This is what the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was minded to say following Israel's Gaza flotilla massacre of May 31:
"Earlier today [1/6/10], addressing the media before Question Time, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd condemned Israel's use of force during the flotilla raid in Gaza. 'The Australian government condemns any use of violence under the sorts of circumstances that we have seen. Furthermore, we are deeply concerned about the loss of life which has occurred. It is imperative that the government of Israel conduct its own immediate, independent inquiry as to what happened. When it comes to a blockade against Gaza, preventing the supply of humanitarian aid, such a blockade should be removed'." (Israel faces backlash over flotilla raid, reportageonline.com, 1/6/10)
Rudd then had a meeting (I assume on the afternoon/evening of June 1) at The Lodge with the usual suspects:
According to Michael Danby MP, Labor's 'Minister for Israel', "... Australia supports humanitarian assistance to Gaza but has not called for the end of a military blockade preventing shipments of Iranian or other armaments... On Tuesday [1/6/10], I met with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister to discuss a number of measures that would establish clearly Australia's ongoing partnership with Israel. So a group of senior Australian Jewish leaders including Robert Goot (ECAJ), Albert Dadon (AICE), Mark Leibler (AIJAC) and Philip Chester (ZFA) attended with myself and Mark Dreyfus a meeting at the Lodge with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister." (The Gaza flotilla incident, jwire.com.au, 5/6/10)
Note that Rudd is by no means an easy man to see. According to Fairfax journalist David Marr, "With so much power concentrated in Rudd's hands, access to the prime minister becomes a crucial issue of government... 'It's easier to get in to see the Pope than Kevin', one disgruntled backbencher told me." (We have to talk about Kevin, Good Weekend, 6/6/10)
Not, it seems, for Israel lobbyists bent on damage control.
That night (time unknown - Rudd sometimes gets to bed as late as 3 am), the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, phoned him. Rudd's account of their conversation came during Question Time the next day, June 2:
"Consistent with the public remarks made both by myself and the Foreign Minister yesterday, I indicated that the Australian government was deeply concerned at the loss of life and injuries that had occurred as part of the IDF operation, furthermore that deaths in these circumstances are deeply disturbing and of deep concern to the Australian people, and furthermore that Israel should mount an independent inquiry into the incident so that all the facts can be established and an informed judgement made about the events surrounding the incident of Monday. Furthermore, I reiterated that the Australian government's position was that more needs to be done to ensure a reasonable continuing supply of humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza. Australia recognises the unique security challenges that the government of Israel faces from the government of Iran, the state of Iran, and the terrorist organisations which the Iranians support. Australia remains sensitive to the security concerns of Israel. Australia is nonetheless deeply concerned by the loss of life in this most recent military action off Gaza." (Kevin Rudd, Hansard Chamber Green, 2/6/10)
Where is the earlier condemnation "of any use of violence under the sorts of circumstances we have seen"? Where is the reference to Israel's blockade against Gaza which "should be removed" to allow "the supply of humanitarian aid"?
And in their place? An obliging reference to Israel's "unique security challenges" from those dreadful Iranians and their proxy terrorists.