Joe Bullock (a Labor senator for Western Australia) has gone to the extraordinary length of publishing, in the Australian, a propaganda blast for Israel on the eve of this week's Labor conference (24-26/7/15), where the issue of Israel and Palestine is to be discussed.
In it, he asks, "Why the focus on Israel and Palestine?" and denigrates I/P-focused Labor colleagues as "obsessives" and "cranks." (ALP must support two-state Middle East peace process: A motion intended to undermine bipartisan commitment was foolish & reckless, 24/7/15)
The all-too-easy answer to his question, of course, may be discerned in my last post, Pardon My French (24/7/15).
As for the rest of us, the really interesting question is why a former union boss (up until last July, Bullock was state secretary of the right-wing Shop Distributive & Allied Employees Association), should have taken the time and trouble to emit something on this of all subjects.
Here's a sample paragraph:
"It is fashionable now to say the Israeli settlements are the cause of all the trouble, or that Benjamin Netanyahu is a barrier on the path to piece. Yet while Israel will have to give ground on settlements... so too will the Palestinians have to let go of the fiction that all descendents of the original Palestinian people are themselves refugees, with a 'right of return'."
Now if Joe can ask 'why?', so too can I:
1) Joe, why have you taken it upon yourself to label the international law-backed right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel a "fiction," while ignoring completely the real fiction in the matter, namely that the likes of Michael Danby and Mark Dreyfus (to name but two of your Labor colleagues) belong to a nebulous entity known as 'the Jewish people'; are part of a diaspora whose true home lies on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea; and can, should they so desire, migrate to Israel under the provisions of its apartheid (Jews-only) Law of Return?
2) And Joe, why does your cited paragraph bear an uncanny resemblance to the words of Israel's UN envoy, Ron Prosor?
"'UNRWA fuels false promises and gives grievance to dangerous myths. We have heard time and again that settlements are a major hurdle to peace. In these halls, no one will admit that the real obstacle is the so-called 'claim to return'... UNRWA is responsible for helping fuel this 'fiction' of the right of return to Palestinian children..." (Israeli UN envoy: UNRWA fuels 'fiction' of Palestinian 'right of return', Maya Shwayder, The Jerusalem Post, 20/5/14)