Foreign Minister Julie Bishop titilates Melbourne Jewish audience with Jerusalem mission promises

August 31, 2017 by Michael Danby
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Julie Bishop is shameless. Less than six months ago in January, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop denounced former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, for proposing that the Australian embassy in Israel move to Jerusalem…writes Michael Danby.

Michael Danby

Yet in Melbourne last week, she arrived to tell the innocent, the gullible, and the partisan that “Bishop To Consider Diplomatic Mission In Jerusalem A Significant Step”. This left the clear impression that she, the great conservative Foreign Minister, would dare to do what no man has dared to do, including President Trump, and move our embassy to Jerusalem where the Knesset and all of the national institutions are situated.

The Australian Jewish community is not stupid, that may only constitute about 100,000 of 24 million ie: half a percent of all Australians. But I don’t think you should titillate them, with false promises which you have already denounced when they came from someone else just this year!

It happens, that I think there are more important issues than the symbolic shifting of our Australian embassy to Jerusalem. In particular the prime issue is the undiluted aggression of the Shias jihadist regime in Iran and its nuclear ambitions.

Julie Bishop with with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

Now let’s return to the main game; Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s stubborn, shallow and short-sighted determination not to criticise Iran. Let’s get this clear, Iranian aggression across the Shia Crescent from Lebanon to Syria, Iraq, Iran and Yemen is the greatest strategic threat to regional and world peace. They are a bigger threat than Daesh. Iran’s Hezbollah mercenaries are basically, along with other Shiite militias, the infantry that has replaced the destroyed Syrian army. Combined with Russian air power they have saved the despicable Assad regime. 500,000 of his own people have been killed by Assad with the help from his allies Russia, Iran and Hezbollah in Syria in the last 5 years. Since Bishop switched Australian policy from being one of the most vociferous critics of Iran to the Iranian Ayatollah’s most abject Western adherent of the misconceived nuclear deal, JCPOA, that Obama and Europeans concluded with Tehran. Since then Australia has been in the shameful position of saying nothing about Iran’s six ballistic missile tests over more than a year.

Australia rightly condemns North Korea’s ballistic missile tests but Iran has embarked down the same path, with six ballistic missile firings over the last 12 months. Australia, with the silent Bishop at the helm has said nothing. Germany, Britain, the US and France, who are actual signatories with the Iranian JCPOA have condemned these firings. Currently the Iranians have gone quiet in their testing of missiles which might carry a nuclear warhead. Yet they’ve had a decade’s long collaboration with North Korea over technology transfer, the sale of ballistic missiles, and Iran’s funding of the North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile program. North Korean engineers have actually built the deep bunkers in Iranian mountains where the nukes and ballistic missiles are housed. The two regimes are so close that in coming years it is sure to emerge that Iran is beneficiary from the miniaturisation of the North Korean nuclear nose cone that can fit on a ballistic missile.

It really cheapens our community forums to see Bishop come to Melbourne and be adulated over moving the embassy to Jerusalem. Remember she has condemned the very proposal ie: establishing an embassy of Australia in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. To a Melbourne audience (reflected in the headline “Bishop To Consider Diplomatic Mission In Jerusalem A Significant Step”) she implies she will do just that. Shameless, hollow political spin. Worse, we appear to let her of the hook of the far more serious topic of Iranian ballistic and nuclear weapons program which is an existential threat to many countries in the region including Israel. Let’s remember the fanatic in Tehran have repeatedly and recently suggested they will annihilate Israel.

That is why I have put an advert in J Wire and the AJN this week.

Michael Danby is the Federal Labor MP for Melbourne Ports.


8 Responses to “Foreign Minister Julie Bishop titilates Melbourne Jewish audience with Jerusalem mission promises”
  1. Liat Kirby says:

    I see Julie Bishop through different eyes, Adrian. If all it took to be a senior politician was to be cool and calm, seemingly balanced, we wouldn’t have to worry about substance as well, would we?
    Are you saying that all cool, calm people are not egoists? Ms Bishop is so aware of herself in her position of Foreign Affairs Minister, that her image gets in the way of substance. She’s clever enough to speak to her topic, she’s articulate and obviously intelligent, but her extreme sense of self limits her. That the Coalition continually choose her for important portfolios is neither here nor there.

  2. Liat Kirby says:

    With that sort of logic, Adrian, if, internationally, Ballarat became the accepted and recognised capital of Australia, Canberra would be no more. All embassies to Ballarat.
    Australia chooses its capital city, as does the USA, and any other country. Israel has chosen hers.

  3. Liat Kirby says:

    The pleasant beaches and cosmopolitan lifestyle of Tel Aviv have absolutely nothing to do with where an Embassy might be, Adrian Jackson. Tel Aviv is the financial and commercial centre for Israel. Jerusalem is where the Knesset is, the Supreme Court, and many other important institutions. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and that’s where representative embassies should be located.

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      Like it or not Tel Aviv is the internationally recognized capital of Israel.

  4. Adrian Jackson says:

    The Jewish community in the electorate of Melbourne Ports, where I live, makes up about 10% of enrolled voters and most live in Caulfield which is a majority Liberal territory.

    Julie Bishop is highly regarded as Foreign Minister but there is no way the Australian Embassy will be moving from Tel Aviv with its pleasant beaches and cosmopolitan lifestyle not to mention a sea evacuation exit route if there is civil disorder or war.

    The Jewish community should realize that its just politics to promise an audience what they want to hear. The other 90% of the electorate are probably quite happy with Australia’s embassy remaining were it is and saving taxpayer millions for a move to Jerusalem not to mention the likely need to increase security which would be more taxpayer spent.

  5. Liat Kirby says:

    I agree with all you say, Michael Danby. Julie Bishop, first and foremost, likes her own image and performs to it accordingly. There is consequently no real vision or depth associated with what she has to say. She’s a grand-stander, who uses her particular dress sense and so-called penchant for the ‘steely’ eyed gaze, to reinforce image. That’s what’s called ego.

    That said, I am more concerned with the mounting pro-Palestinian support creeping through Labor’s State Branches, as it gathers strength toward a push for early recognition of Palestine as a State without the agreement of Israel, or any concern with security for Israel. If that became a Federal Labor stance or commitment, Jews who would normally vote Labor would be put in an invidious position. I would rather you concentrate on that than on Bishop’s antics.

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      Well she cant be all that bad as the Coalition constantly re-elect her as Foreign Minister, or shadow Foreign Minister when in opposition, as well as electing her deputy leader of the Federal Parliamentary Liberal Party during the reign of a number of Liberal leaders.

      Foreign Minister Bishop is a balanced, cool and calm parliamentarian, a prerequisite for this most important ministry, and she is anything but a grand stander.

  6. Andrew Blitz says:

    What is even more shameless is the hypocrisy of the Labor Party, driven by the State branches in NSW and WA who push for recognition of a Palestinian State under a leadership and culture that aspires for the destruction of Israel in its entirety.

    Deflecting the recognition of Jerusalem by attempting to shift the discussion to differences in foreign policy between Labor and Liberal delivers no credibility whatsoever.

    Mr Danby, despite your admirable advocacy over many years you do Australian Jewry a great disservice by playing partisan politics over the location of Australia’s embassy in Israel. Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel is not just symbollic. It is real. The Parliament, mechanisms of Government and centrality of identity as a Jewish nation State are all found in Jerusalem. If the Government of Australia, or any other Government in the world does not have the strength of resolve to reinforce that through action (due to nothing over than fear of reprisal) then it just means that the purveyors of terrorism are winning. So much for Australian values.

    You are right about one thing. The Australian Jewish community is not stupid. We can see right through the hollow direction of your political masters, and it is very evident to see what would become of Austrlian foreign policy under Labor when the next iteration of Bob Carr is annointed in a future Labor administration.

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