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Shocking Withdrawal of Recognition for Israel’s Capital Undermines History, Peace and Our National Interest

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The Albanese Labor government’s disgraceful withdrawal of Australia’s recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is an abject rejection of the historical, moral and cultural basis of our relationship with the Jewish state.

It represents the most disgusting concession to Islamist extremists, as exemplified by the enthusiastic support it received from Iran’s proxies in the West Bank and Gaza – Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad – which are recognised by the government as terrorist organisations.

Further, it repudiates Labor’s seminal role in the creation of the state of Israel and the formative decisions taken by Labor icon, the former prime minister Ben Chifley and his external affairs minister H.V. (Doc) Evatt. Without these two giants, it is debatable whether modern Israel would have come into existence.

Israel’s creation depended heavily on Evatt, who served as president of the UN General Assembly at the time of Israel’s admission to the United Nations and was an architect of the UN Charter at the 1945 San Francisco conference, which saw the world body established.

He then guided the 1947 Partition Plan for Palestine through the UN; in so doing, Evatt transformed the history of the modern Middle East.

That Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong, who has shown reasonable strength in dealing with China’s brutal totalitarian regime, have so cravenly backtracked on former prime minister Scott Morrison’s decision to move the Australian embassy to its rightful place in Jerusalem is a reprehensible act that belongs in the grubby realm of socialist-left student politics, not on the world stage.

Morrison’s decision to move the embassy in 2018 during the Wentworth by-election (an electorate with a high proportion of Jewish voters) may have been clumsy but it followed then-US president Donald Trump’s 2017 pronouncement which his Democrat successor Joe Biden has let stand.

Guatemala, Honduras and Kosovo followed suit, several other countries said they would do the same and, until last week, Australia took the same route as Russia, which recognised western Jerusalem as the capital but did not move its embassy from Tel Aviv.

The current US ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides recently reiterated: “As it relates to this office, the capital of Israel is Jerusalem. That is the position of this administration and it was the position even when the offices were in Tel Aviv.”

Wong’s announcement that the Australian government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is to be withdrawn during a Jewish High Holiday and in the midst of an Israeli election campaign destroyed any reputation she and her department may have had globally.

How about that, Australia interfering in the Israeli elections as both the Prime Minister Yair Lapid and challenger, the former PM Benjamin Netanyahu, have claimed.

On the face of it the Albanese government is pandering to a handful of MPs with heavily Muslim electorates, but apart from that parochialism this hypocrisy on steroids will do nothing to further the realisation of a ‘two-state solution’ between Israel and the Palestinians.

The capital of Israel is all of Jerusalem, not just the western part of the city, although that is where the Knesset, Supreme Court and several government ministries are located.

The Palestinians were first offered their own state alongside a Jewish state west of the Jordan River as a result of the 1937 Peel Commission, then the UN Partition Plan in 1947 and again following the Oslo Accords – in 2000, 2008 and 2009. They were offered at least 95 per cent of the territory they were officially demanding but constantly rejected the offer of their own state living in peace beside the Jewish state, always resorting to violence.

The mantra, heard on Australian university campuses as well as in the streets of Gaza, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is proof of the desire to eliminate Israel altogether. Any claims that today’s Palestinians have historic claims to Israel were eliminated by the 1917 Balfour Declaration, and ratified under the San Remo Resolution of 1920 and passed on to the UN (Article 80).

Now there are 150,000 rockets and missiles pointed at the state of Israel.

Culturally, where is Wong’s head at? As a prominent lesbian (albeit one who voted against gay marriage as recently as 2016) she should be aware that Iran and its proxies in the Palestinian Authority and the Islamist groups who cheered her decision on Jerusalem are violently opposed to homosexuality and celebrate the murder of homosexuals.

Arab nations are rejecting Palestinians as rapidly as Albanese and Wong are embracing their cause.

Under the Abraham Accords, Bahrain, the UAE, Morocco and Sudan enjoy closer relations and Israel has struck peace deals with Jordan and Egypt. Saudi Arabia is opening up to Israel as are other Arab nations.

Israel is our only ally in the Middle East. With the support of its intelligence networks, terrorist acts targeting Australians have been thwarted.

The annual Beersheba defence dialogue between Israeli and Australian interests is scheduled next month at which cyber security, drones and missile defences will be discussed. The deputy chief of staff of the Israeli defence force is listed as a participant.

It is in our national interest to support Israel, not insult its right to nominate its own capital.

Article link:
Article source: The Sunday Telegraph | Piers Akerman | 23.10.22

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000

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