It’s nearly Christmas and that must mean yet another year of the Australia-Israel-UK Leadership Forum. The Australian media has virtually ignored the whole thing because they’re a) lazy b) not curious and c) clueless how to write about the shamelessness of witnessing so many politicians pall around with pro-occupation Israeli figures. These are the same sorry folk who in years to come will claim they were the finest opponents of Israeli criminality. As if.
We won’t forget.
The program is run by Australian Albert Dadon (the man has a history of being a younger face of the same, old Zionist lobby that re-hashes Israeli propaganda over a few glasses of chilled shiraz). This year former Israeli minister Avi Dichter appeared in London despite his deeply troubling past.
This off-the-record conference revolves around insulating against ever-growing voices damning Israeli violence and colonies. Keep having your secret meetings, people, Israeli actions are clear for the world to see.
Australian Opposition leader Tony Abbott, Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Minister for Homefront Security Avi Dichter and Sir Malcolm Rifkind were among the high-profile politicians and powerbrokers at a major conference of Australians, Israelis and British in England this week.
The Australia-Israel-UK Leadership Dialogue, founded and chaired by Melbourne-based businessman and philanthropist Albert Dadon, brought almost 50 leading opinion makers and shakers to London for a two-day off-the-record conference at the House of Commons.
Among the issues debated in the tri-lateral dialogue were Iran, the UN vote on Palestine, the Arab Spring and the BDS campaign.
Dadon said the idea for the conference was to discuss “issues of mutual strategic interest” and to help delegates understand the “difficulties facing our democracies”.
Dadon, a Melbourne business identity, founded the Leadership Dialogue in 2009 between Australia and Israel. In January, at the Leadership Dialogue in Jerusalem, he included British delegates for the first time.
Among the Australian delegates in London were Labor MPs Michael Danby, Mike Kelly and Bernie Rippoll and Liberals Kevin Andrews, Josh Frydenberg, George Brandis, Kelly O’Dwyer and Christopher Pyne.
Joining Olmert and Dichter among the Israelis were MKs Ronnie Bar-On,Nachman Shai and Ronit Tirosh. Silvan Shalom and Avi Dichter had to return to Israel early.
The UK delegation included John Spellar MP, James Arbuthnot MP and Stuart Pollak, the director of the Conservative Friends of Israel.
This is the sixth edition of the Leadership Dialogue, with previous sessions held in Australia and Israel. It is the first time it has been held in Britain.
Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter will attend a gala dinner in London on Tuesday night, as part of the Australia-Israel-UK Leadership Dialogue (AIULD), a forum designed to strengthen the three-way relationship between Australia, Israel and the UK through bringing together opinion leaders and decision makers from each country.
Dichter will travel to London without fear from arrest. Last year the British government amended the controversial universal jurisdiction law, used by activists to obtain arrest warrants for alleged war crimes aimed at Israeli dignitaries who visit the UK.
The law previously allowed private complaints of war crimes to be lodged against military personnel even if they were not British citizens and the alleged crimes were committed elsewhere. High profile targets in recent years have been former foreign minister Tzipi Livni and outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Dichter will join MP Kevin Rudd, former prime minister of Australia; former prime minister Ehud Olmert; and Alistair Burt, Foreign Office minister for the Middle East at the prestigious dinner in central London, organized by the London-based think tank The Henry Jackson Society.
The speakers are set to discuss topics of mutual geopolitical interest, bringing together perspectives from all three countries along with the global context.
The Australia-Israel Leadership Forum (AILF) was launched in 2009 when Australian Albert Dadon took a delegation of leading Australian politicians, academics, businesspeople and media to meet their counterparts in Israel. The trip was led by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who was then deputy prime minister.
In January 2012, UK participants joined the forum for the first time. The inaugural Australia- Israel-UK Leadership Dialogue included 15 senior politicians and decision makers from both government and opposition from all three countries along with key journalists.
Subjects that the group have discussed include national security, international relations, health, education, water technologies and climate change A two-day conference will kick off on Tuesday in parliament, organized by the Conservative Friends of Israel with AIULD delegates set to discuss an array of issues including the US leverage in the region following the presidential elections; working towards a two-state solution; the battle for Israel’s democracy, Arab Spring, Iran and the campaigning against Israel and how it is played out on campuses in Europe and Australia.