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THE UNELECTED: Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs swings at Israel once again

israelburns The world’s favourite punching bag, Israel, has been deemed guilty by Australia’s foreign minister Stephen Smith of falsifying passports in order to get its agents in and out of hostile nations safely.

Smith didn’t state his evidence. And nor would we expect him to do so. But his decision followed an embarrassingly farcical investigation by the Australian Federal Police that saw its officer run over bicyclists in Israel.

It’s hard to imagine them finding a smoking gun. Or warm laminating machine.

We don’t fault Smith too much in all of this. He is one person presiding over a department whose hostile intentions towards Israel couldn’t be any more obvious if they donned a face mask and burned the country’s flag.

VEXNEWS understands Smith has done as much as possible to limit the desired departmental response.

He has long delayed the response, way beyond the knee-jerk over-reaction of the previous British government.

He has also minimised it, by apparently punting an Israeli cultural attache due to leave in a couple of weeks anyway.

His initial meeting with the Israeli Ambassador about this issue was said to be brief, formal and courteous.

That’s good.

What’s not good is the perception that Australia engages in this kind of anti-Israel stunt motivated by a desire to win United Nations member votes for election to the Security Council.

The department Smith has the odious job of presiding over rates getting on the Security Council as desperately important. It even has a campaign page on DFAT’s website.

Nothing wrong with winning elections but we wonder whether the friends Australia needs to repudiate and the friends we need to make in order to win are worth this dubious prize?

It is widely understood that the Arab League, the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Union blocs at the UN are not willing to support Australia unless it distances itself from Israel.

VEXNEWS has recently learned that a senior federal government minister is soon to visit Syria, a leading force in the Arab League, and will be given an award by the nation’s president for fostering close relations between that country and ours.

While there has been encouragement from Israel’s government of talks between Syria and Israel, the Syrian Foreign Minister said over the weekend that their government “will not be a policeman for Israel”, language interpreted as signalling that the country will continue to facilitate the transfer of weapons including Scud missiles to Hezbollah and other forces within Lebanon that attack Israel in the Arab world’s proxy war against the Jewish state.

Israel’s government seems to believe it can have sensible peace discussions with Syria, an optimistic position we think but we’re usually reluctant to second-guess people like its President Shimon Peres or Prime Minister Netanyahu. Unlike our own Department of Foreign Affairs, we cannot imagine either ever selling out their country. It has been interesting to see Bibi’s conciliatory moves towards Syria. Hopefully it can drag its regime out of the gutter and into the light.

And while we trust Israel’s leadership to get these things right, it’s very difficult to have confidence in our own Department of Foreign Affairs that seems to desperate to climb the incredibly greasy pole of the United Nations that it is willing disregard long-term Australian friendships with countries that share our values.

Stephen Smith’s reaction could have been worse but it is hard to imagine a federal department any worse than the bureaucracy over which he presides. They are a menace, an embarrassment and a national disgrace. They were just as bad under Howard and they’d be just as bad under Abbott, so it’s not a party political thing.

It’s not time our democratically elected leaders took real control of Australia’s foreign policy and stopped suspending our disgust at brutal military or religious fundamentalist dictatorships of the kind that constitute Israel’s enemies.

UPDATE: Labor MP Michael Danby has made it clear that there is a fair degree of resistance to the government’s announcement

Michael Danby
Federal Member for Melbourne Ports

Media Release

“Expulsion not supported”

“I have previously & publicly (on Jon Faine’s 774 program) said I condemn the misuse of Australian passports by any other country. However, I do not agree with the government’s decision to remove an Israeli diplomat from Canberra. Neither France, Germany or Ireland have asked for an Israeli diplomat to be withdrawn as a result of the Dubai affair”

“This announcement comes at a time when Australia is supporting just resumed Middle East peace negotiations”

“I accept that this decision has been made but Australia has always been a good friend of Israel and I have no doubt that this relationship will remain intact”, Mr Danby said.

Discussion

Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. What planet are you from? DFAT’s taking this one very easy. What kind of friend takes on their friend’s identity to kill someone?

    Whilst I support Israel’s right to defend itself, freedom to prosperity and right to exist, their actions infringed on Australian Sovereignty.

    Israel needs to work with it’s allies to contain evil. Not screw our reputation abroad through unilateral action.

    Posted by Anon | May 24, 2010, 18:28
  2. This expulsion was announced by an elected Australian politician. why is Vannunu back in jail for three months? AS for first comment: well said

    Posted by Duruttti | May 24, 2010, 18:39
  3. Yeah, it’s not like ASIS would ever fake a foreign passport to provide cover for one of their agents.

    Oh, wait…

    Posted by BS Detector | May 24, 2010, 19:05
  4. Vanunu is back in jail for violating the terms of his parole. Unthinkable, right? That he would be put in jail for violating parole after being sentenced to community service which he REFUSED to do, and after being given full rights of appeal through Israel’s functioning, democratic legal system. Those ‘bastards’.

    Posted by Anonymous | May 24, 2010, 20:05
  5. Great Britain has given the Mossad agent the boot from the Israeli Embassy in London too. Good decision Stephen Smith. I thought the whimpering about the expulsion from Julie Bishop on ABC TV news tonight was pathetic.

    I think its time to discontinue the duel passport legislation too. You are either an Aussie or you are a foreigner but you cant be both.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | May 24, 2010, 20:17
  6. Israel’s Australian passport fraud puts Australian travelers at risk of being detained by other – especially Muslim countries.

    As for the ALP currying favour with the Arab world- how many UN votes did Gillard get when she defended Israel’s right to defend itself by hammering Gaza in 2008?

    Grow up Andrew.

    Posted by Jay Walter Weatherman | May 24, 2010, 20:21
  7. Soft! That’s a light slap on the wrists, quite lenient indeed.

    Posted by The Truth | May 24, 2010, 22:02
  8. Great work by the ALP Right!

    Posted by Anonymous | May 24, 2010, 22:35
  9. no thine friends, stephen smith. mossad used Australian citizens’ visas to knock off terrorists. Indonesia is welcome to use mine to knock off some JI plotters.

    Posted by shame on you smith | May 24, 2010, 23:04
  10. Israel got busted, pretty simple really hey!

    Posted by Anonymous | May 24, 2010, 23:10
  11. Michael Danby MP, Member for Israel, Australian Parliament.

    Posted by Anonymous | May 24, 2010, 23:12
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  13. The ALP is a disgrace. Danby is wasting his time in this left-wing Party.

    Posted by Anonski | May 25, 2010, 0:07
  14. […] THE UNELECTED: Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs swings at Israel once again VexNews.com […]

    Posted by ISR out of OZ « Five Minutes for Israel | May 25, 2010, 0:11
  15. How many Australian citizens would ASIO allow to die before taking out the arms dealing terrorist supplying the weapons?

    Would it forge an Israeli passport to do so?

    If ASIO doesn’t use false identities and passports to gather intelligence it is the only intelligence agency in the world that doesn’t.

    Posted by David Guy | May 25, 2010, 0:36
  16. It is interesting to note that Patricia Phillipou has had the same letter published in both major Fairfax dailies today.

    She is a well known anti-Semite and a career Israel hater, who is clearly frothing at the mouth.

    As far as I’m concerned, this whole affair is a grubby distraction by Kevin Rudd who has clearly taken a leaf out of the Arab political leaders’ playbook: When you are starting to look bad and the people are waking up to your incompetence, find a way to make Israel look bad instead.

    Moreover, I doubt Mr Rudd would be willing to swear on the lives of his children that Australia’s spy organisations do not have a boxful of forged passports.

    What a pathetic double standards.

    Posted by Dan Lewis | May 25, 2010, 9:27
  17. Vannunu’s breach of parole included being seen with a foreigner who happened to be his girl friend and he wanted to live on the West Bank but this was refused and Is till don;t know what his crime was. Oh that’s right outing Israel for its secret nuclear weapons program. Was that before or after it tried to sell nuclear weapons to the Apartheid regime of South Africa? Blindly following Israel does it no good at all. Sometimes you have to tell your friends they are stuffing up

    Posted by Duruttti | May 25, 2010, 10:56
  18. Posted by Josh | May 25, 2010, 11:30
  19. Thanks, “Josh”. Why don’t you invent another sockpuppet and provide us with convenient links to Stormfront while you are at it?

    The anti-Semites are having a FIELD day. Too bad the average Aussie sheds no tears over dead terrorists.

    Posted by Dan Lewis | May 25, 2010, 11:38
  20. Disgusting. How does throwing a Jew under the bus make us a more tolerant nation?

    Posted by Ben | May 25, 2010, 11:53
  21. This article is a little silly.

    The truth is the Israel authorities did something wrong, they got caught out and this is their wrist slap. It is a small price to pay for identity stealing.

    Posted by Clam man | May 25, 2010, 12:34
  22. Not one item of any value as proof that Israel actually did this thing with the Passports, it is 100% conjecturfe. And virtually certainty that is is all because PM Rudd desperately desires to be the next UN Secretary-General, starting with a seat on the UN Security Council.
    So the actual truth matters not at all – just fake it, and hope that will detract everyone’s minds from all the totally useless stunts pulled on us, from the Grocer Watch to the death-dealing and bungled Ceiling insulation and the really overly expensive and crooked BER programmes.

    Posted by Geoff Cass | May 25, 2010, 13:09
  23. Almost as insulting as Lisa Neville withdrawing funding for Jewish Care who provides a range of professional care, services and facilities for members of the Jewish community requiring support and assistance too instead provide extra funding for the gay and lesbian community. Labor is starting to drag the Jewish community in the dirt. Not a good look.

    Posted by Danby please stand up! | May 25, 2010, 13:41
  24. Arabs run NSW. NSW run the party. This is just another example that Arbib is calling the shots.

    Posted by Anonymous | May 25, 2010, 15:04
  25. Israel is completely amoral and lawless in defence of its colonial enclave and expects the rest of the world to look away. Stop suking up to Bloch Liebler, Andrew.

    Posted by Lev Arch | May 25, 2010, 15:48
  26. big surprise Andy defending a country that uses us as a doormat

    Posted by Sue | May 25, 2010, 15:48
  27. The bible teaches me that Israel is God’s chosen people – it also tells me the world is less than 7,00o years old!

    Posted by Mike Baird | May 25, 2010, 16:35
  28. Back in a second I’ve just got to go to the dunny to drop a big steaming ‘Israel’.

    Posted by anon | May 25, 2010, 17:34
  29. Posted by Josh | May 25, 2010, 18:25
  30. Another exciting link from “Josh”.

    We’re still waiting for him to link to Stormfront and other similarly useful online resources.

    As to whether Israel did or didn’t do it, we’ll never know, but I for one hope they did it! Islamic terrorists all over the world are sleeping less comfortably because of it.

    As I’ve said on record before, if anyone wants to borrow my passport to go and kill Muslim terrorists, they are welcome to it and I’ll even drive them to the airport.

    Posted by Dan Lewis | May 25, 2010, 18:51
  31. weird weird weird world !!

    well done Canberra now really get tough on them and stop the Israel anti-bash propaganda…it’s sick and we are sick of the deluded ones!

    BRING ON SENSIBLE JEWS!

    by the way we will forgive but we will not forget stuff like this ok.

    Posted by SENSIBLE JEW | May 25, 2010, 19:12
  32. I have Sth African Jewish friends as teachers and they get embarrassed by some members of the jewish diaspora here in politics!

    The MASSIVE inferiority complex along with the “ethnic chip on the shoulder” is indicative of the spoilt nouveau nouveau class of up themselves tossers combined with a little bit of look at me… i made it children of an immigrant class that has something to prove to the establishment attached to it all!

    ho hum ho hum!

    Posted by public | May 25, 2010, 19:25
  33. My anus is gaping open and ready for you Alan.

    Posted by Dan Lewis | May 25, 2010, 20:07
  34. Allah be praised.

    Posted by Anonymous | May 25, 2010, 20:12
  35. Not being a nationalist myself I have always found andylandy’s “patriot” tag, applied equally to shortcons, corrupt WA polticians, Libs, shockjocks, and sundry others to be rather purile.

    But now we have a new definition of “patriot”.

    Posted by patriot? | May 26, 2010, 6:41
  36. You know you are right when the best counter-argument offered is to spoof your name and come up with bizarre homo-erotic fantasies…

    Posted by Dan Lewis | May 26, 2010, 16:15
  37. Andrew, picking on DFAT might make you feel better, but you’re wrong.

    The disgrace behind this decision is that it’s another of Rudd’s cynical attempts to divert attention away from yet another problem of his own making – the Resource Super Profits Tax. And while he’s at it, not a bad way to pick up a few votes for Australia’s bullshit Security Council campaign.

    Why don’t you admit what you really know deep down – this lot in Government are about as shit as they come.

    Posted by Phoney Tony | May 30, 2010, 0:30

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