Australian Democracy on the Israel Lobby’s Leash

Australia's "Faceless Men"

Dadon and Rudd

Before he began promoting Julia Gillard, Israel Lobbyist, Albert Dadon, was “one of Kevin Rudd’s most trusted kitchen cabinet advisers on Israel.”1 Pre-PM Rudd was cultivated by Dadon, who had organised two trips to Israel for him. Dadon also established the Australia-Israel Cultural Exchange.

Through his marriage into the billionaire Besen family (e.g., Highpoint Property Group, Suzanne and Sportsgirl shopping chains), Dadon is related to Morry Schwartz who published Rudd’s ‘Faith in Politics’ essay in his magazine, The Monthly, in 2006, giving him a public profile from which to become PM. In Rudd’s essay, our ex-PM praised his Christian hero, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was an outspoken defender of “the marginalised, the vulnerable and the oppressed” during the Nazi’s rule. Sounds like good human rights stuff.

But as PM, Rudd showed indifference to the “marginalised, vulnerable and the oppressed” Palestinians during Operation Cast Lead. Rather than endorsing the UN Human Rights Council Report on the atrocities of Operation Cast Lead (The Goldstone Report) along with the vast majority of the UN General Assembly in November 2009, he voted against it, deferring to his pro-Israeli rich on whom he depends for friends and funds. To quote his own essay, Rudd seems to prefer “the hypocrisy of the religious and political elites of his time.”

When Mossad (Israeli spies) assassinated a Palestinian in Dubai last January, there of course was no outcry from Canberra. But then it was revealed that the assassins stole the identities of four Australian citizens and forged four Australian passports. It appears that Prime Minister Rudd stopped listening to his “trusted kitchen cabinet advisers on Israel”. Perhaps he recognized some responsibility to the Australian people who elected him, not the Israelis that promoted him in the first place. Kevin Rudd, who had been considered a friend of Israel, declared on radio (3AW) that- “any state that chooses to do this in relation to Australian passports, frankly, is treating the Australian people, the Australian government and the Australian nation with contempt.”2

Subsequently, Australia expelled the Mossad chief in Canberra, much as senior Mossad agents were expelled in the UK and Ireland. Indeed, Israel also fired their Mossad (Israeli spy) chief, Meir Dagan3 because of this extrajudicial assassination.

Danby and Rudd

One member of Rudd’s government and Labour Party, the proud Zionist, Michael Danby, preferred to defend Israel interests over Australian interests, saying “The expulsion [of the Israeli spy] was the wrong policy response. Even if there was some obscure previous incident, Berlin and Paris are as sophisticated as the mandarins of Canberra and their reaction (no expulsion) demonstrates why we did not have to ape the British Foreign Office. Stephen Smith should have made a recommendation to the NSC having the more worldly overview, that this harsh proscription would feed the international campaign of delegitimation of Israel.”4

Pro-Israel journalist, Greg Sheridan, states that Danby ‘is in no sense a marginal figure in Labor. He is a former secretary of Labour’s national security committee, a former Labour whip, and the chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs sub-committee, that is the most senior parliamentarian, outside the ministry, on foreign affairs.’5

Danby continued, “This folly, this over-reaction, has unwittingly encouraged bigots elsewhere, who have their secret passions sanctioned. I have suggested a series of steps to the Prime Minister to overcome this successful attempt to blot Labor’s copybook just weeks before an election.”

A week after the announcement of the Mossad chief expulsion, Sheridan, reported, “The Earth moved between Israel and Australia this week, with Kevin Rudd’s government expelling an Israeli diplomat over the Dubai passports affair, and it may be that the Earth moved in Australian politics as well.”5 This was said three weeks before the coup!

The Israel Lobby and Rudd

The Israel Lobby arranged a meeting with Rudd on the 3rd of June 2010. In the meantime, Israeli commandos attacked the Mavi Marmara ship in international waters, killed 9 people, injured over 50, and kidnapped and treated with contempt over 700 people (UN Human Rights Council report on the attack on the Freedom Flotilla). Amongst the injured were unarmed Australians – not a good introduction for promoting Israeli interests.

Present at the Rudd-Israel Lobby meeting on the 3rd of June were Michael Danby and Albert Dadon.6 Dadon is close to Danby, but likes to be a “behind-the-scenes man.”1 Also present were:

  • Mark Dreyfus, another Jewish Zionist ALP MP
  • Mark Leibler (Australia Israel & Jewish Affairs Council chairman)
  • Robert Goot (Executive Council Australian Jewry president)
  • Philip Chester (Zionist Federation of Australia president).

The Lobby left the meeting, without resolving their ‘difference of opinion’ with Rudd about Australia’s expulsion of the resident Mossad chief.((Australian Jewish News, 10/6/2010, ‘Rudd reaches out to leaders’ by Naomi Levin.)) Rudd was still not taking advice from Australia’s ersatz foreign minister, Danby, nor from one of his ‘most trusted kitchen cabinet advisers on Israel’, Dadon, nor, indeed, from the rest of the Israel Lobby.

Rudd anticipated his own demise saying “What am I, chopped liver?” after meeting these Lobbyists.7 Pro-Israel journalist, Greg Sheridan, of The Australian reported that expulsion of the Mossad chief ‘may be the single foreign policy issue that did Rudd the most harm in domestic political terms.’8 Did these so-called Australians tell our Prime Minister: “You expel our Mossad chief, we expel you”?

More Faceless Men in the Coup

One week later, Bill Shorten asked Julia Gillard to challenge Rudd, but she declined.9 Two weeks later (on 24/6/2010), coup plotters, Michael Danby, Bill Shorten, David Feeney, Joe Ludwig and Paul Howes10 were able to persuade Gillard to challenge and reassure her that she had the numbers. Dadon had cultivated Julia Gillard and her hairdresser spouse during a trip to Israel last year for the first Australia-Israel Leadership Forum and has been active in promoting her, as well as employing her spouse in a well-paid job.

What characterises these coup plotters? Danby is intimately associated with the Israel Lobby. Interestingly, after initial reports of his role as coup instigator,10 it seems his role has been hushed up. The other four coup-plotters are united in their deference to the Israel lobby. Shorten, Ludwig and Howes had free “Rambam fellowship” trips to Israel in 2003, 2007 and 2009 respectively.

Shorten was patronised by Zionist billionaire, Richard Pratt (owned Visy), which included being flown in Pratt’s private jet to the Beaconsfield mine disaster in 2006 to launch his parliamentary career.11

Ludwig advocates in Parliament for the continued collective punishment of 1.5 million people in Gaza, and against a motion by Senator Kerry Nettle.12

Howes is leader of a counter-campaign against the union endorsement of Boycott Apartheid Israel movement.13 He also is singled out by Antony Loewenstein in My Israel Question (2009) as expressing sentiments ‘straight out of the Zionist lobby playbook.’14

Feeney also expressed sentiments straight out of the Zionist lobby playbook when he rejected the union movement’s report on the appalling conditions in Gaza (Hansard 12/5/2010) after it was attacked last year.15

Comments from Australian Officials

After the coup, two former Australian ambassadors to Israel, Ross Burns and Peter Rodgers, complained of “a much more determined pro-Israel position and I think Gillard is a part of that.”16

The Israel Lobby had sent a signal. Governments, who waver on their commitment to Israel, do so at their peril. Soon after, Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, used “the first major speech of the [election] campaign to pledge fidelity to…” Australia? No, to Israel!17 Abbott promised that ‘we would never over-react to any international incidents’ by Israel. He seems to know where the money and power is. The word ‘over-react’ is the same talking point used by Danby two months previously.

When the theft of Australian identities by Israel first became apparent in February of this year, the National Times quoted an “Australian official” who was too scared to have his name published, presciently observing that”It wouldn’t matter whether it was John Howard or Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott in the prime minister’s chair, they [the Israelis]… know they’ve got us by the balls,” partly because of the strength of the Israel lobby.”18

Pilgrimage to Tel Aviv

In December 2010, 17 members of our Federal parliament are going to Israel for the second “Australia-Israel Leadership Forum.”19 Leading them will be Australia’s de facto Foreign Minister, Danby. No other country receives such a contingent of Australian senior civil servants. But who will they be servants to – the leaders in Israel? Last month (16th October), Rabbi Avodia Yosef, the founder and spiritual leader of the Shas Party, one of the three major components of the current Israeli government, gave the following speech: “Goyim [non-Jews] were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world; only to serve the People of Israel.”20

  1. The Age. 25/6/09, ‘Gillard accused of soft line on Tel Aviv’ by Dan Oakes and Dylan Welch. [] []
  2. Herald-Sun, 25/2/2010, ‘Three Australians named as new suspects in the assassination of a Hamas militant,’ by Phillip Hudson and Elissa Doherty. []
  3. Jerusalem Post, 7/3/2010, ‘Security and defense: Why is the Dagan era ending,’ by Yaakov Katz. []
  4. The Australian, 29/5/ 2010, ‘Expelling Israeli diplomat was a confected, self-serving exercise,’ by Greg Sheridan. []
  5. The Australian, 29/5/2010, ‘Badly misjudged action will have a political cost,’ by Greg Sheridan. [] []
  6. Australian Jewish News, 10/6/2010, ‘Rudd reaches out to leaders’ by Naomi Levin. []
  7. Sydney Morning Herald, 22/6/2010, “What am I, chopped liver? How Rudd dived into schmooze mode,” by Peter Hartcher. []
  8. The Australian, 1/7/2010, ‘Continuity but questions remain,’ by Greg Sheridan. []
  9. Adelaide Advertiser, 25/6/2010, ‘Why a coup was on the menu for Gillard,’ by Simon Benson and Steve Lewis. []
  10. The Age, 24/6/2010, ‘Gillard becomes Australia’s first female PM after Rudd goes down without a fight,’ by staff reporters. [] []
  11. ABC’s Sunday Profile, 14/5/2006, ‘Bill Shorten: The voice of the Beaconsfield mine rescue,’ interview with Julia Baird. []
  12. Hansard, page 350, 14/2/2008. See also jiw.blogspot. []
  13. Antony Loewenstein, 13/5/2009, ‘When unions back oppression.’ []
  14. Page 339. []
  15. See Vexnews 22/5/2010, ‘Square off: Prodigal son returns to lash those who hate Israel.’ []
  16. The Age, 29/6/2010, ‘Gillard accused of soft line on Tel Aviv,’ by Dan Oakes and Dylan Welch. []
  17. The Age, 20/7/2010, ‘Loyal to Israel despite killings,’ by Jacob Saulwick. []
  18. National Times, 26/2/2010, ‘Betrayed PM should not be taken for granted,’ by Peter Hartcher. []
  19. The Australian, 25/10/2010, ‘Record number of pollies for Israel,’ by John Lyon. []
  20. Haaretz, 20.10.2010, ‘ADL slams Shas spiritual leader for saying non-Jews were born to serve Jews,’ by Natasha Mozgovaya. []

Francis Enden is an Aussie of Anglo background, with a publication record in clinical research. Read other articles by Francis.

3 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Ismail Zayid said on November 29th, 2010 at 9:28am #

    Evidently, the power of the Israeli lobby, in controlling the actions and policies of political leaders, is not limited to Europe and North America but extends to Ausralia and elsewhere. The assertion by Tony Abbott that his fidelity is to Israel [not Australia] confirms the statement by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef that the “Goyim [non-Jews] were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world; only to serve the People of Israel.”

  2. mary said on November 29th, 2010 at 1:04pm #

    The admirable and proactive website Australians for Palestine (australiansforpalestine.com/) also reported the Australian parliamentary delegation to Israel. Unfortunately, the site seems to have been taken out. Now, I wonder who did that?

  3. mary said on December 1st, 2010 at 4:33am #

    Just another day of the horror and oppression experienced by the Palestinians logged here by a good New Zealand group, Sapiens Promise.

    http://www.sapienspromise.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=1903

    They maintain a daily record of the atrocities.