Trump “peace deal” condemned

Ali Kazak gave a warm welcome to my book on the courage and heroism of Palestinian student Aiia Maarsarwe

Senior Palestine ex-diplomat condemns Trump “peace deal”

Ali Kazak, a former Palestinian ambassador and ex-head of Palestine’s delegation to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, has rejected the so-called “deal of the century” cooked up by US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

For the record, the deal’s advocates are both crooks – Trump recently faced impeachment proceedings launched by the House of Representatives and Netanyahu is due in court on corruption charges.

Rejecting the Trump-Netanyahu “peace plan”, Dr Kazak said it was “not designed to solve the Palestine question and achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East but to legalise Israel’s military occupation, territorial expansion and violations of international law. Trump believes the US can bully the Palestinians, Arabs and the international community into accepting this plan.”

Dr Kazak believes that US-backed Israeli belligerence has ended the notion of a two-state solution which has been on the table for years. It means that the only way forward is for “the Palestinian people to demand equal rights and the establishment of one democratic state in historical Palestine where Muslims, Christians and Jews have equal rights as is the case in all democratic and civilised countries”.

Dr Kazak, who lives in Canberra with his NZ-born wife Amina and their children, is now managing director of Southern Link International, a business, investment and public relations consultancy. He is founder of the Australia-Arab Affairs Council and Palestine Publications.

Born in Haifa, he was educated at the University of Denver and Damascus University in Syria. In 1982 he established the Palestine diplomatic mission in Australia and became Palestine’s official diplomatic representative in 1989. He initiated Friends of Palestine groups in the Australian Parliament (with Tim Fischer as chairman) and in State Parliaments in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and New Zealand.

Tim Fischer, waving hat, and Ali Kazak with Palestinian dignitaries during their 1997 visit to the West Bank

In 1997 Dr Kazak accompanied Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer on his historic visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank to meet PLO chairman Yasser Arafat. He was granted permission to return to Haifa in 1995 when he was reunited with his father for the first time in 48 years.

Following Fischer’s death in August 2019, Dr Kazak wrote a personal tribute: “Tim was indeed a man of courage and a fair-dinkum Australian.”

See below: a special offer for my book ‘Murder in Melbourne’ on the tragic death of Palestinian student Aiia Maasarwe.

Great hope for the future

The ACT’s Young Australian of the Year is Madeline Diamond. When she attended the awards ceremony in Canberra she painted “Climate Justice” across her chest.

At school she joined the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) and then formed her own group, Trash Gather, which collects rubbish from the streets and destitute parts of the capital.

Madeline Diamond, centre, at the Australia Day awards ceremony

She was invited to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s home at The Lodge prior to the Australia Day ceremony. She wore a T-shirt with the words “No more waiting on climate action”.

“Hey, how’s it going?” she said to Scott Morrison over a cuppa. “I’ve been nominated for my work in environmental protection.”

“Oh, that’s really nice,” said the PM before quickly moving on.

PS: How long before AYCC is banned by Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton as a “threat to national security”?

Fake ‘King of the Turf’

When rogue bookmaker “Big” Bill Waterhouse died on 22 November 2019 the media portrayed him as “The King of the Sport of Kings”. It was a lie. Waterhouse was nothing more than a sleazy crook.

One of Waterhouse’s most daring crimes never made the obituary columns. In the 1970s Waterhouse decided to manufacture his own money. Literally. Using specially minted paper and sophisticated (for then) photocopying equipment, Waterhouse made thousands of forged $10 notes. Some of his criminal associates reckon it was more like $100,000 in forged currency.

Agents from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) picked up conversations between the gangsters who were planning to unload the forged notes at a Melbourne race meeting. But ASIO is a domestic spy agency with no powers to arrest or prosecute criminals. So ASIO called for assistance from the Victorian police.

On the eve of the police raid, crooked members of the Victorian police tipped off their crooked associates in the NSW police. As a result, the police “raid” was compromised. Nevertheless, it still went ahead with ASIO agents directing the operation.

One of the participants was notorious Sydney gunman, standover man and armed robber Bertie Kidd. Born in England, Kidd had a list of crimes as long as your arm. On the day of the police raid, Kidd paid off corrupt officers and fled the scene. However, other gang members confessed to police that Kidd was the “leader of the pack” and he was eventually charged.

Bill Waterhouse’s name mysteriously disappeared from police records and Kidd “took the fall” for everybody else. Kidd served a token two years in jail. He exercised every day: weightlifting in the gymnasium and jogging in the exercise yard. When he got out and returned to his life of crime in Sydney, Kidd was leaner and fitter than ever.

Bill Waterhouse at the track

Bill Waterhouse’s claim to fame was that he went to Sydney University with Neville Wran. Both studied law and became barristers. They were friends for life and did favours for each other.

Why Wran, who served as NSW Premier from 1976 to 1986, didn’t brush off the crooked bookie is one of the great unresolved mysteries of  NSW politics. Wran would throw associates under a bus if he tired of them or they were no longer useful. His ruthlessness was legendary. But he stuck to Waterhouse like syrup (sic) to a blanket. Why?

If there was a rort “on the go”, Bill Waterhouse was in the thick of it. He lost his bookie’s licence in 1984 for “prior knowledge” of the Fine Cotton ring-in scandal at a Brisbane race track. He was a property developer and pub owner and held the ceremonial diplomatic post of Consul-General for Tonga. The diplomatic job came with a limousine. He used its diplomatic plate to park anywhere and avoid parking tickets. Having diplomatic status helped his tax returns and got him tickets to theatres, sports events and other top venues.

His ghost writer was journalist Kevin Perkins who manufactured columns for Sydney newspapers. “Perko” also wrote a largely fictional and perfumed account of “Big Bill’s” life. It is now in the remainders’ bin.

Andrew Rule, a Melbourne newspaper crime writer, was one journalist who did not swallow the “King of the Turf” guff which followed Bill Waterhouse’s death. Rule ignored the herd of apologists and wrote scathingly about Waterhouse’s dodgy career.

PS: The banknote crime taught ASIO a valuable lesson: never trust the Victorian or NSW police force. There are too many crooks in the ranks.

SPECIAL BOOK OFFER: $10 including postage


In January 2019 21-year-old Aiia Maasarwe’s brutally murdered body was found near a tram stop in Melbourne. A 20-year-old Aboriginal man, Codey Herrmann, is now serving a 36-year sentence after pleading guilty to the terrible crime. Many unanswered questions remain. In this compelling book, veteran journalist Alex Mitchell investigates.

“The social and ethical dilemmas in Alex Mitchell’s book make this highly significant story too confronting and challenging to forget” – Professor Stuart Rees


























  1. Loved your book ..thank you Alex! Such a tragedy…..reminded me on many levels….of the murder of Anita Cobby.
    What DID really annoy….nay.. more than! me…was the total ignoring of this case by Netanyahu. Not surprising I guess…but still pretty low, even by HIS “standards”!
    Thanks again for an excellent, & informative read!

  2. Many years ago, when I was general Secretary of the Public Service Association of NSW, I organised for $1000.00 to be donated to Ali Kazak. He came to my office and we had a long discussion about Palestine and the Israeli stealing of Palestinian Land. I thought him to be a fine fellow.

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