A response to Bob Carr and Gareth Evans in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald

June 13, 2014 | Colin Rubenstein

Commonwealth Attorney-General Senator George Brandis has been attacked from various quarters – including by former ALP Foreign Ministers Bob Carr and Gareth Evans (“Australia hinders progress in Middle East peace process”, June 10) – for announcing that the Australian government will no longer refer to east Jerusalem as “occupied”.

Pejorative words will not give peace a chance

Pejorative words will not give peace a chance

June 10, 2014 | Colin Rubenstein

Federal Attorney-General Senator George Brandis has been attacked from various quarters – including by Joseph Wakim in these pages (”An occupied land suffers from preoccupied minds”, Times2, June 9, p5) – for announcing that the Australian government will not refer to east Jerusalem as “occupied”.

Yet what has been portrayed by detractors as a “radical” step, and as taking sides in the conflict is actually the opposite.

Distortions of “lobby” role

May 16, 2014 | Or Avi Guy

A response to Jordy Silverstein’s article “Broadening the context of Australia’s ‘Zionist lobby'”, published at “The Conversation”

So much has been written about Bob Carr’s memoir “Diary of a Foreign Minister”, and his claim that the “extreme right-wing” Melbourne-based “Israel lobby” has too much, or ‘unhealthy’, influence over Australian foreign policy. It is quite astonishing that in the debate, key critical questions have not been raised in the mainstream media. Most curiously, one of these basic questions was – what actually are the “unhealthy” positions of these Jewish organizations?  Absurdly, while some commentators where quick to agree with Carr’s premise, rarely they have shown even a minimal understanding or knowledge of this “lobby” whose “influence” they were pooh-poohing…

Letter in response to Haaretz article

May 15, 2014 | Colin Rubenstein

Contrary to the imputation in Dan Goldberg’s April 22 article “At the heart of Australian Jewish community’s schism: the ‘Israel lobby’ debate”, in deciding the best way to respond to then NSW Premier Bob Carr’s unfortunate decision to present the Sydney Peace Prize to Hanan Ashrawi in 2003, there was no daylight between AIJAC and the other communal representative bodies in either Sydney or Melbourne.

Peace eludes Israel amid unrealistic expectations

Peace eludes Israel amid unrealistic expectations

April 22, 2014 | Colin Rubenstein

Tony Walker is certain Israel’s West Bank settlements are illegal. (Out on a limb over settlements, AFR 12-13 April). International law is far less certain. Many eminent experts have argued strongly that the claim they are illegal is based on an incorrect reading of Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention. These include Professor Julius Stone, who was professor of international law at Sydney University for 30 years, and former International Court of Justice president Stephen Schwebel.

Bob Carr - a not so slick operator

Bob Carr – a not so slick operator

April 16, 2014 | Ahron Shapiro

In his recently released diary and memoir, former foreign minister Bob Carr described his effort to change Australia’s vote pattern on the UN General Assembly resolution “Lebanese Oil Slick” in late November 2012, and how he met resistance from then-prime minister Julia Gillard. Controversially, Carr even released private text messages between himself and Gillard on the subject.

Carr's reckless Israel view

Carr’s reckless Israel view

April 15, 2014 | Colin Rubenstein

IN his interview on the ABC’s 7.30 about his book Diary of a Foreign Minister, and in media yesterday, Bob Carr continues to makes various claims about what he refers to as the “Israel lobby” in Melbourne. From his comments, it is clear he is referring mainly to the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council.

In short, he says we wielded “extraordinary influence” over the Office of the Prime Minister when Julia Gillard was prime minister, and expressed an “extreme right-wing Israeli view”.

Carr’s reckless claims do him no credit.

Bob Carr's 'Israel lobby' claims inaccurate

Bob Carr’s ‘Israel lobby’ claims inaccurate, bizarre

April 11, 2014 | Mark Leibler

Bob Carr’s interviews on Wednesday on the ABC’s 7.30 and Lateline, spruiking the publication of his The Diary of a Foreign Minister, make various claims about what he refers to as the Melbourne “Israel lobby” exercising extraordinary influence over the office of prime minister Julia Gillard.

Referring to a meeting in April 2013, Carr says that I adopted a “how-dare-you” tone. For a former foreign minister to characterise a normal, cordial and frank exchange as potentially intimidatory is not only inaccurate but a little bizarre.

Let's preserve our best legal weapon against racism

Let’s preserve our best legal weapon against racism

March 18, 2014 | Jeremy Jones

THE frenetic game and tremendous atmosphere at the recent Sydney football derby, with Sydney FC triumphant over the Western Sydney Wanderers, were what I, and many other sports fans, would like to be our final memories of the game.

Instead, the revelations of ­racial and religious abuse directed at a classy and inspirational player, Ali Abbas, have domin­ated post-match discussion.

Racism is, unfortunately, a reality in contemporary Australia. The best means to redress it and provide recourse to the victims of racist intimidation and harassment is currently the subject of vigorous public debate. For more than 18 years, one of the options available to those innocent Australians who have found themselves targeted by bigots and bullies has been Section 18C of the Federal Racial Discrimination Act.

Letter: Two states our vision

March 12, 2014 | Colin Rubenstein

JOHN Lyons (“Distant ‘experts’ choose to ignore Israeli realities”, 8/3), did not address any of the substantive criticism levelled at his Four Corners program. Instead, he made new unsubstantiated allegations ­directed at critics.

AIJAC has consistently argued that a negotiated two-state settlement is the only path to genuine peace in the narrow strip of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean – thus fulfilling the desire of all parents there to give their children a secure and fulfilling future free from terrorism and war.

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