Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is asked on ABC Melbourne radio about a news story today regarding her blind support for Israel and her partner’s job with the Zionist lobby.
Even Murdoch columnist Andrew Bolt sees an issue:
Gillard said on ABC 774 this morning that as Deputy Prime Minister she excused herself on decisions on Israel that might raise this conflict of interest. How could she possibly do the same as Prime Minister? I’m surprised she doesn’t instantly see how inappropriate this arrangement now is.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has defended the right of her partner Tim Mathieson to work for a property group owned by a pro-Israel lobbyist.
Mr Mathieson is employed as a real estate salesman at a company owned by Melbourne developer Albert Dadon, a prominent pro-Israel lobbyist.
Ms Gillard said her public condemnation of Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli territory during the Gaza intervention occurred well before there had been any suggestion of Mr Mathieson working for Mr Dadon.
Mr Mathieson was his own person with his own life and his own job, she said.
Mr Gillard said she had taken advice on the issue because she did not want to make an inappropriate decision in cabinet.
“I have made all the necessary declarations and disclosures.”
Ms Gillard said her becoming prime minister indicated to the nation that this was a different age, adding the personal situation of her predecessor Kevin Rudd had also broken new ground.
“Kevin was the first prime minister, as I understand it, to have a partner with her own career, and a formidable and successful career it is,” she said.
Ms Gillard said she was the first prime minister with a male partner who had his own career and job.
“I hope that people would understand that, that he’s got a right to live his life too.”