Diplomat expelled to win Arab favour: Bishop

The Federal Opposition has accused the Government of expelling an Israeli diplomat as a means to win Arab support for an Australian seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith today announced the expulsion after investigations left the Government in "no doubt" Israel had faked Australian passports used in a hit on a top Hamas leader in Dubai.

But Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop says there is no hard proof Israel is behind the duplicated passports.

"In the absence of proof, it would be appropriate to reprimand, appropriate to chastise the Israeli government," she told Sky News.

"There is a widely held view, there is an assumption that the Israeli government was involved, but there is no actual proof."

Ms Bishop, the Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman, says expelling a diplomat is either an over-reaction or a calculated political decision.

"The Government is facing an election. The Government is also seeking to pursue a seat on the Security Council. The Government is keen to curry favour within the Arab community," she said.
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But Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop says there is no hard proof Israel is behind the duplicated passports.

I watched Julie Bishop on the Insiders last Sunday and she gave an acceptable performance, considering her credibility is in tatters after her brief attempt at playing Treasurer when she didn't have a clue about the job. So I take the above statement with a grain of salt.

It seems the Israelis are more upset about an obscure diplomat being sent home than they are about being accused of the offensive act of forging Australian documents. If this is true why dont we shut their embassy and send them all packing? Why do we pander to these fools?

I fear that on many of these issues, we (including myself) tend to fall into the "armchair expert" category, with little or no real knowledge of international law, conventions, treaties etc. It is easy to criticise individual decisions when not aware of the finer detail. On the one hand, we cant keep whining to the israelis without taking some concrete punitive action. Likewise, we cant act like spoiled kids and over react. I think that the expulsion of their diplomat was a credible and reasonable decision. Should they infringe again, we can "up the ante" on punishment and if the continue to act against our interests, eventually they will lose diplomatic presence here or suffer trade sanctions etc and we will be seen to have acted with patience and forebearance.

On the matter of proof, I dont see how proof (without a confession) is possible without breaching intelligence confidentiality but has Israel actually denied their involvement? I understand that we sent people to Israel to investigate and they came back with the clear and unambiguous view that Israel was to blame? - do we give no credence to this?

Another point of view regarding expelling an Israeli diplomat.

Think people! do you really think the Israelis are the only ones

to use another countries passports??

It is espionage we are talking about, do you think the palestinians

haven't done that in their war against Israel.

I doubt if their is any country that can cry 'innocent'

America came in and Hussein was hung.

The Hamas leader was behind attacks on Israel.

Israel went in and finished him off.

Remember Israel has been in a position of defence since 1948.

What do they have to do to stop the attacks on civilians.

Remember the slaughter of the Olympic Israeli team at the

Berlin games? by palestinians

Unarmed men gunned down . For what?? seth

The lives of the people whose passports were copied

could have been in danger from those who would want to avenge the murder.

There has to be some kind of law otherwise it will end up the law of the jungle.


Unfortunately you are quite right, about being like jungle law.

that is just what goes on out of the public eye.

There are laws that sound good but are ignored conveniently

and in the heat of the moment.

The misuse of civilians passports, putting them in danger?

This time it was publicised so much and how terrible it was,

as if to make you believe it doesn't happen.

What about when false passports are used with civilians names

and never reported or publicised, are they not also in danger?


We are warned all the time about identity theft especially at ATMs.

And there are other nasty stories.

We are all in danger and need to take care as much as possible**

[b]Julie Bishop[/b] "It would be naive to think that Israel is the only country in the world that has used forged passports, including Australian passports, for security operations."

[b]Journalist[/b] "What, we do?"

[b]Julie Bishop[/b] "Yes"

Later, [b]Tony Abbott[/b] "Oh, but as she says in her statement she misunderstood the question."

Oh yes , misunderstood the question huh - I bet

Unfortunately, there is a HUGE difference between forging a passport in a fictitious name and stealing the identity of a CITIZEN to commit a crime. I have no doubt that there are tons of forged passports circulating in the Intelligence community, but what Israel did was WRONG.

I agree that Israel has had a lot to contend with since its birth as a nation and numerous terrorist acts have been committed against it. Does this give them the right to also commit terrorist acts in self defence?.......in my opinion, NO.


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