The Australian Government's support for the Palestinian Authority's successful push for observer status in the UNGA sure has the fur flying on the editorial/letters page of this week's Australian Jewish News (7/112/12). And it's not just the government that's come under attack:
Is this, for example, the first ever criticism of an Israeli government by the AJN's editorialist?:
"Following Israel's response [ie, more settlement building] to the Palestinian statehood bid is like watching a person cut off his nose to spite his face... Israel's response has been childish and ill thought out." (The wrong response)
And even the AJN itself is copping stick. Here, Ameinu president Johnny Baker takes umbrage at last week's front cover which featured a photograph of foreign and defence ministers Bob Carr and Stephen Smith and the 'proceed-to-the-naughty-corner-IMMEDIATELY' accusation: You've let us down:
"The provocative and ill-conceived 'You've let us down' front cover of last week's AJN will do very little to enhance the standing of the Jewish community in the public arena. It is a classic case of how not to win friends and influence people. By pointing an accusing finger at politicians who have been consistent friends and whose cardinal sin was to advocate a stance taken by many prominent Israelis, The AJN has outflanked our communal leadership in expressing its outrage... Sorry AJN, but this time you have let us down."
Of course, Terry Davis of Lindfield, NSW isn't having any of this. He's gunning instead for Bob Carr, the bloke who dared to move the ALP from blind to tough love of Israel, and, in so doing, is apparently now up there in the ZDI (Zionist Demonology Index) with the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hasan Nasrallah:
"One has to admire Bob Carr's ambition. In my view, as premier, he wrecked NSW, and now he's trying to do the same to the whole of the Middle East."
But my favourite letter has to be this touching tribute to mateship from Michael Danby MP, Labor's unofficial Minister for Israel, lamenting the lack of media limelight accorded his tag-team buddy, Clanking Colonel* Mike Kelly, who, Danby assures us, fought valiantly in the ranks of the blind luvvies** against Carr's yea-saying and abstaining tough luvvies:
"In the rush of events last week, mention that my parliamentary colleague, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Dr Mike Kelly AM, was one of the key stalwarts in defence of the pro-Israel position was overlooked. In fact Mike Kelly, Senator Glen Sterle and myself, were appointed by the right faction of the ALP Caucus to put proposals to Senator Carr. Unfortunately, Senator Carr would not agree to our suggestions. Dr Kelly was at every meeting with me, strongly arguing the case. I will never forget his steadfastness."
Shows you how clueless the 'right faction of the ALP Caucus' must be, pitting the 'Clanking Colonel' against Carr. Labor history - let alone history - is obviously not their strong point.
Actually, it doesn't look as though Danby's exactly flavour of the month at the AJN these days. How else to explain why his letter was immediately followed on the page by the following kick-arse correspondence from David Rosenberg, South Caulfield, Vic.:
"Labor and its leaders have now lost the plot in the foreign affairs department. Julia Gillard hasn't the courage of her own convictions to stand up for Israel in her left-dominated cabinet. As Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr swirls his way around the world, he has certainly picked up some communicable communication diseases from the United Nations, denigrating Israel at every opportunity. As John Faulkner has recently called for Labor parliamentarians to try to at least pretend to be ethical and to appear honest, Michael Danby sitting member for Melbourne Ports now has to ask himself: As the point man for Jewish representation, has he the courage of his own convictions? The party has left you, Michael; if you stand for anything, it's time to make a stand for the Jewish community at large. Leave the party, it's time."
Et tu, David?
[*On Carr and Kelly, see my 9/9/11 post The Pits; **On Labor's blind love (or 'falafel') faction, see my 30/11/12 post Pro-Israel Deadenders in Federal Labor. ]