The World

May 15, 2018

Secret cables reveal Bishop likely knew Gaza conflict would escalate

Correspondence released by DFAT shows diplomats warned that more deaths were likely during upcoming demonstrations in Gaza. Turnbull and Bishop have remained largely silent.

John Power

Freelance journalist

Julie Bishop’s department has closely monitored the deaths of Palestinians at the hands of Israeli forces during protests in Gaza in the last month, even predicting causalities before they occurred, while the government has, until today, maintained a public silence on the escalating violence.

Diplomatic cables, obtained by Crikey under freedom of information laws, reveal that the Tel Aviv embassy briefed Canberra last month about the killing of dozens of Palestinian protesters at the Israel-Gaza border while anticipating further causalities.

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39 comments

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39 thoughts on “Secret cables reveal Bishop likely knew Gaza conflict would escalate

  1. old greybearded one

    It is not illegal for Israeli defence forces to kill Palestinians, it is the Israeli Defence Force, it is what they do. Seriously though, the insult delivered by Trump opening the embassy process on the day of the Naqba and sending Kushner, whose father specialises in West Bank colony building!

    1. Marcus Hicks

      It ought to be illegal, given that they’re killing unarmed civilians exercising what should be a democratic right.

    2. Dianne Longson

      It’s not illegal? Are you seriously suggesting the Israelis are defending themselves? There are some comments here from people whose only knowledge about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict comes from the bites they hear or read in the very pro-Israeli Australian news media. They seriously need to do some personal research.

  2. DF

    Colin Rubenstein was a regular visitor to Downer’s office when he was FM and I have no doubt the relationship has continued with Bishop. How much do the Palestinians contribute to the Liberal Party’s coffers do you suppose?

    1. Dion Giles

      After the demise of the Boer Republic of South Africa, Israel is the last ultra-racist blot remaining on the face of the earth.

      1. AR

        … Saudi Arabia? Racism plus, for extra points, religious bigotry.
        Unfortunately, its tentacles are everywhere.
        Surabaya, anyone?

        1. gjb

          Also Saudi’s reliance on foreign slaves, they just don’t call it that.

      2. Robin

        So Israel is a racist blot, but Hamas calling for death to all Jews is okay?

        1. Zeke

          Death to all Jews? Do you have an actual quote for that or did you just make it up?

          They will call for the death of those who illegally stole their land and slaughtered their brethren… I’d say that was fair, wouldn’t you?

          Do you support Israel bombing hospitals and ambulances? Is that OK in your eyes?

          1. Marcus Hicks

            It never happened, Zeke. It’s just another myth created by Zionist propagandists.

        2. AR

          Israel, Jew & zionist are not synonyms, no matter how hard Bibi & the hasbara wish it.

          1. Rais

            More and more, younger idealistic American Jews are being driven away from support of Israel by the ever increasing cruelties imposed on the captive Palestinians. That will affect US support for Israel eventually although there will still be support from the more extreme Christian groups.

    2. Terry of Tuggeranong

      I see Rubenstein was ‘given’ column inches in Fairfax yesterday in order to attempt to defend the indefensible

      1. Marilyn

        Indeed, but all our media in Australia are Zionist, it’s a fucking disgrace.

  3. Terry of Tuggeranong

    Bishop and her government are even more gutless on this issue than they are on Cambodia. The fear of offending the Israeli-lobby here in Australia and upsetting Trump are the over-riding factors in the formulation of their policy on situations which, at the very least, demand some sort of public condemnation – but it will not be gotten out of this excuse for a government that claims doe regard for human rights

  4. Arky

    “Secret cables reveal Bishop likely knew Gaza conflict would escalate”
    Please. Blind Freddie knew the Gaza conflict would escalate around the time of the opening of the new US embassy. It wasn’t a secret.

    1. Bobby

      The Palestinians and their leadership have never wanted peace.
      Israel is just giving them what they want in spades.

      1. Marcus Hicks

        What a load of complete & utter garbage, Bobby. Insert Israel or Zionist & you’d be on to something. Even before the Brits left, the Jewish Extremists were conducting random acts of violence against the Palestinian people. Then, in spite of being given the lions’ share of Palestine, the Zionists launched massive surprise attacks on villages within both the Jewish & Arab mandate. They murdered thousands of people, & drove hundreds of thousands into exile. Israel used the Six Day War (which they helped to provoke) as a pretext to invade & occupy Gaza & West Bank. They invaded Southern Lebanon & helped the Phalange to massacre thousands of Palestinian refugees in the Sabra & Shatila camps. In spite of Palestinians working increasingly hard to meet their obligations under the former Oslo Accords, Israel has violated every one of their agreements, by expanding the number & size of Jewish settlements on the West Bank, in violation of international law. They have routinely restricted access to water by the Palestinians & Palestinians are treated like prisoners within their own land, & as 3rd class citizens within Israel proper. Tell me how much you’d want peace after that kind of treatment?

        Either way, Bobby, your comment just exposes your utter ignorance & your blind acceptance of Zionist propaganda.

      2. Rais

        Yes, the Palestinians always yearned to be expelled from their towns and villages and farms and cooped up in refugee camps while foreigners mostly from Europe and America expunged all traces of their millennia-long presence there. And you can see how they don’t want peace by the way their tanks and troops are everywhere throughout Israel preventing innocent Israelis from moving about freely. And if they wanted peace they wouldn’t be seizing Israeli land and putting illegal settlements on it would they? And their planes wouldn’t be bombing so-called Stern Gang and Irgun terrorist bases in the middle of tightly crammed Israeli cities if they wanted peace. No way.

        1. Bobby

          Any day now the US is going to give Texas and New Mexico back to Mexico. Lol. Delusion runs strong in the far left.
          Losers don’t get to dictate the terms of peace.

          1. Zeke

            “Might is right”, eh? I suppose you accept being robbed in the street as being fair, eh?

            The bombing of hospitals and ambulances in Gaza? ppppft… they deserve it, do they?

          2. Marcus Hicks

            Last I checked, Bobby, America never offered to give back Texas or New Mexico to Mexico as part of a Peace Deal, so how is your comment remotely relevant? Oh, that’s right, irrelevant non-sequitors run strong in the Far Right, as does hatred, ignorance & bigotry. The fact is that Israel agreed not to expand settlements within The West Bank, under the terms of the Oslo Accords, yet has actually expanded them at a faster rate during that time period, proving that the Israeli government have been dishonest, violent, backstabbing thieves for close to 25 years now. Also, your reference to losers does confirm that Israel are the clear aggressors in this scenario, thus neatly undermining your initial comment.

        2. Dianne Longson

          Thank you Rais for your response to Bobby. You left out the fact that the Palestinian Council publicly acknowledged the state of Israel as a fact of life in 1988 and have since reiterated that position in 1993, agreeing to form a State in Gaza and the West Bank. Israel has made it very clear they want all the land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, in other words all of Palestine. Bobby you need to listen to some real Jews speaking out against what is happening in Palestine instead of just accepting everything out media and the Zionists say. Do some research for heaven’s sake.

          1. Marcus Hicks

            The Far Right don’t do research, that requires critical thinking & reading skills.

  5. Rais

    There is no Gaza “clash.” There are unarmed human beings demonstrating and there are cowards shooting them dead. What is terrorism if this isn’t?

    1. AR

      On RN Drive, IDF spokesflak told PK that there had been live fire from Gaza and fiery speeches about “tearing out their hearts… or something similar“.
      So withering sniper fire is entirely justified.

  6. James O'Neill

    Bishop’s lack of a substantive response is entirely in accord with Australia’s foreign policy toward Israel over many decades aided and abetted by a compliant media. Fairfax printing Rubenstein’s justifications is merely another example. How much space has been given to the Palestinian arguments over the decades? Precious little.
    Neither is the Murdoch media any better. Despite repeated UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, Israel continues to illegally occupy the Golan Heights captured during the 1967 6 day war. An American company, Genie Energy, has been exploring for oil in the Golan, which The Economist (November 2015) says runs to billions of barrels. Who is on the board of Genie Energy? None other than Rupert Murdoch along with other infamous characters like Dick Cheney and James Wolsey.
    Australia’s support for the violent racist regime in Israel in the UN and elsewhere is a disgrace.

    1. Bill Hilliger

      James, many are saying may Israel and its citizens never know what it is like to live in peace.

      1. James O'Neill

        Bill, the problem with that is that it is the Palestinians who continue to be slaughtered and their land stolen.

        1. Bill Hilliger

          Sadly that’s true.

      2. Rais

        Most Israelis know what it’s like to live in peace. Their armed forces and those of their allies make sure of that and many of them never have to interact with a Palestinian; not even with the minority of Palestinians who are Israeli citizens. Israeli Arabs are generally not allowed to live in mixed neighbourhoods.

  7. Juan

    Trump and Israel are fascist bastards. The current Australian government is complicit by their silence. Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull should hang their heads in shame. Free Palestine from Israeli apartheid!

  8. Colin Mathers

    The Department ” even predicting causalities before they occurred”. Not once, but twice, as in the following paragraph they “anticipated further causalities”. Unhinged spellchecker or truth-telling reporter? There is no doubt that the massive imbalance in Israeli and Palestinian deaths is driven by causalities.

  9. Limited Through Mixed

    I like many others are increasingly weary of the Israeli nonsense going on. I remember in the 1980s as a teen having to listen to the Sunday morning ABC radio news about ME attacks caused by Israeli forces. It seemed to happen every Sunday every week. Tiresome and weary.

  10. JimmyNecktie

    Hell, Blind Freddie and his dog could see that was going to escalate!

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