Bob-sessive compulsive distorter

Bob Carr Israel Bob Carr speaking at an ALP policy forum on Palestine at Canterbury-Hurlstone RSL Club in Sydney on June 27. Photo: Shane Desiatnik

Bob Carr’s attacks on Israel and silence on China highlight his hypocrisy, writes Labor MP Michael Danby.

DOES he have no sense of shame? Is there nothing he won’t do to defame Israel, or the local Jewish community, to push his obsessions about unilaterally recognising “Palestine”? 

He is being given a national platform despite discrediting himself over the last months as an abject mouthpiece of Beijing.

Yes, I am speaking of Bob Carr and his anti-Israel obsessions, promoted again on the front page of a newspaper, this time The Australian: “Labor to cast Israel adrift after 40 years” (03/07).

Of course, these sudden flurries of proposed resolutions at future Labor Party conferences are not yet decided. Nor do they determine what happens at Labor’s national conference and even less, what a future Labor government will do. Can you imagine Bill Shorten or Penny Wong being dictated to by Carr, whose obsessions on this issue did so much to destroy the standing of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard? 

The prominence of this issue in Australian domestic policy has nothing to do with current events in the Middle East. How could Australia recognise a regime where one element, the Palestinian Authority, refuses to pay the electricity bill to power one of the basic services for other Palestinians in Gaza – the sewage works? Perhaps Bob Carr should stand next to the sewage outflow in the Mediterranean and explain why Australians should “recognise” Hamas, which allows stinking human waste to flow into the sea because it prefers to spend money building tunnels to infiltrate under Israel. 

Three times the Palestinians have been offered the two-state solution that Carr and his cronies claim they support. Three times Arafat and now Abbas have just run away from these offers. Yes, some of Bob Carr’s Muslim supporters have no idea of the first offer made in 2000. Bill Clinton publicly affirms that it was Arafat who ran away from the 2000 offer made by then Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak. 

Of course, these supporters, (who really motivate Carr and whom he is often pictured addressing) will not know of the two states with land swaps offered by Ehud Olmert in 2008. 

I suspect some of Carr’s allies may not know of the famed Olmert offer: How could they? They have never engaged in Canberra in the 20 years I have been there with any Jewish or Israeli spokesmen. Sadly, even when Israeli high-tech or start-up mavens have presentations to MPs, they are boycotted by these narrow-minded NSW types. 

Too few know the reasons for the failure of the third peace offer. Recent revelations in Haaretz  (07/06), the left-wing Israeli newspaper show again that it was the Palestinians who abandoned the recent proposals presented by then US secretary of state John Kerry on behalf of President Obama:

“When Kerry presented [the peace terms] to Abbas, the Palestinian leader became visibly angry, saying he could not put his signature on such a document…

“When Kerry met Abbas in Paris on February 19, 2014 and presented him with this [revised] version of the framework accord, the Palestinian president responded with anger and disappointment. The weak wording [on Jerusalem] was a nonstarter for him.

“… Abbas didn’t accept Obama’s framework document. He didn’t reject it, though – he simply didn’t respond.

“The Obama administration was disappointed by his reaction. Obama asked Abbas to ‘see the big picture’ instead of squabbling with ‘this or that detail’ – to no avail. A month later, Kerry’s peace talks collapsed.” 

What does the front page article in The Australian and yet another round of state branch resolutions portend? That a small group of people led by Carr are willing to torpedo the entire Labor cause at a time when Liberal infighting is so bad that there is a strong possibility that Bill Shorten will be our next prime minister. 

How is it that Bob Carr gets away with it? Surely he is the most discredited person on public policy in Australia. On Four Corners, and in numerous articles in the left-leaning ABC and Fairfax he has been revealed as a shameless Wooden Horse for Beijing. 

He is paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to head an outfit called the Australia China Research Institute (ACRI), an outfit that twists and turns according to the zigging and zagging of Xi Jinping’s foreign policy. You can rely on Carr and ACRI to spout the Beijing line on various issues inimical to Australian interests such as fortified fake islands in the South China Sea that jeopardise 60 per cent of Australia’s maritime trade. Cruel treatment of human rights and civil society workers in China like defence lawyers and, of course, the great Chinese dissident and Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo are obscured by Carr and Co.

You will never hear him say a word about the brutal suppression of seven million peaceful Tibetan Buddhists who seek only cultural autonomy in a Chinese federation. Israel and the territories garner a full third of international media coverage currently. By contrast, there is almost a total ban on journalists, politicians or tourists visiting, let alone reporting on, Tibet. Do they have something to hide, Bob?

This is the man who pontificates on Palestine, yet who is pictured in the People’s Daily and received a purloined Tanka (sacred Tibetan art work). This is the man who is lecturing the Australian Jewish community on Israel. 

Senior Labor leaders will ignore him in office but the community and the media should call him out for the hypocrite that he is. 

I repeat my offer to “pay for an economy airline ticket to fly die-hard Israel critic Bob Carr to the Gaza Strip so he can join volunteers supervising an eight-year delayed election by the Islamists of Hamas”. “One condition – he must object to gays being thrown off roofs and (Hamas’s) support for honour killings of women.”

To anyone concerned about the safety of the ex-premier, I suggest, “Given Mr Carr’s intimate relationship with Beijing, the Chinese communists could provide him with a security escort from the People’s Liberation Army.”

Labor MP Michael Danby is the federal member for Melbourne Ports.