Australia’s ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma, already has a poor reputation in Palestinian circles for his support for the Israeli government. And despite Australia’s supposed support for two-state solution to the Israeli occupation of Palestine (now dead in the water thanks to incessant Israeli settlement-building on occupied land, illegal under the Geneva Convention), Sharma appears happy to demonstrate where DFAT’s sympathies lie. Yesterday, Sharma tweeted about an “embassy workshop” on “on trends, challenges, scenarios on Israel’s northern border”. With whom was the workshop conducted? As confirmed by another tweet from the Austrian ambassador Martin Weiss, a group called “The Israel Project”. Who are they? The Israel Project (TIP) is a US pro-Israel body “devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace”. TIP is a strong supporter of Israeli settlements and has commissioned consultants to test the best ways to convince Americans to back them. TIP even attacked outgoing secretary of state John Kerry for his anodyne statement in support of a two-state solution.

So why is “Ambassador Dave” working with a group that actively promotes the key threat to the two-state solution Australia supposedly supports? How much money did TIP receive from DFAT for this “workshop”? The normally eager tweeter Dave didn’t respond to our repeated requests for an answer on social media.

Peter Fray

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