Like many supporters of Israel across the Australian community, I am stunned by the erosion of sympathy and advocacy within the Labor Party in defence of the only democratic nation in the Middle East.
Shrugging one’s shoulders and writing off Labor as a lost cause would be a mistake for three reasons. First, there are plenty of advocates of Israel within the ALP, probably a majority of the Right outside NSW. Second, notwithstanding recent setbacks such as the loosely worded Bob Carr motion carried at July’s NSW Conference, social democrats still have more in common with Israel than against. Third, giving up the ghost with one side of politics is to make support for Israel, or the Palestinians, partisan causes – a dangerous position in the longer term.
What is needed is re-engagement with emerging, future generations of Labor. New strategies are also required to restore balance to the debate.
As a student in 1977, I joined Labor Friends of Israel, an organisation formed by Carr with plenty of backing across the centre and right of NSW Labor. It was morally right then and now to resist thinly disguised anti-Semitism from the far-Left on campuses and elsewhere.
There was then a lot of deep attachment from many NSW Labor figures like Lionel Bowen (1922-2012), Deputy Prime Minister under Hawke and Joe Riordan (1930-2012), anti-communist union leader, MP for Phillip and briefly a Whitlam Minister. Riordan admired the Leon Uris book Trinity as one of the best accounts of the Irish experience. He also loved Uris’s Exodus which told the story of Zionist immigration to existing Jewish communities in Palestine by refugees and others from around the world. Riordan believed the Jewish struggle for statehood was akin to Irish battles for independence.
The support for Israel from Australian Workers’ Union leader, President of the NSW ALP from 1960-1970, Charlie Oliver (1901-1990) was so ardent that his Will stipulated that the President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies read the Old Testament at his funeral – which ALP member Leslie Caplan duly did. In this era, Bob Hawke’s passionate defence of Israel against the truly mad Labor official Bill Hartley (1930-2006) and others in the Victorian ALP inspired generations of Labor moderates. In NSW, Jewish Labor luminaries like Premier Wran’s Ministers Syd Einfeld (1909-1995) and potential successor as Premier Paul Landa (1941-1984) enjoyed wide respect.
continues here

Almost exactly ten years ago, former ALP minister Barry Cohen wrote a watershed article on what he called the Anti-Semitic Labor Party.

His party.
Carr says it is Israel that has changed but Carr knows that is a lie. Every single concession made or offered in an attempt to forge a peace deal has come from Israel. Carr knows that the Arabs can have another Arab Muslim state if they want it and they can call it what they like. They can do with what they want. This is old and settled ground and for NSW Labor to hold out that it is Israel that is an obstacle to a "state of Palestine" is nothing but a convenient and cowardly lie.
It is not Israel that has changed since Carr helped form Labor Friends of Israel in the sixties or seventies. That is Carr lying at his worst. Since then Israel has made three formal and detailed peace proposals all of which met any remotely legitimate demand or grievance. They were all viciously and violently rejected.
Of course.
 It is the demographics of western Sydney, and in particular in a swag of Labor held federal and state seats, that have changed.
It really is as simple as that. It really is that cynical and cowardly. Abandoning or attacking Israel is the course of least resistance in a world where political Islam is rampant and Jew hatred is core to the ideology. We have seen all of this before.
There is absolutely nothing new about Bob Carr and NSW Labor. 
You have to respect Michael Easson for what he does and indeed for his expert knowledge but the truth is that despite him  NSW Labor gave up on Israel and the Jews the moment there was some pain in it. 
Federal Labor is on the precipice.  Carr abandoned Israel the moment he was able and regards this as a career highlight. He instinctively and viscerally blamed Israel for flaming the 9/11 attacks. He is determined to have his way (if you have any doubt how obsessed he is with Israel and Jews you should read his published diary) and he has the tide of his party with him. 
This is the kind of friends they are. It is good that we found out in time. 
Sorry John Robertson MP and NSW Labor. Coming from you, all this talk about a society where all are valued and free from hate speech and racism, about strong beliefs in peace and freedom, rings about as true as tinnitus. 
You abandoned all that when you abandoned the only state in the Middle East that prizes those concepts. And for that reason you have to agree with the rabid left, and now it seems NSW Labor, that indeed the matter of Israel, "Palestine" and the eternal racist war on the Middle East Jews is a threshold entry level issue for all.
How bloody disgusting. So be it. 
You can define a person morally and politically, and make an assessment of their character, by where they stand on this issue. That is worth thirty-three resolutions for a start.   

You can thank Bob Carr more than most for that. 
cross posted Jews Down Under


crossed posted Israel Thrives with this background for US readers

On the face of it these pieces must have the look of the parochial from the standpoint of where all the action is.  Australia is a middle ranking power that diplomatically punches above its weight but no one here kids herself that the country has much sway in the way of the world. Yet it is remarkable how much flash and powder is devoted to Israel in the mundane domestic political processes of the country. 

This is about a state conference of the state branch of the party in opposition in that state and nationally. As in the US, perhaps even more so, the Australian states have no responsibility whatsoever for foreign policy or defence. 

It is striking how similar are the issues in our countries. This is a reminder that we are up against a sophisticated global movement that is pulling out all stops in this sinister campaign against Israel and the Jews. 

They mean business. Rewriting history is nothing for them. For them, that is the least that they will do. 

Australia, with Canada and the Czech Republic, may be Israel's only remaining true friends in the world, and in the case of Australia at least, that can now change with a change of government. 

No one can trust Obama. It seems clear Netanyahu does not. Netanyahu is right.

If you follow the links you may be astonished at the energy and sheer bloody-minded determination that has been invested this year and last in the ongoing process of tearing the Australian Labor Party, despite aberrations, arguably historically the most pro-Israel party in the Western world, away from its traditional rock solid support of Israel and Zionism that extends back to the foundation of Israel and decades before.

You may recall Bob Carr is the creepy little man who due to the vagaries of the Australian constitutional and political systems was unelected to any public office when he was appointed the country's foreign minister in 2012 by the besieged Prime Minister in a bizarre twist to a failed attempt to stop her government from falling apart.

Don't ask. 

It is to do with the faction system of the ALP, especially the power of the faction bosses  in the then ruling party in the lower house and without question the most formally factionalised party in the democratic world. 

Except perhaps Israel.  

The good news is that it did not work, the Australian public did its job and last year out went the government, poxy foreign minister and all. As predicted, former PM Gillard, now in political retirement and on the record, immediately came to regret her appointment of the creepy little man as FM and also as predicted, the creepy little man has lived on in retirement as the Jimmy Carter of Australian politics who as we know is the strangest and creepiest little man to have ever been president