Apparently not, according to today’s Melbourne Age, though one has to wonder; our government can’t really support Zionist occupation more than it already does.
Well, I guess she could order an Australian military invasion of Iran; that may keep Tel Aviv happy for a few minutes:
Julia Gillard has moved to strengthen her already close relations with the Jewish community by giving her new business liaison adviser, Bruce Wolpe, the specific task of liaising with it.
Some caucus colleagues think treating the Jewish community in this special way is unwise, even weird. One called it ”a curious decision”. Another said: ”This is amateurish. Singling out the Jewish community when there are so many other components of Australian society is hard to comprehend.”
A third said that the level and quality of access for the Jewish community was already seen as superior to that of others and this could further that perception.
Critics accuse Ms Gillard of being too pro-Israel on Middle East issues, on which she has differed from Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd’s more even-handed position.
While Jewish leaders are publicly welcoming the Jewish liaison role, some sources in the community question why it is needed. One said it was peculiar and stupid – ”the Prime Minister has a very good relationship with the Jewish community. It doesn’t need to be channelled.”
A memo from the PM’s chief of staff, Ben Hubbard, to office colleagues, which is circulating among Jewish leaders, said Mr Wolpe, who is Jewish, ”will be responsible for liaison with the Australian business community and will also have a subsidiary role as liaison for the PM with the Jewish community”. Mr Wolpe’s latter role was not highlighted when his business appointment was announced recently.
At present Michael Cooney, a speechwriter and adviser in Ms Gillard’s office, liaises with various faith and ethnic communities.
Mr Wolpe, a former director of corporate affairs for Fairfax Media, owner of The Age, is senior adviser to US congressman Henry Waxman. He takes up his position with Ms Gillard in several weeks.
Philip Chester, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, said while he personally had not dealt with Mr Wolpe ”my colleagues [in the Jewish community] are very positive about the relationship that can be built with him”. So far the dialogue with the Prime Minister had been very effective.
Ikebal Patel, president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, said there would not be a problem with Mr Wolpe’s appointment if there was similar liaison from Ms Gillard’s office with other faith communities.