5th November 2010
The Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Kevin Rudd
Good morning Mr Rudd
Re: Largest ever Parliamentary Delegation to Israel in December
This letter is directed to you because it has been brought to my attention that you will lead the above delegation. I will be copying in the sixteen politicians joining you in case they might like to share their thoughts with me on what I have to say to you.
I have contacted you several times about Israel/Palestine as situations demanded when you were Prime Minister.
Regrettably never receiving a response to any communication. Even the standard staffer written “thank you for contacting Mr Rudd and expressing your opinion/concern which we (ALP) do not share” would have been preferable to being ignored.
Regardless, because I consider this matter to be so important due to its inextricable links to international terrorism and conflicts in which we find our defence force currently entangled I intend to continue pursuing the matter with government and opposition.
If it was only my humble self who drew a linkage between the ongoing colonisation of land designated as a State for Palestinians and the disgraceful treatment of the indigenous population by their colonisers I might feel less secure in my opinions. When US generals of the calibre of David Petraeus also make the connection it gives me the self assurance to continue down this path.
I first expressed concern back in 2008 when one of your early acts after the brilliant apology to our indigenous population, was to make a “song and dance” in the same Parliament about Israel ‘s 60th birthday. I couldn’t then, and still now cannot, understand why you thought that a necessary thing to do for Israel when I don’t recall it being a routine practice when other countries/nations reach as insignificant a milestone as 60 years. I also could not understand how you could not see how such an action would upset the Palestinians when you have such obvious empathy with what our aboriginals have suffered due to colonisation of their land.
My hackles were raised again after witnessing the devastation of the trapped and minimally armed population of Gaza being slaughtered by the fourth most militarized nation in the world. Destruction and war crimes which are now well documented by Richard Goldstone (himself a Jew).
Julia Gillard (speaking for the ALP I can only presume) was lightning fast to blame Hamas for breaking the ceasefire which led to the devastation. The fact that she has never retracted that erroneous statement still irks me to this day. Palestinians not only had to endure that catastrophe but have to live with being blamed for bringing it on themselves which was not the case as you should now be well aware.
Whatever your or my personal opinion is of Hamas no one can dispute that they were democratically elected in the most free and fair elections according to Jimmy Carter. It can’t do much to encourage similar elections in less democratic parts of the word when elected Hamas officials are quickly locked up in Israelis prisons and remain there to this day as far as I am aware.
To rub salt into their wounds, before the phosphorous had settled on the devastated surviving population of Gaza Australia saw fit to trot off on a Cultural and Trade Mission to the perpetrators. I could not help but wonder if there was any sensibility at all within either the ALP or the opposition as to the feelings of the Palestinians when they saw this. Palestinians who are constantly portrayed as terrorists in our Murdoch dominated media despite pleading with the international community since 2005 to back them in their non-violent pursuit of justice through the growing BDS campaign.
The silence was deafening from Australian politicians of all persuasions when the Mavi Marmara was boarded in international waters and nine crew were killed. Subsequent autopsy reports show bullets at close range in the head to some victims. The confiscated personal effects including vital corroborating film footage never returned to passengers. Even reports of confiscated credit cards being used in ATM’s within Israel .
With some “Western” governments finally deciding this is the last straw and at least metaphorically slapping Israel over the wrist with a wet hanky by levelling a little bit of criticism, what does Australia do? Rush off to join the biggest delegation ever to Israel . Israel again having an opportunity to continue “brainwashing” our pollies and media into believing Israel is the victim in this ongoing situation.
Don’t you ever start to wonder if something might be rotten in the State of Israel when Jews themselves in ever increasing numbers are speaking out? Their growing voices also give me plenty of re-assurance about actions I am taking including typing this letter. Wonderful inspiring Jews like Anna Baltzer who spoke in Parliament last month. Were you one of the thirty-five pollies who went along to hear her speak? If so, what did you think? If you didn’t I suggest you get a copy of her DVD “Life in Occupied Palestine”.
Looking forward to but not expecting a response.
Mr Stephen Conroy
Mr Kim Carr
Mr Mike Kelly
Mr Richard Marles
Mr M Danby
Mr A Byrne
Mr B Shorten
Mrs J Bishop
Mr C Pyne
Mr A Robb
Mr G Brandis
Mr K Andrews
Mr B Mason
Mr M Fifield
Mr S Ciobo
Mr G Barnett