By Adam Kreuzer, Antisemitism Education and Strategies Officer, Committee Member – Australian Jewish Association (AJA)
Monday 22nd January 2024
Last month, an open letter was co-organised by the Australian Palestine Advocacy Network, NSW Labor MP Anthony D’Adam and Greens MP Jenny Leong. This letter was endorsed and signed by dozens of high-profile Federal Labor figures including Maria Vamvakinou from Victoria, WA senators Louise Pratt and Fatima Payman, as well as former NSW Labor premier, foreign affairs minister and long-time anti-Israel proponent, Bob Carr.
Amongst a broad range of biased, hypocritical, and antisemitic vitriol being espoused, the following statements contained within the letter caught my eye for major focus and concern:
“It is beyond dispute that Israel is committed to policies designed to entrench the domination of one people over another in the territories of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories” the letter states. “Attempts to deny this, or smear those who allege it, are an attempt to defy truth and reality. These events and policies have involved the destruction of Palestinian society and the denial of the legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinian people.”
This blatant disregard by the ALP at state and federal level to support the sovereign rights of Israel as a democratic country to take whatever means necessary to safeguard the security of their citizens is in no way surprising, when you look at the top ten federal electorates which have the highest percentage of Muslim residents. This is represented in the table below and shows that Federal Labor would be committing electoral carnage by advocating for anything but a clearly pro-Palestinian approach, both locally and on the international stage.
|% Muslim Population
|Current Member of Parliament (MP)
|Portfolio(s) of Responsibility
|Minister for Education
|Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Minister for the Arts, Leader of the House
|Chair of Joint Standing Committee on Migration
|Minister for Climate Change and Energy
|Chair of Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, Chair of Select Committee on Workforce Australia Employment Services
|Chair of Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security
|Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs
|Minister for Industry and Science
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016 Census, extracted, and adjusted to new electorate boundaries by Griffith University’s Relational Insights Data Lab
Just imagine the backlash at the ballot box at the next election in some of the above federal electorates where one in five residents are Muslim, should Labor show even remote or lukewarm support for Israel on any level. Why would they?
In contrast to this shameful anti-Israel bias from Labor, Federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has provided unequivocal support to the Jewish community following the mass killings by Hamas in Israel on October 7th last year. Dutton has been on record stating “if we needed any more convincing of Hamas’ unashamed sadism, it’s the glee they have displayed in stating that they will film and post online the execution of those little boys and girls, of men and women, of survivors from the Holocaust.”
If you needed more convincing, Dutton also stated that “the Coalition supports – and proudly supports – Israel’s right to do what is necessary and needed in the circumstances with every asset available to safeguard its sovereignty, to bolster its borders, to protect its people, and to thwart threats it now faces – the existential threats. There must be no restraint shown to those who showed no restraint themselves in committing these vicious and vile acts of terrorism.”
It’s no secret that Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is a long standing, passionate advocate for Palestinian rights and clearly supports their agenda to the detriment of Israel.
The proof is in the pudding, as Albanese is a founding member of the Parliamentary Friends of Palestine group. Albanese is on record (when Deputy Prime Minister) as saying that he is “a strong advocate of justice for Palestinians” and that he is “very critical of a lot of Israel’s policies.”
Albanese is also on record emphasising the importance of applying pressure “where we can, to try and redress the repressive policies of the Israeli government and its military.” Members of Albanese’s own branch in his inner Sydney electorate of Grayndler recently accused Israel of “acts of retribution on an innocent Palestinian population.”
Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you sit, one thing is for sure. If you are hoping that the ALP will support Israel, forget it.