Monday, December 13, 2010

WikiLeaks 7: When Israeli Eyes Are Smiling

And still they come:

"The Israeli ambassador to Australia found Kevin Rudd to be 'very pro-Israel' and senior Australian diplomats warned the former prime minister that his condemnation of Iran risked retaliation against Australia's embassy in Tehran, according to leaked US diplomatic cables. The secret cables, obtained by WikiLeaks and provided exclusively to the Herald, reveal the Israeli ambassador, Yuval Rotem, was pleased with Mr Rudd's 'very supportive' attitude towards Israel's position on the Middle East peace process and his strong attacks on the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." (Israel praises Labor allies, Philip Dorling, Sydney Morning Herald, 13/12/10)

There's that name again, Yuval Rotem. Is it not obvious by now that Israel looms larger than it should in Australian foreign and domestic affairs? That something deeply dysfunctional, even downright kinky, is going on here? That Australia's real interests are far from being served by the clowns who misrepresent us?

And surely by now there's some inkling out there in ms media land that a certain steroidal state with Mediterranean views punches way above its weight in the Australian arena?

After all, as those WikiLeaks documents have informed us, it's Rotem who briefed DFAT officials when they wanted to know what Rudd was up to on the foreign policy front, Rotem who interrupted Stephen Smith's holiday to drum up support for his country's 2008-2009 wilding in Gaza, and Rotem to whom Gillard applied for an instant rambamming. (See my WikiLeaks 4 & 5)

So why is there still no comment anywhere in the Fairfax press - not an editorial*, not an op-ed, not a letter, not even a bloody tweet - on the propriety of Israel's apparently very central role in deciding where we're heading as a nation? [*Today's Herald editorial (Back to Mid-East drawing board), instead, bends over backwards to excuse Netanyahu and Obama for the current collapse of the so-called peace process.]

And here's Rudd, once so supportive of Israel's position on the Middle East peace process, now wailing in Cairo that "no real progress" has been made because "Israeli settlements on Palestinian land were 'destroying' the chances of peace," but, good Christian that he is, somehow finding it in his heart to forgive, because, as he mantra-ed, "Israel had security fears that needed to be taken into account." (ibid)

Israeli settlements are popping up on occupied Palestinian land faster than mushrooms after rain, but Rudd's always mindful that Israel's still not over its 62-year-old (and counting) anxiety attack. No point even mentioning Palestinian anxiety, of course. Rudd's compassion only goes so far.

Anyway, back to our script: "The leaked cables reveal that Israeli diplomats saw Mr Rudd as an important ally. Mr Rotem told US officials in July 2008 that during his first meeting with Mr Rudd after the 2007 federal election, the newly elected prime minister had described Mr Ahmadinejad as a 'loathsome individual on ever level' and [said] that his anti-Semitism 'turns my stomach'. The US embassy noted that while opposition leader, Mr Rudd had taken a 'very strong stance' on Iran, including calling for Mr Ahmadinejad to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court for his calls for the destruction of Israel." (ibid)

So hot to trot is he, the silly bugger had to be hosed down by senior bureaucrats:

"The Israeli ambassador said that the secretary of the of the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Michael l'Estrange, and the director-general of the Office of National Assessments, Peter Varghese, had 'met several times to convince the PM to think through the consequences of his rhetoric on Iran'." (ibid)

So there were consequences to Rudd's pre-election brain snap? (See my 21/12/07 post Testing Time for Rudd) Apparently:

"Asked by the US embassy about whether Rudd's views on Iran had elicited any response, Mr Rotem said the Iranian government had reacted to the prime minister's statements by taking 'retaliatory measures' against the Australian embassy in Tehran. 'These measures made it harder for the embassy to conduct its day-to-day business', Mr Rotem observed. The Australian government has never publicly acknowledged any Iranian response to Mr Rudd's public criticism of Iran and its President." (ibid)

You mean the Australian embassy in Tehran was stormed and our diplomats held hostage? And we weren't told about it? OK, that was the US embassy in 1979, but still. So did any Fairfax journalist bother to get a response from the Iranians when Rudd's 'We're taking that loathsome individual to court' madness was doing the rounds? (For Rudd's eventual emergence from this particular brain snap, see my 16/10/08 post Rudd QC Ceases to Act)

"Mr Rotem went on to tell tell the US embassy that Israel saw Australia 'as playing an important role in the 'global PR battle' on Iran because PM Rudd is viewed favourably by the 'European Left', many of whom are sceptical about taking a tough line towards Tehran'. The ambassador said Israeli officials would normally have been concerned at the prospect of a Labor government: 'However, this was not the case because Rudd had long gone out of his way to stress his strong commitment to Israel and appreciation for its security concerns'. Commenting that DFAT officials are very frank in expressing their annoyance with the PM's micromanaging of foreign policy issues, Rotem laughingly said that 'while I understand their point of view, how can I complain about having that kind of attention from the PM'." (ibid)

A willing tool in Israel's PR arsenal. One who goes out of his way to please. Why, he practically throws himself at us!

And the pretender to the throne? She's not exactly playing hard to get:

"The Israeli ambassador's enthusiasm for the Labor government extended to the deputy prime minister Julia Gillard, with the US embassy reporting in January last year that Mr Rotem was 'very satisfied' with the Australian response to Israel's military offensive in Gaza. 'Rotem said he had been impressed with acting PM Julia Gillard, who has taken the lead in co-ordinating the [Australian government] public and private response to the Gaza fighting... Rotem said that Gillard and [national security adviser Duncan] Lewis have been very understanding of Israel's military action, while stressing the need to minimise civilian casualties and address humanitarian concerns'. Mr Rotem said Ms Gillard's public statements surprised many Israeli embassy contacts as being 'far more supportive than they had expected'." (ibid)

Another who goes out of her way to please. Why, she's even hotter to trot than he is! Did you notice her batting her eyelashes at me?

"The ambassador added that he would be 'playing to Rudd's vanity' to encourage him to pay an early visit to Israel and continue to speak out in support of a hard line against Iran's nuclear ambitions." (ibid)

Proof - if proof were needed - that our 'leaders' are putty in Israel's hands.

Next post: WikiLeaks 8: No, Prime Minister

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