Parke’s bleach story a ‘medieval trope’ against Jews

Former Rudd government minister Melissa Parke used “a variant on a medieval trope” against Jews before her candidacy ended ­abruptly on Friday, according to Labor MP Michael Danby.

Mr Danby, who is retiring from the marginal seat of Macnamara where a significant number of voters are Jewish, did not appear concerned yesterday that Ms Parke’s remarks about Israel and the ­furore that followed would hurt the campaign of his successor, Josh Burns.

He said few voters knew who Ms Parke was and “many of those are impressed with Labor’s decisiveness”.

“What riled people was Ms Parke’s use of a variant of a medieval trope about Jews poisoning a pregnant Palestinian,” he said.

A few weeks before the former UN lawyer was announced as Labor’s surprise candidate for Curtin, Ms Parke told the inaugural meeting of WA Labor for Palestine that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians was worse than the South ­African system of apartheid.

Ms Parke, who worked in Gaza between 2002 and 2004, said she remembered vividly the case of a pregnant refugee who was ordered at a checkpoint in Gaza to drink a bottle of bleach.

Some of the allegations match claims about a 2013 incident published by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, aspects of which are disputed in a blog on the website of the Israel National News. Ms Parke believed this was the same incident.

Read the article by Paige Taylor (WA Bureau Chief) in The Australian.