Australian MP: Danon refugee plan ‘unrealistic’

Last week, Danon wrote a letter suggesting Danby present the Australian Parliament a plan to accept refugees living in Israel.

July 5, 2011 06:28
2 minute read.
Micahel Danby

Michael Danby_311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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It would be “unrealistic” to move Eritrean refugees from Israel to Australia, Melbourne MP Michael Danby said, in response to a proposal from MK Danny Danon (Likud).

“Danny and the Likud coalition will need to do a lot more serious work before even a single person who is classified under UNHCR guidelines as a refugee could come to Australia,” Danby wrote in an email to The Jerusalem Post.

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Last week, Danon wrote a letter suggesting Danby present the Australian Parliament a plan to accept refugees living in Israel.

According to the Australian MP, the government would have to approve Danon’s proposal, and recommend it to Australian Ambassador Andrea Faulkner. Next, either Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu or Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman would have to lobby Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.

Despite Australia’s “generous humanitarian program,” Danby explained, “there would have to be some pretty good reason for even a few of [the refugees Australia accepts] to originate from Israel, as most of those admitted... are selected by our immigration officials from people in particularly desperate circumstances, particularly in our region.

“All of these complexities make Mr. Danon’s proposals probably quite unrealistic,” he said.

Danby also suggested that “Israel should take great pride in the fact that people are fleeing towards Israel. They are not running towards North Korea, Sudan or Tibet.

“This refugee flow underlines the great lie of those obsessed shmucks in the flotilla” to Gaza, he said.

Danby also took issue with Danon’s use of the term “Muslim infiltrators” to describe Africans entering Israel.

Danby did not meet with Danon on his recent visit in Israel, and did not discuss the refugee issue with him. Minutes after receiving a query from the Post, he wrote that he was “surprised to receive a letter from Danny on World Likud letterhead on my email.”

Danon said in response that he and Danby both participated in a discussion on refugees at a leadership forum at Bar- Ilan University in December, where he presented the idea. Danby confirmed that he spoke about immigration in the forum.

“In recent days, Danon officially addressed Australian MP Michael Danby on the topic, and plans to promote the initiative after receiving an official response,” a Danon spokesman told the Post.

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