Leibler shocked by Rudd’s revelation

October 21, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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AIJAC National Chairman Mark Leibler has stated he was “surprised and shocked” at the account in the story by Latika Bourke on the Fairfax newspaper website about former PM Kevin Rudd’s forthcoming memoirs (“Israel forged Australian passports before, Kevin Rudd reveals in new book”, Oct. 19) of a meeting that was held in Canberra on June 3, 2010 and his role in it.

Mark Leibler

“I have consulted both my contemporaneous notes and my memory, and, while I have not yet seen Rudd’s memoir, I can say categorically the account of that meeting in the published story is completely false, virtually from top to bottom,” Leibler said.

Leibler said he did attend such a meeting, together with Rudd, Foreign Minister Steven Smith, Mark Dreyfus and around ten other people, to discuss the Australian reaction to the “Mossad passports affairs”, where it was alleged forged Australian passports were used to travel to Dubai to assassinate a senior Hamas official.

“However,” he added, “it is absolutely not true that, at that meeting, I ‘went off’ my head; got angry; ‘excused’ the abuse of Australian passports as ‘the work of those involved in the ugly world of intelligence;’ said ‘I don’t believe you’ when Rudd alleged there had been an earlier incident of alleged Australian passport misuse by Israel; or in any way ‘menaced’ the government, as alleged in the story.

Australian former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

“And the threatening quote attributed to me about Julia Gillard in the article, used to imply that I or some mythical pro-Israel conspiracy somehow had a role in Ms Gillard’s success in overthrowing Mr Rudd in the party room a few weeks later, is a complete and total fabrication,” Leibler went on to say.

“There was exactly one reference to Julia Gillard during the meeting. It was in my introduction, where I praised aspects of the government’s record and noted how Gillard as acting Prime Minister had made statements very understanding of Israel’s security concerns during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009. Rudd interrupted, somewhat defensively, saying Gillard’s stance supporting Israel’s position had been discussed with him beforehand. I responded with words along the lines of ‘Don’t be so sensitive’ and said the Jewish community had assumed as much,” Leibler stated. “Nothing even approximating the threat quoted in the article was said by me or anyone else.”

Leibler concluded: “When the June 3 meeting ended, I actually privately assured Rudd that I shared many of the government’s concerns about the Israeli misuse of Australian passports and would be expressing my concerns to the Israeli government directly which I did in fact do.

“I learned about Gillard’s subsequent party room move against Rudd through the media on the night before it happened, like the rest of Australia. I am shocked and disappointed that completely false accounts of the meeting are now being used to prop up far-fetched conspiracy theories by a former Prime Minister.”


4 Responses to “Leibler shocked by Rudd’s revelation”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    Reading over a past statement [February 2010]..”Mr Smith said there was nothing to suggest the three Australians were anything other than victims of passport or identity fraud”.
    Nothing malicious there..maybe he should be asked to refresh his memory.

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    Forging or misusing Australian passports not once, not twice but three times recently, that we know of, is not acceptable. I have always been opposed to dual citizenship.

    If any Australian takes out citizenship of a foreign country they should declare it to the Australian government who should then automatically cancel their Australian citizenship and their Australian passport surrendered so it can be destroyed.

    We cant have citizens with divided loyalty to two or more foreign countries.

    • David Schulberg says:

      Obtaining a second passport is an important step in internationalizing your life so that no one country can control your freedom or your wealth. More and more countries are allowing dual citizenship.

      • Adrian Jackson says:

        We can travel anywhere on an Australian passport including to Israel, Iran, North Korea, Russia and China.

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