Monday, May 24, 2010

Alexander Downer and Australian Liberals Are Licking Israeli Arse

Alexander Downer and Australian Liberals Are Licking Israeli Arse

New Zealand to demand apology in passport affair resulted in The Strip Search of New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clerk by John Howard – The Lying Son of A Bitch. Howard misused and abused Australian antiterrorism related legislations to insult Prime Minister Helen Clerk and satisfy Israel.
This time Lord Downer of Baghdad, Julie Bishop of the Liberal Party and most of the Australian media outlets are working overtime to protect Israeli interests and let Australia down!

Stuart Bocking of 2UE said that he will be talking about new tensions for Australia and Israel regarding the passport scandal. I used my mobile phone to call his station and it was not answered. However, when I used some other mobile, I went through very quickly! Anyway, poor switch girl took my number and she promised me to call back. At the end of the day she did not call me back. Most importantly all other radio stations including ABC talkback to was scared to talk about this issue!

New tensions for Australia and Israel
Diplomatic relations between Israel and Australia are under new pressure, with news that the Israeli Mossad agency allegedly tampered with three Australian passports as part of its assassination of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh last month.
Foreign minister Stephen Smith said “…if the results of (our) investigation cause us to come to the conclusion that the abuse of Australian passports was in any way sponsored or condoned by Israeli officials, then Australia would not regard that as the act of a friend”.
Former foreign minister Alexander Downer said “My recollection is that over time we have raised this issue with the Israelis. We have raised the issue of Israeli intelligence officers using foreign passports and that they should not consider using Australian passports.”
Israeli Foreign Ministery spokesperson Yigal Palmor said “I haven’t heard any government accuse Israel of being involved in that, not in France, not in Britain, not in Ireland, not in Germany and now not in Australia…There have been many hints, or direct accusations by media (but) … they don’t represent any official stance. We don’t think we should feel concerned.”
What now for Australia and Israel? Here’s what the pundits are saying.
National Times
Daniel Flitton: This is not the way to treat a steadfast friend
The facts of this case must first be established, but if it’s shown that Israel has abused Australia’s trust, that protection is forever diminished. A long friendship is on the line.
Michelle Grattan: Rudd rides in to save the day
It was, of course, a serious issue and you’d expect him (Rudd) to be out there, but it also gave him a useful opportunity to sound statesmanlike.
The Australian
Greg Sheridan:
Theft burned a strong supporter
It is astonishing to find a circumstance in which the PM is condemning Israel. To misuse the Australian connection in this way is a very poor show by the Israelis.
Sydney Morning Herald
Peter Hartcher:
Betrayed PM should not be taken for granted by Israel
And this only intensified his (Rudd’s) sense of betrayal.
Dennis Atkins:
Kevin Rudd’s outrage will have little effect on Israeli
But behind the genuinely angry words from the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister there is an understanding – and probably a grudging acceptance – that this is what Israel does.
Mark Steven, New Matilda:
Passport act ‘Not the act of a friend’
The media’s emphasis on passports speaks to something at the very core of Israel’s war with Palestine — and of today’s global politics. What it speaks to is the role of identity and, more precisely, the significance of names.

Australia to expel Israeli diplomat
May 24, 2010 - 6:44PM

Relations with Israel are at a low point after Canberra ordered the expulsion of a Mossad agent in response to a wide-ranging probe that found the Jewish state was involved in the forging of Australian passports.
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith admitted it was with "sorrow" Australia took such action against a long-term friend but stressed the passport fraud - part of a hit against a Hamas leader in January - was intolerable.
"This is not what we expect from a nation with whom we have had such a close, friendly and supportive relationship," he told parliament.
The investigation, involving federal police and the nation's key spy agencies, was initiated in March after it emerged Australian passports were used in the killing of senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January.
Israel on Monday described the action as regrettable, suggesting it failed to recognise the deep and enduring ties between the two countries.
Australia has long been one of Israel's closest friends and the relationship dates back to creation of a separate Jewish state in the late 1940s.
"We feel it is not reflective of the extensive relationship between the two nations," a spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Canberra said.
Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop, the coalition's foreign affairs spokeswoman, attacked the government for over-reacting, a sentiment echoed by former foreign minister Alexander Downer.
And she accused the government of taking the decision to try to garner Arab votes in Australia's bid for a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council.
"I am concerned this is a purely political decision," Ms Bishop told Sky News.
"There is no absolute proof that the Israeli government did it."
The expulsion may precipitate some uncomfortable conversations between Canberra and Washington when United States President Barack Obama visits Australia later this year.
The US - which received an early alert of Canberra's decision - finds itself in the difficult position of being an ally of Australia, as well as Israel's closest friend.
But Australia is not the only country to take stern action in response to the use of its passports in the murder plot.
Britain - involved in the passport scandal with France, Germany and Ireland - expelled a diplomat in March.
The government is refusing to disclose details of the expelled diplomat but the online edition of the Haaretz newspaper is reporting the official is the Mossad representative for the Israeli embassy in Canberra.
Australia admits the relationship will take time to repair following this episode.
Mr Smith acknowledged it could diminish co-operation, particularly in areas of intelligence and security.
"Clearly as a result of today's events there will be something of a cooling-off period so far as relevant agencies are concerned," he said.
He refused to put a timetable on the normalisation of relations.
"We would want very much for those cooperative relationships to proceed but there does require a rebuilding of trust and confidence."
He stressed, however, Canberra took no pleasure from the turn of events.
"This decision is made much more in sorrow than in anger," he said.
It has sparked an outcry from the Israeli community in Australia, generally a strong supporter of the Australian Labor Party.
And it could create headaches for the government in tight inner urban seats with big Jewish communities.
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry warned little good would come from taking punitive action against Israel, while the Australia-Israel and Jewish Affairs Council described the move as unhelpful.
© 2010

Israel responsible for faking Aussie passports, diplomat expelled: Smith
May 24, 2010 - 1:41PM

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Foreign Minister Stephen Smith explains to MPs why the Australian Government is expelling an Israeli diplomat.
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Australia's relations with Israel have hit a new low, with the Rudd Government expelling an Israeli diplomat over the fake passports affair.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith, told Parliament today that inquiries by Australian intelligence agencies into the use of fake Australian passports in Dubai had concluded the fakes were the work of a state intelligence agency.
Mr Smith said this led to the conclusion there was no doubt Israel was responsible.

Stephen Smith ... said it was not the first time Israel had faked Australian passports.
"No government can tolerate the abuse of its passports, especially by a foreign government," he said. "This represents a clear affront to the security of our passport system."
The scandal over the use of fake passports erupted internationally after the January murder of a Hamas operative.
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, one of Hamas's top arms dealers, was found dead in his hotel room on January 20.
Dubai police identified 27 people involved in the assassination, 12 of whom travelled on forged British passports.
Four of the suspects travelled on Australian passports in the names of four dual Australian-Israeli citizens.
Mr Smith said that intelligence sharing with Mossad would also be cut as the fake passports affair drags relations between the two countries to a new low.
Speaking after his statement to Parliament, Mr Smith said the fakes were of such a quality that they “could only (have been) affected by a nation through a state intelligence service.”
He said that this had led to the conclusion that “Israel was responsible for the counterfeiting and cloning of those passports”.
The AFP and the Director-General of ASIO made trips to Israel to investigate the allegations.
Mr Smith said that the Australian investigation cleared the four Australians whose identities were used in the operation. They were “innocent victims”, he said.
On relations with Israel, Mr Smith said: “We do not regard these actions as the actions of a friend.”
But Mr Smith qualified his attack on Israel, adding, “We are a firm friend of Israel. We regret very much that this incident has occurred.”
The Minister briefed the National Security Committee of Federal Cabinet this morning on the findings of the intelligence agencies, and recommended the expulsion of the Israeli diplomat as well as a freeze on intelligence sharing.
Questioned on whether the officer expelled from Australia was a member of Mossad, Mr Smith said: “I’m not proposing to identify that particular person". However, he appeared to keep open such a possibility by adding, “Our response on any measure is comparable to the British response.”
Mr Smith said the abuse of Australia's passports was not what Australia expected from a nation with which it had had such a close and friendly relationship.
Isreal's ambassador is overseas until June 8, but the Israeli embassy in Canberra has declined to comment until later today.
In March, Britain expelled Mossad's London station chief over the use of forged British passports in the assassination of al-Mabhouh in Dubai.
The French, Irish and German governments also investigated the use of copies of their passports in the Dubai killing.
- with Kirsty Needham