"[A]n Australian official said the Israeli secret service had probably calculated that, even if it were caught using forged Australian passports, Canberra would not retaliate. 'It wouldn't matter whether it was John Howard or Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott in the prime minister's chair, they know we wouldn't sever relations. They know they've got us by the balls,' partly because of the strength of the Israel lobby, he said." (Betrayed PM should not be taken for granted by Israel, Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald, 26/2/10)
Palestinian violence and aggression is a staple of establishment politics (and media) in Australia. And not without reason too, given its deep historical roots.
In fact, the Palestinians' very first act of aggression, and undoubtedly their most outrageous, was to be living in Palestine when the nascent Zionist movement decided, around the end of the 19th century, that it belonged to them. And the Palestinians' aggressive refusal ever since to be shot, shelled, bombed, rocketed and otherwise blasted into history's dustbin has been a lasting embarrassment to the Western world's recognition that, as long as the State of Israel has its hands firmly around the balls of its 'leaders', they must act as though the sun literally shines out of its khaki-clad arse.
It is this decidedly uncomfortable state of affairs that explains the current Australian prime minister's impersonation of a broken record:
Julia Gillard, 2008:
"Israel's air strikes were a response to an 'act of aggression' by Hamas which had broken the ceasefire. 'We are saying to Hamas that they should cease any further action.'" (quoted in A time for fighting, Jason Koutsoukis, SMH, 29/12/08)
Julia Gillard, 2012:
"Australia is gravely concerned by escalating conflict in the Middle East. The Government condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip and calls on Hamas to cease these immediately. Australia supports Israel's right to defend itself against these indiscriminate attacks. Such attacks on Israel's civilian population are utterly unacceptable. Further escalations in rocket attacks from Gaza, such as those seen overnight, will not serve the interests of the Palestinian people or their cause for self-determination and statehood. We urge both Hamas and Israel to exercise restraint and to protect the lives of civilians. The Government of Australia will work earnestly with other countries to end further attacks from Gaza and to encourage a de-escalation of this conflict. We encourage regional countries, particularly Egypt, to support efforts to restore peace. The only way forward is a two-state solution based on direct negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis." (Conflict in the Middle East, pm.gov.au/press-office, 16/11/12)