28 October 2014

Melissa Parke positions herself on the fringe

From The Australian, 29 Oct 2014, by Christian Kerr:

LABOR leaders have distanced themselves from Fremantle MP Melissa Parke after she broke ranks with party policy and called on Australia to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against “apartheid” ­Israel and quoted a 9/11 “truther” to back her stand.

“BDS is a perfectly acceptable form of protest,” the former UN lawyer told parliament in a speech she admitted would “likely not be popular”, tabling a petition urging Australia to join the movement.

....in defence of BDS....Ms Parke quoted former UN special rapporteur for the occupied territories, Richard Falk, who was rebuked by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in 2011 for “preposterous” remarks asking if the September 11 terror attacks had been orchestrated by the US government....

Her stand was immediately rejected by the Opposition Leader. “Labor’s position on this matter is clear,” Bill Shorten’s spokesman said, pointing to a speech earlier this year when Mr Shorten said: “I stand for engagement with Israel at every level.”

A spokesman for deputy leader Tanya Plibersek, who is overseas, said any suggestion the US government was involved in 9/11 was “utterly abhorrent”.

A spokesman for Ms Parke said she was unaware of Professor Falk’s 9-11 comments...

The BDS campaign is aimed at destroying Israel, not promoting peace between Israel and its neighbours. By supporting it, Parkes places herself outside serious politics.

It is a product of the NGO Forum held in parallel to the 2001 UN World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa , which was marked by repeated expressions of naked anti-Semitism and condemned as such by the United States government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson.

The Forum’s final declaration established an action plan—the “Durban Strategy”—promoting “a policy of complete and total isolation of Israel . . . the imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions and embargoes, the full cessation of all links (diplomatic, economic, social, aid, military cooperation and training) between all states and Israel”

According to BDS proponents, if South Africa was worthy of a boycott and sanctions campaigns that eventually led to the downfall of that despicable system, “Israel should be subject to the same kind of attack, leading to the same kind of result..."

While some proponents of BDS may be well-meaning, the campaign certainly provides cover for anti-Semites to disseminate their hatred.

Education Minister Pyne suggests that the BDS campaign has made anti-Semitism fashionable .
Here in WA, a BDS campaign activist was jailed for 3 years under the Racial Discrimination Act.