop?"
"Instead of having all these individual perimeters around every Dunkin Donuts franchise or every gas station, or ever J.C. Penny, why not have just one big perimeter around the country?" Steyn concluded. "We could call it a border! And we could have, like, border security!"But that's just crazy talk. On Fox News' top-rated Kelly File, Martha MacCallum asked two experts about the market slaughter and both of them instantly pivoted to military strikes against ISIS, the need to form an Arab version of NATO, and other grand schemes.
I'm all in favor of destroying ISIS, but ISIS is a mere symptom, not a cause. After ISIS is destroyed, it'll be something else. In many parts of the world, it's already something else: al-Qa'eda, the Taliban, Boko Haram, Abu Sayyaf, al-Shabaab, al-Nusra, al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, al-this, al-that, al-the other...
Neither of Martha's guests so much as raised the question of why people who want to murder you for attending a Christmas market are in your country in the first place.
But relax! As Australia's Malcolm Turnbull assured us a couple of atrocities back, it is "a very, very small percentage" of the Muslim community who are "violent extremists". Like other western leaders, he never actually tells us what percentage it is - one per cent, point-one, point-oh-oh-oh-one - but I'm sure he knows, or he wouldn't say it so breezily, would he?
And at least our leaders are agreed that it is a percentage. A percentage is a very simple concept: If it's 0.001 per cent of the Muslim community that are "violent extremists" and you have 100,000 Muslims, then, yes, it's "a very, very small percentage". If you then admit another 100,000 Muslims, then you've just doubled the number of "violent extremists". And, whether you keep on doing that year in year out or just cut to the chase and import (as Angela Merkel did) a million and a half in one fell swoop, then, regardless of whether the percentage is stable, you are importing more and more people who want to kill your own citizens.
Why? What's the benefit? And why do people like that Birmingham tourist think the answer to more and more Muslims is more and more bollards? I spent most of the last year in France and other parts of Western Europe and there are soldiers everywhere - outside churches, post offices, railway stations, shopping malls, Jewish schools initially and now non-Jewish schools, topless beaches and Christmas markets... And it's not enough, and it can never be enough. And, even if it was, who wants to live like that?
Just a few hours before twelve German families had a big bloody hole blown through them a week before Christmas, my old friend and sometime warm-up act Jonathan Kay, with his usual impeccable timing, decided to have another sneer at those simpletons who fret about where all this is heading:
Great @CBC180 discussion. Due to Mark Steyn-esque hysteria, Canadians think Canada is 17% Muslim. It's actually 3%.Ha! What rubes, eh? You hick Aussies are no better: According to the same poll, you reckon Australia's 12 per cent Muslim; it's actually 2.4 per cent. So what's the big deal?
As flattering as it is to be blamed for an entire nation's Islamophobia, I'd say the reason Canadians and Australians - like the French and Germans and Belgians and almost everybody else - think there are more Muslims than there are is fairly obvious: Islam punches above its weight. Even on days when they're not mowing down Christmas shoppers and assassinating Russian ambassadors - or stabbing French priests, or blowing up Belgian airports, or sexually assaulting German New Year revelers, or storming Sydney coffee shops - the less incendiary news of Islam in the west nevertheless conveys an assertiveness and confidence that would still be impressive even if it were 17 per cent. By the time it actually is 17 per cent, you'll think it's 48.
Since we seem to have wound up obsessing on percentages, I suppose twelve dead Germans is likewise an insignificant percentage, and far too trivial to sophisticates to warrant "Mark Steyn-esque hysteria". But it is December 20th, and for the victims' families in five days' time that will be 100 per cent of their children or parents or boyfriends or girlfriends missing at the Christmas table. Say a prayer for them: They died because of the recklessness of a western political class that has doubled down on a mad long-shot sociopolitical experiment that can only end catastrophically.
~from The Herald Sun of Melbourne
Dear Labor Friends of Palestine,
As a long-time supporter of Israel, inside and outside the ALP, I received your recent pamphlet with some disquiet. But having read it closely I must admit to having been wrong, entirely wrong, and I feel I must now make amends for my errors.
You see, I had always assumed the supporters of the Palestinian cause to be well-intentioned (if misguided) social democrats and left-wingers who confused poverty and disadvantage with moral righteousness. A bit like those trade unionists at United Voice who preface every policy speech with "we represent the lowest paid workers in Australia" as if that were cause for pride instead of shame. I assumed most pro-Palestinian people bought a simplistic and error-riddled narrative about Israeli oppression and heroic resistance and just wanted to Do The Right Thing.
But I was wrong. And I will make amends.
Your recent tract "So You're Going To Israeli" is such a vile, fraudulent, racist, biased piece of propaganda that it can only be indicative of something much darker, much older, much more sinister. To be so knowingly and repetitively wrong, to blatantly misrepresent the truth so often, to use such anti-Jewish tropes so cavalierly can only result from a deep well of our civilisation oldest prejudice.
You are a pack of anti-Semites. And you should be ashamed, and I was wrong about you, and I'm going to make amends.
You are not Friends of Palestine. You are enemies of Israel and and you are enemies of Israel because you have given in to anti-Semitism.
If you were Friends of Palestine you would ask why, despite receiving more international aid per head than any other people group on earth, Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza are destitute while their leadership flies Lear jets and live in Paris mansions. You would ask Egypt why they have built a wall between that country and Gaza, through nothing passes - instead of asking why Israel has checkpoints and naval searches of cargo through which all legitimate goods may pass. You would ask why the Palestinian leadership holds no elections for its people, why they place rocket launchers in their houses and their schools and their hospitals to create human shields for civilian-killing weaponry, why they inculcate innocent children into philosophies of hate and death that produce suicide bombers and knife attackers.
But you are not Friends of Palestine. You are, instead, friends of those who enslave and oppress and misguide and exploit the Palestinian people. You are Friends of terrorists. You are Friends of those who's goal is not the liberation of Palestinians but the extinction of Jews. And you are enemies of Israel and blame all the ills of the region on the only Jewish state in the world.
You use the Israeli Prime Minister's Hebrew name, Binjamin, in an attempt to make him seem less normal, and, well, Jewish.
You say that Jewish organisations will not fund trips to places like Hebron and Bethlehem when in fact they do, they really do, I have been there and you are lying.
You misquote people and torture data in your booklet to distort the situation in the Middle East and hold the Jewish state responsible.
You use anti-Semitic tropes of rich Jews and shadowy Jewish organisations to create an image of deception around visiting Israel.
You lie, lie and lie again, so often and so cunningly and so blatantly that it cannot be an accident, it can only be your intent.
So from now on I will not be misled about your organisation and its goals any longer. I will make amends for my previous errors by resisting you to the absolute fullest extent of my capacities.
This is an open letter; unlike your organisation I hide neither my motives, nor my methods, nor my associations. I sign my letters while you publish your blogs and your pamphlets and your propaganda anonymously.
I am ashamed to share membership of the same Party as you.
But I will not allow you to poison the wells of the last, best hope of social democracy in this nation with your racist, anti-Semitic stench.
I was wrong. But I'm not wrong any more.
[Luke Walladge is a former Senate staffer, and currently runs his own political consultancy.]
28 November 2016
If the Israelis are right, the Australian taxpayer has been one of the biggest (unwitting) funders of the terror group Hamas in Gaza. The claim is that money given to World Vision for farms and other economic projects has been diverted to build a military base, tunnels and weapons for Hamas. The head of World Vision Gaza, Mohammad El Halabi, stands accused of funnelling $US43 million ($57.4m) to Hamas since infiltrating the charity in 2010. These are serious allegations. Australia gives aid money to the Palestinian Authority to encourage the economic development without which a two-state solution cannot be viable. It is a destructive fraud if those funds are used to bankroll terror.
There is much at stake. Through AusAID and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian government has been the world’s single biggest donor to World Vision in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, as we reported yesterday.
Tim Costello, chief executive of World Vision in August when charges were brought against Mr Halabi, stressed the agency’s work in Gaza was subject to “regular internal and independent audits”. This week, a spokeswoman for World Vision said it had “yet to see any substantive evidence to support the charges made by the Israeli authorities”. There is no suggestion that the World Vision hierarchy was aware of the alleged fraud. Even so, it was the correct step to suspend World Vision’s operations in Gaza and to put a freeze on funding from DFAT. The Israelis can answer for the integrity of their justice system but Australia must ensure that the DFAT review of Gaza funding is thorough and its results open to public scrutiny. The Australian allegations have a larger context. In June this year, a former British cabinet minister, Eric Pickles, complained that British financial assistance to the PA was being used to free up money to pay prisoners convicted of violent crime in the conflict with Israel. Last month, Britain suspended millions of pounds in financial aid to the PA pending an investigation into claims that money was ending up in the hands of terrorists.
The PA has received an estimated $US25 billion in financial aid from the US and other countries during the past two decades, according to Khaled Abu Toameh, a journalist writing for the Gatestone Institute. He argues that the failure of the US and Europe to hold Yasser Arafat accountable for this money encouraged the corruption that pushed Palestinians into the arms of Hamas. “Unless Western donors bang on the table and demand that the Palestinian Authority use their money to bring democracy to its people and prepare them for peace, the prospects of reviving any peace process in the Middle East will remain zero,” Abu Toameh says.
Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely cites a 2015 report to the effect that per capita the PA receives the highest amount of foreign aid in the world. She says the PA budget for giving monthly stipends to terrorists and their families is roughly $US75m, representing 16 per cent of the annual foreign aid received. Rather than dedicate financial assistance to peaceful economic development, the PA prefers to spend it on terrorists, cross-border tunnels, and missiles to fire on Israel.
All this suggests that Australia should seize the opportunity provided by the World Vision affair to revisit the rationale of our payments to the PA, and be prepared to stop them altogether if the Palestinians cannot satisfy the most stringent conditions.
14 November 2016
... Donald Trump ....is so far showing a level of finesse that seemed unlikely during the election campaign. His early prioritising of Israel and the Middle East — woefully neglected by Barack Obama for so long — is a case in point.
The protracted civil war in Syria, with its dire consequences for the growth of jihad terrorism and the opportunity it has handed Russia to gain regional strategic ascendancy, owes much to Mr Obama’s lackadaisical attitude and his unwillingness to assert US power.
His first nine calls to world leaders after his victory made his priorities clear. As well as Malcolm Turnbull, those called included key Middle East figures who have long been at loggerheads with Mr Obama — Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi King Salman.
On the negative side, the last rites of the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership have been announced. Asian leaders saw the pact as a vital sign of Washington’s commitment to the region. Its collapse, unfortunately, opens up new opportunities for China to expand its influence. Beijing, along with Australia, is a member of the alternative, 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
At least Mr Trump has moved quickly to reassure regional nations, including South Korea, of continued backing. The first foreign leader he will meet will be Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. It is also good that two Trump advisers have set out the president-elect’s “Peace Through Strength Vision for the Asia-Pacific”, borrowed from Ronald Reagan’s Cold War mantra.
The world will be watching his moves in Europe closely, after he cast protocol aside to welcome Britain’s UKIP Brexit leader Nigel Farage to Trump Towers....
02 November 2016
In conjunction with the Begin-Sadat Center of Strategic Studies [BESA], the Australian Strategic Policy Institute [ASPI] has released a new report,
The Wattle and the Olive: A new chapter in Australia and Israel working together.The cover photo of the report (and above) by official Australian war photographer in both world wars, Frank Hurley, was carefully chosen: it’s an iconic picture of an Australian Light Horse regiment marching up to the old city of Jerusalem, in the wake of the surrender of the Ottoman forces in December 1917.
The Australian Light Horse’s battlefield prowess in Palestine during WW1 helped lay the groundwork for the eventual creation of the modern Jewish state. Jerusalem symbolises the modern Jewish state. The cover picture brings both together.
The study looks at what strategic interests Australia and Israel have in common and what each side can bring to the relationship across traditional and non-traditional security realms. It examines the strategic rationale for a stronger working relationship, rather than just relying on the common values both states share.
There’s really no country in Middle East whose interests are more closely aligned to Australia than Israel. In particular it’s a bulwark against violent extremism in the region. Unfortunately in Australia there’s a tendency to see Israel purely through the lens of Palestinian issue and the peace process. The ASPI-BESA study wanted to get away from that prism.
The report highlights areas cooperation where interests are aligned, like countering terrorism and counter proliferation. Cyber security is another obvious area. Israel is very advanced in cyber deterrence. It’s probably subject to more cyberattacks than any other country.
The report’s key message is that Australia and Israel can cooperate in strategic affairs to the benefit of both countries. Israel should be seen as strong middle income country: it qualified to join the OECD, the top industrial countries group, six years ago, so the idea of ‘tiny’ Israel is rather out of date.
Let me just pick three areas to highlight for bilateral cooperation—one in hard, traditional security and two in the soft, non-traditional security space.
In traditional security, there’s been almost no high-level military exchanges between the two countries. Israel doesn’t have a uniformed military attaché in Canberra (although it’s posted a Ministry of Defense civilian). The Australian military attaché to Israel is based in Ankara, Turkey.
Both the ADF and the Israel Defense Forces would benefit from enhanced cooperation: both operate American equipment and both states’ militaries have invested heavily in world-class technology.
Israel has proven to be a prime source of effective counterterrorism and counterinsurgency tactics, techniques and procedures. On Australia’s side, there’s been unprecedented growth in its special forces’ capability. Israel, whose military doctrine is based on self-reliance, can learn from Australia’s experience in operating as part of military coalitions.
Israel has experience in urban warfare and the development of unmanned aerial systems for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and combat. It has expertise in countering improvised explosive devices, an area where Australia also has considerable expertise, and is a global pacesetter in active measures for armoured vehicle protection, defence against short-range rocket threats, and the techniques and procedures of robotics. Israel has also developed a range of capabilities for battlefield intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and advanced munitions.
Both countries’ militaries are focused on how to incorporate cyber capabilities into their military operations. Both countries are near to major choke-points along maritime oil and trade routes, making naval affairs an important component in their national strategies. In air power, both countries intend to acquire the F-35A variant of the Joint Strike Fighter. As two operators of the same variant, there might be potential for collaboration: in the technical domain, that’s most likely to occur in the broader community of international operators of the F-35A.
The RAAF is developing its expertise in the use of unmanned aerial systems. There’s much Australia can learn from Israel’s pioneering extensive development and operational deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles. Starting in 2017, Israel and Australia should look to develop a strategic dialogue involving senior uniformed and civilian defence personnel. The dialogue should look at strategic thinking, military-to-military cooperation, US alliance issues, cybersecurity and defence industry cooperation.
In the area of soft security, societal resilience is an obvious area for information sharing: Israel has been hit with terror and rockets while still preserving social capital. As a country that’s endured decades of conflict and terror, yet still managed to build a flourishing economy and vibrant democracy, Israel offers insights into individual and societal resilience.
Water management is another area where we can share expertise. Israel is a world leader in dryland farming, drip irrigation and waste water recycling. This is an obvious area for cooperation in international development programs in the Asia–Pacific and Africa, one that will support Australian foreign policy objectives.
Right now the relationship between the two states is underachieving. The Wattle and the Olive suggests that both countries use next year’s centenary of the battle of Be’er Sheva, and the centenary of the Balfour Declaration that led to the creation of the modern state of Israel, to revitalise the relationship.
We can transform our longstanding friendship by opening a new chapter in our relations through deepening existing areas of cooperation and catalysing new ones, such as defence cooperation.
Our two countries will need to be as bold as the 4th Light Horse Brigade at Be’er Sheva if we’re to succeed in forging a new strategic partnership.
25 October 2016
Australia's Foreign Minister has slammed the recent UNESCO decision entitled "Occupied Palestine" in a letter to the Exceutive Council of Australian Jewry.
Minister Julie Bishop wrote that she was "dismayed and disappointed that this draft decision was adopted by the UNESCO Executive Board... The text is highly politicised, unbalanced and provocative, and reflects poorly on UNESCO...."
Follow this link to see the entire letter.
21 October 2016
14 October 2016
October 14, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
The leader of the Greens Senator Richard Di Natale has told the Australian senate his views of the political life of Shimon Peres, a former Israeli president who died recently at 93.
Richard di Natale
Di Natale said: “Leaving aside the astonishing hypocrisy of the coalition, who have consistently denied leave on foreign policy motions and yet seek to introduce one today, it is important to put on the record that Shimon Peres has been described as an architect of Israel’s nuclear weapons program, which to this day remains outside the scrutiny of the International Atomic Energy Agency; that he was the father of the settler movement, which involves the confiscation of large swathes of Palestinian land; and that in 1996 he oversaw Operation Grapes of Wrath, which involved the death of 154 civilians in Lebanon and involved the shelling of a United Nations compound, which killed 106 sheltering civilians. While he was awarded a Nobel peace prize in 1994, members of that committee have expressed regret that the prize could not be recalled on the basis of the actions that followed.”
Federal Labor MP Michael Danby has slammed Di Natale’s remarks saying: “Yesterday in the Senate, the leader of the green political party Richard Di Natale, to his shame, denigrated the recently deceased President of Israel, Shimon Peres. Danby said “the Green Party boss again showed his total insensitivity and his hatred of a Jewish State”
“It was unprecedented for the head of a political party to attack the recently deceased head of state who was known for values of peace and reconciliation with which the fake Green party ostensibly identifies.” Di Natale’s attack on Peres came after a non-partisan resolution in the senate lauding Peres’ lifetime achievements. The Green Party’s hypocrisy in criticizing Shimon Peres shows once again why any Australian Jewish citizen cannot support that extremist political party that singles out Israel for disdain. Not a word about Peres’ moves for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinian, his support for a two state solution and his futuristic moves to engage Israel with the Arab world through technology and science were even noted by the deeply ignorant leader of the Australian Green Party that has long left environmentalism behind as its main concern and replaced it with extremist attacks on Israel and the West. Danby said “Di Natale attacked Peres’ role 50 years ago in Israel acquiring nuclear technology – a failsafe for the Jewish State given the near extermination of the Jewish people during the Shoah which was understood by most reasonable people.” In his Senate attack Di Natalie cited other partisans who said Peres’ noble peace prize should have been cancelled because of a military operation in Lebanon when he was leader just after Rabin’s murder.
Danby said, “None of the green party had made such violent denunciations over the hundreds of thousands of civilians murdered in Syria, again emphasising their blinded hypocrisy.” He continued, “This small rotten speech is an insight into the mentality of this group and shows yet again why it was so important to defeat them in Melbourne Ports and elsewhere at the recent election
Danby concluded: “Young people who have been attracted to the Green party’s faux environmentalism should see their environmental policies as merely a cover for a hateful attack on Israel’s widely mourned President. Although the Greens party may have begun with a strong environmental idealistic focus, this shameful speech shows once again that the Green party has today morphed into a party of far left extremists who are unfit for the support of those with any idealism.”
The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein commented: “With his interjection during the condolence motion for Shimon Peres, Richard Di Natale has put his pathetic misunderstanding of world affairs on show and disgraced his office as leader of an Australian political party.
Di Natale showed his utter disregard for Israel’s need for security in a fraught environment and chose to completely ignore Shimon Peres’ many celebrated achievements as a peacemaker.
It says volumes about the schism between The Greens and decency that representatives of 70 nations attended Shimon Peres’ funeral and genuine political leaders lined up to praise him.”
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Robert Goot and executive director Peter Wertheim issued a joint statement saying: “The late Shimon Peres was a world-renowned statesman, as was attested to by the eloquent eulogies at his funeral by most of the world’s leading political figures, including Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
Shimon Peres’s passing also created a rare moment of warmth and civility between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, which is further testament to the greatness of Peres and his ability to unify, both in life and in death.
Unlike Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, who said Peres’s death is ‘a heavy loss for all humanity and for peace in the region’, Senator di Natale could find not a single positive thing to say on Peres’s passing. The Senator’s graceless criticisms of Shimon Peres shortly after his passing reflect poorly on himself and the Australian Greens, and suggest that their leader is a political captive of the extremists in his party.”
10 October 2016