Expulsion of Israeli diplomat would be ‘extreme’
Cameron Stewart; 31/3/10
The nation’s peak Jewish organisation has warned it would be an “extreme” reaction for the government to expel an Israeli diplomat as retaliation for the fake passport scandal. In its first public comments since Britain last week expelled an Israeli diplomat, raising pressure on Australia to follow suit, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry has called on the Rudd government to take a different path. ECAJ president Robert Goot told The Australian: “I think it would be an extreme reaction or possibly an overreaction (to expel an Israeli diplomat). The Jewish community would hope the Australian government might adopt a more nuanced position, depending on the outcome of the (Australian Federal Police) investigation.” The government says it will not make a decision on whether to take further diplomatic action against Israel until it receives a final report by the AFP into whether the Israeli government was involved in the use of fake Australian passports.
Call for arms sale review
A cross-party group of British MPs has called for a review of the way arms sales are approved after the government admitted British equipment was ”almost certainly” used in Israel’s Operation Cast Lead offensive on the Gaza Strip last year. The House of Commons committee on strategic export controls welcomed the government’s subsequent decision to revoke five export licences for equipment destined for the Israeli navy, but said ”broader lessons” must be learnt from a review to ensure British arms exports to Israel are not used in the occupied territories in future.British government-approved arms exports to Israel were worth more than £27.5 million ($A45 million) in 2008, according to the report.