Monday, April 14, 2014

The Carr Diary 6: Carr Gets a Caning

The Sydney Morning Herald's handling of Bob Carr's outing of the hold of the Israel lobby over former prime minister Julia Gillard has been either to ignore it or make light of it. (Needless to say, Carr's other revelation, that around one fifth of the money stashed away in party coffers came from Jewish sources, is completely overlooked.)

Nowhere is the subject even mentioned in the Herald's editorial of 11 April. Instead, donning the mantle of an irate schoolmaster, the editorialist gives Carr a thorough dressing down, as though he were an errant schoolboy:

"Bob Carr has let down his party, his former cabinet colleagues and his country..."(Carr memoir: a triumph of self over selflessness)

And notice who, by contrast, gets Master's approval:

"Carr's successor, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, has said that 'his gratuitous personal observations and revelations of confidential discussions are unworthy of any Australian politician let alone a foreign minister'."

You've been a bad, bad boy:

"He was premier of NSW for 10 years and did not leave behind a decade's worth of major infrastructure development or public sector reform. Creating national parks was his main legacy..."

It's a wonder Master didn't call him a tree-hugging greenie.

"A triumph of self over selflessness," concludes Master in a statement of the bleeding obvious applicable, I would've thought, to just about all Australian politicians.

Fortunately, Master's pomposity didn't fool all of its readers:

"Passing strange that your editorial makes no mention of Bob Carr's revelations concerning the modus operandi of the Israel lobby and their disproportionate influence over Australia's foreign policy in the Middle East." Sue Daniels, Balmain, 12/4/14)

The verbal caning of Carr continued in Saturday's edition, in a two-page feature by the Herald's political editor, Peter Hartcher. Needless to say, the issue of the lobby was raised only in passing:

"Carr made one strong stand on a matter of policy. He challenged Gillard over her decisions to take Israel's side in its arguments with the Palestinians. He led a cabinet revolt that forced her to reverse her decision. He does us a favour by drawing attention to this. It's not because he's right that Israel is omnipotent. Carr's successful rebellion, self-evidently, proves that it isn't. It's that Carr's position is a marker of change. He was co-founder of Labor Friends of Israel; today he is a leader of pro-Palestinian opinion in Labor. His shift reflects the surging Muslim population in western Sydney. Labor's NSW Right faction, Carr's factional home, is now pro-Palestinian because electoral arithmetic demands it."  (Bob Quixote was no world-beater)

Hartcher, of course, ignores the fact that Carr's testimony relates to Israel lobby group AIJAC's influence over Gillard and her office, not the party as a whole.

As for his bizarre description of Carr as "a leader of pro-Palestinian opinion in Labor," a simple perusal of his Thoughtlines blog reveals Carr as nothing more than a common and garden defender of Israel ("a benchmark of pluralism and democracy"*) who merely has a problem with Israel's colonization of the land necessary for the creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank. IOW, as someone in the party who takes its rhetoric about a two-state solution seriously, unlike Gillard who only ever paid lip service to the notion.

Furthermore, I challenge Hartcher to produce any statement of support for the Palestinians from the NSW Labor Right, apart from NSW MLC Shaoquett Moselmane.

Finally, Hartcher's linking of Carr's 2012 'rectification' with "the surging Muslim population of western Sydney," whatever that means, is tenuous in the extreme.

Now if the Herald editorialist thinks Bishop is the very model of a modern Australian foreign minister, just look who Hartcher's got the hots for:

"[T]he pointlessness of Carr's tenure, by contrast, shows the purposefulness of Abbott's trip to the three great capitals of north-east Australia. Abbott... has shown that a serious leader can achieve serious outcomes for his country."

And isn't this bloke an interesting choice for an opinion on Carr?

"For Labor, it's the betrayal of a man who was given everything by the party. A Labor MP, Anthony Byrne, says: 'If you ever wanted an example of the narcissism, self-indulgence and immaturity that ran through the labor Party during its 6 years in government, Bob Carr is it."

We're not told, of course, that Byrne is a mate of Michael Danby's, nor that he was rambammed in 2010.

It's hard to believe that Hartcher is the journalist who penned one of the most telling reports on the hold of the Israel lobby over the Labor Party - for which see my 22/6/10 post The Best Israel Policy Money Can Buy. But then the guy's been rambammed, of course - for which see my 18/11/09 post No Hidden Agenda.

Finally, check out Annabel Crabb's dismal contribution in yesterday's Sun-Herald:

"In geopolitical terms, Carr's remarks about the Israel lobby are by far the most actively inflammatory. The Jewry's out on that one, understandably, and will likely remain so for some time." (Carr best taken with a grain of sugar)


[*West Bank settlements always illegal,, 14/2/14)]


Anonymous said...

The quote by the Herald's political editor, Peter Hartcher,

"Labor's NSW Right faction, Carr's factional home, is now pro-Palestinian because electoral arithmetic demands it"

makes the assumption that there IS a coherent pro-Palestinian voting block, as opposed to the Israel lobby political donations machine.

Further, the built in assumption that support for the bandit state is normal and natural, the default position. Only upset by "electoral arithmetic".

Peter Hartcher seems oblivious to the concept that a handful of MP's might actually support Palestine because the Palestinians have been disposessed by alien invaders who have occupied not only the Palestinian homeland but the halls of power in Australia and overseas.

MERC said...

Well said! I'm glad you said "the concept of a handful of MPs," because I seriously doubt that there are ANY actual MPs out there in Liblab Land who have even the foggiest idea of the historical background to this issue.