No rainbow’s end for the Jews of Oz

May 27, 2022 by Melanie Phillips -
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Australian Jews woke up this week to a new and unsettling reality. Scott Morrison’s conservative, pro-Israel Liberal Party government was defeated, and the new prime minister is the Labor Party leader, Anthony Albanese.

Melanie Phillips

Albanese has a history of anti-Israel positions. He has declared himself a “strong advocate of justice for Palestinians,” called Israel an “oppressor” and accused it of collective punishment against the Palestinian Arabs.

In 2019, he travelled to Britain, where he met the British Labour Party’s hard-left former leader Jeremy Corbyn. Afterwards, he posted a photograph of himself and Corbyn smiling together with the caption: “Great to catch up with @jeremycorbyn today in #Westminster at a critical time in British politics.”

Like his friend Corbyn, Albanese is rooted in radical socialism. He would have taken note, however, of how Corbyn and his hard-left cronies made the British Labour Party unelectable through their extremist policies and omnipresent anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

So Albanese has now taken care to tone down his Israel rhetoric. Earlier this month, he declared that “Israel will have Australia’s friendship and support” from a Labour government and said he was “passionate” about opposing the movement to boycott Israel.

Yet last year Penny Wong, who is expected to become the new government’s foreign minister, moved an amendment at a special platform conference cementing a 2018 commitment for “the next Labour government to recognize Palestine as a state,” and expecting “that this issue will be an important priority for the next Labor government.”

This means that Albanese’s party supports the unilateral denial of political and legal reality with which the Palestinians seek to establish a terrorist state on Israel’s doorstep working for its destruction under the imprimatur of the West.

It means that Albanese’s party supports the agenda of a Palestinian Authority that pumps out incitement to kill Israelis and steal their land, teaches its children to hate Jews and rewards the families of those who murder them.

Israeli left-wingers maintain that the Australian Labor Party’s position is no different from standard left-wing support for Israel in the West—supporting the “two-state solution” and opposing Israeli “settlements” in the “occupied Palestinian territories.”

But that’s precisely the problem. For you don’t have to be a rabid anti-Semite or overt Israel-basher to present a danger to Israel.

The supposedly “moderate” leftist position does that, too, since it promotes the Palestinian narrative that is predicated upon demonizing Israel through falsehoods and distortions, writing the Jews out of their own national story and promulgating grotesque, Nazi-style anti-Jewish tropes.

Not only does this mean that the “moderate” left gives ground to Israel’s existential Palestinian enemy by denying that it is indeed an existential enemy. And not only does it mean that such self-professed “friends” of Israel fail to make the case that there is no “occupied Palestinian territory” and that Israel stands for law, justice and truth against those who would snuff all of those things out.

It also means that these “friends” fail to hold the line against the unabashed enemies of Israel, whose hostility—as has happened in Australia, just as in America and Britain—accordingly bleeds into brazen anti-Semitism.

These days, the “hard” left has swallowed the “soft” left, which either lacks the arguments or the courage to face it down. In America, members of the Democratic Party who consider themselves to be “moderate” leftists and friends of Israel have allowed themselves in effect to be held hostage by “The Squad” of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Congress members, and by the radical Bernie Sanders wing.

In Britain, the Jewish community’s principal representative body, the Board of Deputies, has been all but paralyzed over their need to stand up for certain truths—such as the legality of Israeli “settlements” or the anti-Semitism of Black Lives Matter or the Muslim community—as a result of the disproportionate influence of left-wing Jewish activist groups.

In Australia, these dangers are now far worse because Albanese will probably need to govern in coalition with the Greens Party.

Greens politics were key to Morrison’s defeat, thanks to the obsession with man-made climate change that appears to have gripped the Australian public. Politicians nicknamed the “teals”—they blend green ideology with “blue” conservative fiscal restraint—saw off a clutch of Liberal Party politicians, mostly in affluent areas of Sydney and Melbourne.

The most prominent of these Liberal scalps was the Jewish parliamentarian Josh Frydenberg, who had been touted as Morrison’s likely successor as Liberal leader.

But while many Jews themselves subscribe to man-made climate change theory, greens politics are highly dangerous to the Jewish people.

In Australia, the Greens are the only political party to have rejected the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s working definition of anti-Semitism. Last year, their national conference voted to “halt military cooperation and military trade with Israel.”

Two months later, a former high-profile Green parliamentary candidate, Julian Burnside, tweeted that Israel’s “treatment of the Palestinians looks horribly like the German treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.” After a public rebuke from the Jewish community, Greens leader Adam Bandt said his party “abhors anti-Semitism in all its forms.”

Across the West, green supporters tend to be venomously hostile to Israel. This is not surprising, considering that fundamental to deep green ecology, which was enthusiastically embraced in the 1930s by the German Nazi Party, lies implacable hostility to the Jewish roots of the West.

Greens ideology, which gives priority to the inanimate and animal world over humanity, is pagan and inimical to the narrative and values of the Hebrew Bible. It sets out explicitly to oppose the book of Genesis by dethroning humankind as the pinnacle of creation.

Setting themselves against modernity and capitalism, its supporters gravitate towards the anti-Semitic belief that behind capitalism lies global Jewish money driving the world to hell in a handcart in the interests of Jews worldwide.

Repudiating reason, the Greens’ driving cause of man-made global warming theory shares with anti-Zionism the disturbing characteristic of a narrative based on nonsense that has nevertheless been accepted by many as an unchallengeable truth.

For the evidence just doesn’t support this theory. Current global temperature fluctuations are within normal historic climate patterns. Extreme weather events are not occurring more frequently.

Global temperatures, which according to climate-change dogma are inescapably pushed upwards by rising CO2 levels, have actually been flat-lining for the past seven years.

There is a pernicious symbiosis between anti-Zionism and “progressive” ideologies such as the greens agenda and identity politics. All are based on untruths or malevolent distortions. All aim to destroy Western culture. And all are fundamentally anti-Judaism.

Australia is a very different society from America or Britain. With no comparable history of imperialism, racial segregation or religious persecution, it is less haunted than America or Britain by cultural ghosts conjuring up historic guilt or communal vengeance, although Australia has one or two spectres of its own.

Nevertheless, just like other Western countries, Australia has also been troubled by rising anti-Semitism and Islamic radicalization, and the indulgence of both by the left-wing intelligentsia.

The danger is that Australia’s Labor government will now emulate the Democrats in America—professing support for Israel while pursuing an agenda that undermines it at every turn, puts it in danger and inescapably makes the lives of Australian Jews more difficult.

The unhappy fact is that wherever a left-wing administration is elected today, this presages a rocky road ahead for all who care about justice, freedom and truth.

The election of Albanese’s Labor Party isn’t just a blow for defenders of Israel. It also threatens to turn Australia into a weak link in the defence of the West, which becomes more urgent by the day.

Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, broadcaster and author, writes a weekly column for JNS. Currently a columnist for “The Times of London,” her personal and political memoir, “Guardian Angel,” has been published by Bombardier, which also published her first novel, “The Legacy.” Go to to access her work.


9 Responses to “No rainbow’s end for the Jews of Oz”
  1. Liat Kirby says:

    Australian Jews will never be anything like US Democrat Jews, Michael. They’re worlds apart, most especially in regard to how they view Israel. And the problem with your assessment is in its generality, speaking of everyone in terms of category and assuming their priorities.
    The Australian people voted thoughtfully on the 21st May, being rightfully untrusting of both major parties. Insofar as Australian Jewish votes are concerned, it is surely right to think that we are voting for an Australian government, not an Israeli one. I for one would prefer any Australian government to support Israel categorically and in every way possible, but I will not support the kind of government the coalition had become. It’s not in Australia’s interest to do that.
    Unfortunately for Josh Frydenberg, his avid support for someone of Scott Morrison’s ilk was such that it affected his own seat. Also, unfortunately, he only speaks rhetoric – the consummate politician. Morrison and the politics the Liberals played out on all sorts of issues that should not have been politicised has seen the demise of a party and its values that will take a long time to recover from. Lies, smugness and arrogance lost the day. I will miss Dave Sharma, a fine man, a straight-talking man and someone who staunchly defended Israel and told the truth a lot of the time.

    Perhaps give people the benefit of their own individuality instead of name-calling and categorising. . Melanie Phillips wasn’t writing about Australian politics or Albanese; she was projecting research data onto an unknown quantity. She should come here to do her homework.

  2. Liat Kirby says:

    Melanie Philips, I am an admirer of much of what you write, however, your article here on Australian politics, the Labor Party in particular, shows no real knowledge of your subject matter. Instead you have extrapolated out your knowledge of Jeremy Corbyn and England’s Labour Party and the US Democrats to connect and land solidly with Anthony Albanese and the ALP. It misses the mark completely.

    Albanese ‘is rooted in radical socialism’! No, Albanese, who came from a poor working-class background, is rooted in the reality that provides understanding of the real necessity of making life more fair and equitable for people who are underprivileged. He actually cares about this. As any politician, he will have to compromise in many ways to deliver good, sound government. He certainly would wish to remain independent of the Greens, who are a far bigger threat to Israel in their thinking than the ALP. Anthony Albanese is a decent man who believes in fair and orderly government. Nothing like the picture you have painted.

    I am as much as you, against the burgeoning left-wing intelligentsia and all that that represents. Albanese is not part of that. It’s true the Liberal coalition government in Australia is a more direct and consistent supporter of Israel in a way, we as Jews, prefer. However, as an Australian the vote for government must be cast on the worth of government in and for Australia, and the Morrison coalition was not worthy of that. There is great relief from all kinds of people that this 9 year Liberal reign is over, where lies and deception, financial rorts and lack of inhumanity made terrible inroads into our democracy.
    Our Jewish organisations here will have to work hard to push Jewish perspective and needs onto the ALP and protest strongly if we think political thinking re Israel is going awry. Certainly, that is so.

    If you write about another country’s politics, you need to do your homework and make your comments singularly apt.

  3. Michael burd says:

    Unfortunately Melanie has hit a nerve with Australian Jews particularly Progressive left who would have voted for the most Left wing ,anti Zionist Cabal in Australian History . Of course these Jews will deny just as an alcoholic will deny they are an alcoholic or a drug addict denying they are addicts . Australian jews are following American Democrat Jews who equally prioritise all this Climate Crap , Gender Identity and all the other Leftist Woke ideology way before the safety and well being of Israel as the National state of the Jews and Jewish Human rights It is sad these Jews Join anti semites, anti Zionists, Socialists marxists in ousting the likes of Frydenberg and Sharma and welcoming in such a Left wing Coalition including so many single issue Extremists and anti Semitic Greens .

  4. Doodie Ringelblum says:

    I am very curious why these two sentences are juxtaposed:

    ‘Albanese has a history of anti-Israel positions. He has declared himself a “strong advocate of justice for Palestinians”.’

    Does the author feel that the latter is evidence of the former?

  5. Adrian Jackson says:

    In Australia the ALP spell the word Labor without a “u”. Ms Phillips the people of Australia have spoken with a big vote for a ALP and anything you say is irrelevant to Australians. Ms Phillips do you live in Australia or New Zealand or are you one of those Americans who seem to have much coverage in J-Wire after Israeli commentators rightfully. Ms Phillips Australia is not part of the USA and nor do we want to be.

  6. robert grynberg says:

    nothing surprising from the pen of ms.Phillips plenty of exaggerations and distortions amongst some truisms .But to call the party the LABOUR party when since 1912 it has been LABOR[exclusively} suggests that ms.Phillips should confine her comments to Britain and not just feed of the Murdoch press here

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