February 27, 2021

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In Australia, a New Kid in the Anti-Israel Bloc


By Daphne Anson


Elizabeth (Libby) Coker is the Australian Labor Party (ALP) member for the Victorian seat of Corangamite in the Australian Federal Parliament.  An ALP parliamentary hopeful for quite some time, Ms Coker achieved her aim of entering the federal House of Representatives at the 18 May 2019 federal election.

Her maiden speech, delivered on 10 September last year, was notable, inter alia, for its rambling length.  During it, she declared that

“One of the key challenges in making a better Australia for all of our children is to address the great contradiction that our success has been achieved in someone else’s land at their expense…. [K]nowing our history cannot be separated from the history of Aboriginal Australia, and that includes understanding what it means for all of us that Aboriginal land was stolen, never ceded….”

On 26 February this year she (below, in white dress) joined federal Greens leader Adam Bandt and hard left federal ALP member for Macquarie Susan Templeman in a public anti-“Apartheid” Israel fest under the auspices of APAN (the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network, whose name she mangles here):

Note (squint at black box) her endorsement of this ludicrous comment (describing “the Palestinian people” as “possibly the most oppressed people in the world”) below that post on Facebook!

More recently, on 4 March, Ms Coker delivered a squalid little Israel-demonising speech in the House, in which she showed her faith in a certain contentious kangaroo court:

“I want to talk about Palestine and Israel. The underpinning of a civilised world is not only Australian domestic law but also international law. The International Criminal Court was set up to deal with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

 We were one of the first signatories to the treaty that established the court. The third most recent country to join the treaty was the State of Palestine. The ICC prosecutor has spent five years in a preliminary investigation looking at allegations, including that Israeli authorities have settled Israeli civilians into Palestinian territories, a clear breach of the Geneva Conventions; that Palestinian Security Services in the West Bank have committed torture against civilians under their control; and that there has been criminal behaviour by both the Israeli military and Palestinian armed groups. The prosecutor wants to prosecute these alleged crimes.

 Given the territorial complexity, the pre-trial court has sought submissions to determine whether it has jurisdiction. The Australian government, along with only five other governments, has indicated it does not think that the court has jurisdiction—not because there are no crimes to answer but because we do not recognise Palestine as a state. I ask: why did Australia feel it necessary to make this observation and risk the capacity for the ICC to consider these possible crimes? Why should Australia not leave the umpire to do its job?

Ms Coker’s support for the Palestinian Arabs, who of course have so successfully rebranded themselves as the “Palestinians”, with its very unfortunate implication that they, not the Jews, are the indigenous people of Eretz Israel, reflects her support for the Australian aborigines.

Numerous Australian aborigines themselves know better, seeing the analogy between themselves and Jews as dispossessed First Nations, and support Israel for that reason. See, for instance, here and here

One who doesn’t is long term activist  Gary Foley.  He, too, is a member of APAN, and that organisation, headed by retired Anglican prelate Dr George Browning, seems to be upping the ante of late.  Check it out.

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