The fine words of a former Australian Prime Minister:
Kevin Rudd should take a much harder line against Israel in the wake of mounting evidence its Mossad secret service used doctored Australian passports in its plot to murder a senior Hamas militant, former prime minister Malcolm Fraser said yesterday.
Last night, Australian Federal Police investigators began interviewing three Australian passport holders living in Israel over the use of their documents by the killers of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
It is understood police in Dubai, where Mabhouh was murdered, have formally asked the AFP to help in their investigation.
Mr Fraser said the misuse of passports had caused growing unease among Victoria’s Jewish community — a claim backed by a senior member of the Jewish community, who asked not to be named.
Mossad remains the prime suspect in the murder, which Dubai police say involved at least 26 people from four nations — all using doctored passports.
On Thursday, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith summoned Israeli ambassador Yuval Rotem to express “grave concern” about the passport issue.
Mr Fraser said the worries of Australia’s Jewish community were twofold. There were concerns about the actual misuse of Australian passports, and the tactics and policies of the Israeli government which cast the community in a bad light, he said.
Mr Fraser said the Jewish state could no longer use the Holocaust as an excuse to justify state-sanctioned murder, and criticism of its policies should not be dismissed as anti-Semitism.
“That happened 65-66 years ago and it cannot be used any longer to prevent proper discussion of Israel’s policies when those policies are counter-productive to world peace,” he said. “To suggest that those who are critical are anti-Semitic — I reject that utterly.”
Matthew Gray, a senior lecturer at the Australian National University’s Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, said only a nation-state like Israel could have carried off the Dubai killing.
While the murder of the senior Hamas official was a tactical success, the operation was rapidly turning into a strategic failure for Israel because two other countries whose tampered passports had been used — Britain and France — are permanent members of the UN Security Council, Dr Gray warned.
Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop said the Coalition had not drawn any conclusions over Mossad’s alleged involvement.