Sunday, February 19, 2017

Netanyahu Down Under

by his greatest Australian fan, Greg Sheridan:

It'll be bigger than Ben Hur:

"... Mr Netanyahu has extended his stay... to stretch now from Wednesday to Saturday. He will hold a series of talks with Malcolm Turnbull, and the two leaders will appear together at a number of events. The Israeli leader will also meet Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, as well as Bill Shorten and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. He will also attend a full meeting of federal cabinet and address Jewish community functions." (Security key as Israeli PM breaks new ground, The Australian, 18/2/17)

Despite Israel being the home of the NSO Group, "an Israeli cyberarms dealer" whose "motto is 'Make the World a Safer Place'," but whose "spyware is increasingly turning up on the phones of journalists, dissidents and human rights activists"*:

"The two countries will formalise a cyber-security dialogue and enhance cyber-security co-operation."

Business is business:

"Mr Netanyahu is believed to be bringing a delegation of about 25 leaders of hi-tech industries, including space, agribusiness, cyber and medical devices."

Shhh... don't mention the settlements:

"The Turnbull government will reiterate its support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [and] will also emphasise that a peace agreement cannot be imposed by outsiders."

Let's talk about Iran instead:

"The Israeli Prime Minister's highest priority on strategic issues is Iran... He will get a sympathetic hearing... and likely find some support for his position, although Australia will not be as critical of Iran as Israel is."

It's us against the world, Trumble:

"The fact the visit is going ahead, and that it matches or exceeds in length Mr Netanyahu's visit to the US this week, is a sign of his appreciation for Australia and the priority he puts on the relationship."

OK, Trumble, how about a joint bombs-away over Asad's presidential palace in Damascus. C'mon, Trumble, you know you want to:

"There will also be extensive talks on Syria, where Australia is involved militarily, and on the threat of Islamist terrorism. Mr Turnbull is likely to express solidarity with Israel in combating terrorism."

And, Trumble, you may as well stick around for our Balfour Declaration centenary shindig while you're there:

"It is possible Mr Turnbull could announce his intention to attend the centenary celebrations of the Beersheba operation in Israel on October 31 this year."

[*Bitter taste for soft drinks campaign, Nicole Perlroth, New York Times/ Sydney Morning Herald, 14/2/17]

1 comment:

Grappler said...

Enhanced cyber-security cooperation? Like this:

'In fact, according to Binney, the advanced analytical and data mining software the NSA had developed for both its worldwide and international eavesdropping operations was secretly passed to Israel by a mid-level employee, apparently with close connections to the country. The employee, a technical director in the Operations Directorate, “who was a very strong supporter of Israel,” said Binney, “gave, unbeknownst to us, he gave the software that we had, doing these fast rates, to the Israelis.”'