"It wouldn't matter whether it was John Howard or Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott in the prime minister's chair... [the Israelis] know they've got us by the balls... partly because of the strength of the Israel lobby..." (Unnamed "Australian official" in the wake of the 2010 Mossad passport affair. Quoted in Betrayed PM should not be taken for granted by Israel, Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald, 26/2/10)
"A prominent Jewish community leader will seek an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Julia Gillard with the hope Australia will yet oppose a Palestinian seat in the United Nations. Philip Chester, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, said time was of the essence before the Palestinian bid is put to the vote in New York on Thursday (around 7.30 am Friday). 'We're exploring that right now,' Mr Chester said. 'Our aim is to talk to the Prime Minister at the first instance, others we have to think about.'... Mr Chester was at pains to emphasise his organisation would not make threats..." (Gillard under Jewish pressure over Palestine, Daniel Flitton, The Age, 28/11/12)
Threats? Was at pains to emphasise?
How interesting! Now where did that suggestion come from? Daniel? Philip?
Perish the thought that the Israel lobby would ever actually threaten an Australian Prime Minister.
OK, well, there's always the good old reciprocal cold shoulder:
"Australia had long been one of Israel's 3 most supportive friends, along with the US and Canada. But now there were troubling signs that Rudd had decided to distance Australia from the Jewish state and himself from the Australian Jews he had called friends. It started in February  with the Government's angry reaction to news that assassins with the Israeli intelligence service Mossad had forged 3 Australian passports to enter the United Arab Emirates to kill a Hamas military commander... in his hotel room... It sharpened a week later when Australia switched its vote in the UN to signal a weakening of support for Israel... The concern intensified last month when the government expelled an Israeli diplomat as a punishment for the passports abuse... All through this, the Israeli ambassador to Australia and some members of the Jewish community felt a chill in their dealings with the government Phone calls went unreturned, normal dealings seemed to be suspended. The Jewish community reciprocated. When Labor approached key groups to hold fund-raising events for the coming election, they feigned busyness, but it was deliberate and unmistakeable retaliation. The Jewish community was an important source of Labor funds for the 2007 election. A single lunch in Sydney raised $100,000. A Toorak tennis court for 200, attended by Rudd and Julia Gillard, raised more. But as this year has unfolded, it became increasingly clear such effort would not be repeated." (What am I, chopped liver? How Rudd dived into schmooze mode, Peter Hartcher, Sydney Morning Herald, 22/6/10)*
FYI: The Age has just concluded a 7,144 reader poll on the question: How should Australia vote on a bid to give Palestinians UN observer status? The results are as follows:
Yes: 60%; No: 31%; Abstain: 9%
[*For the full story on the night Philip and his mates had dinner with Rudd at The Lodge, see my 22/6/10 post The Best Israel Policy Money Can Buy. Just click on the 'Rudd government' label below.]