Open Letter to Australian Labor MPs re IHRA & Labor “Progressive Except Palestine” (PEP)

At the outset I must declare that I am an anti-racist Jewish Australian scientist and humanitarian writer with a sole allegiance to Australia. Coming from a famous Jewish Hungarian family near-eradicated from Hungary by the WW2 Jewish Holocaust, I am inescapably bound by the key moral imperatives from that catastrophe, to whit “zero tolerance for racism”, “zero tolerance for lying”, “bear witness” and “never again to anyone” including the Palestinians, the sorely oppressed Indigenous people of Palestine.

Recently the 2021 British Labour Party Conference overwhelmingly passed a motion supporting the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination, supporting Palestinian human rights, describing the situation in Palestine as apartheid, and calling for strong sanctions against Israel (for the text see Sam Browse, “Labour Party Conference Labour Outlook,” 27 September 2021).

The awful truth is that 7.1 million Indigenous Palestinians are 50% of the Subjects of Apartheid Israel but 73% of them, the 5.2 million Occupied Palestinians, are excluded from all of the human rights set out in the 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), live in dire poverty (per capita GDP $3,500 versus $45,500 for Israelis), and are highly abusively confined under Israeli guns to the blockaded and bombed Gaza Concentration Camp (2 million) and to ghettoes in the ever-dwindling West Bank (3.2 million). The 1.9 million Palestinian Israelis exist in imposed poverty as Third Class citizens under 65 race-based laws. 8 million Exiled Palestinians represent about 10% of the world’s refugees, most live in dire poverty without civil rights, and are all violently excluded from their Homeland, Palestine, continuously inhabited by their forebears for millennia. About half the Indigenous Palestinians are children, and three quarters are women and children.

In the last 20 years Gaza rockets have killed about 40 Israelis, and about 1,000 Israelis have been killed in conflict, but Israelis have murdered about 2,600 fellow Israelis. In the same period 9,500 Occupied Palestinians have been violently killed by Israelis, scores of thousands have been wounded, and 90,000 have avoidably died from imposed deprivation. About 90% of Palestine has now been ethnically cleansed of Indigenous Palestinians, and the ABC has reported that the present Israeli government would permit only 5% of Palestine for any Palestinian entity. The ongoing Palestinian Genocide has been associated with 2.2 million Palestinian deaths from violence, 0.1 million, and imposed deprivation, 2.1 million, since the British invasion of the Middle East with Australian assistance in 1914. Deaths from violence, deprivation, and disease also total about 2 million for Indigenous Australians similarly dispossessed, and ethnically cleansed in the 233-year and ongoing Australian Aboriginal Genocide (they suffer the same circa 10 year life expectancy gap from their conquerors as Indigenous Palestinians).

About a century ago Australia led the world for free trade unions, women’s suffrage, free and secular education, the 8 hour working day, the living wage, and one-person-one-vote (albeit only for White Australians). The Australian Labor Party has always led the way in support of progressive reforms, but that proud record has been tarnished by fervent Labor support for a nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist-run, genocidally racist, grossly International law-violating, serial war criminal, human rights-violating, child-abusing and democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel.

Labor is “Progressive Except Palestine” (PEP) and thoroughly alienates anti-racist Jewish and non-Jewish Australians and decent anti-racists world-wide by:

(a) supporting enhanced trade including deadly military trade with Apartheid Israel (the Israelis boast that their “sophisticated” weapons are pre-tested on Palestinians and Arabs);

(b) supporting Australia being second only to the US as a supporter of Apartheid Israel;

(c) tolerating US delivery of bulk intelligence on Australians to Apartheid Israel;

(d) likely being a supporter of the Australian Intelligence-proposed declaration of Hamas “in its entirety” as a “terrorist organization” (thereby threatening Australian Palestinians and Australian democracy, noting that Hamas overwhelmingly won the 2006 Occupied Palestinian elections held under Israeli guns);

(e) tolerating massive Zionist subversion, perversion and violation of Australians and Australian institutions;

(f) tolerating covert US, Australian and Apartheid Israeli involvement in the 1987 and 2000 Fiji coups (noting that Australia was also covertly and intimately involved in the US-backed 1970 Cambodian coup that removed Prince Sihanouk, the US-backed 1973 military coup that removed the democratically-elected Allende Government, and US backing of Islamist rebels in Indonesia in the 1960s and the deadly and genocidal military coup in 1965);

(g) opposing a 1 state solution (ethnic cleansing has made the 2-state solution impossible), and peaceful Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Apartheid Israel and all its supporters (of the kind that freed South Africa from Apartheid);

(h) supporting massive lying by commission and lying by omission in Australia and the West over Zionist and US crimes (e.g. horrendous deaths in the ongoing Palestinian Genocide and the ongoing US-imposed post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide) and lies (e.g. that Apartheid Israel is a “Jewish state”, and “the only democracy in the Middle East”); and

(i) supporting the anti-Arab anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish anti-Semitic and holocaust-ignoring IHRA.

Re pro-Zionist Labor Leader Anthony Albanese, the Australian Jewish News (AJN) reported (July 2021): “He [Albanese] added that he is ‘very, very supportive’ of specifically identifying antisemitism, like other forms of racism, and that antisemitism ‘should be talked about and should be taught [about]’ and said a Labor government would endorse the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.” (Carly Douglas, “Anthony Albanese blasts Israel boycotters,” AJN, 15 July 2021)

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIPAC) stated (August 2021): “Should the Government agree, a bipartisan endorsement is unlikely to be problematic, given Labor leader Anthony Albanese has already announced his support for the definition and his intention to endorse it, should Labor win government.” (AIPAC, “It is time for Australia to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism,” 20 August 2021)

However the IHRA claims that Australia is already one out of 34 members of the IHRA (IHRA Member Countries).

Of these 34 IHRA countries:

(1) all 34 are European;

(2) the 5 outside of Europe (Argentina, Australia, Canada, Apartheid Israel, and the USA) are societies based on horrendous genocide of the Indigenous inhabitants;

(3) 4 are nuclear terrorist states (Apartheid Israel, France, the UK, and the US);

(4) of the 29 members in Europe, all but 6 (Austria, Finland , Ireland, Serbia, Sweden and Switzerland), i.e. 23, belong to nuclear-armed NATO (together with Canada and the US), and thus support nuclear mass murder of women, children and men as a military strategy;

(5) of the 29 members in Europe, 7 were notably complicit in the WW2 Jewish Holocaust and the WW2 European Holocaust (Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, and Romania) .

(6) of the 34 members, 14 were notably involved in the brutal conquest and genocide of Indigenous non-European people (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Apartheid Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the UK and the USA);

(7) of the 34 members, 25 are among the 30 members of nuclear-armed NATO, namely (non-IHRA NATO members in bold): (Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States);

(8) of the 34 members, only 2 (Austria and Ireland) have had the moral decency to sign and ratify the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) that was the great accomplishment of the Melbourne-founded and 2017 Nobel Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

Over 40 anti-racist Jewish organizations have condemned the IHRA Definition of anti-Semitism (2018): “The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which is increasingly being adopted or considered by western governments, is worded in such a way as to be easily adopted or considered by western governments to intentionally equate legitimate criticisms of Israel and advocacy for Palestinian rights with antisemitism, as a means to suppress the former. This conflation undermines both the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality and the global struggle against antisemitism. It also serves to shield Israel from being held accountable to universal standards of human rights and international law. We urge our governments, municipalities, universities and other institutions to reject the IHRA definition and instead take effective measures to defeat white supremacist nationalist hate and violence and to end complicity in Israel’s human rights violations. Israel does not represent us and cannot speak for us when committing crimes against Palestinians and denying their UN-stipulated rights. The Nobel Peace Prize-nominated, Palestinian civil society-led BDS movement for Palestinian rights has demonstrated an ongoing proven commitment to fighting antisemitism and all forms of racism and bigotry, consistent with its dedication to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Some of the undersigned organizations support BDS in full, others in part, and others have no formal position on BDS. We all affirm the current call for BDS as a set of tools and tactics that should not be defined as antisemitic” (Jewish Voices for Peace, “First ever: 40+ Jewish groups worldwide oppose equating antisemitism with criticism of Israel,” 17 July 2018).

In horrible reality, as Zionist-subverted and US-beholden, both the Coalition and Labor fervently support nuclear terrorist and genocidally racist Apartheid Israel, and Australia (with 33 other countries, all European and mostly supporters of nuclear terrorism and of UK, US and French nuclear terrorism in particular) is a member of the anti-Arab anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish anti-Semitic and holocaust-denying International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The IHRA is anti-Arab anti-Semitic (by falsely defaming Palestinian, Arab and Muslim critics of Apartheid Israeli crimes), anti-Jewish anti-Semitic (by falsely defaming anti-racist Jewish critics of Apartheid Israeli crimes), and holocaust-denying (ignoring all WW2 holocausts other than the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million killed by violence and deprivation), namely (deaths from violence and imposed deprivation in brackets) the WW2 European Holocaust (30 million Slavs, Jews and Gypsies killed), the WW2 Bengali Holocaust (6-7 million Indians deliberately starved to death for strategic reasons by the British with Australian complicity in 1942-1945), the WW2 Chinese Holocaust (35-40 million killed under the Japanese, 1937-1945), and indeed ignoring and hence denying about 60 other horrendous genocides and holocausts) (Gideon Polya, “Nuclear Terrorist Australia, UK & US AUKUS Alliance Threatens Humanity,” Countercurrents, 4 October 2021; Gideon Polya, “Australia must stop Zionist subversion and join the World in comprehensive Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Apartheid Israel and all its supporters,” Subversion of Australia, 15 April 2021; Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), “Feasibility study on strengthening trade and investment with Israel – submissions,” 2021; Gideon Polya, US-Imposed Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide, 400 pages, Korsgaard Publishing, Germany, 2020, Review).

Decency, respect for International Law, and support for human rights aside, Labor should also follow the spirit of Section 44 of the Australian Constitution that states in part: “Any person who – (i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power: or… shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representative.” Indeed all those supporting Apartheid Israel and hence Apartheid are violating International Law and are unfit for public life in a one-person-one-vote democracy like Australia.

Eminent Australian human rights lawyer Professor Gillian Triggs observed that “[The Coalition] is ideologically opposed to human rights”. Unfortunately Labor has strayed into the same moral morass by its fervent support of grossly human rights- and International Law-violating Apartheid Israel. Labor, as exemplified by the all too short, US-removed Whitlam Labor Government (I door-knocked for Gough Whitlam and Labor in 1975), should be the natural home of progressive, anti-racist, and humanitarian Australian voters. However such decent people can simply no longer in conscience vote 1 Labor in Australia’s compulsory and preferential voting system, and will vote 1 Green and put the Coalition last. Indeed Labor support for the IHRA means Labor support for repugnant anti-Semitism through defamation of anti-racist Jews, Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims.

I would urge Labor to immediately find courage, change tack, reject Zionist threats, oppose Zionist subversion of Australia, support Palestinian human rights, support immediate Palestinian self-determination, cease support for Apartheid Israel, and reject the anti-Arab anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish anti-Semitic and holocaust ignoring IHRA that is condemned by over 40 anti-racist Jewish organizations. Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. Please disseminate this Labor-saving message to everyone you can.

Yours sincerely, Dr Gideon Polya, Melbourne, Australia

Gideon Polya taught science students at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia over 4 decades. His articles first appear at Countercurrents. He has published some 130 works in a five-decade scientific career, notably a huge pharmacological reference text Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds. He has also published Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950 and Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. He has recently published US-Imposed Post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide (2020) and Climate Crisis, Climate Genocide & Solutions (2021). For images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child. Read other articles by Gideon.