Foreign Editor Greg Sheridan sheds a tear in yesterday's Australian:
"A Labor lion has decided to roar no more, at least in parliament. Michael Danby, one of Bill Shorten's strongest supporters in the federal Labor caucus, has decided to retire from politics at the next election. Mr Danby, 63, has held the marginal seat of Melbourne Ports since 1998... " (Veteran Danby ready to call it a day, 5/7/18)
Danby's taxpayer-funded roar, however, had two essential characteristics. The first was that it was only ever heard when Israel came under scrutiny or criticism. The second was that the roar was always facilitated by that Murdoch megaphone, The Australian, without which none of us would even know who this Zionist fanatic was.
According to his good mate, Sheridan, Danby is ready to strut his stuff on the international stage:
"'This is the right time to transition to a new career in Australia or international affairs' [said Danby.]"
God help us. As if there weren't enough lunatics and fanatics striding the international stage these days. As the percipient Bob Carr put it recently: "If Michael Danby had his way we'd be running a cold War with China, the RAAF would be bombing Tehran and the Australian defence forces would be manning the Gaza fence." (See my 31/5/18 post 'If Michael Danby Had his Way...')
So heartbroken is Sheridan, in fact, that he has gone on to pen, in the same issue, a political obituary of sorts:
"I have known Danby for more than 40 years and have greatly enjoyed his humour and his connoisseur's delight in ideological eccentricities, the strange and florid plants to be observed if you journey far enough into the labyrinths of political obsession." (Danby passion will be missed by many)
Now if that ain't two, rusted-on Zionist fanatics, lamenting the glory days when the execrable Exodus narrative ruled supreme in the land down under, I don't know what is. And how's this for lipsticking the pig:
"Because he is so passionate in his commitments, he is sometimes impetuous and prone to overstatement, and I don't think he is one of nature's born administrators. But, by God, Australia would benefit if there were more like him in parliament. For Danby is utterly fearless, utterly committed to the causes he believes in, he sticks in good times and bad, and the causes he champions are good causes." (Danby passion will be missed by many)
Of course, distracting us with talk of Danby's occasional asides on Tibetans, Uighers, and Darfuris doesn't disguise what really keeps him awake at night.
Sheridan eventually gets around to the bleeding obvious, however, albeit in a textbook example of understatement: "Danby is a strong, though not uncritical, supporter of Israel." He then adds, "This, too, is a good cause."
Leaving aside the nonsense about Danby's alleged critical support of Israel - show me a Danby (or Sheridan) criticism of Israel and I'll show you a unicorn - here is what Danby's "good cause" means today:
"At least 134 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli gunfire as thousands of Palestinian women demonstrated along the heavily fortified fence with Israel in the besieged Gaza Strip." (Israeli forces wound scores of women in Gaza rally, aljazeera.com, 4/7/18)