Burke bashes Israel

September 8, 2014 by J-Wire
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Labor MP and Shadow Minister for Finance Tony Burke has spoken strongly against Israel at an Australia Palestine Advocacy Network Fundraising Dinner.

Burke’s speech, delivered last month but only just reported:

Tony Burke

Tony Burke

“I haven’t been given an official list of what members of parliament I’m meant to acknowledge, so I’m just going to say who I have seen. And whoever I haven’t seen, you can get upset with me later.

I want to acknowledge at my table here, Laurie Ferguson, Lee Rhiannon, Paul Lynch and I’ve also seen Karl Saleh from Canterbury Council. So they’re the ones I have noticed, I’m sure there are more representatives here and obviously, Your Excellencies, to have such an extraordinary representation from the diplomatic corps today makes clear just the fact that we are here representing the view of the majority of the world tonight.

One of the things that I find extraordinary, there has been a recent push that has been getting stronger and stronger in some of the papers on a number of members of parliament, they tend to have focussed on myself, Jason Clare and Craig Laundy and they’re going on the census figures of the number of people in our electorates who are of Islamic faith and therefore that somehow discredits any views we might have on Palestine.

You don’t need to be of any particular religious faith to be opposed to the bombing of children. And if anyone thinks it is only the people of Islamic faith in my electorate who have concerns about justice for Palestine, they should spend a little bit more time talking to people on the streets. These are widespread views, not necessarily based on faith but based on a sense of justice. And whenever you’re in an argument, if the argument you’re in involves justifying the bombing of people who were told ‘this was safe’, by the United Nations, then you’re on the wrong side of that argument.

And the simplest anecdote I can give from their perspective when the perspective on this issue, I have always held the view I hold, my view has never shifted, and that is I have always been a supporter of the 1967 Security Council Resolution as the only constructive way forward. I’ll never forget when I was Minister for Water in charge of the Murray-Darling reforms and I had three consecutive meetings.

The first meeting was an environment group, passionately concerned that the water supply wasn’t being looked after well enough in the Murray-Darling and there were going to be serious problems for wetlands, and they were right.

The next group was a group of irrigators, who were concerned if we did it badly, that the impact of water reform in Australia in the Murray-Darling might have on their businesses. And they were right.

The third group, this morning, three meetings in a row, was the Friends of Palestine group, who brought me photographs of what had happened to the water supply for the people who lived downstream from one of the settlements. And in terms of dealing with gravity of issue, while for myself the Murray-Darling water reforms are one of the most extraordinary things I’ll be able to do in public policy in Australia, when you see people who have had their drinking water trashed by a settlement upstream, you get a sense very quickly of proportion.

A number of people within the Labor party, who for a long time were viewed as having been always the defendants of where ever Israel was up to in any point in time in disputes over Palestine, a number of those people have found themselves very strongly now arguing to defend injustice against the Palestinian people. People like Bob Hawke and Gareth Evans. People like Graham Richardson and probably most publicly, someone like Bob Carr.

And what I think is important to note for them, is their view has never actually changed. Israel’s actions have changed. It is one thing for them to have been supporting the 1967 resolution and to have said for years, ‘well, it’s a negotiated outcome and we just haven’t got there yet’.

But when settlements are being built between Bethlehem and Ramallah, all the way south of Jericho, that’s about preventing a two state solution. It cannot be about anything else. It’s about dividing territory to prevent there from being a workable state.

What I think is important to understand from the Labor party’s perspective, is while some of the commentators are long to say, ‘this is a change that’s going on in Australian electoral politics’, the change that has been happening has been changes on the ground in Palestine, that have caused people to reflect that unless the corner is turned so on and sharply, we will never have the opportunity for a two state solution.

So from Australia, let’s not pretend we’re in control of the outcome, we’re not. But we are in control of what we say and I think Bob Carr did great work. When Bob Carr was Foreign Minister, for the first time, Australia stopped automatically lining up with whatever the voting pattern of the United States and Israel was on resolutions of the United Nations. For the first time, we refused to line up when it came to whether or not there’d be improved recognition in the General Assembly for the Palestinian people.

And for all the limitations for what we can do in Australia, we have no limitation on our capacity to speak the truth. We have no limitation to speak the truth and the truth should be spoken. That if you are serious about a two state solution, the settlement activity must cease.

If you are serious about justice, then we need to acknowledge and acknowledge the truth, that all Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal. If we’re serious about speaking the truth then we must unequivocally be able to say that East Jerusalem in occupied.

For those who are political advocates within Palestine itself, I will never know the bravery that comes with putting your life on the line and at risk, in engaging in politics in different ways. That is not something I will ever know, but in some small way, if each of us here and each of the different political parties in Australia, can pay our contribution by speaking the truth and doing so unashamedly and fearlessly, then we can at least be proud as a nation that we are on the right side of history with this debate.”

 

Fellow Labor MP Michael Danby told J-Wire: “Clearly Tony Burke and I have a different view on where the impediments lie in bringing peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Official Labor policy is to endorse ongoing direct negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority. Direct negotiations between the parties is the right road to an agreement, not the Bob Carr style manoeuvrings at the UN that seek to impose Munich style settlements on Israel like the great powers handed down on the Czech’s in 1938. My hope is Tony, Sam (Dastyari) and the group will meet visiting Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and General Secretary of the Israeli Labor Party, Hilik Bar MK, to get a more balanced perspective, especially on the missile attacks that forced five million Israelis to the air raid shelters.

However, I don’t think it will be as productive if they brought their friend Graham Richardson and his colleague Eddie Obeid to the prospective meeting.”

Comments

7 Responses to “Burke bashes Israel”
  1. Ross says:

    When Mr Tony Burke said he would never know ” the bravery that comes with putting your life on the line and at risk, in engaging in politics in different ways”, he omitted to mention ” whilst using innocent women and children as human shields”. Mr Burke should be ashamed of himself for insulting the intelligence of the majority of the Australian public with his toxic diatribe of rhetoric and misinformation. Good way to go Tony, whilst brown nosing all you’ve achieved is the loss of more votes for your party!

  2. R. Ross says:

    When Mr Tony Burke said he would never know ” the bravery that comes with putting your life on the line and at risk, in engaging in politics in different ways”, he omitted to mention ” whilst using innocent women and children as human shields”. Mr Burke should be ashamed of himself for insulting the intelligence of the majority of the Australian public with his toxic diatribe of rhetoric and misinformation. Good way to go Tony, whilst brown nosing all you’ve achieved is the loss of more votes for your party!

  3. R. Ross says:

    Mr Tony Burke needs a reality check! When he said he’ll never know “the bravery that comes with putting your life on the line and at risk, in engaging in politics in different ways”, he forgot to mention “while using women and children as human shields”. In regards to speaking the truth, he should be ashamed of himself as he is insulting the intelligence of a large proportion of the Australian public with his toxic diatribe of rhetoric and misinformation. Good way to go Tony, for losing more votes for your party!

  4. Otto Waldmann says:

    Once again the tireless rhetor, Tony Burke, while parading his lispy delivery , proves time and again that “truth”, the stuff he reckons that only HE has access to, can be manipulated as a mighty electoral weapon. Pandering to the militant social wreckers , the islamic electoral lobby, lauding a gallery of illuminati of Labor descendance, of which Bob Carr makes a splendid picture (sic),Burky constructs the type of logic which not only placed his own Party at the bottom of the political relevance heap, but provides the best example of how to estrange the informed and decent Australian.
    The water logical conduit to complex realities, is simply breathless. Israel and the Murray River system are inexorably connected at the umbilical cord of realpolitik; brilliant, just brilliant.
    Reality is that the “two state solution” is, actually, impeded by Burke’s gush of fake rhetorical dribble which he’d wish it could wash away that bloody obvious palestinian ideological stream of hate and destruction. Practically Burke and his Labor mates are being totally oblivious to the real reasons palestinians cannot be trusted by Israel AND any well balanced mind for not being granted their state wish. To Burke and his elite Labor ideologists it is all Israel’s fault, meaning that the ideology of wanton criminal antisemitism planted so well into the palestinian mind-set ( if they have any “mind ” at all )deserves to be completely ignored, not one single mention about the kind of radical changes palestinians need to make on their views of Israel’s rights if their dream is to have any chance of realisation. Just like with any other issues, Tony Burke froths at the mouth oblivious of a necessary balance , a badly needed comprehensive acknowledgement of what makes issues current and urgent in being sorted out. Well, the singular, extrapolated view of a complex world, the Australian Labor partisan way, is not what Israel considers relevant and, thus, we shall hear Burky parading his speech impeded by his signature lisp, raving on an on forever, just as the good fortunes of a Party wondering in the wilderness of common nonsense,gone and lost , particularly if they reckon that the islamic mob could be their political savior, all by the good graces of a Bob Carr “intellectual” guidance. Good luck, you losers !!!

  5. david singer says:

    Tony Burke shows the extent to which he has been brainwashed by the
    Palestinian Advocacy Network.

    Three examples:

    He states:

    1. ” I have always held the view I hold, my view has never shifted, and that is I have always been a supporter of the 1967 Security Council Resolution as the only constructive way forward.”

    Can Mr Burke explain how secure and recognized boundaries for Israel can ever be achieved as stipulated in Resolution 242 when the Palestinian Arabs demand every square kilometer of the land lost by Jordan to Israel in the Six Day War?

    2. “But when settlements are being built between Bethlehem and Ramallah, all the way south of Jericho, that’s about preventing a two state solution. It cannot be about anything else. It’s about dividing territory to prevent there from being a workable state.”

    The majority of the settlements have been built in Area C and cover no more than 5% of the West Bank territory. Israel has made offers to cede its claims in more than 90% of the West Bank in 2000 and 2008 – rejected by the Palestinian Arabs. Who is preventing a workable state? Isn’t 90% of the pie enough to satisfy the Palestinian Arab appetite?

    3. “If you are serious about justice, then we need to acknowledge and acknowledge the truth, that all Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal.”

    I don’t know of any binding Court judgement to this effect. Maybe Mr Burke can provide the legal authority for this view.

    I do know:

    (a) the term “Palestinian land” is meaningless. There are two claimants to this land and those claims remain to be resolved.
    (b) Jews have the legal right to close settlement on those lands that are not privately owned pursuant to article 6 of The Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

    Wonder if the Palestinian Advocacy Network gave Mr Burke this false information that he regurgitated in his address.

  6. Bronwyn Van Dam says:

    It’s very disappointing when politicians starting talking about something don’t obviously don’t know anything about. It’s easy to point fingers when you only have one side of the story. Tony Burke could do with a crash course in being objective and looking at the facts.

  7. Ps Peter Pritchard says:

    I have voiced my objection to Tony Burke’s stance. As a Labor member I am totally disappointed with him and others not seeing the true issues.
    This will not help him in the future I believe. That 20% of Muslims in his electorate will double if we can see the outcomes in Europe then he will have something to really think about.
    Peter

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