My God, did Julie Bishop say that? Did she what:
"Labor has hit out at claims that the Coalition will always back Israel in sensitive votes at the United Nations. Seizing on reports that Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop told a Jewish community forum in Melbourne last month an Abbott government would always vote against UN resolutions critical of Israel, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said she had shown 'an immense lack of judgment'. Such a change could see Australia voting against resolutions put to the General Assembly each year calling on Israel to respect the Geneva Conventions governing the rules of war in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Howard government switched Australia's vote to abstain in 2004 after Australia had previously backed the resolution over decades. But Australia has never before voted against the resolution. 'Julie Bishop clearly doesn't understand the serious implications of what she has committed a Coalition government to do', Mr Smith said yesterday. But Ms Bishop has denied the Coalition intends to take a blanket approach to voting on UN resolutions should it win office. 'I said we would return to the voting pattern of the Howard government', she told The Age yesterday. 'I make no apology for my strong support of Israel. I think the Rudd-Gillard government weakened Australia's stance at the UN as they pursued votes for their campaign to the Security Council'. Ms Bishop said the Coalition would oppose what are seen as one-sided resolutions against Israel but her comments at the Jewish forum had been mis-reported. 'Maybe that's what they wanted me to say, but I didn't. I'm very careful about these things', she said. 'Of course I'd never say I'd never ever abstain, there could be all sorts of circumstances that arise in the future. I don't know, Israel could do anything'." (Labor slams Bishop for Israel stance, Daniel Flitton, Sydney Morning Herald, 12/8/10)
OK, let's explore this. It's clearly shorthand for 'Israel could do any crazy thing,' or 'You never know what fool thing Israel's going to do next'.
But just how crazy does Israel have to get for Bishop to vote against it in the UN?
Maybe if we examine her response to just 2 of the crazy things Israel has done recently, we can get some idea of just how much craziness she can tolerate.
How about Israel purloining Australian passports? Here's what she had to say about that:
"It would be naive to think that Israel is the only country in the world that has used forged passports, including Australian passports, for security operations', she said. She was then asked by the interviewer: 'What, we do?' 'Yes', was her reply. 'I believe that it has occurred, but I wasn't the foreign minister at the time'." (Bishop stokes fake passport storm, sbs.com.au, 25/5/10)
So that's OK then, the Israelis can nick our passports whenever they like.
How about Israel gunning down aid workers on the high seas?
"We should not rush to judgment - at these early stages there are claims and counter-claims. There must be a full inquiry into the matter." (Julie Bishop talks to the Capital Jewish Forum, jwire.com.au, 10/6/10)
No, definitely not crazy enough to move our Jules.
How about Israel nuking Iran?
Watch this space.