THE latest Middle East conflagration has flushed out a new class of dual nationality super-snivellers who believe mere possession of an Australian passport guarantees them security in their 'other' homeland...This is an overly harsh judgement as people trapped in a war zone will be understandably fearful. However there are valid issues here. Much of the whinging is coming from Lebanese in Australia. Moreover, as Piers points out, an estimated 400 of those seeking to return to Australia now live in southern Lebanon in Hezbollah strongholds. How many of them, as Lebanese-Australians, voted for Hezbollah candidates - a group listed by the Australian Government as a terrorist organisation?
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, up to 25,000 Australians - who also hold Lebanese passports - live permanently or semi-permanently in Lebanon.
Is it reasonable for Lebanese to take Australian citizenship but to then live semi-permanently in another part of the world and demand impossible levels of support from the Australian Government when things go wrong? Australia's Lebanese have proven problematic immigrant citizens - there are distinctive Lebanese connections with crime and with high social welfare dependency. Complaints about poor treatment from this group wear thin.
The situation in Lebanon is difficult and families there deserve support but Lebanese critics of hard-working Australian consular officials go too far. Moreover, claims that the Australian Government has been slack are unjustified - as pointed out at Crikey it will be difficult to extract 'Australian' nationals until Israel declares a cease fire.