Watch: Australia’s man of principle exposes Zionist lobby power

“Extreme right-wing” pro-Israel lobbyists wield “extraordinary” and “unhealthy” influence on Australia’s policy towards Israel and the Palestinians.

These are the word of former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr.

Speaking on Australian TV channel ABC on 9 April – which you can watch below – Carr, who served in Julia Gillard’s government, said:

I found it very frustrating that we couldn’t issue, for example, a routine expression of concern about the spread of Israeli settlements on the West Bank – great blocks of housing for Israeli citizens going up on land that everyone regards as part of the future Palestinian state if there is to be a two-state solution.

Carr recounts his experience as foreign minister, and his criticism of Australia’s Zionist lobby, in his a new book, Diary of a Foreign Minister.

In the TV interview, he says:

The important point about a diary of a foreign minister is you shine light on areas of government that are otherwise in darkness, and the influence of lobby groups is one of those areas.

What I’ve done is to spell out how the extremely conservative instincts of the pro-Israel lobby in Melbourne was exercised through the then-prime minister’s office.

As ABC recalls, Carr and Gillard fell out over her planned support for Israel during a crucial vote in the United Nations.

Commenting on this, Carr told ABC:

I had to resist it, and my book tells the story of that resistance, coming to a climax when there was a dispute on the floor of caucus about my recommendation that we don’t block the Palestinian bid for increased non-state status at the United Nations.

It is heartening to think that, behind the scenes and unbeknown to us, there are people of principle arguing the case for justice even in the darkest dens of power.

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