Carr gesticulating as he explains something

Bob Carr rejects anti-Semitism inside ALP

Former foreign minister Bob Carr has criticised suggestions there is a growing strain of anti-Semitism within Labor, saying the claim was propagated by people who want to “close down criticism of ­Israel”.

Mr Carr, an influential supporter of Palestine in the NSW Right, said there was nothing wrong with Labor being critical of Israel “for its settlement expansion, its evacuation of Palestinians, (and) its nation-state law which creates two categories of citizenship”.

His comments come after Jewish groups and opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong condemned a resolution backed at Queensland Labor’s state conference that accused ­Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and being solely responsible for the recent conflict in Gaza.

ALP member Adam Slonim, co-convener of the Australia Israel Labor Dialogue, said the resolution passed by the Left faction-dominated branch at the weekend “demonises Israel and creates a double standard that no one else is held to”. He said anti-Semitism within Labor was on the rise.

However, Mr Carr said there was “not a hint of anti-Semitism in the Australian Labor Party”.

“This is an attempt to close down criticism of Israel by kicking up a debate that took place in British Labor,” he said. “There has been a long term shift against Israel in Labor circles as there has been in the US Democrats, because of settlement expansion and the chauvinism of its politics.”

Read the article by Greg Brown in The Australian.