Labor slammed by one of its own

February 4, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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A former national president of the Australian Labor Party has criticised its NSW branch following the publication of motions seeking to ban its members from participating in Jewish sponsored trips to Israel.

The motion will be raised at the NSW Labor conference to be held in Sydney next weekend.

Warren Mundine

Warren Mundine

Warren Mundine, a former national president of the Labor party told “The Australian” newspaper that banning Labor politicians from visiting Israel “is illogical verging on an anti-Semitic approach”.

He said that Israel is the only country that is the subject of proposed banned visits. He told The Australian: “What is the difference with this country? The only difference is that they are Jewish and I just find that sickening.”

The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies  organise tours to Israel for politicians and journalists.

CEO of the NSWJBD Vic Alhadeff told J-Wire: “WE have been running these trips for 25 years and they always include a visit to the West Bank where the politicians are briefed by high-ranking Palestinian officials. We also take them to refugee camps.  This ensures the integrity of the programs. The motion to ban politicians does not make sense. There should be more trips rather than less. The tours give participants an opportunity to assess the situation in the region for themselves. ”

The conference will hear 39 resolutions focusing on the Israel-Palestine situation compared with 17 dealing with the international matters. Mundine said that Labor members should be aware that Israel is “the only democracy in the region” and had “a parliament of Jewish, Arab, Christian and Muslim politicians”.

Federal Labor MP Michael Danby said: “I’m sure the NSW Labor Party will be reasonable and find a compromise that treats its members and Parliamentarians like the intelligent adults they are. [Former NSW Premier and federal Foreign Minister] Bob Carr and NSW Labor parliamentarian  Shaoquett Mosselmane are maliciously pushing through these motions, pursuing fringe agendas at the risk of the reputation of NSW Labor. I’m sure that the party will resist their destructive influence.”

He reiterated Labor leader Bill Shorten’s comment that he trusts his MPs to make responsible and fair decisions on their international travel.

Australia Israel Labor Dialogue NSW Convenor, Greg Holland, said: “This is not only unprecedented, it is an outrageous infringement of an individual’s right to travel and learn about the world.

Our great Labor Party has never imposed such a controlling and totalitarian imposition on it’s people. The freedom to choose one’s own travel plans is a fundamental human right.

People want to visit the Region for a whole range of reasons including to understand innovation, trade union bilateral relations, Labor Party dialogue, Gay Rights, Multiculturalism, and co-existence. It is the individual’s decision whether or not to accept a subsidy to make a visit to Israel and Palestine. Our organisation proudly helps people get to the other side of the world to visit Ramallah as well as Jerusalem, in order to learn and listen first hand at what is going on. If people choose to come or not, that is their fundamental right. Let’s call this move for what it is – fear from those who want to decide for others what they must think. How very un-Australian”.

Whoever wishes to learn about what the Israelis and Palestinians think and say themselves about the conflict, and then make up their own mind, they are always welcome to join us on our Study Tours. We aren’t afraid.”

Executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein said: “We continue to believe that for  this resolution to be carried would be a damning indictment of the Labor Party. It is in effect saying that ALP members, including Members of Parliament, lack integrity, judgement and intellectual skills to assess an area of policy if provided with an opportunity to learn more about it. All our groups to the Middle East spend time with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and are respected for drawing their own conclusions, as any past participant will attest.

This resolution is part of a bullying campaign to try to stop members of the ALP from learning about the genuine complexities of the Middle East, by people who prefer ignorance and simplistic slogans to informed debate.  AIJAC is hopeful that ALP members will reject this proposal, which is intellectually offensive and  discriminatory”.


8 Responses to “Labor slammed by one of its own”
  1. Ian Katz says:

    Thank goodness for tony Burke Maria vamvikolou Sam daytari Jason Clare Melissa parke Luke foley and the NSW and Queensland branches of labor ready to defend Israel. Yeah right

  2. Paul Winter says:

    Warren Mundine is to be congratulated on his principled stance against Labour’s antisemites posing as anti-Zionists. The USSR has died but the looney Left – a significant part of the Labour Party – still persists with the KGB’s zhivsektaia’s campaign against Jews.

    In all of this “balance” baloney which ignores that balance already exists with politicians and journalists visiting those Arabs who want a state – that which the Jewish people have – a point of equity and logic seem to be missing: if visitors are to go to both the state of Israel and a non-functioning authority, why should Jews be expected to fund the trip to both places?

  3. MIchael Burd says:

    We have Mark Dreyfus !! what do you mean we Tonto ? come on Henry what are you smoking … you must be referring to the Muslim community in Dandenong >

    • Henry Herzog says:

      Michael, you keep banging on about Mark Dreyfus’ appearance on Q&A last year, or whenever, and the Muslims in his electorate and you are wrong on both counts, and you know you are. Regarding Q&A, Mark did his research as any competent barrister would, on where the other panellists stand on issues such as Israel. That woman out on nowhere, delivered this rubbish trying to bait Mark, which he didn’t take and did the right thing by not giving her any more oxygen, and that was the end of that. I recall Josh Frydenberg’s response to a similar situation and his response was pretty pathetic, which even Tony Jones made a point off. No criticism by you on that, ay! Now you check-out the boundaries of Mark’s electorate of Isaacs, and Dandenong is only a small part of it. And how many Muslims, exactly are there in Dandenong compared to others? Bugger-all.And what do you expect for Mark to do with the Muslims in his electorate, who he happens, to also represent. I think it’s called democracy. And guess what, he makes no secrets at all of being Jewish and supporting Israel, which has publicly done. You too Michael, on hearing Dreyfus’s name, respond like Pavlov’s dog.

      • Henry Herzog says:

        Furthermore, Michael, your attacks on Mark Dreyfus and the ALP only makes it harder for Michael Danby, our most valuable and trusted MP, to be re-elected.

        • Lynne Newington says:

          Maybe The Australian who supports Tony Abbott is afraid you’ll steal the Liberals’ thunder.
          A pretty good perk anyway if you ask me, an all round trip all expenses paid, I wonder how many within the Jewish community wouldn’t mind a trip in kind.

  4. Serge Liberman says:

    Is the Labor Party turning back to the notorious anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, anti-anything Jewish Bill Hartley/Joan Coxsedge/3CR days?

  5. Henry Herzog says:

    Not only did the former president of the ALP, the wonderful Warren Mundine, condemn this racist rubbish from the NSW ALP, but Labor Stawell Peter Beattie has also come out calling those proposing this motion as “Stalinists” and condemning the motion as “smacking of a single-minded obsession with Israel” (The Australian 4/2), just as is that Bob Carr, who I’ve called an idiot in the AJN and criticized him in secular newspapers.

    But the Liberal Party has Friend of Palestine, Health Minister,Susan Ley, and is developing relations with Holocaust denying and genocidal Iran.

    Thank goodness we also have Michael Danby and Mark Dreyfus in the ALP and others, including opposition leader Bill Shorten, formed PM Julia Gillard and Mike Kelly who support and defend Israel in objective and informed ways rather than Carr and his anti-Semitic mob who have the intellect to only respond to stimuli, like Pavlov’s dog.

    Also check out the cartoon of Carr in todays The Oz.

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