The debate and resignation of Senator Sam Dastyarifrom the opposition front bench for accepting $1600 donation from “a Chinese government-linked” company and his adoption of a “pro-China stance on the South China Sea dispute” uncovers an ugly hypocrisy and prejudice of Australian politics, a type of White Australia foreign affairs policy.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked “Is the Labor party’s foreign policy for sale?” yet consecutive Liberal and Labor governments have been selling Australia’s foreign policy to Israel for decades with cash and free trips, putting its interests above Australia’s national interests and dancing to the tune of its extremist lobby.
There is no moral, legal, commercial or national strategic interest to justify Australia’s adoption of a biased policy towards Israel. Justice, international law, UN resolutions and human principles are all on the Palestinian side and not Israel’s. Nor is there a “Jewish vote”, and the majority of Australian public opinion has repeatedly shown in surveys taken for more than ten years that they are on the side of the Palestinians.
Australia’s commercial interests are also with the Arab and Muslim countries and not with Israel; so why the biased policy towards Israel? The answer is the bad influence on the government and opposition’s Middle East policies from a well-organized and financed Israeli-linked lobby which works for a foreign government, and uses political donations, free trips and awards given to politicians for their services.
Australian companies and businessmen, some of whom are dual Israeli/Australian nationals, who finance the Israeli-linked lobby groups, such as Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) and the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA), donate money to both Labor and Liberal parties in return for both parties adoption of a bipartisan pro-Israeli policy. On many occasions even threats were made to withdraw their donations when there were indications of support for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
Despite the damage this biased policy inflicts on Australia’s national interest, reputation, security and international isolation, Australian politicians put their personal and parties interests above Australia’s national interest.
The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) revealed on 24.11.2012 that AIJAC through its “Rambam program” has sponsored free trips to Israel of:
… 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...
The strong link and cooperation between the Israeli lobby in Australia and the Israeli government has beenknown for a long time and admitted by the lobby’s leaders. They work on Israel’s behalf and some get finance from Israel.
The National Chairman of AIJAC Mark Leibler was reported in the Australian Jewish News (AJN) as far back as 9.8.1985, when he was president of the ZFA as saying:
We are generally improving our areas of influence. … 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.
An article by Sam Lipski titled ‘Inside the lobby’ (AJN on 13.8.1993) also confirmed the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) and ZFA close cooperation with the Israeli government and work on its behalf, he wrote:
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