One of the only truly independent voices - as in willing to speak up for Palestine - in the Australian Labor Party was retired Labor MP Julia Irwin.
Irwin once observed that:
"There is certainly a belief [in the Party] that support for Palestine will swiftly end any prospect of a front bench position. Even a hint of offence can result in an immediate, unconditional apology... Labor members will talk about human rights abuse in every corner of the world, but not in Palestine." (See my 11/8/10 post Julia Irwin Spills the Beans.)
The absolute beyond classic case of this bizarre phenomenon today is surely Australia's shadow foreign minister Tanya (Once was Warrior) Plibersek, who, as a mere MP back in 2002, condemned Israel as "a rogue state... led by a war criminal."
Of course, that was long ago, and the various stages of her transformation from one who once spoke up for Palestine into someone who now speaks up for Israel have been, for those interested, documented by this blogger.
Her opinion piece in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald, however, is the first time where I've actually felt she's become a mouthpiece for Israel:
"The Iranian nuclear deal... is significant [but] we need to maintain a healthy degree of scepticism in our dealings with Iran... Australia must continue to steadfastly oppose Iran's human rights abuses, its inciting language towards the United States and Israel, its support of the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and its sponsorship of terrorism." (Clear grounds for Australia to remain cautious with Iran despite nuclear deal, 21/1/16)
As for healthy scepticism in our dealings with Israel, steadfast opposition to Israel's human rights abuses, its threats to nuke Iran, its support for creepy crawlies in Syria and its actual, routine terrorism in Occupied Palestine and elsewhere... forget it!
"When Iran tests ballistic missiles... we should speak up."
But of Israel's tried and tested nuclear arsenal, we shall say nothing.
"We must continue to stand up for our values."
Whose values, Tanya???
[*See my 17/10/13 post A Heretic Recants.]