Australia Palestine Advocacy Network welcomes the Herald Sun’s apology to Former Federal Labor MP, The Hon. Melissa Parke.
In the lead up to last year’s Federal election, the Murdoch owned tabloid was engaged in a baseless smear campaign against Ms Parke, accusing her of antisemitism without any evidence to support the claim.
Ms Parke refused to be bullied and launched defamation proceedings against the Herald Sun. The case was settled out of court in her favour, and the Herald Sun published an overdue apology and also published an important opinion piece by Ms Parke, Let’s reserve the term ‘antisemitic’ for those who truly deserve it.
To quote Ms Parke’s article:
“When the pro-Israel lobby spends much of its time in a relentless vendetta against critics of Israeli state policy, they debase the true meaning of the term ‘antisemitism’ and they let real antisemites – mainly far right white nationalists – off the hook.”
Ms Parke is also currently suing Liberal MP David Sharma for defamation, as well as Colin Rubinstein, executive director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs, for similar accusations of antisemitism.
We commend Ms Parke on her bravery and resolve in challenging these accusations, despite the tremendous toll it has taken, and the personal and professional cost Ms Parke has shouldered.
At APAN, we will continue to stand alongside steadfast advocates like Ms Parke, in our shared commitment to realising a safer world that respects us all.
Bishop George BrowningPresident, Australia Palestine Advocacy Network