The public airing of friction between a foreign head of state, while he is visiting a country, and one of that country's former leaders must surely be unique in the annals of international affairs.
Former Australian PM Kevin Rudd was moved to post the following unprecedented statement on his FB page yesterday:
"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today challenged former Prime Minister Hawke and myself on what sort of Palestinian state we would recommend Israel recognise.
"I have a simple reply to Mr Netanyahu: The boundaries, internal security, external security, public finance and governance of a Palestinian state have been elaborated in detail in multiple negotiations with the US under the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations, most recently in the Kerry Plan. Mr Netanyahu knows these formulations like the back of his hand. Mr Netanyahu also knows he has torpedoed each of them, often at five minutes to midnight, often by changing the goalposts, to the enduring frustration of both Republican and Democrat Administrations.
"I have been a supporter of Israel all my life. And a public campaigner against any form of anti-Semitism. But to support the state of Israel does not mandate automatic support for each and every policy of Mr Netanyahu. The state of Israel and Mr Netanyahu are not co-definitional. That is why I beg to differ on this and other aspects of Mr Netanyahu's policies.
"For example, I also have a simple question for Mr Netanyahu. Will he use this visit to Australia to apologise to the Australian people for his government using forged Australian passports to facilitate an Israeli assassination of a member of Hamas in Dubai?
"No apology has ever been received for that action which had the consequence of putting the integrity of Australian passports and the security of Australian passport holders travelling to the Middle East at risk."