ON the borders of Hungary, Serbia and Macedonia, tens of thousands of Syrian refugees are breaking down the doors of Europe.
Hundreds from Syria or Libya have drowned in the Mediterranean, and 200,000 people have been killed in Syria (mainly by their own government) in the last four years.
In Iran, the gentle Bahai religion is viciously repressed, gays are hung from cranes in public squares, the regime pursues insurgencies in Lebanon, Syria and now Yemen, and it runs an international terrorist organisation Hezbollah outlawed by Australia’s parliament.
The Middle East is an awful place, an awful place for human rights and the peaceful pursuit of personal, economic progress that we take for granted in Australia.
Were any of these pressing, vital international issues addressed by the party governing Queensland at its state conference last month in Brisbane?
No. But in a resolution, Queensland’s Labor party members moved to attack the one small democracy in the Middle East – Israel.
The ALP resolution called for immediate, unconditional recognition of a Palestinian state. For Labor insiders, this sole resolution is an expression of the Left’s frustration at not getting its own way on this issue at the ALP National Conference in July. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the resolution that was passed at National Conference concerning Israel and the Palestinians was seen as a setback for former Foreign Minister Bob Carr and his newfound friends in the hard-left in Queensland and elsewhere. The national ALP resolution did not commit the ALP to recognising a Palestinian state, and also fell short of a unilateral the move towards the recognition that Bob Carr demanded. Let me repeat, however, none of the other far more desperate situations in the Middle East were even touched on by QLD Labor.
The futility of the Queensland resolution has been highlighted by Shadow Foreign Minister Tanya Plibersek, who has refused to accept the resolution, stating, “state conferences don’t make Labor’s foreign policy.”
So, while the Middle East is being torn apart by Islamist extremism, your local Queensland lefties focus on the only country where there are free and fair elections, respect for minorities and other religions, where there is the rule of law and where the courts, including the Supreme Court, like courts in Australia, rule on any violations of normal democratic behaviour or law.
These Queensland lefties say nothing about the situation in Iraq and Syria, where churches and antiquities are being desecrated, ancient minorities such as the Yazidis, the Assyrians and the Manichean Christians are being mass murdered, and where Da’esh is attracting bogan jihadists from all over the world, including Australia, with a theology of rape. Perhaps the bad publicity emerging from the State Conference is a warning to Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk that she and the remaining serious people in Queensland Labor ought to take seriously the shenanigans that happen when the rat bags dominate these state conferences.
It is unfair and un-Australian that the tiny (5000) Queensland Jewish community now feels set upon by these blinded ideologues of the Queensland Socialist Left, who demand that the security of the families in Israel be placed at risk by the immediate declaration of a Palestinian state, without any security offsets for Israelis. Of course a two-state solution has been an Australian position ever since we voted for partition of the area, under British control, into two states: an Israeli (Jewish) State and a Palestinian (Arab) State. This 1948 vote at the UN was Australia’s first major break from British foreign policy, with then-Australian Foreign Minister Dr Herb Evatt envisaging two states for two people living alongside either other in peace.
Our Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek set the Queensland Socialist Left straight. Regular ALP members shouldn’t let the impression be created that only one side is advocated in their policy councils, especially when there are more pressing events happening in that part of the world that justifiably frighten most Queenslanders, just as they do other Australians.
Michael Danby is the Member for Melbourne Ports.