Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today challenged former Prime Minister Hawke and myself on what sort of Palestinian state we would recommend Israel recognise. I have a simple reply to Mr Netanyahu : The boundaries, internal security, external security, public finance and governance of a Palestinian state have been elaborated in detail in multiple negotiations with the US under the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations, most recently in the Kerry Plan. Mr. Netanyahu knows these formulations like the back of his hand. Mr. Netanyahu also knows he has torpedoed each of them, often at five minutes to midnight, often by changing the goalposts, to the enduring frustration of both Republican and Democrat Administrations. I have been a supporter of Israel all my life. And a public campaigner against any form of anti-Semitism. But to support the state of Israel does not mandate automatic support for each and every policy of Mr. Netanyahu. The state of Israel and Mr. Netanyahu are not co-definitional. That is why I beg to differ on this and other aspects of Mr Netanyahu's policies. For example, I also have a simple question for Mr. Netanyahu. Will he use this visit to Australia to apologise to the Australian people for his government using forged Australian passports to facilitate an Israeli assassination of a member of Hamas in Dubai? No apology has ever been received for that action which had the consequence of putting the integrity of Australian passports and the security of Australian passport holders travelling to the Middle East at risk. http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/02/22/03/32/netanyahu-in-historic-visit-to-australia
Here's a podcast to add to your listening library. Kickass News Fantastic range of conversations - probably the least of which is my recent chat on Trump, the Asia Pacific region and the world. Take a look - have a listen.
I've followed closely recent developments in Israel and the US. In Israel, recent legislation by the Israeli Knesset legalising large scale Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory on the West Bank fundamentally undermines the prospect of a two-state solution. It does this by degrading the overall territory remaining that would be incorporated in an independent Palestinian state. In Washington, I have also followed the ambiguous statements by President Trump concerning his administration's commitment to the fundamental principle of a two-state solution - a principle which has been supported by a succession of Republican and Democrat administrations in Washington. For these reasons, it is now critical for Israel's closest friends and allies to send a clarion clear message to both Tel Aviv and Washington that the abandonment of a two-state solution is unacceptable. Australia is one such close friend and ally. It is not acceptable, therefore, for Australia to use weasel words. I am proud to have been a lifelong supporter of the state of Israel and its right to exist behind secure boundaries. In office, I also significantly increased Australia's aid to the Palestinian authority, in partnership with many Western states in the world, to help build state capacity for a future Palestine. Over the years, I have discussed these matters in great detail with both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas. My deepest fear is we are drifting towards the disintegration and death of an independent Palestinian state. This would be a tragedy for both the Palestinian and Israeli people. For Israel, the isolation of Palestine and the removal of the prospect of both land and statehood, may well lead to the re-radicalisation of the Palestinian people. I deeply fear the possibility of a third Intifada. And so, the time has come for Australia to join countries like Sweden and the Holy See in formally recognising the Palestinian state. It is time for Australia to draw a line in the sand on this matter. As 137 states already have. http://www.smh.com.au/world/the-time-has-come-to-recognise-palestine-kevin-rudd-reveals-his-deepest-fear-20170219-gughjm.html
Hi guys, For those of you without a good home movie this evening, here’s the video of our discussion at the Munich Security Conference on the two big security challenges for our region this year. 1. What to do about U.S.-China relations without risking conflict or even war; and 2. What are the possible next steps to prevent the final nuclear breakout by North Korea. The discussion has a first class rank of participants: -The Foreign Minister of South Korea and Defence Minister of Singapore; -Fu Ying, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress, and former Chinese Vice Foreign Minister; -Republican Senator Dan Sullivan, recently elected to the US Senate, and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee; and -Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation. This discussion has some real substance. So if you are a serious foreign policy nerd, go out and buy some popcorn and get into it. https://www.securityconference.de/en/media-library/munich-security-conference-2017/video/panel-discussion-pacific-no-more-security-in-east-asia-and-the-korean-peninsula/
Meet Kirsty Hansen, here at Munich Security Conference, ANU graduate from Canberra, and proud Australian. She works for Lassina Zerbo the Executive Director the UN's Comprehensive Test Ban Organisation. The CTBO is dedicated to enforcing nuclear testing across the world. It's been a great success. North Korea the only breakout country out of 193 states in the world. And the CTBT itself the result in part of extraordinary diplomacy by former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans.
This bloke's name is Lassina Zerbo. Graduate in Geophysics UWA in Perth. Now head of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation in Vienna. Doing great work. And an example of what a first class Oz university education can do.
Russian FM Lavrov now speaking at Munich Security Conference. Hard line speech. Laying out principles for future of US -Russia relations. My North Korea session with South Korean FM, Japanese Dep FM, Singapore FM, Indonesian FM and Exec Director of Comprehensive Test Ban Organisation.
At 3am on Sunday morning in Sydney or 11am on Saturday morning in New York, or 5pm Saturday here in Munich, I will be moderating a panel at the Munich Security Conference. You can watch it live at https://www.securityconference.de/ #MSC2017 The discussion panel is called "Pacific no more? Security in East Asia and the Korean Peninsula" The panel will tackle the major threats to our region, including the accelerating threat of a nuclear armed North Korea, as well as the emerging direction for the U.S under Trump. And importantly the panel involves many of the players themselves, representing many countries in the region. The panel includes; Yun Byung-Se Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea, Seoul Ng Eng Hen Minister of Defence, Republic of Singapore, Singapore Fu Ying Chairwoman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the National People's Congress, Parliament of the People's Republic of China, Beijing Lassina Zerbo Executive Secretary, The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, Vienna
Munich Security Conference opening now here by Chancellor Merkel. Vice President Pence to follow. 2017 is the Year of Living Dangerously. Multiple security challenges. The challenge is what to do about them. I chair the panel this afternoon on North Korea. KRudd
More video-selfies of kind folks I meet around Australia and around the world. Meet Nadia from Graceville in Bris. She is a terrific barista at the local coffee shop on the corner near Peter's Deli. KRudd
Time to defend the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). If Libs are now opposed, why didn't they say so at the 2013 election? Back in 2013 I thought the NDIS had bipartisan support, including the funding. Sad to see the Coalition stooping to such tactics.
Always great to hear about the work of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation - which has put over 400 Aboriginal kids from all over Australia through our best private schools - and with many more currently studying.
Marked the 9th Anniversary of the National Apology to Indigenous Australians with a speech at the ANU. In particular I focused on the growing crisis of Indigenous children in out of home care. You can read the speech here: http://wp.me/p4EHkQ-9A Or watch it here: https://youtu.be/hdgh4Y_MsM0
Bit of culture shock being back at Parliament House for #closethegap but I had a chat with Sky News Australia on the need for Prime Ministerial commitment on Indigenous issues; climate change and energy issues; and the North Korean threat.
Indigenous leaders - established and emerging - told the Parliament this morning, loud and clear, that they have the solutions to the problems crippling Indigenous Australia, if only the Government would listen. National Congress of Australia's First Peoples #RedfernStatement #closethegap
Appeared on 7.30 last night to talk about the 9th anniversary of the Apology and the urgency to #CloseTheGap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. One of the things that I am most alarmed about is the ballooning number of Indigenous kids being taken out of their homes and placed with non-Indigenous households. We risk a second stolen generation. We must do our best to place these kids with members of their extended families, clans or at least in an Indigenous environment. It's vital to maintain their links to their cultural connections. Better yet, let's see serious investment in early intervention so that families can stay together. For real action to occur, we need a Prime Minister who will place this at the top of the Prime Ministerial agenda. The Closing The Gap annual report is released today, so let's see what comes out of the report.
I am speaking in Canberra this evening on the 9th anniversary of the National Apology. There is much much work still to be done to close the gaping chasm between the lives and livelihoods of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Former Republican Secretary of State George Schultz, 96, called today for a US carbon tax to deal with climate change. A good man. A privilege to have him host me today at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University to discuss China and carbon pricing in Australia. It's long been time for Turnbull to overturn Abbott's repeal of the Labor Government's carbon tax in Australia.
ANOTHER MURDOCH TABLOID WHOPPER With all the recent coverage of Turnbull’s telephone encounter with Trump, I missed a story run on 1 February 2017 on page one of Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph which friends have just drawn to my attention. It alleged that in 2010 as Prime Minister I imposed “the same type of visa bans” as President Trump has just done in the United States under his Executive Order of 27 January. This “news story,” not even classified as a comment piece, is utterly false. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/us-politics-trumps-visa-ban-just-the-same-as-kevin-rudds-tactics/news-story/eada2c68147e8e4394705623a77163d1 President Trump’s “Executive Order: Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States” imposes a blanket ban on seven majority Muslim countries (Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen), preventing all citizens from entering the country. It was based explicitly on the potential security threat that immigrants from these countries may pose to the national interests of the United States. The legality of this order is now being tested in the US courts after a US Federal Court judge issued an injunction against implementation, and subsequently upheld by the US Court of Appeal following a challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In 2010 my government implemented a temporary freeze on asylum applications from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, not all citizens, for a period of three and six months respectively. Furthermore, these were based exclusively on official departmental advice that the security concerns in both countries had changed at that time, reducing the risks to local peoples, risks that would otherwise have caused them to seek asylum in other countries including Australia. These measures were neither proclaimed nor conceived as anti-terrorism measures. These Australian measures were similar to reviews that were then concurrently being conducted by the UNHCR concerning changing conditions within these countries. And this review was for the UNHCR’s own asylum seeker processing purposes. At the time of announcement, then-Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Evans stated that “The decision has been made in the light of the changing circumstances in both Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Evolving country information from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan is likely to have a significant effect on the outcome of assessments as to whether asylum-seekers have a well-founded fear of persecution within the meaning of the Refugees Convention.” Our position was aligned with the notion that conditions may be improving in the countries in question. There are seven reasons why the Telegraph’s story is factually wrong. These are listed below. I would appreciate them printing them as my response to their misleading story, or by providing evidence which disproves each of these. I’m not holding my breath. But it does give them time to send it to their friends in the government to draft a reply for them. The core documents are: President Trump’s “Executive Order: Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States” can be accessed here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/27/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states Our policy announcement can be accessed here: http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressrel%2F0U1X6%22 Fact Number 1: President Trump suspended the entire US refugee visa program for 120 days. [Sec. 5 (a)] My government never did this. Fact Number 2: President Trump has suspended refugee visa admissions from Syria indefinitely. [Sec. 5 (c)] My government never suspended refugee admissions from any country indefinitely. Fact Number 3: President Trump has reduced the overall refugee visa cap to the US by more than half, from 110,000 to 50,000. [Sec. 5 (d)] The Labor government never reduced the overall refugee visa cap. In fact, Labor later increased the annual intake by 50%, from 13,750 to 20,000. Source: http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressrel%2F1867222%22 The conservative government under Abbott later cut this number back to 13,750. Source: http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressrel%2F2903098%22 Fact Number 4: President Trump has banned all citizens from seven Muslim majority countries (Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen) from entering the US for 90 days. Source: Fact Sheet: Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry To The United States https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/01/29/protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states My government never banned all citizens of any country from entering Australia. There is a massive difference in the scope of these measures: between banning all citizens from seven countries entering the US, and a temporary suspension of asylum seekers from two countries from applying for visas to enter Australia. Fact Number 5: President Trump’s blanket ban targets seven majority Muslim countries, inferring a problem with Islam. My government never imposed a ban in relation to either citizens or asylum seekers from any country or countries based on race or religion. In the case of the temporary suspension of visa applications from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, Afghanistan is a Muslim country, whereas Sri Lanka is Buddhist. Fact Number 6: President Trump has announced his measures against seven Muslim countries as “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry to the United States.” My government never announced nor conceived of its temporary measures in relation to asylum seekers from Afghanistan or Sri Lanka as a measure to protect Australia from terrorist attack. As noted above, our decision was taken on the expert advice of officials that security circumstances had significantly changed in both countries warranting a reappraisal of previous government policy on protection visas for their nationals. Fact Number 7: As for these particular allegations from the Daily Telegraph of Labor double standards, it should be noted that on 10/04/2010 this same publication attacked the two measures announced by my government, as amounting to a “non-policy.” In fact, they noted that “Also of interest is that the Government will not reject asylum seeker claims; instead, it will merely suspend them.” Source: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5rIyTTgClfuVUJwRUJ4aTFucTQ/view It is peculiar that the Telegraph would now pay such attention to what they considered then as inconsequential. But, then again, consistency has never been the Telegraph’s strong suit, particularly if it means bashing the Labor Party and supporting a Liberal National Party government. Comment A number of the Murdoch papers continue to deal in factual inaccuracy. I have listed on Facebook just three recent cases as they relate to me. Heaven knows what they do to the people who do not have a social media platform to try to defend themselves. So why do they do this? As Murdoch newspaper editors have boasted privately to me over the years: “Because we can.” Second, because Murdoch owns 70% of the Australian print media, and in my home town of Brisbane has a total monopoly, they know they can get away with it. Third, they know the Press Complaints Council is a toothless tiger when it comes to policing journalistic standards. Fourth, because they are not held to account for upholding such basic standards as asking for comment from people attacked in a story, in the case of this Trump story they did not bother to ask my office for comment before publication. This would have enabled us to have time to put these facts before them. Fifth, and most importantly, people, corporations, universities, members of parliament, have learned to fear these same Murdoch papers over the years if you dare challenge the accuracy or fairness of their stories. In fact, they have created a culture of fear so that people refuse to stick their heads up. This is bad for our democracy. These guys are just as likely to launch a campaign against you on a long-term basis to teach you a lesson not to complain again. It’s a part of a bullying culture, reinforced by their monopoly position, towards people who have the temerity to challenge them on facts, or oppose their editorial line. Which is why papers like the Daily Torygraph in Sydney and the Courier Fail in Brisbane will continue to do the same to people like me and others who don’t just meekly bend the knee. My prediction is that the Daily Telegraph’s response to this posting on Facebook, if it responds at all, will be to deride it as resembling the social media attacks by Trump himself on parts of the US media. The Brisbane Courier Fail has already tried that one. But as you can see, this 1500 word posting is not exactly a 140 character twitter attack. It’s a point by point factual response to the basis of the Telegraph’s original story for which they did not ask for my response before publication in the first place. PS. For those not following the news coverage here in the US, the single largest media backing for the Trump Administration in the United States is Murdoch’s Fox News. http://kevinrudd.com/another-murdoch-tabloid-whopper/
I hear Turnbull was on radio today trying to deflect from his troubles over his "agreement" with Trump, by blaming my government for his bungling mistreatment of asylum seekers (now refugees) in PNG. I outlined the facts on this in an opinion piece I wrote for Fairfax on 2 November 2016. http://kevinrudd.com/malcolm-turnbull-has-sunk-to-a-new-low-with-refugee-folly/