Mike Kelly, Labor MP for Eden Monaro, boasts of the 'new' boy on Labor's factional block:
"[T]he former military man spoke of Labor's 'felafel [sic] faction': a group of pro-Israel Government MPs. 'We've banded together, whenever issues arise we put our views to the executive'. An example of that, he said, was convincing Prime Minister Julia Gillard to withdraw Australia's representatives from the 'Durban III' anti-racism convention in New York later this month. 'The Durban circus will roll without us, it is important we send an early message', he said." (Government won't support PA at UN, The Australian Jewish News, 9/9/11)
Gillard needed convincing? Give me a break! With the honourable exception of Doug Cameron or (fill in space), I can't think of anyone in federal Labor who isn't a card-carrying member of this so-called falafel faction.
But there's really nothing new about the falafels, as the following 2009 puff piece from The Australian Jewish News on Labor's Zionist godfather, Michael Danby MP, reminds us. Danby is described as "act-[ing] as a watchdog with the new Rudd Government... corral[ing] his parliamentary colleagues and forc[ing] them to think long, hard and seriously about matters that often conjure knee-jerk reactions. 'During a recent political controversy, we had 11 federal MPs get together on an Israeli issue. Mike Kelly convened them and I organised with Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ)... to sit down with us and we strategised together'."* (A decade of Danby, AJN, 27/2/09)
I wonder if, rather than the AJN's euphemistic corraling, Danby's canine style wouldn't be more aptly described as 'bailing up'. In which case, maybe a more appropriate moniker for the 'faction' would be the 'pitbull faction', or, more accurately, just the pits.
But alas, the slobber doesn't end there.
Once dubbed the 'clanking colonel' by Bob Carr for his bizarre intervention from Iraq in the awarding of the Sydney Peace Prize to Palestinian activist and academic Hanan Ashrawi in 2003, an award Kelly described in a letter to Carr as "legitimating terrorism and giving 'comfort to the enemy',"** Kelly is actually married to a cousin of former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert.
No surprises then to learn that he "also spoke strongly against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement, calling it 'anti-Semitic, vile & disgusting'." (Government won't support PA...)
And the by now ritual thirties flashback so characteristic of the pits? Kelly doesn't disappoint:
"Last month in Parliament, Kelly delivered a powerful speech on BDS posing the question: 'What are we going to see next? Will these people be daubing windows and breaking windows again?' He also called upon Greens leader Senator Bob Brown to 'exercise some control or intervention' over the NSW branch of his party, which openly supports the BDS movement." (ibid)
[* See my 1/3/09 post Nipping at Their Heels; **Army critic of peace proposal angers Carr, Nick O'Malley, SMH, 3/11/03)