Monday, March 30, 2009

I've been to Israel too

Rambam (v) To be sponsored by smooth-talking Israel lobbyists in Australia for a grooming session conducted by tough-talking PR people in Israel with a view to the sponsored adopting the missionary position for Israel, when required, in Australia. Usually said of Australian politicians, media hacks and other serviceable community misleaders.
Rambam Fellowship, Journalists Mission etc: Formal designations given to the process of rambamming. (From MERC's Dictionary of Zionist Discourse)

"Why are Israel scholarships such as Rambam important for our community? We started Rambam 3 years ago and have sent around 200 politicians, journalists, trade unionists and student activists to Israel. This gives them an understanding of the history and politics of the area that they could not get from reading the daily news. How has the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) helped to change the way Israel is viewed in Australia? As a director of AIJAC, it is our intention to ensure that the real story is told and bias is eliminated from the media. It has enabled politicians and journalists to have real discussions about the issues. If you look at the media you will find a fairly balanced view, far more so than if AIJAC did not exist." Brian Sherman, The Australian Jewish News, 28/7/06

This post is dedicated to documenting the Australian rambammed. Who are they? When did they have the pleasure? Where did they go? And what, if anything, have they said about their experience in public? Necessarily sketchy, it will be updated as the relevant data comes in...

2014

Australia-UK-Israel Leadership Forum, July (See my 20/8/14 post Israeli Junkets Continue During Gaza Genocide.)

Christopher Pyne, Education Minister
Michael Danby, MP Lab
David Feeney, MP Lab
Others?
 
Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (See my 20/8/14 post Israeli Junkets Continue During Gaza Genocide.)

Cameron Clyne, NAB
John Pataridis, Optus  
+ 30 business executives
 
AIJAC Rambam Israel Fellowship (See my 23/6/14 posts Liberal MPs Blown Away by Israel (23/6/14) & Liberal MPs Not Quite Blown Away by Israel (24/6/14))

Craig Kelly, MP Hughes, NSW
John Alexander, MP Bennelong, NSW
Wyatt Roy, MP Longman, QLD
Anne Ruston, SA Senator
 
AIJJAC Israel Rambam Study Tour, May (See my 9/6/14 post Israeli-Occupied Labor.)

Penny Wong, Lab Senate
Gai Brodtmann, Lab MP
Stephen Jones, Lab MP
Dr Bill Chalmers, Lab MP
Tim Watts, Lab MP
 
AIJAC, January

Tanya Plibersek, Deputy Opposition Leader & Shadow Foreign Affairs

2013

Unionists

AIJAC Rambam Mission (See my 24/2/14 post Let's Do the Rambam Again.)

Michael Borowick, Asst Secretary, ACTU
Daniel Mookhey, Federal Electoral Campaign Coordinator, ACTU
Scott McDine, National Secretary, AWU
David Bliss, Asst Secretary, Newcastle branch, Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees Association
Phoebe Drake

Media

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies/AIJAC Journalists Mission to Israel (See my 28/11/13 post Why So Shy?)

... Sydney Morning Herald
... Sky News Business
... SBS Television World News
... Channel 10 News

AIJAC

David King, The Australian (See my 28/11/13 post Why So Coy?)

Politicians

NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel (See my posts Parliamentary Trip? What Parliamentary Trip? (25/1/13) and Doing the Donkey in the NSW Knesset 1 (15/3/13))

Fred Nile, MLC, Christian Democrats

Paul Green, MLC, Christian Democrats
David Clarke, MLC Liberal
Matthew Mason-Cox, MLC Liberal
Gabrielle Upton, MLA Liberal
Luke Foley, MLC, Labor
Walt Secord, MLC, Labor
John Barilaro, MLA, National Party
Rick Colless, MLC, National Party

Rob Borsak, MLC, Shooters Party
And partners...


2012

Student Politicians

AIJAC Rambam Israel Fellowship Program (See my 30/9/13 post Do You Want a Trip to Israel With That?)

Jade Tyrell, UTS SRC President
John Barlow, NUS Gen. Sec.

Unionists

Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) ACTU Fact-Finding Mission (See my 30/12/12 post Union Frodos Brave Mordor Rockets.)


Michael Borowick, Assistant Secretary ACTU
Barbara Nebart, Shop Distributive & Allied Employees' Association
And 14 others

Media

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Journalists Mission

Simon Benson, national political editor, Daily Telegraph
Brooke Corte, Sky News presenter
Judith Whelan, Saturday editor, SMH
Michael Ebeid, managing director, SBS

Politicians

Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (See my 14/6/12 post Onward Corporate Soldiers.)

Bill Shorten, Minister for Financial Services
Ross Jones, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
Steve Tucker, MLC
Jeremy Cooper, Challenger Group, ASIC chair
Damon Kitney, Technology correspondent, Fairfax

Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) (See my 6/1/12 post Here We Go Again!)

Paul Fletcher, Lib, Bradfield
David Bushby, Lib, Tasmanian senator
Bob Baldwin, Lib, Paterson, shadow minister for regional development & tourism
David Fawcett, Lib, SA senator, shadow parliamentary secretary for international development assistance
Teresa Gambaro, Lib, Brisbane, shadow parliamentary secretary for citizenship and settlement
Luke Simpkins, Lib, Cowan

Australia Israel UK Leadership Dialogue (See my 13/1/12 post Ain't Love Grand?)

Politicians

Michael Danby, Labor, Melbourne Ports
Mark Arbib, Labor, Minister for Sport
Joshua Frydenberg, Lib, Kooyong

Media

Greg Sheridan, foreign editor, The Australian
Hamish McDonald, Asia-Pacific editor, Fairfax

Politicians

Australia/Israel &Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) Israel Study Tour (See Vic MPs experience Israel, AJN, 6/8/12)

Neil Angus, Liberal, Vic MLA
Elizabeth Miller, Liberal, Vic MLA
Clem Newton-Brown, Liberal, Vic MLA
Bill Tilley Liberal, Vic MLA
Nicholas Kotsiras, Liberal, Vic Minister for Multicultural Affairs & Citizenship
Peter Phelps, NSW MLC
Jonathan O'Dea, NSW MLA


2011

Politicians

Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) (See my 22/10/11 post Class of 2011)

Amanda Rishworth, Labor, Kingston
Mark Furner, Labor, QLD senator
Catryna Bilyk, Labor, Tasmanian senator
Nicholas Champion, Labor, Wakefield
Geoffrey Lyons, Labor, Bass

Media

Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce
Peter Hartcher, international editor, Sydney Morning Herald

Gerard Henderson, columnist, SMH ?: "Around this time [11/12] last year, I visited Sderot..." (Hamas will never achieve a Palestinian state while killing Israeli civilians, SMH, 20/11/12) NB: I'm taking this as a belated acknowledgement that Henderson has been rambammed.

2010

Media

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Journalists Mission

Miranda Devine, columnist, Daily/Sunday Telegraph (See my posts Dear Miranda... (31/10/10); Dear Miranda... 2 (6/11/10); Miranda Does Israel (27/11/10))
Amanda Wilson, Sydney Morning Herald editor
Angelos Frangopoulos, Sky news CEO
Jason Morrison, 2UE presenter

Politicians

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council Rambam Fellowship Program (January)

John Della Bosca, NSW LAB
Joel Fitzgibbon, LAB, Hunter
Belinda Neal, LAB, Robertson

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council Rambam Fellowship Program (December) (A liberal view of Israel, AJN, 11/2/11)

Stuart Robert, shadow minister for defence science, technology & personnel
Gary Humphries, Liberal Senator
Alex Hawke, Liberal MP
Mathias Corman, shadow assistant treasurer
Stephen Parry, Liberal senator
Dan Tehan, Liberal MP

[Daniel Flitton, Senior Correspondent, Fairfax: "The Rambam program of sponsored trips to Israel... A separate trip is run for journalists, and in 2010 included this reporter." (Messages from the war zone, Daniel Flitton, SMH, 24/11/12) This is the only record I have of this particular rambamming.]

Australia Israel Leadership Forum (December) (See my posts Record Rambam (25/10/10) & The Kevin Rudd Road Show 1, 2, 3, 4 (18/12-22/12))

AILF: Albert & Debbie Dadon

Labor politicians

Kevin Rudd, Foreign Minister
(Peter Khalil, Rudd's "former foreign policy & national security adviser" (AJN, 11/2/11))
Kim Carr, Sen. Industry Minister
Stephen Conroy, Communications Minister
Bill Shorten,
Richard Marles, Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Affairs
Mike Kelly, MP
Michael Danby, MP
Anthony Byrne, MP
Bernie Ripoli,
Mark Bishop, Sen.

Liberal politicians

Julie Bishop, Deputy Opposition leader and Shadow Foreign Affairs
Christopher Pyne, MP
Andrew Robb,
George Brandis, Sen.
Kevin Andrews, MP
Brett Mason, Sen.
Mitch Fifield, Sen.
Steve Ciobo, MP
Guy Barnett, Sen.
Kelly O'Dwyer, MP
Scott Ryan, Sen.

Media

Chris Uhlmann, ABC
Greg Sheridan, foreign editor, The Australian
Peter Van Onselen, contributing editor, The Australian
Steve Lewis, News Ltd
Lenore Taylor, national affairs correspondent, Fairfax
Naomi Levin, Australian Jewish News
Tom Scotnicki, Canberra bureau chief, Business Review Weekly
Tony Walker, Australian Financial Review

Others

15 descendents of Aboriginal activist William Cooper (names unknown):

The remaining junketeers:
Margaret Andrews: wife of Kevin Andrews, family values enthusiast
Dr John Byron: Cooperative Research Centres Committee, higher education & research policy
Ron Cross: CEO Park Trent, property investor
David Dinte: NSW President Friends of the Tel Aviv University
Eitan Drori: Australian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Mary & Amanda Easson: ex-Labor MP & daughter
Andrea Faulkner: Ambassador to Israel
Con Gallin: ?
Rohan Ganeson: Man Dir Optus, Small & Medium Business Group
Shelley Kelly: ?
Peter & Lydia Khalil: Lowy Institute/counter-terrorism
Master Yong-Sup Kimm: martial arts expert
Prof Douglas Kirsner: School of International & Political Studies, Deakin Uni
Maha Krishnapillai: Optus, Director of Government & Corporate Affairs
Dr Marion Lustig: Balint Society of Australia, psychiatrist
Amanda Mendes Da Costa: Michael Danby's wife
Yair Miller: NSW Jewish Board of Deputies
Mark Paterson: Secretary, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science & Research
Emmanuel Santos: photographer
Jessie Sheridan: ?
Kristy Somers: Dadon's AICE/AILF
Niv Tadmore: Clyton Utz, international tax expert
Evan Thornley: Chief Executive, Better Place Australia
Dr Carl Ungerer: Program Director, National Security Program at Australian Strategic Policy Institute
John Weiss: Peres Center for Peace, Aust. chapter
Thom Woodroofe: AILF, Left Right Think-Tank, foreign affairs analyst
Nicola Wright: Dadon's AICE/AILF
Antonio Zeccola: founder/owner, Palace Cinemas

KKL-JNF  (See my 1/10/13 post A Transformative Experience)

Student politicians:

Xavier Williams, Labor, NUS Gen. Sec.
Jesse Marshall, Labor
Eloise Howse, Labor
Jesse Overton-Skinner, Labor
Duncan McDonald, Liberal
John Shipp, Liberal

2009

Politicians

Australia Israel Leadership Forum

Julia Gillard, Deputy PM (leading a 40-strong delegation - See my 29/5/09 post Her Brilliant Career)
Senator Guy Barnett, LIB
Senator George Brandis, LIB
Peter Costello, LIB, Higgins
Mark Dreyfus, ALP
Christopher Pyne

Warren Mundine, former ALP national president

Allan Howe, columnist, Herald-Sun (See my 25/7/09 post Awesome Israelis...)

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Helen Polley, ALP, Tas

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Julie Bishop, Shadow Foreign Minister (See my 11/7/09 post Hot on Gillard's High Heels)
Bruce Bilson, LIB
Senator Simon Birmingham, LIB SA
Louise Markus, LIB, Greenway
Senator Scott Ryan LIB VIC

Jewish National Fund (JNF)

South Australia's Minister for Environment & Conservation Jay Weatherill ("Last month... visited the Yatir Forest for the dedication of the South Australia-Israel Friendship Forest." AJN, 1/5/09)

Media
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Journalists Mission

Michelle Ainsworth, senior producer, Channel 7
Peter Hartcher, political & international editor, Sydney Morning Herald (See my 18/11/09 post No Hidden Agenda)
Connie Levett, foreign editor, Sydney Morning Herald
Nick Tabakoff, associate editor, Daily Telegraph
According to the NSW JBOD At the Board, Vol 1-2010, the above were "accompanied by 4 colleagues who were guests of AIJAC."
(See my 15/3/10 post Pawns in a Propaganda Game)

Commerce

Skills 2009 Trade Mission to Israel (September)
Sponsored by the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce and "led by Paul Howes, National Secretary of the Australian Workers Union and other senior business, government, philanthropic and academic executives." (Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Winter 2009)

2008

Politicians

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council Rambam Fellowship Program

Tony Abbott, Shadow Minister for Health
Cory Bernardi, LIB, SA
Mark Bishop, ALP, WA
Jacinta Collins, ALP, Vic
Jason Clare, ALP, NSW
Peter Dutton, LIB, Qld
David Johnston, LIB, WA
Michael Keenan, LIB, WA
Shayne Neuman, ALP, Qld
Andrew Robb, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, MP for Goldstein ("While I have been a student of the Middle East since I was 17 years of Age, my 6-day visit to Israel has greatly honed my perspective... I found it a profound spiritual experience... It confirmed to me that the Israeli strengths and achievements derive from the Jewish brain and spirit as there aren't many resources... While I was in the Golan Heights it was brought home that the only stable thing within the Middle East is instability..." andrewrobb.com.au, 5/8/08)
Jason Wood, LIB, Vic

Australia -Israel Cultural Exchange

Michael Forshaw, ALP, NSW
Brett Mason, LIB, Qld

?

Senator Glen Sterle, LIB, WA ("The Chair of the Australia/Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group Senator Glen Sterle has echoed the sentiments of his Labor colleagues and called for Australia to seriously consider its participation in the Durban Review Conference..." (WA Senator calls for Durban rethink, AJN, 10/4/09)

Media

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Journalists Mission & the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Janet Albrechtsen, columnist, The Australian ("... an entire generation of Palestinian children is being raised on a full diet of hate education, on jihad and anti-Semitism... Look at the website of Palestinian Media Watch..." Hostages to fear & systematic loathing in Israel, The Australian, 26/11/08 - See my 28/11/08 post Janet's Dream)
Peter Charley, producer, Insight, SBS
Paul Sheehan, columnist, SMH (See my posts His Master's Voice 27/11/08, Oriana Fallaci Meets Israeli PR at the SMH 13/1/09 & 2 19/1/09)
Jacinta Tynan, journalist, Sky News

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council Rambam Fellowship Program

Margaret Easterbrook, The Age
Alan Kirk, foreign editor, The West Australian
John Roskam, ED, Institute of Public Affairs Australia
Rebecca Weisser, opinion editor, The Australian
(See my 20/2/o9 post Whose Conclusions?)

Jewish National Fund Mission to Israel

5 Australian water experts + Fairfax journalist Jewel Topfield (See my 23/2/08 post Rambammed)

NAB Yachad Scholarship Fund

Lynette Riley, Aboriginal academic ("Riley, who will be speaking on the Aboriginal-Israel connection, is a graduate of the YSF and went to Israel to learn about educational advances with disadvantaged students. Her studies led her to develop approaches for addressing issues sensitive to indigenous people in their home communities." Aboriginal academic to launch UIA campaign [19/2/09], AJN, 13/2/09)

2007

Media

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Journalists Mission

Tim Blair, opinion editor, Daily Telegraph
Joel Labi, journalist, 2GB ("Jewish radio announcer Joel Labi had visited Israel previously, and said seeing the security fence up close 'hit home that Israel's enemies are a lot closer than people make it out to be'." (Journalists reassess Israel, AJN, 22/2/08)
Kirsty Needham, deputy foreign editor, SMH ("She said she was impressed by the vibrant multiculturalism, community spirit and vigorous media debate in the country, and added that her visit to the Lebanese border and the town of Sderot had allowed her to witness the fear Israelis are forced to live with daily." ibid)
Glen Wheeler, announcer, 2UE ("[Wheeler] said for the first 47 years of his life, he had only heard negative information about the country. [As] a Catholic, [he] was excited to be in Israel over Christmas but said he found the reality of Christ's birthplace different from what he had envisioned. Wheeler was struck by the close proximity in which Jews, Muslims and Christians live, particularly in Jerusalem." ibid)

Politicians

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council Rambam Fellowship Program

Cory Bernardi (SA Lib senator)
Craig Emerson (ALP)
Helen Kroger (Victorian Liberal powerbroker & election candidate
Joe Ludwig (ALP)
Michael Ronaldson (Lib senator)
Glen Sterle (ALP)

This lot travellled to Israel in March. "[Bernardi] said a meeting with Fatah representative Abu Ziyad opened his eyes to the difficulties confronting Israel, after the former Palestinian Legislative Council member refused to condemn suicide attacks. 'Sadly, my belief that this hateful behaviour was the exclusive preserve of the Hamas terrorist group proved very short-lived', Bernardi told parliament. 'Given my experience with the so-called 'moderates' on the Palestinian side, peace in Israel is a long way off. Abu Ziyad blamed the Israeli occupation for the lack of peace, but there was a persistant refusal to acknowledge or accept that his own people must refrain from terrorism and meaningfully recognise Israel'." (Senator returns from Israel with darker view of Fatah, AJN, 22/6/07)

10 senior political advisers travelled to Israel in June. They included Simon Berger, adviser to Defence Minister Brendan Nelson, Alan Anderson, adviser to Treasurer Peter Costello, and advisers to Human Services Minister Senator Chris Ellison and shadow attorney-general Senator Joseph Ludwig. (Rambam fellows share insights, AJN, 10/8/07)

A group of student leaders travelled to Israel in July, including Monash Student Association's Zoe Edwards (Socialist Left!), who said "visiting Yad Vashem... helped her better understand the importance of Israel." (ibid)

George Cash, WA MLC
Nick Griffiths, WA MLC
Ray & Judith Halligan, WA MLC
Bob Kucera, WA MLC
Karen Newman, WA MLC

These pollie waffles visited the ANZAC cemetery and the Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, toured Sderot, met Israeli leaders (Ephraim Sneh, Yochanan Plesner), and listened to Palestinian Media Watch director Itamar Marcus. (AIJAC sponsors state parliament visit to Israel, AJN, 25/1/08)

Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce & the Israeli Trade Commission

Tim Holding, Victorian Water Minister
Nathan Rees, NSW Minister for Water Utilities ("[The Battleground at Be'er Sheva] is a site of extraordinary significance, to Australia and also to Israel - a place where the actions of our troops in a breathtaking feat of arms became part of a historical chain of events that played a part in the formation of the Israeli state many years later... We [also] visited Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea... Masada... Jerusalem Hospital... a Bedouin camp [and] Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum..." (Poignant, pertinent, passionate, Nathan Rees, Rhapsody, Jan-Mar 2008)
Craig Wallace, Queensland Water Minister

Invitation by former speaker of the Knesset Reuven Rivlin to-

David Hawker, Speaker, Federal Parliament ("I think the important thing is that Israel is the only fully-fledged democracy in the Middle East." Parliamentary speaker in Israel, AJN, 2/2/07)

Trip to Israel of 11* Young Labor members funded by Mary (ex-MP for Lowe) & Michael (ALP senior vice-president) Easson. They met "dignitaries and political figures," and "donated blood to Magen David Adom at the Knesset." ("A series of visits at a younger age drew Mary Easson's attention to Middle Eastern politics... Despite their non-Jewish ancestry, [they] have longstanding links with the Australian Jewish community... 'A wall in principle sounds like a terrible thing, but you go and see it and you think, 'Oh well, yeah, I can see why you would need that'." Husband-&-wife team's Labor of love for Israel, AJN, 2/2/07)
[*Including Amanda Easson and Cale Johnson]

2006

Politicians

Robert McClelland, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs ("Mr McClelland noted his historical association with Israel's formation because he holds the seat of Barton, which was also held by Labor's 'Doc' Evatt, who played a pivotal role in the UN Resolution 181, which led to the formal establishment of Israel in May 1948." McClelland: support for Israel & peace, AJN, 15/12/06)

Malcolm Turnbull, head, Office of Water Resources

NAB Yachad Scholarship Fund

Carol Martin, WA MLA for Kimberley ("... I want to learn about Israel's programs in areas such as preventing violence against women... We have many remote indigenous communities that experience significant disadvantages... My hope is that the Israeli experience of community capacity-building will provide ideas..." First female Aboriginal MP to visit Israel, AJN, 13/1/06)
Warren Mundine, ALP national president ("Mundine spent his time in Israel investigating Israeli programs to counteract individual and community welfare dependency, as well as programs that deal with domestic violence and youth initiatives." Mundine's recollections of Israel for NCJWA, AJN, 14/8/09)

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council Rambam Mission

Kelly O'Dwyer, Costello staffer, Liberal candidate in 2009 Higgins by-election (See my 23/11/09 post Meet the Candidates)

Media

Board of Deputies' Journalists Mission (NB: the BoD states that "about 50 journalists have participated since the mission began 50 years ago." (At the Board, Vol 1-2006)

Tom Allard, SMH National Security Director
Paul Cutler, SBS TV News & Current Affairs Director
Paul Sheehan, SMH columnist (See my 19/1/09 post Oriana Fallaci Meets Israeli PR at the SMH 2) ["... were briefed by political, military and security commentators and flew over the country by helicopter." At the Board, Vol 1 - 2007]

Clergy

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council Rambam Fellowship Program

16/17 (?) clergy, including:

Geraldine Hawkes, Chair, Commission for Australian Catholic Women
Rev John Henderson, General Secretary, National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA)
Graeme Mundine, Executive Officer, National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission of the NCCA
Debra Porter, communications officer, NCCA
Maureen Postma, General Secretary, Victorian Council of Churches
Rev Sesorosa Carroll, Uniting Church inter-faith representative
Michael Tate, former Keating govt. senator turned Catholic priest
Dr Rowan Strong, president West Australian Council of Christians & Jews
?... National Catholic Bishops Conference
?... Australian Council of Churches in Australia
?... Australian Catholic University

AIJAC executive director Colin Rubenstein: "We chose to take opinion-forming groups within the Australian community. There have been pockets of hostility from certain church groups in Australia... We are hoping that by taking these groups to Israel we can enhance their affinity and empathy with Israel." (Rabbi leads clergymen on groundbreaking tour of Holy Land, AJN, 17/3/06) Debra Porter: "Members of the group welcomed this opportunity as a way to further engage in the journey of interfaith dialogue... Linking today's Israel to 2000 years ago is... exciting... Visiting the ruins of Dan, Megiddo, Tiberias, Qumran and Massada gave us an opportunity to share common history with our tour leader, Rabbi John Levi, and tour guide, Roley Horowitz... Yad Vashem... The Australian Ambassador Mr Time George... the Armenian Patriarchate... the Hand in Hand program... where Jewish and Arab children learn together... The Maksam Association for Ethiopian Jewry... Bethlehem... Rev Mitri Raheb... The Security Fence is in many parts a wire fence, through which you can see the other side. Any part of the fence where Palestine borders Israeli neighbourhoods is deemed by the Israeli Government to be a high risk area for terror attacks. Along these sections concrete barriers are constructed. There are mixed feelings both in Israel and in Palestine about the Security Fence... Thankfully, many are still crossing the borders, still seeking to have relationships with 'neighbours' on the other side..." InUnity, Autumn 2006

[NB: The following data comes from Antony Loewenstein's My Israel Question (2006) and refers to an AIJAC-sponsored trip to Israel by Australian journalists, probably late in 2005: "The journalists include: Herald & Weekly Times editor-in-chief Peter Blunden and journalist John Ferguson; the Australian Financial Review's Ben Potter and Robert Bolton; chief editorial writer for the Age, John Watson; the Courier-Mail's Dennis Atkins; SBS's Sally Watson; the SMH's Louise Dodson; and Channel Ten's John Hill. The impact that his participation had on the Australian's Cameron Stewart was evident on his return: 'There is nothing like seeing and getting a better understanding of the geography of Israel and its borders. It took all of 3' to fly [by helicopter] to the security border and I think it gives a very good example of the security issues that Israel faces...'" (pp 220-221)]

2005

Politicians

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council Rambam Fellowship Program (acc to AJN 11/11/05) Australia-Israel Cultural Exchange (acc AJN 28/10/05)

Michael Danby, Deputy Opposition Whip, MP for Melbourne Ports
Julia Gillard, Shadow Minister for Health ("... anything we [Labor] can do through the exercise of good offices, we will do to support Israel and support a genuine peace process." Labor's rising star at AICC, AJN, 29/9/06 "Gillard said what she had most admired in Israel was the spirit of the people in the face of suicide bombings." Labor MPs share Israeli political drama, AJN, 9/12/05)
Alistair Jordan, Rudd's Chief of Staff
Brendan O'Connor, MP for Gorton
Roger Price, Chief Opposition Whip
Christopher Pyne, Lib ?
Kevin Rudd, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs ("He told the ABC Insiders program... that he had discussed al-Qaeda with 'a lot of academics, analysts, and think tanks' in Israel and the reporting was 'pretty grim'. 'What we are now seeing is reports of al-Qaeda becoming effective in Jordan, Syria and even in Gaza itself', he said. One analyst had talked of 'early tentative contact' and 'some indications of early co-operative agreements' between Hamas and al-Qaeda." Al-Qaeda linked with Hamas, Rudd warns, AJN, 25/11/05)
Kelvin Thomson, Shadow Minister for Human Affairs

"... Israeli Ambassador Nati Tamir told the AJN... highlights would include visits to the north of Israel, Tiberius, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, the Knesset and Yad Vashem." Gillard, MPs to visit Israel, AJN, 11/11/05) Bill Shorten of the Australian Workers Union also visited Israel as a Rambam Fellow in 2005, although I'm not sure whether he was part of this group.

Media

Australia-Israel Cultural Exchange

Alan Howe, ED Herald Sun ("Earlier, I had an insight into Rudd the diplomat. We had been shown some of the steady diet of hate that pours out of the minds of kids watching Palestinian television; pre-teenage kids glorifying the evil of suicide bombers was about the least offensive content. In the office of the then PA's Deputy PM, Dr Nabil Shaath, who was to receive about $16 million of Australian taxpayers' money last year, Rudd raised these sanctioned broadcasts. 'That no longer happens', Shaath said quite forcefully, if not quite truthfully. He said he could not always control the independent broadcasters whose constant theme was to characterise Jews as ruthless, sadistic killers. Rudd may not have been in government, but he spoke for all Australians as he described the appalling broadcasts he had seen and heard the night before. And he made it clear Australians would not support their money going to a body that funded, encouraged or tolerated such broadcasting." Rudd's Middle East moment, Alan Howe, Rhapsody Oct-Dec 2007)

Board of Deputies' Journalists Mission

Louise Dodson, Chief Political Correspondent, Sydney Morning Herald (Wrote an article for the Herald on her return called Lessons that may be learnt from Israel)
Sally Watson, Supervising Producer, SBS
John Hill, Senior Reporter, Network 10
Sharon McKenzie, Presenter, Sky News

13 comments:

Sikander Hayat said...

Israel is making difficult for its friends in the Muslim world to stay friends with it by constantly killing innocent people. Be it Turkey or Egypt, Israel’s actions have made it near impossible for the governments in the said countries to overtly support it.

http://real-politique.blogspot.com

By Sikander Hayat

Anonymous said...

YES I AGREE ISRAEL SHOULD HAVE ALLOWED THE ISLAMISTS TO TRAVEL THROUGH SUDAN TO EGYPT THE TO GAZA WITH THE WEAPONS NEEDED TO KILL MORE JEWS..

LET ME GIVE YOU THE BIG TIP SIKANDER THE JEWS ARE NO LONGER GOING TO WAIT TO BE MURDERED AND MAKE IT EASY FOR THEIR ENEMIES . AT LEAST IN ISRAEL [ OBVIOUSLY NOT IN THE DIASPORA ]THE JEWS HAVE A LEARN'T A LESSON FROM THE PAST NOBODY TO RELY ON BUT YOUR SELF .

YOU CAN CRY ALL YOU WANT ABOUT THE POOR PALESTINIANS IT IS KILL OR BE KILLED [ JUST AS WE IN THE WEST HAVE BEEN SHOWN BY FATAH AND HAMAS OR SHEA AND SUNI OR LEB MUSLIMS AND LEB CHRISTIANS ] AND AS THE ARABS AND MUSLIMS ACCORDING TO THEIR HOLY BOOK LOVE DEATH & MARTYRDOM SO MUCH WHILST JEWS LOVE LIFE LET THE ISRAELIS BE DISLIKED AND THEIR ENEMIES AFRAID OF THEM BUT TRY TO SAY ALIVE.
SALAM ALAKEM SIKANDER

MERC said...

Red Alert: Low grade, HIGH VOLUME Zionist bombast & paranoia about.

Anonymous said...

I Know I would be embarrassed too merc and have no answers for Annon 9.33 when we constantly see in the west Muslims kill Muslims on a daily basis on our TV sets and internet in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan , Sudan and the Palestinian terror- tories It must be hard to digest and then explain to all your followers how they should ignore Muslim barbarism towards each other and just concentrate on Jews killing Palestinains in retaliation for their ongoing addiction to violence.

MERC said...

Does your train of thought have a sleeper carriage?

Michael said...

Anon. is a bit confused as usual - lamenting the blood-thirsty Muzzie hordes, but simulataneously espousing a "kill or be killed" mentality.

Anonymous said...

Nah I am obsessed as you are!

MERC said...

Michael, Only a "bit" confused? He thinks he's not Anon 9:33.

anon2 said...

That was funny, but give him some credit - he usually doesn't shout like that. Merc, you are plagued by a pestilence of anons. It's quite absurd distinguishing between we faceless crowd. Anyway, as you know, I think you do a good job, no matter what anon says.

Anonymous said...

A bit of a chutzbah isn't it talking about a faceless crowd whilst merC remains anon...

MERC said...

Good point O Hydra-headed One, but to know me is to love me. Draw your own conclusions...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for conceding some thing which is not easy for you,

My money is still on you being Maher Muhgrabi first guess ,if not then definitely a left wing Jew { probably the son/grandson of a Kapo }

Cheers

MERC said...

You've got me! I confess - son of two Zionist Kapos!