Borowick responds to Bishop

September 30, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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The Australia-Israel Labor Dialogue co-founder and Union leader Michael Borowick has responded to Julie Bishop’s attack on Michael Danby and the ALP’s support for Israel.

Michael Borowick

Michael Borowick

Borowick said: “Julie Bishop’s attack on Michael Danby and the Australian Labor Party’s support for Israel is an incredibly brazen and irrelevant response to Michael Danby’s questioning of the Foreign Minister’s proposal to strengthen Australia’s relationship with Iran, a country well-known for vowing to exterminate the Jewish state.

It is brazenly partisan of Julie Bishop to attempt to make the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement a partisan issue and to ask Michael Danby, of all people, to apologise for the Labor Party’s alleged support for BDS. The Labor Party does not and has not ever supported the BDS movement. It has consistently opposed the BDS movement. It explicitly and unreservedly rejected the BDS movement in its most recent National Conference just weeks ago as a direct result of the lobbying of MPs like Michael Danby, Mark Dreyfus and Stephen Conroy. The Australia-Israel Labor Dialogue’s work at the National Conference and beyond connecting Australian Labor figures with their counterparts in Israel has played a crucial role together with Michael Danby and his Parliamentary colleagues to ensure Australian Labor continues to resist calls to unilaterally recognise the state of Palestine and abandon its support for Israel. All of this work is jeopardised by partisan and irrelevant comments like the Foreign Minister’s. Labor’s Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Tanya Plibersek are both on the record opposing BDS.

It is one thing for the Foreign Minister to try to score cheap political points over Labor by trying to wedge the party on the issue of Israel, but it is absurd for Ms Bishop to claim Michael Danby has anything to apologise for on support for Israel.

She is clearly trying to change the subject from her worrying deal with Iran by ignoring very real security concerns in the Jewish and Australian-Israeli communities at the prospect of Australia sharing intelligence with Iran and proposing to open Iranian consulates in Melbourne and Sydney. This poses a far greater threat to Australia’s friendship with Israel and surely the Jewish community than its abstention on motions at the already-biased UN. Iran’s exporting of terrorism and vow to destroy the world’s only Jewish state is surely a more important consideration for the Australian Government than its obsession with deporting migrants.

The Foreign Minister ought to apologise for her outrageous and irrelevant attempt to make bipartisan opposition to the BDS movement a partisan issue and her laughable outburst at Michael Danby, surely the Parliament’s most prominent supporter of Israel.”

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had responded to a call, including a web site and a billboard at a busy Melbourne intersection to Say No to a Liberal Iran Deal.

Ms Bishop called Danby’s comments “juvenile”. Her full statement: “The government also rejects the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign supported by many within Labor and the union movement.

Mr Danby voted for the weakening of Australia’s border protection laws under the Labor government, which resulted in thousands of Iranians entering Australia illegally.

The Coalition government stopped the flow of illegal migration and is negotiating with Iran to facilitate the return of its citizens.

Mr Danby should apologise for his role in supporting the weakening of our border protection laws, and for the Labor movement’s support of BDS before making further juvenile comments.”


4 Responses to “Borowick responds to Bishop”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    There are many people with informed opinions not in Canberra, Eleonora Mostert. And there are many people in Canberra who let ego and ambition get in the way of ethical and constructive thinking, both sides of the house.

    If I ever need lessons in how to be nasty rather than take part in intelligent discussion, I’ll seek you out. Sarcasm is a cop-out – avoids engaging with person or topic.

  2. Liat Nagar says:

    Julie Bishop is playing a dangerous game in seeking to misrepresent the Labor Party’s actual stance on Israel issues. The Palestinian-Israel situation is bad enough, and complex enough, inflaming as it does so many around the world to passionately embrace myth instead of truth and employ hatred and anti-Semitism in the name of it. She perhaps doesn’t realise she’s contributing to the whole ugly scenario with her easy comments about Labor and BDS – an Australian Foreign Affairs Minister needs to be able to do better than that.

    She is punching above her weight here, and needs to develop some maturity and wisdom quick smart if she’s going to attempt to make her mark in any sort of way in Middle East issues. Her job is more than one of swanning around in elegant style, pronouncing as if expert on all manner of things. She has a lot to learn. Michael Danby deserves answers and she should do her homework and give them (she might be shocked to learn what she’s actually putting in place with all her Iran suggestions). It’s not too late for her to back down or modify her position with Iran. It would show necessary humility and courage to do so.

    • Eleonora Mostert says:

      wow you seem to have all the answers, why aren’t you in Canberra?

  3. Douglas Kirsner says:

    Very good comments. Michael Danby is a pro-active leader of anti-BDS with his incomparable Max Breener sit-ins and a vital voice against the dangerous Iran deal.

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