In selecting the glamorous blonde to run against conservative Celia Hammond in the normally safe Liberal WA seat of Curtin, relinquished by glamorous blonde Liberal former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Labor bigwigs evidently thought her high profile meant Ms Parke had a fighting chance of wresting the seat away from the less stellar Liberal hopeful.
But it's all gone awry for Parke and her backers, because she's now quit as a candidate in order to save her embarrassed party the "distraction" caused by her loathsome antisemitic slurs on Israel, scathingly compared in today's Melbourne Herald Sun by political commentator James Campbell as "actually manag[ing] to say something new" in the "long history of slanders" of the Jewish people.
about 60 prominent Australians (including APAN's president, ex-Bishop Browning) publicly opposed to Bibi Netanyahu's visit to Australia, Parke last month told the launch of WA Labor Friends of Palestine (to quote a report in WA Today) that
'Australia should recognise a Palestinian state and likened Israel's settlements to China's island building activity in the South China Sea.
She also took aim at Israel's influence in Australian politics and said there was no doubt Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel, while illegal under international law, were "a reaction to and a consequence of decades of brutal occupation".
"There are already 137 nations that recognise the state of Palestine, that is more than 70 per cent of the world," she said.
"And, inshallah [Arabic for 'God willing'], Australia will join that consensus once we have a Federal Labor government.
|An APAN illiterate has his say|
"It's also time finally for Australia to support an end to the brutal occupation of Palestine and for the right of return of the Palestinian refugees."
In her speech to Palestinian supporters, which was held in the Perth offices of the United Voice union, Ms Parke said the discrimination experienced by Palestinians in Israel was because of a "fully fledged system of Apartheid"....
"A false narrative sold to the western world is that Israel is a beacon of western democracy and human rights."
Ms Parke said Israel "propagates the myth that it is a small country that just wants to live in peace".'Moreover,
'WAtoday also revealed earlier this week WA Labor senator and Senate Deputy President Sue Lines told the same meeting of pro-Palestinian activists that a powerful "Israel lobby" had been influencing her party's policy on Palestine and peace in the Middle East.
Senator Lines said policy in the area had stalled because "the Israeli lobby is so powerful within the party and outside of the party".'The report quotes Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin as follows:
'He said Ms Parke had the "inglorious distinction" of being the first, and only, Labor MP to publicly endorse the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which seeks to force Israel to withdraw from occupied or contested territories and aims at "the complete and total isolation of the state of Israel and to dismantle the national home of the Jewish people".
"BDS was rightly condemned as a form of antisemitism by Julie Bishop, who Ms Parke is now seeking to replace as the federal member for Curtin," Mr Ryvchin said."BDS has also expressly been repudiated by the Australian Labor Party and rejected as national policy even by the Greens."It is regrettable that such an extreme and divisive figure should receive the endorsement of the Australian Labor Party, particularly at a time when it is vital to strengthen the political centre and diminish the appeal of low populism and false and polarising rhetoric."Parke also, as widely reported today, for instance the Sydney Morning Herald here, declared:
"One case I remember vividly, a pregnant refugee woman was ordered at a checkpoint in Gaza to drink a bottle of bleach," she said.
"It burnt out all her throat and insides. Fortunately her baby was saved.
"Another refugee was forced to put her baby through the X-ray machine."It is that vile canard in particular that disgusts the Herald-Sun's James Campbell, who pointedly observed that another Labor candidate, Josh Wilson, was at the meeting addressed by Parke and did not take issue with her remarks.
Campbell adds that while current federal Labor leader Bill Shorten is committed to friendship with Israel, the fears of pro-Israel Australians that, post-Shorten, the party (remember the lurking presence of Bob Carr and cobbers?) might fall into the hands of a Corbynista-type leadership remains a realistic prospect.
ScoMo for me, I think.