Until today, the subject of political junkets to Israel, a practice I refer to as rambamming, had only once made it into a ms newspaper. That was in March 2009 in the Sydney Morning Herald (See my 29/3/09 post Rambamming Makes the Front Page).
Considering the unusual nature of the practice (Why are so many of our politicians flocking to Israel? What's in it for Israel?), and its potential for Israeli (and Israel lobby) interference in, or even control over, our foreign policy alignments and decisions (not to mention what we read and watch and protest), you have to wonder at the almost total lack of interest in the phenomenon by corporate media pundits and journalists. (Not that one need wonder too much, because, if truth be known, our media hacks, both government (ABC, SBS) and non-government (Fairfax, Murdoch), are almost as keen on the rambam as our politicians.)
All this is by way of registering the fact that rambamming has again made it to the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald*:
"The Israel lobby, Qantas and mining companies are leading the charge in lavishing federal politicians** with all-expenses paid junkets and other gifts, a Herald investigation has found... Politicians are being serially wooed by foreign interests, with Israel and Israeli lobby groups giving politicians 44 fully or partly funded trips to Israel and other destinations disclosed in the past 2 years. In contrast Palestine sponsored just two trips in the same period." (Sky's the limit for political gifts, Stuart Washington & Tom Allard, 30/8/12)
For the most detailed look at the Australian side of the phenomenon on the WWW, just click on the rambamming label below. For a comprehensive list of the Australian rambammed - politicians, journos and others - going back to 2005, see my 30/3/09 post I've been to Israel too.
[*And yet why was this 'Herald Investigation' nowhere in view on its website?; ** I should mention that the practice of rambamming is also proving increasingly popular among our state politicians.]