Following the story in yesterday’s Fairfax media about Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her love for Israel and its cuddly lobby here in Australia, the following letters appear in the Age today:
Peace throughout the Middle East cannot be achieved until Western nations such Australia show we are as concerned about justice for Palestinians as we are about security for Israelis. The Israeli lobby in Australia has been very effective in gaining the support of governments over the past 60 years.
Evidence that our new Prime Minister (The Age, 29/6) is following this pattern does not give cause for optimism that Australia will bring new initiatives to this conflict. Until our government shows respect and effective concern for the situation of the Palestinians, our costly commitments to bringing peace in Afghanistan and Iraq will be ineffective.
Wal Jenkyn, Manifold Heights
We may have Israeli lobbyists in Australia but we also have Palestinian lobbyists who work just as hard. In the past two weeks, two pro-Palestinian Labor MPs gave speeches in Parliament. Also, senators from both sides of Parliament and Arab ambassadors recently attended a dinner organised by Australians for Palestine. Visiting Palestinian activist Dianna Buttu was the guest speaker. It was one of many events organised by Palestinian lobbyists and was just as legitimate as Israeli lobbyists doing their job.
Lobbyists from all countries cover political and non-political issues. I am sure Australia has its own in Washington, Britain and China.
Michael Burd, Toorak