Carr finds a friend
May 10, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Former Australian Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has told ABC’s Jon Faine that he shares former Labor Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s take on “the Jewish lobby”.
Fraser appeared on “The Conversation Hour” to discuss his new book “Dangerous Allies”. The conversation switched to Carr’s recent book “Diary of a Foreign Minister” in which Carr is critical of the Jewish lobby in Australia.
Faine: Bob Carr has managed to upset a lot of people here in Australia and overseas with his memoir, saying that he thought that the pro-Israel and in particular Jewish community lobby in Australia wielded too much power. What does Malcolm Fraser think of that?
Fraser: They certainly do. (Pause). Now, somebody said this a month or two ago and there was a sense of outrage: “No we don’t have immediate access to the Prime Minister. No we don’t have that. We’re just another group”.
Faine: Another lobby group.
Fraser: Well, in relation to the Gillard government, certainly, I am sure what Bob Carr said was totally and absolutely correct.
Faine: And other governments? Are you of that view as well?
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.
Faine: The Jewish community are generous donors to political parties, and wield and exercise as much influence as they can muster. Any community does the same. The Italian community, the Muslim community, religious groups, ethnic groups, industry groups. What’s the difference?
Faine: It’s not usual to single out one community.
Fraser: I don’t think the Italian community, just to take one example, try to get us to follow any particular policies in relation to Italy. And that’s the difference. The Jewish community…well not all the community…because I have had many letters, I’ve got many letters in my office in the files that say “No we don’t agree with the publicly proclaimed leaders of the community in Melbourne. We take a different view.” But they’re not going to say so publicly. The Jewish community seek to get Australia to support policies as defined by Israel. Look, Israel years ago, during one of the wars, killed 30 or 40 Americans on a spy ship in the western (sic) Mediterranean.
Faine: That was a mistaken missile hit, if I remember correctly, or an air strike. I can’t remember.
Fraser: Well, the Americans tried to cover it up. It wasn’t a mistake. It was deliberate.
Faine: You believe so?
Faine: Based on what?
Fraser: Information I have. I am not going to tell you the source.
Faine: Ok, and the purpose would have been to what? To stop intelligence gathering?
Fraser: They wanted to be able to do what they wanted to do without America hearing.
Faine: That’s a massive claim to make.
Fraser: It is.
Faine: It borders on the beliefs that some people have, which I have always thought were completely insane, about conspiracy theories like 9/11 and the like. And people believe all sorts of nonsense that they choose to then pursue, with no foundation whatsoever. You can’t make that sort of a claim without backing it up, can you, even if you’re Malcolm Fraser and you used to be the Prime Minister.
Kingsbury: To be fair to Mr Fraser, I think it’s worth saying that this is not an isolated example of so-called friendlies being killed in order to stop information being provided internationally. The Balibo 5 in East Timor in 1975 being a case in point.
Faine: Well, they were Australian journalists killed by Indonesian forces.
Kingsbury: They were wanting to get information out. They were killed by a force with the knowledge of the Australian government at the time, and that was covered up at the time by the Australian government. So it’s a close parallel. So it’s not an exceptional case. I think there are plenty of examples of this happening in the past. And it doesn’t necessarily…It may or may not be a conspiracy theory, but there have certainly been other examples of this.
Fraser: You’re idea of conspiracy theories about 9/11 [being nonsense], I think I would agree with absolutely.
Kingsbury: Yeah, me too.
Fraser: But when the interests of a significant power or the interests of a country, are concerned, as they believe, then the interests of individuals, or small groups of individuals, are not worth anything.
Faine; Oh no, individual lives are expendable…
Faine: for the greater cause and the greater good, in the minds of people who regard themselves as great leaders and military figures and statesmen. Absolutely, I do understand that.
Dr Danny Lamm, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia had this to say about the missile hitting the spy ship.
“The incident was subject to no less than ten American investigations and an additional three Israeli investigations all of which found that it was indeed an accident.
If Mr Fraser has a credible source to back up his outlandish claims, then he is duty bound to reveal it.”