Nothing to do with Elbit

March 16, 2016 by J-Wire
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The Australia Israel Labor Dialogue has challenged any notion that it is funded by an Israeli arms manufacturer.

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In a statement released today, the organisation has said:

“In a story published in The Australian today, John Lyons makes a tenuous suggestion that the Australia Israel Labor Dialogue is funded by Israeli arms manufacturer, Elbit.

The AILD is not now, or has ever sought to be funded by Elbit or any other defence company, whether Israeli or Australian.

The Mission of the AILD is to build bridges between the Australian and Israeli Labor Parties across the spectrum of shared values such as workers rights, women’s status, gay rights, multiculturalism and shared understanding of a two state solution to the Israel Palestine conflict.

As part of our activities we arrange tours to Israel and Palestine and provide subsidies to those who cannot afford to travel to the region. Our funding comes from private donations sought from the Australian Jewish and pro-Israel Non-Jewish community.

To insinuate that because 1 of our supporters and activists is a consultant to a company that has a contract with Elbit, so AILD must be involved is both absurd and extremely poor journalism. It smacks of an opinion in search of a story in order to smear AILD and it’s democratic right to actively and openly champion a peaceful resolution of two nations for two peoples within the ALP.

There are those who seek to impose their own one-sided view on Israel Palestine within the ALP, and ban subsidised trips to Israel and Palestine. The AILD will never subscribe to impose totalitarian controls on what any individual wishes to see or do in their quest for understanding in this and any place in the world.”

The Australian’s John Lyons claimed that Mary Easson is one of the five members of the NSW branch of AILD and a lobbyists for Elbit, an Israeli arms manufacturer which has offices in Australia.

Dr Colin Rubenstein, the executive director of The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council which sends journalists on fact-finding trips to Israel said: “As noted by AILD, their program of sending union officials to the Middle East is not and has never been funded by Elbit or any other arms manufacturer, regardless of the indirect connection of one AILD director, Mary Easson, to that company, and no matter what John Lyons chose to imply in his story today.

The only real news story here is that there is an organised campaign, as we have seen in the NSW ALP recently, to try and stop Australian political and opinion leaders going to the Middle East, meeting leaders and experts from both sides and learning the truth about the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. This campaign is determined to seize on anything, however tenuous, to try and discredit such trips, despite how much they have enriched the debate in this country. Unfortunately, Australian journalist John Lyons seems all too willing to lend his pen to this campaign.”

 

Comments

One Response to “Nothing to do with Elbit”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    The link between AILD and Elbit is nothing but a smear by innuendo, a tactic much loved by Israel bashers. Invent some connection and treat it as fact, then have the accused run around disproving what never was. And even if it is established that Elbit does not fund AILD tours, the trips are supposed to be discredited because AILD’s Easson represents Elbit which – horror of horrors – makes defence equipment.

    But there is another aspect to the case. What is wrong with a company looking for markets? Unless, of course, it is an Israeli company and making sales in Australia runs counter to the BDS aims of its accusers. Indeed, how patriotic are those who oppose Elbit if that company’s products best suit Australia? Such super patriots remain mute when German, French and Japanese firms tender for making our submarines of the future.

    Interestingly, the innuendo was raised by the ex-friend of Israel who now shills for the Chinese, with not a peep about the Uighers or the Tibetans, especially now, when his pay masters are threatening Australian shipping in the South China seas.

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