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Israel’s Lobby in Australia must register under new law
Legislation planned by Attorney General Brandis to require registration of agents of a foreign power should be welcomed as an opportunity to define the activities of the pro-Israel lobby in Australia, according to former Palestinian Ambassador to Australia, Mr. Ali Kazak. Mr. Kazak has been an Australian citizen since 1973.
The Attorney General and the Prime Minister have foreshadowed the legislation.
“We continue to observe a relaxed approach and appeasement of the most powerful lobby on behalf of a foreign government: Australia’s Israel lobby,” former Ambassador Kazak said.
“No country has more interfered, and endangered Australia’s security, sovereignty and the integrity of its national institutions than Israel and its lobby. For years the Australian media has been reporting Israel’s spying activities forging Australian and New Zealand passports and recruiting Australians from the Jewish community to its army and spy agencies.”
Today Mr .Kazak released a comprehensive compilation of statements by Australians who comprise the leadership of the Jewish community and pro-Israeli organizations and others who have observed pro-Israeli lobbying. (see below)
“The quotations- drawn from numerous sources- confirm:
- the lobby works closely with the Israeli embassy in Canberra;
- it receives funds from Israel;
- it has threatened to withdraw donations from political parties for not supporting Israel;
- It has “established a long tradition of strong public advocacy on behalf of Israel” for influencing members of parliament, journalists, leader-writers and government officials to take pro-Israel views and to advance Israel’s own political objectives;
- there is a blurring of the roles between the Israel lobby and the Israeli embassy;
- the “vast financial resources of the community’s wealthier members” have been mobilized to influence Australian government policy.
“This is clearly the kind of foreign influence over Australian politics the Prime Minister and his Attorney had in mind when they foreshadowed legislation to require the registration of agents of influence for foreign powers.
“It will be in Australia’s national interest to see pro-Israeli community organisations required to register once the legislation is gazetted.”
“We trust there will be opportunities to activate the legislation -perhaps through legal action- as soon as it is in place.”
Quotes on and by the Israeli lobby in Australia and their influence
- Admission of cooperation with the Israeli embassy and government
- Financial influence
- Influence on government
- On the representation of the Jewish groups and the Australia-Israel Review (AIR)
- Israeli representatives work with the Jewish community to indoctrinate them on Zionist ideology:
- Admission of cooperation with the Israeli embassy and Government:
- “More or less since the 1982 Lebanon War, the ECAJ [the Executive Council of Australian Jewry] and the ZFA [the Zionist federation of Australia] allowed, and the Likud government encouraged, a blurring of the roles between the ECAJ/ZFA and the Israeli Embassy. These two bodies became quasi-diplomatic agencies, often filling the vacuum created by an undermanned and remote Israel embassy.”
Sam Lipski, ‘Inside the lobby’, The Australian Jewish News, 13.8.1993
- Jewish leaders have established a long tradition of strong public advocacy on behalf of Israel, and they can take much of the credit for the fact that successive governments have maintained a strong bi partisan support for Israel.”
Isi Leibler, “Candidly Speaking: Australia’s new PM- a proven friend of Israel”, The Jerusalem Post, 24.6.2010
- “Mr. Mark Leibler, the [Zionist] Federation president said …’we are improving our areas of influence generally. We have fully staffed information offices in Sydney and Melbourne and our directors interact fairly regularly with politicians, editors and journalists on a national scale and are in contact with officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“[the Zionist] Federation works in close cooperation with the Israel Embassy in Canberra.
“We ought to be, and are the leading force in the community on matters of Israel and Zionism.”
Victor Kleerekoper, ‘Zionists play key role in community’, The Australian Jewish News, 9.8.1985
- “…[the Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak] Rabin has praised the ZFA’s [Zionist federation of Australia] work and there has never been an indication from any Israeli government, publicly or privately, that the ZFA is not doing what is good for Israel and our community or that some other organ could do better.
“Nor does the ZFA act in splendid isolation. The Israeli Embassy and the Federation consult closely and completely agree as to their respective roles.”
Helene Taft Teichmann, ‘A matter of opinion’, The Australian Jewish News, 20.8.1993
- “The ZFA [the Zionist Federation of Australia] represents the Australian Jewish community and one of its many activities is to convey to the Australian Government the Jewish community’s views on issues which impact upon Australia-Israel relations. He [president of ZFA, Mark Leibler] said.
“taking advantage of the ZFA’s superior funding – it receives funds from the Jewish Agency in Israel and has much larger annual budget than the ECAJ [the Executive Council of Australian Jewry]– Mark Leibler has gradually widened the ZFA political agenda and professionalised its staff.
Warren Osmond, ‘Brothers at Arms’, the Sydney Morning Herald, 3.7.1993
- “Miller was the President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and a Vice President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry at the time. In response to my talk, he admitted that Jewish organisations at times of conflict are given talking points by the Israeli government.”
Michael Brull, “Stalinism: Opposing Palestinian Nationhood Because The Holy State Says We Should”, New Matilda, 2.8.2015
- Financial influence:
- “The president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ), Jermy Jones, says … It is not so much the Jewish vote that matters – there are fewer than 100,000 Jews in Australia – but rather the vast financial resources of the community’s wealthier members.”
Rowena Stretton, “ALP can’t count on Jewish support”, The Bulletin, 4.8.1992, P. 19.
- ’“How much of this is about money, I asked him [Kevin Rudd],” Carr writes. “He said about one-fifth of the money he had raised in the 2007 election campaign had come from the Jewish community.”
Carr concludes that “subcontracting our foreign policy to party donors is what this involves. Or appears to involve.”’
Lenore Taylor, “Bob Carr diaries: foreign policy was subcontracted to Jewish donors”, The Guardian, 9.4.2014
- “a Jewish MP and former Hawke government minister, Mr Barry Cohen, said this week the Jewish community, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney, had always been a strong source of ideological and financial support for the ALP. ‘That will be weakened whenever a government appears to be antagonistic towards the State of Israel.’ said Mr Cohen.
Peter Alford, ‘Jewish community pressures Evans on criticism of Israel’, The Australian, 13.6.1992
- ‘Former federal Labor minister Barry Cohen told the Australian Jewish News: “A very, very senior Labor Party man has said to me that while he is supportive of Israel, none of the peoples in the parliamentary party he talks to are.” Cohen, for 40 years a member of the ALP, added bitterly: “I will be very surprised if any Jew gives to the party whilst its attitude is what it is.”
Bernard Freedman, ‘support for Federal Labor Party wavers over Israel’, The Australian Jewish News, 18.7.2003, P.5.
- “Some Jewish donors to Labor have become alarmed at signs that Labor left MP’s are responding to the interests of anti-Israel voters with Middle East connections. Australian Electoral Commission returns show donations to Labor of $50,000-plus from Westfield (Frank Lowy), Meriton (Harry Triguboff) and Isador Magid. Aware of these concerns, Crean has accepted an invitation from the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affiars Council, Victorian State Zionist Council and Jewish Community Council of Victoria to address the community.”
Bernard Freedman, ‘Crean to spell out Labor’s Israel policy’, Australian Jewish News, 15.8.2003
- ‘He did [Opposition leader Simon Crean], dissociate himself from a scathing broadside by [MP Julia] Irwin against the Jewish lobby’s “code of silence’ … although he failed to distance himself publicly from Irwin’s remarks, he said he spoke to her in private “I went to Julia Irwin and said that was an inappropriate statement to make and you shouldn’t make it again.”’
Dan Goldberg, “Labor policy hasn’t changed despite backbench, insists Crean”, The Australian Jewish News, 14.2.2003
- “The threat to withdraw financial support for the ALP because of perceived anti-Israel comments by Labor backbenchers is worrying. Not because the Labor needs the money, but because it suggests that all party members must toe the line even if their comments broadly agree with Labor policy.
“That’s what is occurring with Labor Middle East peace policies. They are interpreted in an increasingly narrow framework. Policy for Opposition parties needs to be cast in broad terms. But if one group hijacks the policy and refuses to allow any discussion, it’s time to question their motives.
“As in all communities, there is more than one voice and there are many differing points of view among Australian Jews as there are among Israelis. The Israeli Labour Party tolerates more diverse views than some in the Australian Jewish community suggest that the ALP should tolerate.
Labor should listen to all sides. Political influence requires the currency of ideas, not cash. Labor cannot be bought.”
Julia Irwin, former Federal Labor member of parliament, ‘Wanted: political currency’, the Australian, 16.7.2003
- “The truth is there is no real debate in this country about the travesty of what is happening in the Middle East, and there are those in the community who, with their money and influence, do all they can to ensure no such open debate occurs, either in the national Parliament, in the media or anywhere else.”
Alan Ramsey, ‘Blinkers Off for the Other Side of Story’, Sydney Morning Herald, 15.3.2008
- ‘money, influence, powerful friends’.
Mike Carlton, ‘A heavyweight boxing ring’, SMH, 13.10.2007
- SARAH FERGUSON: You’re saying that the Melbourne Jewish lobby had a direct impact on foreign policy as it was operated from inside Julia Gillard’s cabinet?
BOB CARR: Yeah, I would call it the Israeli lobby – I think that’s important. But certainly they enjoyed extraordinary influence. …
SARAH FERGUSON: They’re still a very small group of people. How do you account for them wielding so much power?
BOB CARR: I think party donations and a program of giving trips to MPs and journalists to Israel. But that’s not to condemn them. I mean, other interest groups do the same thing. But it needs to be highlighted because I think it reached a very unhealthy level. I think the great mistake of the pro-Israel lobby in Melbourne is to express an extreme right-wing Israeli view rather than a more tolerant liberal Israeli view, and in addition to that, to seek to win on everything, to block the Foreign Minister of Australia through their influence with the Prime Minister’s office, from even making the most routine criticism of Israeli settlement policy using the kind of language that a Conservative Foreign secretary from the UK would use in a comparable statement at the same time.”
Reporter: Sarah Ferguson, “Bob Carr ‘frustrated’ by Israeli lobby and lack of First Class fares”, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC – TV/ 7.30 Report , 09/04/2014
- “The [Jewish] community’s ability to sway the most powerful politicians in the land confounds political observers such as Dr Clive Bean, of the Australian National University Research School of Social Sciences, and Mr Malcolm Mackerras, one of Australia’s most prominent electoral analyses. ‘I must admit, I’m very puzzled by it,’ said Mr Mackerras.
“There is no doubt the influence is real, despite the fact that the Jewish community numbers less than 100,000…The Jewish lobby, spearheaded by the Zionist Federation of Australia, is constantly courted by Prime Ministers and Opposition leaders is able to sway both domestic and foreign policy where it touches its interests, and last year even forced a senior minister to recant publicly.
Zionist Federation conferences are routinely addressed by the leaders of both major parties, both of whom equally routinely pledge Australian loyalty to the Jewish and Israeli cause.
Speaking to the students, Senator Evans at least gave an answer as to why the Jewish community enjoyed such extraordinary rapport with the Government. There was, he said, a ‘bonding experience’ of shared democratic ideals nurtured by schoolday friendships with the children of Holocaust survivors. Dr Bean is not so sure. “my speculation would be that it has money,’ he said, ‘and money is influential.’”
‘Jewish influence a mystery’, New Zealand Herald, 25.2.1993
- “On the Labor side (and as far as I know the same applies to the Liberals), a newly selected member for a winnable seat is hosted to a private fund raising dinner. A table full of Jewish businessmen are happy to hand over $10,000 for the candidate’s first campaign. That’s a big bonus for a new member and many never forget the generosity. I was never afforded such an honour but I can say that I would have been suspicious of the motive. And then there are the trips to Israel. … Any check of the Register of Member’s Interests reveals how Tel Aviv is such a popular destination, especially when it’s free. A visit to Israel is almost a rite of passage for new MPs and Senators.” in the branches and the wider electorate the lobby has no influence. Only at the highest levels can a member be threatened. But a party which allows that to happen is not worthy of public support.
Julia Irwin, “Labor MP Julia Irwin’s views on the Middle East”, By Antony Loewenstein, 11.8. 2010
- Businessman Frank Lowy and his Westfield Company are big donators to both political parties. He told the NSW parliamentary inquiry into the Orange Grove affair in 2004 that, “the state of Israel, to which I am fully committed, is more important for me than to do a job…”
Ali Kazak, “White Australia’s Foreign Affairs Policy – Why Israel is Not China”, The Palestine Chronicle, 24.9.2016
- “Donations to the United Israel Appeal (UIA) will now be tax deductible if they are made through a special fund, the UIA Refugee Relief Fund. The donations will be used for the relief of Jews in difficult circumstances, including those fleeing from Ethiopia, Yugoslavia and parts of the Commonwealth of independent States.
“Federal Treasurer John Dawkins signed the notice … only two days before the federal election. The government’s decision not only enhances the fund’s attraction to donors, it also demolishes claims made at a federal parliamentary inquiry in October 1990 that taxation officials believed the UIA was a ‘dubious’ charity.”
Bernard Freeman, ‘UIA wins tax-deductible status’, The Australian Jewish News, 19.3.1993
- Influence on government:
- “Those who believe Israel’s policies are misguided should not remain silent and governments should not be locked into uncritical support of Israel….Australian governments have paid lip service to even-handedness between Israel and the Palestinians…Fear of criticism from the Jewish lobby in Australia has so far prevented Australian governments taking effective action.”
Malcolm Fraser, former prime minister, ‘The isolation of Hamas is impeding peace’, The Age, 11.08.2009
- “… Israel has had a lock on the policies of the US and a great influence over the policies of Britain and of Australia.”
Malcolm Fraser, former prime minister of Australia, “Israel’s actions foster extremism”, The Age, 16.1.2009
- “They [Dr John Hewson and Mr Andrew Peacock] should be backing him [the National Party leader, Mr Tim Fischer], but maybe the Jewish lobby is twisting somebody’s tail. They are powerful. They work at it. They are a minority who have to battle very hard and they do battle, to Australia’s disadvantage in this case.”
Doug Anthony, Former Deputy Prime Minister, ‘Former NP leader backs Fischer over Israel’, The Age, 21.07.1993
- “Netanyahu is spreading more settlements and this week I wanted to issue a statement using the word ‘condemn’, as the UK did. the UK under a Conservative foreign secretary. But all statements on the Middle East have to be threaded through the Prime Minister’s office. Back came the reply: one, we don’t use the word ‘condemn’; two, it must go past her staffer Bruce Wolpe and Cabinet Secretary Mark Dreyfus; and three, whatever we do, advise the Israeli Ambassador first.”. (Both Wolpe and Dreyus are Zionist Jews).
Bob Carr, “Diaries of a Foreign Minister”, New South Publishing, Sydney 2014, p. 213.
- “Public relation is the art of communication. To be effective, that communication does not necessarily have to be taking place in the public domain.” Mr Leibler said that communal bodies had taken responsibility for briefing journalists, leader-writers and commentators as well as maintaining contact with politicians, including government ministers.
“There is a fair-sized Jewish community in this country and we have many, many Jews who have good access at many different influential levels.
“The main challenge was how to better harness this natural public relations workforce, in order to more effectively promote Israel and the Jewish community. This could be done in less structured, but no less effective way than at present, he said.”
Mark Leibler, in an interview with the Australian Jewish News, ‘Effective P.R: Musch behind the scenes’, The Australian Jewish News, 6.6.1986
- “…an Australian official said the Israeli secret service had probably calculated that, even if it were caught using forged Australian passports, Canberra would not retaliate. 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 Israel lobby, he said.”
Peter Hartcher, “Betrayed PM should not be taken for granted by Israel”, the Sydney Morning Herald, 26.2.2010
- “Let’s not forget: this is a lobby which often pushes Australia to take a hardline view on settlements on occupied territories only shared by a handful of other nations, such as the Marshall Islands, Palau and Nauru at the UN.”
Antony Loewenstein, ‘Bob Carr was right to start a debate on the influence of the Zionist lobby’, The Guardian, 15.4.2014
- “The Rambam program of sponsored trips to Israel, named for the famed Jewish educator of antiquity, has run for a decade from Australia, hosting more than 400 political leaders – including Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott – party advisers, public servants and university students. A separate trip is also run for journalists, and in 2010 included this reporter. Such a group of Australian journalists happened to be in Israel a fortnight ago as the missiles and rockets flew again, including three Fairfax reporters and others from News Ltd, Sky News and SBS television.”
Daniel Flitton, ‘Influence and intimidation in war of words’, The Sydney Morning Heralds, 24.11.2012
- “When Jewish leaders in Australia were angered by comments made by Senator [Foreign Minister Gareth] Evans during his tour of the Middle East last year, they [Jewish leaders] were granted an audience with the Prime Minister, Paul Keating. It is clear that Keating has largely maintained the warm relationship with Israel which his predecessor, Bob Hawke. … Although Senator Evans’s comments at that time were in line with the views of most objective foreign-policy commenters and many Israeli’s, he was howled down by Jewish leaders and forced to apologise for the tone of his statements. …
It was classic example of the difficulty faced by the Government in framing a balanced Middle East policy in the face of lobby groups which are generally more extreme than mainstream opinion in their home countries.”
Cameron Stewart, “just how far should we push the Israeli line?”, The Australian, 22.7.1993, P.11
- “In the [Australian Labor Party] branches and the wider electorate the [Israeli] lobby has no influence. Only at the highest levels can a member be threatened. But a party which allows that to happen is not worthy of public support.”
Julia Irwin, “Complete Labor MP Julia Irwin’s views on the Middle East”, By Antony Loewenstein, 11.8. 2010
- A FORMER Australian ambassador to Israel has raised concern about the high number of overseas travel gifts accepted by federal MPs and suggested the scheme could be distorting Australia’s foreign policy perspectives.
Ross Burns said that during his time as ambassador to Israel from 2001 to 2003 there were many visits by MPs but only one was not a travel gift. He said this had translated into a substantial political benefit for Israel over Arab countries.
“The issue was particularly tortuous in the case of Israel, where a disproportionate number of visits, including backbench MPs, Opposition frontbenchers and serving ministers, were funded not by the Australian Government or the Parliament but by Israeli lobby groups.
“The heavy reliance on subsidised visits to Israel has taken its toll in terms of Australia’s wider interests. Most MPs and ministers who visited until recently followed programs that gave a heavily sanitised view of the Israel/Palestine situation,” Mr Burns said.
“Missing, for example, was any exposure to the heavy burden that Israel’s occupation of most of the lands of Palestine has imposed on both societies. Australia’s embassy in Tel Aviv could often be sidelined in the natural desire of the hosts, and accompanying ‘minders’, to present a few ‘facts on the ground’ including meetings or visits that might be construed as accepting Israel’s sovereignty in contested territory.
“The number of trips to Israel also greatly outnumbered visits to Arab countries, even those that have provided significant elements of the Australian community such as Lebanon and Egypt.”
Ross Burns, a former Australian ambassador to Israel, Lebanon Syria, South Africa and Greece, ‘Ex-envoy warns on bias from MPs’ free trips’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 13.4. 2009
- “When I returned to Australia in 1950 I was asked to write of my choice for the Australian Quarterly. I proposed an article on the creation of Israel. I was asked in some alarm to please choose another subject as this was bound to lead to protests from Jewish quarters. The editor had no idea what I would be writing. The subject was enough.”
W.R. Crocker, ‘Australian Ambassador; International relations at first hand”, Melbourne University Press, 1971, P.103
- “By far the best resourced of Australian Jewish lobby groups, AIJAC is an independent body with no official status within the Australian Jewish community. Though its spokesmen like to claim bipartisanship in Australian politics, this means only that AIJAC is perforce willing to work with, and on, the government of the day. National Chairman Mark Leibler, a prominent Melbourne tax lawyer and Executive Director Colin Rubinstein both have close links to either Howard or the Liberal Party. Leibler, a long time Likud supporter and conservative activist on the local and world Jewish scenes was among a select few who Howard invited to his private barbeque for visiting President Bush last year.
Rubinstein is a Liberal Party activist and a member of the Howard Government’s Council for Multicultural Australia. He also unsuccessfully sought Liberal Party preselection in 1990 to context a seat in the Australian Parliament.”
Geoffrey Brahm Levey, coordinator of Jewish Studies at University of NSW ‘Honoring Australia for misguided policies’, Forward, 25.6.2004
- “The fact is that Senator Evans did not go far enough in his criticism of Israel, the noble Israel whose human rights record is among the worst in the world. Senator Evans’ remarks, from firsthand experience in occupied Palestine, were long overdue and, in fact, only represent the first steps towards a balanced approach to the Palestine/Israel question. The comment by Australian PLO representative Ali Kazak is very relevant: “The Australian pro-Israeli lobby has always put Israel’s interests above those of Australia.” This corruption is at its most dangerous when the question of foreign policy and indeed national security is at stake. If Australian foreign policy can be bought with the carrot of $300,000 and the stick of 90,000 votes then it is time that all Australians took note. And we must remember that this is only what we know about.”
Australian Moslem Times, editorial, 26.06.1992
- “All the anecdotal evidence suggests that while there are Jewish voters, the ‘Jewish Vote’ is in fact a myth.”
Michael Gawenda, ‘Election truth; behind the news’, the Australian Jewish News, 23.2.1990
- ‘… pro-Israeli campaigns in Australia do seem disproportionate precisely because they are based on a zero-sum notion of manning the Middle East front line here . The defence of Israel and its interests invariably, but unnecessarily, framed in terms of opposing any Palestinian arguments.’
Philip Mendes, senior lecturer in social policy at Monash University and Geoffrey Levey, senior lecturer in politics and international relations at University of NSW, ‘Peace prize that sparked an unholy war’, Sydney Morning Herald, 9.1.2005
- A controversial new book Not Happy, John! claims “a small number of powerful, self-declared Jewish community leaders set out to intimidate, threaten and bully” in a bid to stop Palestinian activists Dr Hanan Ashrawi receiving the Sydney Peace Prize last year.
The book, edited by Margo Kingston who is Webdiary director at the Sydney Morning Herald, contains a chapter by journalist Antony Loewenstein, portraying a “Zionist lobby” of Jewish businessmen trying to block the award.
Kingston said “fraudulent” Jewish lobbyists had “hijacked the political debate” in Australia, as they had done in the US, and were “creating anti-Semitism” through their actions.
Kingston defended her definition of Zionists as “settlers who seek to extend the territory of Israel as a God-given right” and accused Diaspora communities of “helping to arm Sharon”.
She said the Australian Jewish community has allowed itself “to be manipulated by AIJAC” which played a role in trying to prevent the award of the peace prize to Dr Ashrawi.
After attempts to prevent the award failed, there was debate within the community about AIJAC’s lobbying strategy which according to Loewenstein included pressure on the award’s sponsors to withdraw.
Wrote Loewenstein, an SMH Webdiary columnist: “Manufacturing Jewish outrage and sickening slanders, a small number of powerful, self-declared Jewish community leaders set out to intimidate, threaten and bully the award committee into changing its mind.”
He described Howard and Foreign Minister Downer as “AIJAC proxies” and charged that there are close ties between businessmen Frank Lowy and Mark Leibler (AIJAC national chairman) and the government.
Loewenstein, who is Jewish, called for [pro-Israeli lobby groups] to be “more relaxed” about criticism of Israel, whose soldiers “shoot and kill in the alleys of Nablus”.
Margo Kingston, Australian author, & Antony Loewenstein, Australian journalist, Excerpts from an article by Peter Kohn ‘Book accuses AIJAC over Ashrawi’, Australian Jewish News, 25/06/04
- On the representation of the Jewish groups and the Australia-Israel Review (AIR):
- “it may come as a surprise for some to learn that in effect, the ECAJ [the Executive Council of Australian Jewry] president is elected by no more 10 people in a secret vote behind closed doors. These people are answerable to exactly nobody in relation to whom they will support. The ECAJ president is then free then to select anybody he wishes as his chief office bearers. Without casting aspersions of the current ECAJ leadership, this electoral process is hardly an overwhelming mandate for an exclusive claim to communal representation.”
Johnny Baker, president, State Zionist Council of Victoria, ‘Responsible Leaders’, The Australian Jewish News, 14.5.1993
- “Australia is one of the few significant diaspora communities where open debate and dissent are strenuously discouraged and where Jews are expected, sheep-like to take their cue exclusively from the community leadership – a leadership whom claim to represent all Australian Jews is highly questionable, as is its arrogant monopoly on knowing what is and what is not in Israel’s best interests.”
Philip Mendes, ‘Jews and a matter of influence’, The Age, 5.9.1992, P. 6.
- In commenting on the publication by the Australia-Israel Review (AIR) of the names of One Nation party members, Mr Ben Moshe said the Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Council, which publishes the AIR magazine, had breached ‘the conventionally and accepted procedures and norms of discourse and practice in a civil democracy.’
Danny Ben-Moshe, Radio 3AW, Melbourne, 9.7.1998
- ‘Although the Australia Israel Review does not represent the Jewish community and cannot speak for us, its name implies otherwise. All those associated with that publication should think carefully in future before exposing the Jewish community to unwarranted criticism through their inept and counter-productive conduct.’
Justice Mark Franks, Letter to the Editor, Australian Jewish News, 17.7.1998
- ‘Now that Mark Leibler has broken privacy provisions, causing damage to our democracy, he should step forward and give us the list of Jewish patriots in Australia who have transferred large amounts of our currency in support of the Jewish war machine against the Palestinians.’
Norman Carey, writer in the Daily Telegraph, Quoted in the Australian Jewish News, 17.7.1998
- ‘By his action, Mr Leibler will have antagonised many such supporters and possibly stirred up anti-Semitism, which we could well do without’
Geoffrey Gordon, In a Letter to the Editor, Australian Jewish News, 17.7.1998
- In reference to the publication by the Australia-Israel Review (AIR) of the names of One Nation party members, Mr Glass said ‘Whatever the sequence of events, the credibility of Jeremy Jones and that of the ECAJ, and therefore their effectiveness, have been seriously damaged.’
(Jeremy Jones is ECAJ executive vice-president and Director of International and Community Affairs of the Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Council, publishers of the AIR magazine.)
John Glass, leader of the NSW Jewish community for forty years, Australian Jewish News, 24.7.1998
- ‘The Council of WA Jewry wishes it to be clearly understood that this magazine [the Australia-Israel Review (AIR)] is not controlled, subsidised or officially supported by the elected Jewish leadership in Australia.’
Ron Samuel, the Council of West Australian Jewry, The Australian, 16.7.1998
Israeli representatives work with the Jewish community to indoctrinate them on Zionist ideology:
- “THE ACT Jewish community has this month welcomed two shlichim from Israel, marking a first for the capital.
Raz Sofer and Rotem Dvir, a young married couple, will be in Canberra for a year-long shlichut, where they are set to engage with all sections of the community.
During their shlichut, Sofer and Dvir will seek to impart the “values of modern Zionism” through formal and informal Jewish education. They are particularly interested in working with teenagers and young adults, as well as developing and strengthening Canberra’s sense of community.
The pair come as representatives of the Jewish Agency for Israel through the Zionist Federation of Australia.”
“Shlichim arrive in Canberra”, Australian Jewish News, 30.8.2016
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
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Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
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