In the wake of the recent anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution driven and enabled by the US, we have already heard some clear and strong words of support for Israel from Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, and ex PM Tony Abbott.
But there’s more. Like some fighting words from One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts:
One Nation has picked a fight with one of Australia’s closest allies, calling for tighter immigration controls for those across the ditch, after New Zealand co-sponsored a United Nation’s resolution censuring Israel.
Queensland senator Malcolm Roberts said he was “appalled” by the Security Council resolution, which called for an immediate end to any and all settlement activities in disputed zones, including East Jerusalem, which he said “have contained Jewish settlements since biblical times”.
In a statement released last week, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop implied Australia, which does not have a seat on the Security Council, would have gone against the position held by New Zealand, and the United States, which abstained from voting, while supporting a two-state solution.
Liberal senator Eric Abetz was also critical of New Zealand’s position, releasing his own statement condemning the resolution.
But Senator Roberts went further, accusing New Zealand of “stabbing our ally in the front”, while criticising the Turnbull government for not putting enough pressure on New Zealand to stop it.
“2017 marks the centenary of the ANZACs’ brave actions to free the Palestinian territory – now Israel – from Ottoman oppression of Christians, Jews and other groups,” he said.
“It would never have been possible for those brave ANZACs, charging as part of the Light Horse Brigade, to have ever thought that events 100 years later would go full circle and future generations would betray the very people they were about to liberate.
“Israel is the Jewish state, and it’s the only Middle Eastern democracy where Christians, Muslims atheists and Jews can all be elected to the same parliament.
“Israel is Jewish and democratic, unlike most Islamic countries.”
Accusing New Zealand of a “hostile attitude” towards Israel, Senator Roberts suggested Australia take a stronger stance against New Zealand “settlements”.
“At the very least, we should look at further cutting benefits for New Zealanders living in Australia,” he said.
“Perhaps a tougher immigration policy aimed towards New Zealand would stop Kiwis from establishing settlements in Australia.”
Some equally strong sentiments from Rowan Dean of the Courier-Mail:
This was the resolution sponsored by the Marxist Venezuelans along with the Muslim Malaysians and Senegalese in cahoots with, of all people, our idiotic Kiwi cousins. The resolution, a bizarre and vitriolic attempt to give Barack Obama some kind of “legacy” in the dying days of his woeful presidency, makes parts of Jerusalem, including the centuries-old “Jewish Quarter”, not part of Israel. It also makes the Wailing Wall – the holiest place in Judaism – not legally part of Israel and therefore not Jewish.
The UN has declared that areas of Jerusalem, including the Wailing Wall, are not legally part of Israel and therefore aren’t Jewish.
It’s as stupid and as dangerous as passing a resolution saying the Eiffel Tower isn’t French, the Vatican isn’t Catholic, or that Aboriginal custodianship of Uluru isn’t “legally valid”.
Not exactly a great start for New Zealand’s new prime minister, Bill English. Perhaps he should stick to managing earthquake relief in his own land rather than attempting to shake up the tectonic plates of the Middle East.
This morally correct and brave stance pitches Turnbull, Bishop and Australia with Trump and against the duplicity of Obama and the Security Council, including Britain and New Zealand.
Quite simply, this sinister resolution gives a cloak of “legality” to the hideous moral equivalence that is the hallmark of the modern Left.
Underpinning the resolution, as US Secretary of State John Kerry made clear in his disgraceful follow-up speech, is the idea that both sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict are on exactly the same moral level, and worse, that the major obstacle to peace in the conflict is the construction, by Israel, of so-called “settlements” on land that could, eventually, be part of a Palestinian state. This is pure Lefty nonsense.
The reality is that legitimate Palestinian aspirations of statehood have been grotesquely hijacked and manipulated by bloodthirsty jihadists, mainly in Gaza but also, sadly, in the West Bank as well.
There is no moral equivalence between, on the one hand, constructing apartment blocks on disputed land and, on the other hand, running TV shows teaching Palestinian kids how to kill Jews with knives; imams calling for the murder of Jewish civilians in the name of Allah; and the public financial rewarding and hero-worshipping by Palestinian authorities of terrorists and child-killers. All of which occur under the current Hamas and Fatah leaders. The Hamas charter specifically calls for the elimination of Jews by jihad.
On more than three occasions different Israeli prime ministers have offered the Palestinians up to 97 per cent of the land that they have wanted for their own state, yet each time they have been rebuffed.
The one and only obstacle to peace is the refusal by Hamas and Fatah to recognise Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.
And this more understated, but strongly supportive, op-ed in The Australian:
Showing our support for Israel
The leading Israeli newspaper, The Jerusalem Post, is right. Australia’s support for Israel should never be taken for granted. But, as shown by the Turnbull government’s refusal to go along with most of the rest of the world over the UN resolution on Jewish settlements, Australia has emerged as one of Israel’s true friends. It is therefore imperative that bilateral relations are boosted to reflect this.
We are no longer a Security Council member. But had we been, as Foreign Minister Julie Bishop made clear, we would not have supported a resolution that declared settlements to be “a flagrant violation of international law” and dealt a blow to peace talks. In a break with decades of bipartisan support at the UN, the Obama administration abandoned its previously set-in-stone defence of the Jewish state and abstained, refusing to use its veto to block the resolution, which passed 14-0. Even countries such as Britain, France and Japan voted for it. So did New Zealand.
Malcolm Turnbull and Ms Bishop deserve credit for making Australia’s voice heard above the clamour surrounding the controversy. Prejudging it and declaring settlements illegal only stymies efforts to negotiate a peace in which the settlements would be a major issue. That is what the council members short-sightedly have done by fostering the Palestinians’ delusion that they can achieve statehood unilaterally through the UN rather than negotiating with Israel.
It is to the credit of successive Coalition and Labor governments that the bilateral relationship is strong. Despite significant pro-Palestinian sentiment in some quarters, and the best efforts of former foreign minister Bob Carr to unhinge the relationship, Mr Netanyahu can be assured of a warm welcome. That was always going to be the case. It should be even more so following Australia’s principled stand on the egregious UN resolution.
Israel, as Mr Turnbull emphasises, is the Middle East’s only democracy. It is, importantly, the only place where Christians are free to worship unhindered. At a critical time of increasing global hostility towards it, Israel deserves our steadfast support.