Israeli ambassador rebuked – community responds

December 5, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council and the Zionist Federation of Australia have voiced their criticism of Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s decision to rebuke the Israeli ambassador Yuval Rotem over the settlements issue.

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council today labelled  the intense focus on the issue of Israeli settlements by Foreign Minister Bob Carr “misplaced”, “disproportionate” and “counter-productive.”

Dr Colin Rubenstein

AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein AM stated ” Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s decision to publicly rebuke Israel’s Ambassador to Australia based on thecontention that construction in settlements constitutes a major obstacle to progress toward a two-state solution is severely misplaced.”

“Moreover, his use of this issue to justify a vote for the Palestinian UN bid in violation of  the Oslo Accords  has been counter-productive toward achieving the Australian goal of  kick-starting viable negotiations advancing a two-state  outcome”, he argued.

“Israeli policies in place since 2004 have prevented all new settlement building or expansion of the boundaries of existing settlements and Israel’s recent announcements about new construction are consistent with those policies. Moreover, the settlements currently take up less than 2% of the West Bank, meaning  that it is simply not true that any current or likely future growth in settlements will substantially affect the size or viability of a future Palestinian state, as the Foreign Minister alleges”, Dr Rubenstein added.

“Senator Carr’s focus on the settlements issue not only incorrectly diagnoses the problem, but damages the credibility of both himself and Australia in dealing with key players in Middle East peacemaking, especially Israel, but also the US,”  Rubenstein concluded.


Mark Leibler

AIJAC National Chairman Mark Leibler  AC said “The Foreign Minister’s excessive focus on settlements has distracted from any effort to identify other issues of much greater significance if peace is to be achieved.”

“By far the most important of these is the fact that the Palestinian leadership is refusing to engage in any constructive negotiations with their Israeli counterparts, despite repeated, ongoing pleas from Jerusalem to do so.”

“Any reasonable contribution on these impediments to  peace  will also include incitement in Palestinian schools and official media, the continued rejectionism of elements of the PLO, corruption and misuse of international aid, lack of Palestinian Authority elections, and the continued inability of the Palestinian Authority to speak for all of the Palestinian people, with Hamas in control of Gaza, unreconstructed in its determination to destroy Israel,” Mr Leibler concluded.


Philip Chester

Philip Chester, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia said:  “We are disappointed that Foreign Minister Carr chose this time and this issue to call in Israeli Ambassador to Australia Yuval Rotem. We believe that FM Carr’s continued focus on the issue of settlements as an obstacle to peace distracts from the real issues which have precluded agreements to date – first and foremost the Palestinian Authority’s unwillingness to enter into negotiations, ongoing Palestinian attacks on Israeli citizens and the promulgation of hatred and incitement in Palestinian education and media. Israel’s decision to accommodate small amounts of natural growth near Jerusalem within existing population centres which do not reduce the viability of a Palestinian state, should not preclude the ability of both parties to negotiate all issues. As we have seen before, Israel has dismantled settlements and villages as part of its peace treaty with Egypt and disengagement from Gaza.


We understand that FM Carr has been a proponent of two-party peace talks without preconditions. We endorse that position and respectfully suggest that instead of pressuring Israel, FM Carr should advocate to Palestinian leaders that unilateral actions at the United Nations, rather than negotiating with Israel, will not progress the likelihood of a two-state resolution.”




21 Responses to “Israeli ambassador rebuked – community responds”
  1. michael says:

    The Muslim vote is the only Vote in Town!

  2. PATRICIA says:

    Thanks to all who support Israel in what it is doing. Too long the Jews have been beaten and castigated – and for what? For proving they are smart? Israel has a strong leader in Netanyahu who will not bow to the curs that are baying for his blood. Would that we were so lucky to have such a leader.

  3. PATRICIA says:

    Bob Carr the Bigot. He would not know diddly squat – he knows nothing of the history of the Jews – past or present. He is a man with a portfolio he knows nothing about. He is Juliar Gillard’s protege – give a job in her party to make up the numbers. He is wasted space – glorying in holding the centre stage once more. He is a loose mouthed moron….trying to run with the hare and the hounds.

  4. Liat Nagar says:

    You’re on dangerous ground when you start using your interpretation of the word of G-d as the good and only reason for strong action. It’s simplistic and risks the same kind of fundamentalism that Islam attracts. And I think it’s rather grandiose of you to pat yourself on the back as possibly having more conviction than any Jew in Australia in regard to Israel. It’s a ridiculous suggestion to posit, full of false assumptions. There are many ways of standing up to bullies, too.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with sipping coffee in Tel Aviv, Melbourne, or anywhere else – this act is not the measure of a man or a woman. I know what you mean by using it in the way you have, however it’s just a throwaway line, really. Just as being gung-ho with the Torah (Bible) is not the measure of man/woman. Perhaps you need to live in Israel for a while yourself, if you have not already done so, to get a better impression of the complexity of life there and the situation that exists. Being Jewish and being strong should not be corralled into, and confined by, going to Israel and living in West Bank settlement areas. Jews, just like other peoples, have a right to be strong in ways they find appropriate; being different does not equate with ‘weakness’.

    Bob Carr is full of ego and an ignoramus as far as the Middle East is concerned. The act of calling in Yuval Rotem in order to ‘rebuke’ him regarding the Israeli settlement building is both histrionic, arrogant and badly amusing. It shows him, and the Australian government, in poor light; it enhances the impression we already have that too many of the parliamentary ministers just don’t get it as far as Israel is concerned. Carr is proving to be as irritating as a fly – let’s hope he doesn’t end up being able to do any real damage.

  5. Ben Eleijah says:

    Strange silence over the fact that Carr was not acting alone. Several European countries did the same and even Israel’s chief support the US has condemned the announcement of 3000 new houses for Israeli settlers.

    The Zionists here may wish to ignore the truth but Israel ha run out of friends and even the US is wiling to cut it loose. More violence against the Palestinians will only bring more response from the rest of the world.

  6. Nathan says:

    It is legitimate for Israeli citizens like myself to express dismay and outrage at steps taken to undermine the likelihood of a 2 state solution, it is equally reasonable for an ally like Australia to voice its dismay through diplomatic channels

    The Jewish community does not have to be the mouthpiece of this extreme right wing government and its merry band of messianists and settlers. They can speak for themselves.

    Yes, sometimes being a caring Zionist means standing up to an Israeli government and to say, “we don’t agree”

    That the ECAJ and the ZFA is dominated by a leadership with (very) right wing leanings is not new.. but we do’nt all need to dance to their tune… and indeed we don’t.

    So from this Israeli… thank you Bob!

    • Shirlee. says:

      Funny that Nathan, you calling our Community leadership ‘right wing’. Most of us think it’s the opposite

    • Miriam says:

      Thank you Nathan. Well said.

    • Ben says:

      I agree Nathan, and it is in my view the wrong approach for Australian Jewish leaders to seek to trivialise the actions of Israel. The plans for E1 and other areas are hardly “small amounts of natural growth” . To constantly harp on about the “mere” 2% and how the real obstacles are certain unreasonable Palestinian demands in relation to the right of return, misses the point. There is simply no justification for the addition of new obstacles to an almost insurmountable list of existing ones. And the motivation is transparent. Coming directly after the UN endorsement of the PA’s application, it was nothing more than a petulant, spiteful and unnecessary move by a Gov with no moral scruples.

      The EU and US will never countenance a full right of return for the Palestinian refugees so Israel knows that the Palestinians will compromise on this. It is wrong to say, as Netanyahu does, that the Palestinians must first forgo the right of return before settlement stop, because they know the Palestinians will fold on this. Even so, in an incremental negotiation process, goodwill needed to be demonstrated by Israel on this issue to soften the Palestinians and to attain the moral high ground. It would have cost Israel nothing to put these settlement plans.

      Netanyahu has played into the PAs hand and the PA now have a basis to approach the ICC.

      This was a tactical blunder by Israel on every level and members of the Jewish community are entitled to speak out on this.

    • Rita says:

      “Words of Comfort to be Scratched on a Mirror:”

      Helen of Troy had a wandering glance;
      Sappho’s restriction was only the sky;
      Ninon was ever the chatter of France;
      But oh, what a good girl am I!

      (Dorothy Parker)

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      it is obvious that youhave tried very hard to acquire this impreessive quantity of ignorance.
      Re ECAJ and ZFA you could not find more LEFT wingers in the Jewish community if you tried. ECAJ is dominated by very, very strong Labor supporters, some with longstanding Labor Party membership.
      Your warped view of the current Israeli Government structure aside, branding political spliter images to the Israeli administration ignores the critical security complexities of Israel at the hands of its immediate enemies and the general, worldwide, lack of support for Israel whatever its politcal leadership composition.

      I doubt that you are a genuine Israeli, but then again we have seen a few similar specimens and they, just like you, are not at all impressive……..

  7. Otto Waldmann says:

    Dear Rita

    yet, Mephisopheles offered Faust that elixir of life beyond reality, the images of a Marguerite that has eluded Faust all his life. Faust goes for it at the expense of his own eternal peace.
    Likewise, the world fame that Carr has been dreaming of and has eluded all his political life is seen right here and he grasps the Devil at the expense of decency NOT to mention that elusive…peace.

  8. Rory says:

    The Jewish Leaders responses were weak, worldly and indirect.

    I am not a Jew but I believe in God’s word. It will be a great day when Jews say that they stand up for the land and people and capital of Israel because it is written in God’s word. But then if Jews really believed in God’s word, they would be in the settlements in Judea and Samaria and toughing it out in East Jerusalem instead of sipping coffee in Tel Aviv, New York, Melbourne or Sydney.

    But I am proud of the Jewish settlers and I tip my hat to them. But the Jewish leaders of Australia are weak and worldly and cannot stand up for the word of God. And that is because they don’t believe it. Otherwise they wouldn’t beat around the bush.

    I wrote a much better article that has something that is lacking between the Pillars in the Jewish community of Van Demons land.

    I would be surprised if I read an article written by a Jew from Australia that had even a tenth of my conviction. I don’t think such Jews exist in Australia. They have already left for Eretz Israel long ago.

    That said, I would be overjoyed if proven wrong. Maybe there are some good Jewish kids in the playground that know how to stand up to bullies like King David did to Goliath. But you wont find them amongst the likes of these weak leaders in this article. Sorry.

    God bless & for goodness sakes wake up.


    • Shirlee. says:

      Thank you Rory !!.

      • Ben says:

        Shirlee, Have you actually looked at this man’s website ? He’s one of those Christian Evangelicals and appears to want there to be an all out war between the Jews and the Pal’s so that his Messiah can arrive.

        He’s a little clip for ya from his ramblings:

        “World War 3 (WW3) is not the tribulation! WW3 will occur before the tribulation and is a battle between the West and Islam or Edom and Ishmael. During this time period God will remove the wicked from the House of Israel and they will join with the Jews in the land after WW3.

        There will be no ‘rapture’ of the righteous from the USA or elsewhere because the 10 lost tribes have to be regathered first and the bride has not made herself ready”

        Apparently, one of the lost tribes of Israel were dispersed to NZ …who knew !

        With “friends” like this, who needs enemies…

  9. Geoff says:

    While not particularly surprised, I am still very disappointed by Bob Carr’s inability to express any awareness, sympathy or respect for Israel’s perspective. I am also astounded at his evident lack of respect for the views of his leader, Julia Gillard. Although he is Foreign Minister, I would expect that Julia Gillard as Prime Minister would assert her views, in the way President Obama interacts with Secretary of State Clinton. Carr, who began his mini foreign affairs career by insulting Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, is already shaping up to be a disaster, full of his own deluded sense of grandeur.

    • Shirlee. says:

      Geoff, you can’t compare the US political system to ours The US President has to have committed one of any number of ‘offences’, for want of a better word. Then its a lengthy process to actually impeach him.

      Unlike here, where the boys go for a drink down at the pub and say “We don’t like this or that let’s get rid of him/her unless he/she goes along with us”

      • Shirlee. says:

        I reply to my own comment which was not what Geoff addressed.

        Gillard had two choices basically.

        1. Go along with Carr and his cronies
        2. Get rolled because she stood up for what she says she believes..

        Shame she didn’t have the courage of her conviction and go with the option she said she believes in.. OPTION 2

        That to me shows she is more gutless than I already thought she was.

  10. Rita says:

    Any half decent Australian tax payer should rebuke Bob Carr for “courting” some rather dubious member of the fake “human rights industry” (aka UN) at the expense of Israel and the Jewish people. While he might get his gold stamp from HAMAS and Co., for me he is emulating a rather vulgar Faust selling his soul to a very unattractive Mephistopholes,

  11. Otto Waldmann says:

    Tough lingo, these blokes don’t pull their punches and say it exactly how I, and I am sure ALL Australian Jews would phrase it.
    Colin, Philip, Mark, guys , the expression “misplaced” is a bit excessive, but, what the heck, these are trying times and we must reveal our metal.
    Sorry, on secornd thought “metal” is a bit too much. I take it back. It’s dinner time right now and I feel like a banana, so “banana” could replace “metal”, I think……………..

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