The Victorian Labor government has done some fantastic work, but principles have to count for something.
Just for the record, I canceled my membership to the Victorian Labor Party on the 13th May.
Those of you who know me well will know that this hasn’t been a decision I’ve taken lightly, however under the circumstances, it’s a decision that was easy to make.
I’m not the type who says one thing and does another, if I am committed to a cause then I am committed and will not take a backward step.
I have been a Labor member for only a few years in Victoria, however many more years in NSW prior to moving down here to the ‘progressive’ state.
I’ve been on several committees, worked for three MP’s, been on FEA, and been a very active member. Some will remember I even stepped up and ran as a candidate in the 2011 NSW election in what was the safest Liberal seat in the State.
However, as a Human Rights advocate and as such a supporter of Palestinian rights, I cannot be a member of a party that adopts a racist position and one that brands me as an antisemite or a bigot for standing against what organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called apartheid.
Adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism, as announced by Dan Andrews on the night of 11th May while everyone was distracted by the Federal Leaders debate, is adopting racism. This definition makes it an act of antisemitism to be critical of the Israeli government in any way, it is part of the reason Benjamin Netanyahu declared Israel a ‘Jewish State’.
The definition itself states:
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
I am not alone in this opinion, in fact it is a widely held opinion within Human Rights organisations and even Jewish Organisations, in fact in 2018 more than 40 Jewish organisations spoke out against the use of this definition. Dan Andrews may think this makes these Jewish Organisations antisemites. I don’t.
As a campaigner for Human Rights, I have been highly critical of many governments. Such governments as those in the US, Russia, China, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iraq, UK and many more, but in particular Australia.
But according to the official position adopted by Daniel Andrews on the 11th May, being critical of only one of these makes me somehow a bigot.
Criticising the Morrison Government does not make me anti-Australian just as criticising the Israeli government does not make me antisemitic.
Make no mistake, this adopted position is a racist position. The definition itself is a recently adapted version designed to label those who support Palestinian rights as somehow bigoted for seeking an end to the occupation of their land and the apartheid system they are forced to endure.
For the announcement to come on the same day the swastika was banned is both ironic and insulting. It leads to comparisons of Nazi’s and Palestinian supporters, while it makes a token gesture against racism while adopting a racist policy.
This policy is not even your Pauline Hanson/Blair Cotteral style of racism that appears to involve hating everyone that is not a white Anglo Saxon. It is perhaps worse. This is hatred and bigotry directed at one particular ethnicity. It is a statement that one race doesn’t deserve the freedoms that we enjoy, or the freedoms their occupier enjoys.
Anyone with an understanding of European history understands that targeted bigotry is perhaps the ugliest.
Palestine is under the brutal occupation of an internationally recognised apartheid regime.
I am opposed to apartheid and I will base my views on what is and what isn’t apartheid on the investigations and findings of so many of the world’s leading Human Rights Organisations, including Israeli and Jewish organisations, but not on the word of local Zionist Groups and under the influence of their large political donations.
It’s no coincidence that the Minister responsible for this racist policy is married to one of those heavily involved with the zionist lobby in Victoria.
If the Victorian Labor Party and Victorian government label me antisemitic for opposing apartheid then it is a badge I will wear with pride. Those wearing the badge with me will include the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and World Vision Australia, whose former Gaza director Mohammed el Halabi has been in an Israeli prison for over six years now without charge.
This will never be unseen. pic.twitter.com/Gtfrjqs6Q3— Riya Al (@RiyaAlsanah) May 13, 2022
Being critical of brutal oppression such as the above attack on pallbearers at the funeral of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is not being antisemitic, it is being human.
I note the motions at both National and the Queensland Labor conferences indicate that the majority of Labor members also wish action to be taken in relation to apartheid Israel. Recent polling also indicates most Australians wish to see Palestinians treated with dignity and for the occupation to end.
I remember when the Labor Party led the way in opposing apartheid in South Africa. Now, in Victoria at least Labor are not only apologists for apartheid, they are now aiding and abetting an apartheid regime.
I also want to be clear that this only relates to the Victorian Labor, not Federal Labor who have actually committed to officially recognise the Palestinian State as a priority.
There will be those who insist that staying a Labor Party member is essential if you support worker’s rights. This is utter bullshit. I still support the union movement and still support worker’s rights. However unlike the Andrews’ Labor government I support the rights of all workers to a voice, not all workers except Palestinians and their advocates.
All worker’s rights start with human rights, if you don’t support basic human rights then you don’t support shit.
The adoption of this definition is racist, supports an apartheid regime that commits war crimes daily, and shuts down freedom of speech. Why is the isreali government the only government in the world beyond any kind of criticism?
With all that said, I spent election day handing out for Labor MP I’m proud to refer to as a friend, and the evening scrutineering and then cheering on Albo’s team on the tele.
It didn’t change the way I voted at all. I voted Green this time, but only on the basis that we rarely see our Labor MP where I live. She did a flying visit during the campaign to do a stunt on mobile phone reception and had a few of the local Labor branch members come along for the photo opp. She did the same thing on the same subject last election.
For her efforts, she saw a drop in her primary vote in my town and the neighboring town by over 3%. The AEC count shows this went straight to the Greens.
This aside, I will continue to support Labor federally, and I am ecstatic we have an Albanese Labor Government.
For those wondering, I have not joined another party and currently have no intention of doing so.Follow @madwixxy