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Treating Australia With Contempt

By Francis Enden

04 December, 2010

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) lost its majority in the Australian parliament in September this year, and had to cobble together a fragile coalition. One likely reason for this loss of power is the apparent ALP disunity when it suddenly and unexpectedly overthrew their Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and installed Julia Gillard, only weeks before the national elections (1). To add to the suspicion surrounding this infighting, no convincing explanation was given for this foolhardy action. According to the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, this coup was conducted by “faceless men” (1).

One key coup instigator in particular, Michael Danby (2, 3), quickly disappeared from the media's attention (1). Why was he more “faceless” than others, and what was the basis of Danby's recent dissatisfaction with his leader?

At the end of May, the Australian government expelled the Canberra-based Israeli spy (Mossad) chief, after Mossad stole four Australian identities and forged four Australian passports (4, 5). The UK , Ireland , and even Israel , expelled/fired their senior resident Mossad agents, for similar reasons. The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, who had been considered a friend of Israel, declared on radio 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 ” (6).

Michael Danby, a Jewish Zionist as well as a parliamentary member of Rudd's ruling party, publicly defied his Prime Minister's response and seemed to advocate Israel interests over Australian interests, saying "The expulsion [of the Israeli spy chief] was the wrong policy response... This folly, this over-reaction … I have suggested a series of steps to the Prime Minister to overcome this successful attempt to blot Labour's copybook just weeks before an election" (7).

At the end of May, a right-wing journalist reported that – “ The Earth moved between Israel and Australia this week, with Kevin Rudd's government expelling an Israeli diplomat [sic] over the Dubai passports affair, and it may be that the Earth moved in Australian politics as well ” (7) and this “b adly misjudged action will have a political cost' (8). These veiled threats were made three weeks before the coup!

Danby and the Israel Lobby met Rudd on the 3 rd of June 2010 (9). P resent were; Mark Dreyfus, the other Jewish Zionist ALP member of parliament, Mark Leibler (Australia Israel & Jewish Affairs Council chairman), Robert Goot (Executive Council Australian Jewry president), and Philip Chester (Zionist Federation of Australia president) and Israel lobbyist, Albert Dadon (9).

Dadon is close to Danby (3), but likes to be a "behind-the-scenes man" (10). He had been considered “one of Kevin Rudd's most trusted kitchen cabinet advisers on Israel ” , but Dadon had also cultivated the Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and her spouse during a trip to Israel last year for the first ‘Australia-Israel Leadership Forum' (10). As well as being active in promoting her, he was her spouse's boss (3).

At the meeting, Danby and the Lobby were unable to resolve their ‘ difference of opinion'  with Rudd regarding the expulsion of the resident Mossad chief (9) . Soon afterwards, Rudd anticipated his own demise saying “What am I, chopped liver? ” (11). An informed journalist reported that expulsion of the Mossad chief ‘ may be the single foreign policy issue that did Rudd the most harm in domestic political terms ' (12).

One week after the Lobby/Rudd meeting, Bill Shorten asked Julia Gillard to challenge Rudd, but she declined (13) Two weeks later, Michael Danby, together with Bill Shorten, David Feeney, Joe Ludwig and Paul Howes (2, 14, 15), persuaded her to challenge Rudd and subsequently became the new Prime Minister.

While Danby is intimately associated with the Israel Lobby, the  non-Jewish coup-plotters are united in their deference to it. Shorten, Ludwig and Howes had free “Rambam fellowship” trips to Israel in 2003, 2007 and 2009 respectively. Shorten had a Zionist billionaire patron, Richard Pratt (owned Visy), who helped launch his parliamentary career (16). Ludwig advocates in Parliament for the continued collective punishment of 1.5 million people in Gaza (17). Howes is leader of a counter-campaign against the union endorsement of Boycott Apartheid Israel movement (18). He also is singled out by Antony Loewenstein (19) as expressing sentiments ‘ straight out of the Zionist lobby playbook .' 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 after it was attacked last year (20, 21).

After the coup, two former Australian ambassadors to Israel , Ross Burns and Peter Rodgers, complained that Australia had “a much more determined pro-Israel position ” (3).  Less than a month later , Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, used “the first major speech of the [election] campaign to pledge fidelity to …”. Australia ? No,  to Israel (22)! Abbott promised that ‘ we would never over-react to any international incidents' by Israel . The word ‘over-react' is the same talking point used by Danby two months previously. When the theft of Australian identities first became apparent in February, an “Australian official” too scared to have his name published, stated 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 ” (23).

While the ALP now attempts to lead with a minority government, in December, 2010, seventeen members of our Federal parliament are going to Israel for the second ‘Australia-Israel Leadership Forum' (24). 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 ? In  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 ” (25).


1. The Australian, 26/6/2010, Little solace for flawed Rudd, by Peter van Onselen, (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/little-solace-for-flawed-rudd/story-e6frg6zo-1225884462622)

2. The Age, 24/6/2010 ,  ‘ Gillard becomes Australia's first female PM after Rudd goes down without a fight' , by staff reporters ( http://www.theage.com.au/national/gillard-becomes-australias-first-female-pm-after-rudd-goes-down-without-fight-20100624-z02g.html )

3. The Age, 29/6/2010, ‘ Gillard accused of soft line on Tel Aviv' by Dan Oakes and Dylan Welch ( http://www.theage.com.au/national/gillard-accused-of-soft-line-on-tel-aviv-20100628-zf5c.html )

4. The Australian, 1/6/2010, Mossad chief expelled from Australia amid passport alert , by Paul Maley ( http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/mossad-chief-expelled-from-Australia-amid-passport-alert/story-e6frg6nf-1225873755356 )

5. ABC News, 24/5/2010, Israeli diplomat expelled over fake passport, by Emma Rodgers ( http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/24/2907598.htm )

6. Herald-Sun, 25/2/2010, ‘ Three Australians named as new suspects in the assassination of a Hamas militant' , by Phillip Hudson and Elissa Doherty ( http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/three-australians-named-as-new-suspects-in-the-assassination -of-a-hamas-militant/story-e6frf7jo-1225834126293 )

7. The Australian, (29/5/2010), ‘Expelling Israeli diplomat was a confected, self-serving exercise' , by Greg Sheridan (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/expelling-israeli-diplomat-was-a-confected-self-serving-exercise/story-e6frg6zo-1225872725510)

8. The Australian, (29/5/2010), ‘ Badly misjudged action will have a political cost' , by Greg Sheridan (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/badly-misjudged-action-will-have-a-political-cost/story-e6frg6zo-1225870774061)

9. Australian Jewish News, 10/6/2010, ‘Rudd reaches out to leaders' by Naomi Levin, (jewishnews.net.au/news/2010/06/10/rudd-reaches-out-to-leaders/13812)

10. The Age 25/6/09 ‘New figure steals into the limelight of jewish affairs' by Jason Koutsoukis ( http://www.theage.com.au/national/new-figure-steals-into-the-limelight-of-jewish-affairs-20090621-cwyp.html )

11. Sydney Morning Herald, 22/6/2010 , “What am I, chopped liver? How Rudd dived into schmooze mode. ” By Peter Hartcher (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/what-am-i-chopped-liver-how-rudd-dived-into-schmooze-mode-20100621-ys5g.html)

12. The Australian, 1/7/2010, ‘ Continuity but questions remain' , by Greg Sheridan (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/continuity-but-questions-remain/story-e6frg6zo-1225886404933).

13. Sydney Morning Herald, 25/6/2010, ‘ Change came even faster than the plotters knew' by Phillip Coorey (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/ c hange-came-even-faster-than-the-plotters-knew-20100624-z3pf.html)

14. Australian Broadcasting Commission-News, 24/6/2010, ‘Labor's shadow men stuck knife into Rudd' , by Simon Santow ( http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/24/2936047.htm

15. Channel Nine News, 24/6/2010, ‘ Gillard becomes Prime Minister' , by Jay Savage and Nick Pearson ( http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/1075130/julia-gillard-becomes-first-female-prime-minister )

16. Australian Broadcasting Commission-Sunday Profile, 14/5/2006, ‘Bill Shorten: The voice of the Beaconsfield mine rescue', interview with Julia Baird ( http://www.abc.net.au/sundayprofile/stories/s1637536.htm ).

17. Hansard, page 350, 14/2/2008 ( http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/chamber/hansards/2008-02-14/toc_pdf/5697-3.pdf;fileType%3Dapplication%%2Fpdf , and see also http://jiw.blogspot.com/2008_02_24_archive.html ).

18. Antony Loewenstein website, 13/5/2009, ‘When unions back oppression' by Antony Loewenstein, ( http://antonyloewenstein.com/2009/05/13/when-unions-back-oppression ).

19. My Israel Question (2009) by Antony Loewenstein, page 339, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne Australia

20. Australian Council of trade Unions' APHEDA report on Gaza  2010 tabled by Sen. Moore in Hansard, 12/5/2010, page 2696 (http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/dailys/ds120510.pdf.

21 Vexnews 22/5/2010, ‘Square off: Prodigal son returns to lash those who hate Israel ' , by Vexnews ( http://www.vexnews.com/news/9770/square-off-prodigal-son-returns-to-lash-those-who-hate-israel/ ).

22. The Age, 20/7/2010, ‘Loyal to Israel despite killings' , by Jacob Saulwick (http://www.theage.com.au/federal-election/loyal-to-israel-despite-killings-20100719-10hud.html)

23. National Times, 26/2/2010, ‘ Betrayed PM should not be taken for granted' , by Peter Hartcher (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/betrayed -pm-should-not-be-taken-for-granted-by-israel-20100225-p5wk.html)

24. The Australian, 25/10/2010, ‘Record number of pollies for Israel ' by John Lyon (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/record-number-of-pollies-for-israel/story-fn59niix-1225942953140)

25. Haaretz, 20/10/2010, ‘ ADL slams Shas spiritual leader for saying non-Jews were born to serve Jews' , by Natasha Mozgovaya (http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/adl-slams-shas-spiritual-leader-for-saying-non-jews-were-born-to-serve-jews-1.320235)