Divisions within the ALP over Middle East policy are set to flare at next month’s NSW conference over a push to ban Labor MPs, officials and Young Labor members from accepting subsidised trips to Israel.
The proposal has been put forward by the group Labor Friends of Palestine.
The motion states that while Benjamin Netanyahu’s government “continues settlements, refuses a Palestinian state [and] brutally mistreats Arab residents of the West Bank”, that no ALP officer, MP or Young Labor member “accept a paid trip from the Israel Lobby”.
“To do so in the circumstances is an insult to the Australian community who support our party,” it says.
At the 2014 NSW conference, former foreign minister Bob Carr – a patron of Labor Friends of Palestine – successfully moved a motion calling on a Labor government to move towards recognition of a Palestinian state “if there is no progress to a two-state solution”.
Last year’s national conference passed a similar motion put by Right faction powerbroker and shadow finance minister Tony Burke.
One of the pushers of this ban is Muslim MP MP Shaoquett Moselmane, who wants to extend it further.
Upper house Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane said he supports the push to ban the trips, but believed extending the Foley directive to officials and Young Labor is “a more feasible and balanced approach”.
Mr Moselmane said the Israel trips are aimed at “indoctrination”.
“If they want to have party members travel to Israel, then they should also be taken to Palestine, to the West Bank, where it’s safe and possible to do so,” he said.
Moselmane is almost trying to sound reasonable with that last statement. But don’t be fooled. He is motivated by rabid antisemitism. From a speech of his to the NSW Parliament in 2013:
In a democratic country such as ours there are many ways in which people can express their views—the opportunities are wide open. I am a person who will not shy away from having my say. I will always say and do what is right, even in the face of trash that I have read in the Australian Israeli media. One or two reporters writing in the Murdoch press—namely the Australian—have been attacking me and denying the truth of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land and the killing and dehumanising of the Palestinian people. That is utter garbage. I accept the right of people to express their views, even when they are wrong, naive, ill informed, indoctrinated and blinded by the power of a political lobby group that is cancerous and malicious and seeks to deny, misinform and scaremonger. What I do take exception to is foreigners intervening in the rights of Australian politicians to speak out. Therefore, I say to the Israeli ambassador, Yuval Rotem, “Butt out and stay out. Your perceived right to bully as you do in the Middle East does not extend to the Australian political arena.”
Despite carefully not using the “J” word, we all know what tropes he is invoking when speaking of an insidious, powerful lobby group.
Sharri Markson agrees:
Jewish advocacy groups are “cancerous” and “malicious” and try to “deny, misinform and scaremonger”.
A NSW Labor politician voiced these incendiary words — the first NSW Muslim MP, in fact, Shaoquett Moselmane. He didn’t utter them in the privacy of his own home. He felt comfortable enough broadcasting this anti-semitic sentiment within the walls of the NSW Parliament. This is terrifying in itself.
The MP, who ironically decried racism in his first speech to parliament, made the remarks just two years ago, in May 2013. He was not shouted-out of the high office he holds for racist commentary. On the contrary, Labor continues to support him and Moselmane is now a vocal advocate behind a push to ban Labor MPs from visiting Israel on trips funded by Jewish organisations…
The father of the anti-Israel movement is Bob Carr, whose speeches have on at least one occasion, in July last year, elicited anti-semitic commentary from the audience, with a remark made about “the Jews” and their “3000-year fundamentalist influence.”
Yes, this Bob Carr.
Andrew Bolt also mentions statements by Tony Burke:
Tony Burke, gave a frightening speech last month to the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network in which he savaged Israel as a child-killing, water-polluting, land-stealing aggressor.
It is no wonder former Labor national president Warren Mundine had this to say about the move to ban the Israel trips:
Former Labor national president Warren Mundine has launched a blistering attack on the party, saying its move to ban sponsored trips to Israel is “verging on anti-Semitic’’ and is “sickening to watch”.
Mr Mundine admonished the party’s leadership, saying NSW Labor was at risk of becoming a fringe party over its hardline approach to the only Middle East democracy.
It is an illogical, verging on anti-Semitic approach,” he said.
“We do not do this to other countries. Name another country that the Labor Party bans people from going to? There are none.
Mr Mundine said Labor MPs should remember that Israel was the only democracy in the region with a parliament of Jewish, Arab, Christian and Muslim politicians sitting within a vast region of problematic countries.
“I find it quite disgusting, actually,’’ he said.
“It is almost burgeoning into this BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) system of anti-Semitism,’’ he said.
Update: On Twitter, while decrying “Islamophobia”, Moselmane tries to forment hatred against not just Israel, but Jews, quoting the likes of Iran’s Press TV.
— Shaoquett Moselmane (@Shaoquett) January 24, 2016
Not surprisingly, he retweets rabid antisemites.
He also supports this terrorist who stabbed a child.
— Shaoquett Moselmane (@Shaoquett) November 23, 2015
And tweets posts talking down palestinian terrorism.
— Shaoquett Moselmane (@Shaoquett) October 10, 2015
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