Labor ‘heroes’ accused of provoking Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of Australia visit

Labor MP Michael Danby has accused party “heroes” Bob Carr, Gareth Evans and Bob Hawke of “provoking” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of his Australian visit, questioning why they don’t also “beat up on China”.

The former Labor foreign ministers and prime ministers, including Kevin Rudd, have advocated a change in foreign policy and recognition of a Palestinian state as Mr Netanyahu, the first sitting Israeli PM to visit Australia, prepares to meet with Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten this week.

Mr Danby, who is Jewish and a member of the Victorian Labor Right sub-faction associated with Bill Shorten, declared the men “never raise their heads to power” as he warned against “hyperventilating” over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I might say to all of the heroes who are beating up on a country, a democratic country where there are gay pride parades — there aren’t any in the surrounding countries — or Christmas celebrations — there aren’t any in the surrounding countries — why don’t they beat up on China when the Chinese president comes to Australia?” Mr Danby told Sky News.

Read the article by Rosie Lewis in The Australian (subscription required).