Just in case it wasn’t clear, many in the Australian parliament are very happy for Israel to kill “terrorists” and use faked passports in the process. Israel is our ally, you see, and cannot be challenged:
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has accused the opposition of turning a blind eye to the abuse of Australia’s passport system and sovereignty.
The Coalition today described as an over-reaction the government’s decision to order the expulsion of a Mossad agent in response to a wide-ranging investigation that found Israel was involved in the forging of Australian passports.
A clearly angry Mr Smith rebuked the Opposition for suggesting the government was currying favour with Arab nations in a bid to win votes for Australia’s bid for a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council.
“They are not fit to manage our national security interest,” he told Sky News today.
“We will not … stand idly by and turn a blind eye to the shredding of our national security interest, to the abuse of our passport system and to the trampling of our sovereignty.”
The expulsion follows a three-month investigation which found Israel was involved in the forging of Australian passports to enable the January murder of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.
Mr Smith said he found as “frankly extraordinary” the Opposition’s response to the government’s decision because its foreign affairs spokeswoman, Julie Bishop, had been given the same briefing as he had from security agencies.
He dismissed as “arcane” Ms Bishop’s claim there was insufficient hard evidence to support the government’s decision.
“In these matters you have to make a judgement and that’s what we did.
“On the basis of the advice we had … we were left in no doubt that Israel was responsible for the abuse of Australian passports.”
Opposition frontbencher George Brandis dismissed Mr Smith’s criticism, saying the expulsion decision was a “terrible over-reaction”.
“It pays no heed to the fact that Israel is a very strong ally and friend of Australia,” he told Sky News.
“It ought to give (Israel) the benefit of the doubt.”
Senator Brandis said the parliament had not seen any evidence to support the government’s decision.
“One would have thought that he (Mr Smith) would have produced evidence … at least referred to the existence of it.”