First posted on Sahathevan Blog on 21 October 2018 (which remains under a perpetual cycle o) suspension and reinstatement).
by Ganesh Sahathevan
While ASIO is no longer part of the Attorney General's Department and now part of Home Affairs,
institutional ties bind, as would opinions of this type:
Solving the Arab-Israeli conflict would eliminate the “violent extremism problem” in Australia, a top official said on Thursday in response to reports that some of Melbourne’s suburbs had been identified as potential terrorist hot spots.
“Things happening in their countries of birth obviously have an impact on them here,”Attorney-General’s Department senior official Jamie Lowe told a federal multicultural inquiry, the Herald Sun reported.
Although Lowe said that Middle East peace would be the answer, the official said the “comment was tongue-in-cheek because Australia was powerless to solve the crisis,” but her department had passed it on to the Foreign Affairs Department as being of serious concern, the newspaper reported.
A "security and intelligence" organisation steeped in appeasement ,and sympathy with the jihadi cause rather than the national interest, can be expected to advice the government of the day that moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem would anger Arabs and should not take place:
AFP asked to investigate leak of ASIO advice warning of violence over Israeli embassy policy shift
By defence reporter Andrew Greene
Updated Thu at 5:07pm
RELATED STORY: Palestinians warn Australia risks becoming 'international pariah' if it moves embassy
RELATED STORY: Indonesia considering putting trade deal on hold over PM's Israel comments
Federal Police have been asked to investigate how secret security advice warning of possible violence in response to Australia considering moving its embassy in Israel was leaked to a news outlet.
ASIO said announcement "may provoke protest, unrest and possibly some violence"
Scott Morrison says updated advice shows there is no risk
Spy agency asks Australian Federal Police to investigate how the advice became public
The Guardian Australia has today published extracts of an "ASIO bulletin" which reportedly warned that raising the prospect of relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem may "provoke protest, unrest and possibly some violence in Gaza and the West Bank".
The advice, marked "Secret" and "AUSTEO" (Australian eyes only), was apparently distributed on October 15 — the day beforePrime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Government was examining the controversial idea.
"We expect any announcement on the possible relocation of the Australian embassy to Jerusalem, or consideration of voting against Palestinians in the United Nations, may provoke protest, unrest and possibly some violence in Gaza and the West Bank," the Guardian Australia quoted ASIO as saying in its advice.
"It is possible Australian interests may be the target of protest activity following any announcement."
VIDEO: On October 16, Scott Morrison said the government was considering an embassy move but had not made a decision on recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (ABC News)
The Prime Minister said his announcement coincided with an imminent United Nations vote on the Palestinian Authority being recognised as the chair of the G77 group of developing nations, and Australia's decision to vote "no".
Scott Morrison has today told Parliament that ASIO director-general Duncan Lewis has assured him the agency has no current evidence of possible violence.
"I want to … reassure Australians that ASIO has no evidence at this time of any planned violence in response to the government's announcement on 16 October and the matter was fully discussed by Cabinet," Mr Morrison said.
Mr Morrison also suggested the source of the security leak may be a state Labor government.
"ASIO as a matter of routine provides this advice to Commonwealth and state governments on security matters, as it should," Mr Morrison told Parliament.
"The director-general has advised me that he's spoken with the Federal Police Commissioner and will formally refer this matter to the AFP for investigation," he added.
The spy agency also foreshadowed protests at Australia's embassy in Iran because of the Government's decision to launch an inquiry into whether Australia should abandon support for the Iran nuclear deal, from which the US has withdrawn.
The embassy move would follow the decision by United States President Donald Trump, who reversed decades of foreign policy by opening a US embassy in Jerusalem earlier this year.
The US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital infuriated Palestinians and other Middle Eastern nations because the Palestinians want to one day establish their own capital in the city.
Dozens of Palestinians were killed during protests in May sparked by the opening of the US's new diplomatic outpost.
Mr Morrison's announcement followed talks with the Liberal Party's candidate for this weekend's crucial Wentworth by-election, former ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma.
At the 2016 Census, Jewish people made up about 12.5 per cent of the population of Wentworth, a seat made vacant by Mr Turnbull's resignation.
PHOTO: Mr Morrison made the announcement after talking with Dave Sharma, the former ambassador to Israel. (ABC News)
First posted Thu at 4:23pm