EDITOR’S COMMENT: Former Israeli Prime Minister and war criminal Ehud Olmert arrived in Australia unnoticed  until his presence was noted in the House on Thursday, the last sitting day of parliament for the year.  Columnist and propagandist for Israel, Greg Sheridan wrote about him two days later in The Australian and gloated about his long interview with  this “giant of contemporary Middle East politics”.    That interview resulted in two articles (see first; see second) in the same newspaper on the same day by the same author.  I suppose a “giant” needs that much verbiage. Indeed, Sheridan seems to have a penchant for giants:  Ariel Sharon was mighty amongst other giants of Israel’s past and even our own  John Howard grew into one.

Aside from the casual mention of corruption charges against Olmert, there is nothing to suggest that Olmert is anything but a man of peace whose extensive “generous” offer to the Palestinians seems to have replaced the myth of Barak’s long-touted most generous offer foolishly rejected by the Palestinians.  Jonathan Cook exposes that myth here.

Olmert’s war on Gaza is fleetingly described as brutal, but Olmert regrets the innocent Palestinians killed and rejects the Goldstone report accusing Israel of war crimes as “a moral indignity”. Sheridan maintains, however,  that he is “best remembered for the extensive negotiations and final peace offer that he undertook with Abbas.” If Barak’s offer did not include the lands Israel has expropriated for settlements and security zones, especially in the Jerusalem area nor that area where Israel has created Canada Park on razed villages, then what area did Omert consider to be 94% of the West Bank when he offered it and all of Gaza  including a tunnel “under Palestinian control” linking the West Bank to the Gaza Strip?  In the 8 years since Barak’s offer, Israel has furiously increased its settlement building and there is no sign of it stopping despite talk of freezes and partial freezes.

All this talk of peace from a man of war is just more of the same bluff and spin that the media insults us with when it needs to bolster Israel’s image.  The indicted war criminal Ariel Sharon was also described as a man of peace before his brain collapsed.  Israel churns out these peacemakers made-to-order and the world it seems cannot get enough of these split personalities.  But  truth, justice and the law is catching up with them.

According to J-wire – Jewish Online News from Australia and New Zealand, Olmert is in Australia attending the Australia-Israel Leadership Forum in Melbourne this coming week.  We have no other details.  Also arriving in Australia next week is the Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom who will be attending a gala dinner in Melbourne on 6 December hosted by the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange (AICA).   Australia’s prime minister Kevin Rudd will be there as well.  For more information about Silvan Shalom and the protest being organised see here.

Don’t let Australia become a safe haven for war criminals.   We ask you to write to your local member, the ministers listed below and the media protesting visits and immunity given to suspected war criminals and demand that Australia honours its obligations under international human rights conventions by detaining anyone deemed to be war criminals until court proceedings under universal jurisdiction can be brought against them.


The Hon Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister of Australia
Fax: (07) 3899 5755 Email

The Hon Stephen Smith MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs
Fax: 08 9272 3477  Email

The Hon Robert McLelland MP, Attorney-General

Fax: (02) 9585 9200  Email

Media outlets:

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