Bob Carr claims that his recently-published diary is self-deprecating. Which makes sense to me, because he seems to have a lot to be self-deprecating about....
My parents used to use an old Polish proverb on occasions. The gist of its meaning is that people are usually themselves guilty of that which they accuse others. It seems to apply to Carr. His obsessive fixation on mediaeval Jewish conspiracy theories are a projection of his own modus operandi rather than any reflection of reality.
Carr's blustering about having more energy than 16 gladiators, and his obvious glee at seeing "fear dance in her eyes" when he raised the political hatchet against the Prime Minister in caucus, are more characteristic of an aggressive bully than of a statesman who wins hearts and minds by persuasion.
Putting aside the style of Carr's gladiatorial tactics, though, let's just take a closer look at the substance of his malignant venom. He complains that
"I found it very frustrating that we couldn't issue, for example, a routine expression of concern about ...blocks of housing for Israeli citizens going up on land that everyone regards as part of the future Palestinian state ..."It seems that, as far as Carr is concerned, complaining about Israelis building houses in certain areas, is a "routine" matter that requires no consideration at all. And the final borders between the two states envisaged by the "two-state solution" are apparently already known to "everyone" (except those nasty, right-wing Jews of course).
Lock, stock and barrel, Carr has accepted the facile position, founded on ignorance and absent analysis, that Israeli settlements are the primary cause of the 100-year conflict between the Jews and Arabs of that region.
Has Carr ever wondered why the PLO started hijacking commercial planes and ships, and murdering civilians in the early 1960s? It wasn't till 1967 that Israel captured the West Bank including "East Jerusalem", the Jewish quarter in the old city of Jerusalem and other Jewish villages that had been massacred and razed by the Arab Legions in 1948-9.
There were no West-Bank "settlements" then, but the Arabs were still murdering Jews, not just in Israel, but on civilian craft around the world.
In fact Jordan and Egypt controlled the West Bank and Gaza then. If all that the "Palestinian" Arabs want is a 23rd Arab state in the West Bank and Gaza, why didn't they, in 1948-67, ask Jordan and Egypt to give them one?
And why did Yassir Arafat's cousin, the Haj Amin al-Husseini (later to be exalted by the British mandatory powers as the "Mufti of Jerusalem") incite Arab pogroms in Jerusalem in 1920 and in my home town of Jaffa, in 1921, and throughout the region in the 1930s? Not only were there no Jewish "settlements". There wasn't even a Jewish nation then.
What inflamed the antisemitism of some Arab sheiks of the region was a new wave of immigration by European Jews, commencing in the 1880s: Jews who were disillusioned with the European "enlightenment" that spawned Czarist pogroms and later genocidal Nazism; who sought self-determination in their ancient homeland alongside their fellow Jews who had lived there for centuries.
And that Arab antisemitism, that rejection of co-existence with self-determined Jews, is the root cause of the conflict to this day; not "settlements" which didn't even exist till 1967.
But this is apparently too complicated for gladiator Carr, whose inflated ego and taste for blood sports apparently occupy most of the available space in his mind.
It's too bad that it took Carr so long, at the sunset of his political career, to reveal his style of thinking to those who weren't watching more closely. Otherwise we may have sooner limited the damage he's done to the Labor Party, and the nation.