Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser convincingly exposed the falsity of his own and former Foreign Minister Bob Carr's unsubstantiated claim that the pro-Israel Australian Jewish community wielded too much power - with these few well – chosen words to the ABC's Jon Faine:
Fraser: Um, I once said that Israel had exercised excessive power in relation to Lebanon. I got some pretty furious phone calls as a result, and people asked to come up and see me. And I thought it was going to be two or three [of them] and I found, well, there were so many they wouldn't fit in my office. So I said "Let's go into the Cabinet Room". They all explained Israel's position, which I understood. And at the end of that discussion I said, "Well, gentlemen, I am glad to have listened to you, but you know the Australian government's position". I said that "The power Israel used was excessive. That view has not changed. But I have heard you. Thank you." But it's a continuum, it's a continuum.
There could be no clearer case of the total ineffectiveness of those Jewish representatives sitting in the Cabinet Room - whom Fraser had properly met, courteously listened to and then rebuffed.
These lobbyists again had not got to first base.
Yes Prime Minister – contrary to your highly damaging allegations - lobbying you on this occasion on this particular issue once again had failed to change your mind.
Yet you misleadingly use this meeting to suggest there is an organised Jewish lobby that exercises too much power over Australian Governments.
Such an offensive suggestion is utterly false – as your own recollection confirms.
Maybe you felt uncomfortable when confronting the larger than anticipated number of lobbyists who had unexpectedly filed into your office. Numbers may be a turn off – as can be exasperation resulting from meetings over the same issue.
You admitted having received some pretty furious phone calls from these people. Prime Ministers would not probably appreciate such calls and their tenor.
Larger than expected noisy interest groups combined could have been even more counter-productive. Personal impressions created by lobbyists can be the kiss of death negating detailed well-researched fact-based arguments.
The indisputable fact however remains that the representations made by this group of lobbyists – for whatever reasons – were once again rejected.
But my most serious criticisms - Prime Minister - are reserved for these following comments you made:
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