Israeli Apologists’ Frenzy in Australia


If you criticized South African apartheid then you were an anti-white racist. That’s the logic of equating any criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

In his soon to be released memoirs, former Australian Labor foreign minister Bob Carr remarks on the considerable influence the Israel lobby in Australia had on Julia Gillard when she was prime minister. For this he has been labeled a bigot by the most hard-line Zionist in the Labor Party, federal MP Michael Danby.

Danby has a history of manipulating sympathy for Jewish people, particularly because of the holocaust, into real bigotry: justifying the repression the Palestinians.

This comment is now typical of Israel’s most ardent supporters around the world.

Apologizing for the existence of the Israeli apartheid state, but also for any particular Israeli government policy, they employ a cheap trick: pretending that Zionism and the Jewish religion are the same thing.

Zionism – the idea that Jews need to have a state, Israel, in which they have a privileged status – is a 19th century invention. That’s very recent compared with the history of the Jewish people.

Carr referred, very carefully, to the “Israel lobby”. He makes the important distinction between people who are Jewish and the state of Israeli. The president of Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC, modeled on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), Mark Leibler, in attacking Carr, referred to the “Jewish lobby”. It is the same sleight of hand.

Carr is actually a liberal Zionist. He supports the continued existence of the Israeli state. He is a former president of Labor Friends of Israel.

He thinks that the Israeli policy of annexing more and more Palestinian land on the West Bank is an obstacle to Israel’s security and that it’s ok for the Palestinian Authority, which rules the West Bank (to the extent allowed by Israel’s armed forces), to be recognized by United Nations bodies.

Carr writes that Julia Gillard opposed him on these issues and was very sensitive to the views of AIJAC, whose main activity is to promote in Australia the interests of Israel’s rulers. For that presumably honest reflection, even one of Israel’s friends is now charged with “bigotry”.

The conservative Australian government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott is also keen to label as anti-Semitic campaigns against Israel’s expansionist policies. But AIJAC is not the main reason the Labor and Liberal parties support Israel.

The US alliance is the backbone of the foreign policy of both parties, because it gives Australia’s rulers greater clout in the world. That’s especially true in Australia’s “backyards” (it’s a lucky country with two): the south-west Pacific and south-east Asia.

The greater the global power of the United States, the more useful the alliance is to the Australian state and corporations. In return for the alliance, governments have sent relatively small Australian military contingents to fight in US wars and generally support US foreign policy.

As its most reliable ally in the Middle East, Israel plays a pivotal role in US efforts to maintain and expand its power. That’s the main reason both the conservative Australian Liberal Party and the Australian Labor Party support Israel.

AIJAC, the Australian Union of Jewish Students and similar organizations spend an inordinate amount of time slandering critics of the apartheid Israeli state. The charges, now escalating into absurdity, say more about those leveling them than about their targets.

But they make the job of selling the government’s support for Israel easier.

Rick Kuhn is a long-term Jewish campaigner for the rights of Palestinians, contributor to Red Flag and the author of Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism and, with Tom Bramble, Labor’s Conflict: Big Business, Workers and the Politics of Class.

November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”
November 23, 2015
Vijay Prashad
The Doctrine of 9/11 Anti-Immigration
John Wight
After Paris: Hypocrisy and Mendacity Writ Large
Joseph G. Ramsey
No Excuses, No Exceptions: the Moral Imperative to Offer Refuge
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS Thrives on the Disunity of Its Enemies
Andrew Moss
The Message of Montgomery: 60 Years Later
Jim Green
James Hansen’s Nuclear Fantasies
Robert Koehler
The Absence of History in the Aftermath of Paris
Dave Lindorff
The US Media and Propaganda
Dave Randle
France and Martial Law
Gilbert Mercier
If We Are at War, Let’s Bring Back the Draft!
Alexey Malashenko
Putin’s Syrian Gambit
Binoy Kampmark
Closing the Door: US Politics and the Refugee Debate
Julian Vigo
A Brief Genealogy of Disappearance and Murder
John R. Hall
Stuck in the Middle With You
Barbara Nimri Aziz
McDonalds at 96th Street
David Rovics
At the Center of Rebellion: the Life and Music of Armand
Weekend Edition
November 20-22, 2015
Jason Hirthler
Paris and the Soldiers of the Caliphate: More War, More Blowback
Sam Husseini
The Left and Right Must Stop the Establishment’s Perpetual War Machine
Mike Whitney
Hillary’s War Whoop
Pepe Escobar
In the Fight Against ISIS, Russia Ain’t Taking No Prisoners
Ajamu Baraka
The Paris Attacks and the White Lives Matter Movement
Andrew Levine
The Clintons are Coming, the Clintons are Coming!
Linda Pentz Gunter
Let’s Call Them What They Are: Climate Liars
Paul Street
Verging on Plutocracy? Getting Real About the Unelected Dictatorship
Nur Arafeh
Strangling the Palestinian Economy
Patrick Howlett-Martin
The Paris Attacks: a Chronicle Foretold
Vijay Prashad
Rebuilding Syria With BRICS and Mortar
Brian Cloughley
Why US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is the Biggest Threat to World Peace