NOWADAYS known mostly to her fans as a commentator on Sky News, Peta Credlin, formerly chief of staff for then prime minister Tony Abbott, headlined WIZO Victoria’s Rae and Tom Mandel Memorial Breakfast with a passionate tribute to Israel, a condemnation of the Greens, and sideswipes at sections of the ALP.
Credlin told the November 12 event that “some of the most profound and spiritual moments in my entire life occurred when I visited Israel”.
Explaining that during Abbott’s prime ministership, she sat in on security meetings that decided to send Australian military support into the fight against ISIS, she said, “I know all that and I still can’t fathom what my political counterparts go through on a daily basis working for the Israeli prime minister or working inside the Knesset.”
Lauding Israel as the Middle East’s “only liberal, pluralist democracy”, she lamented that “sadly not everyone sees it like that”, and described British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as “one of the most antisemitic leaders of any western nation we have seen in the post-World War II political climate”.
However, the ALP – particularly in NSW – was also in Credlin’s sights, as its “once strong position of support for Israel has been eroded”. Former federal leader Bill Shorten is “a great friend of Israel” but current leader Anthony Albanese “is on the left”. Meanwhile, she said “a number of seats in western Sydney have a high Islamic vote and [Muslims] are being courted”.
The Greens, she said, campaign against Israel with “smear and disinformation” and “the Greens’ hatred of Israel is visceral”.
Credlin said Israel has a lot to teach Australia, which “has lost its cultural self-confidence and is far too inclined to apologise for itself”.
Former senator Fraser Anning (who as a senator stood with neo-Nazi demonstrators at a rally and in Parliament called for a “final solution” to Muslim immigration) was an “outlier” of Australian politics “mocked by the media class”, said Credlin, and her real concern is over “programmed antisemitism … from the hard left, the Greens in particular”.
Credlin criticised the national education curriculum for not including Holocaust education until year 10, and then only mandatory in NSW. “It seems our focus on antisemitism has fallen away.”
Master of ceremonies Jeremy Rosens gave an update on the Jonas Dormitory, an Israeli post-hospital unit for children needing psychological and psychiatric services, which remains the last unrenovated section of the WIZO Australia-sponsored Ahuzat Yeladim refuge and rehabilitation centre.