Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Day Julia Gillard Faced the Music

"Explaining why her foreign minister was 'so hostile to Israel' and blaming the Jewish community for the weakness of her cabinet and caucus on Israel - this was what Bob Carr had reduced Julia Gillard to in her final months as prime minister." (Gillard driven over by Carr on Israel, Chris Kenny, The Australian, 12/10/13)

The bastard! Sounds like emotional abuse to me.

OK... For "Jewish community" read 'Israel lobby'.

"Leaked documents reveal the acute embarrassment Senator Carr created for Ms Gillard over the question of Australia's support for Israel... Ms Gillard's briefing notes for a Jewish community [sic] event in Sydney in April included talking points with suggested answers to the question: 'Bob Carr is so hostile to Israel - what are you going to do about it?'"

Can you imagine any other foreign lobby so cocksure of itself as to ask an Australian PM such a question?

"The then prime minister's speaking notes also included a plea for the Jewish community [sic] to lobby Labor MPs to bolster support for her position in cabinet and caucus. 'There were not many voices in caucus,' she complained. 'This community has work to do'."

Can you imagine the leader of any other country calling on a foreign lobby to put pressure on her own parliamentary colleagues in order to achieve its aims?

"The split over the Middle East came to a head last December [sic: November] when Ms Gillard told cabinet of her intention to vote no to a UN resolution giving the Palestinian territories [sic: Authority] observer status at the UN. This triggered a backlash within government, led by Senator Carr, that forced Ms Gillard to back down and instruct Australia's UN ambassador to abstain from the vote. It is the only clear instance of Ms Gillard being thwarted by her own cabinet and caucus... Australia received diplomatic complaints from the US and Israel..."


"... for failing to vote against the resolution, which passed comfortably regardless. And domestically, Jewish community leaders conveyed their disappointed [sic] to the government."

I'm - we're - so sorry, so very, very sorry. Even Bob... No, really!... Please believe me - er, us... What's that?... I owe you one?... I see... Yes, I've got a pencil... April 23?... Chifley Tower?... Right... OK, OK, don't worry, I'll be there, promise...

"So on April 23, when Ms Gillard went to a high-powered lunch at Chifley Tower, hosted by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, she was in a difficult position. At the event she would become the first Australian politician to sign the London Declaration on [Combating] Antisemitism."*


But that wasn't all:

"But she also might might have to apologise for her foreign minister, who had led the charge on the UN vote and also had made strident comments about Israeli settlements on the West Bank being illegal. 'I know Bob is genuinely committed to Israel's security and survival,' her speaking notes suggested. 'He feels exceptionally strongly on the settlements'."

What kind of political system do we have where a PM has to - or feels she has to - grovel like this to a foreign lobby? Or even blame the lobby for her not being able to deliver the goods in the manner to which it's become expected:

"The notes also directly addressed the way Ms Gillard was rolled by her party on the UN resolution; and they suggested putting the onus back on the Jewish community [sic]. 'There were not as many voices in cabinet supporting a 'no' vote on that resolution,' they prompted. 'There were not many voices in caucus. There were a lot of members who should have been heard from - and who were not. So I believe this exposed a weakness in the community's [sic] reach compared with previous years'."

Where was this woman's, this nation's, dignity?

And the near future?

"Once Labor's new leadership team is resolved on Sunday, it can expect to be lobbied fervently by the Jewish community [sic] to strengthen its support."

Back to the grovel...

(For my complete coverage of this issue see my posts: Australia's Foreign Policy Shame (28/11/12); While You Weren't Looking (1/12/12); Julia the Downhearted (6/12/12); The Prisoner of Zion (4/12/12); The Prime Minister Who Put Her Job on the Line for Israel (18/1/13).)

[*On the London Declaration see my posts: The Latest Prime Ministerial Kowtow (28/4/13); Behind the Anti-Semitism Industry (30/4/13); The Tel Aviv Declaration on Combating Criticism of Israel (17/5/13).]

PS: Make of this what you will: "Your story 'Gillard driven over by Carr on Israel' (12-13/10), refers to a lunch attended by Julia Gillard on April 23 organised by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry. It alleges that Ms Gillard's 'speaking notes' included 'a plea for the Jewish community to lobby Labor MPs to bolster her support in cabinet and caucus'. As one of the organisers of the lunch who sat alongside the prime minister, I can say without qualification that Ms Gillard, who spoke without notes, made no statements of the kind referred to in the article at the lunch, openly or in private conversations with the guests. If any such statements were included by Ms Gillard's staff in her briefing or speaking notes, as the article seems to claim, she did not use them. Nor did Ms Gillard or any of her parliamentary colleagues or staff make any such statements to the ECAJ at any other time." Dr Danny Lam, ECAJ president, Sydney, NSW (Letter to The Australian, 14/10/13)

PPS: Make of this 14/10 twitter exchange what you will:

Jack Sumner: Letter in Oz fr Pres. Exec Council Aust. Jewry indicates @chriskenny piece 'Gillard driven over by Carr on Israel' is a misrepresentation.
Chris Kenny: No, your tweet is a misrepresentation. Letter says nothing of sort and is not at odds with story at all. Facts. Try them.
Jack Sumner: Your piece based on leaked speaking notes which Gillard did not have at lunch or use in her address. Facts. Try them.
Chris Kenny: Politicians don't take their briefing notes to lunch. Strangely enough they are for briefing. You could try Cuba...
Jack Sumner: "If any such statements were included --- in her briefing --- she did not use them." Don't recall any mention of that in ur piece.
Jack Sumner: As I said a misrepresentation.
Chris Kenny: Don't know or care what she said... the story was about the briefing notes... Bad luck.


Peter D said...

Julia *Jerusalem Prize* Gillard, I see. She's finally made something of her life!

Anonymous said...

No wonder media pundits were touting the sinister failed M.P. Mike Kelly to replace Senator Bob Carr,as a casual senate vacancy, despite no indication from Carr that he intended to retire.

Peter D said...

Paul Howes has completed a full arc re. Carr's potential resignation. He was a shoe-in for the spot at one point, but ruled himself out because of gay marriage, he tells the Guardian. Then the AJN tells us that the nasty Muslims forced him out because of his support for Israel.

All I can say is nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

Anonymous said...

ABC up to its usual tricks this am about the "tunnel" found by IDF coming out of Gaza. "Palestinian militants" threatening those peace loving people on Kibbutz. Al Akhbar has a more balanced view.