Finally Australia is ‘back on track’ in regards to supporting Israel.
On the resolution dealing with the non-recognition of Israel’s claims over Jerusalem, until 2004 Australia voted for this resolution.
From 2004 to 2011 Australia abstained.
In 2011 and 2012 Australia reverted to voting for this resolution. This year Australia abstained.
So this is the third of the annual anti-Israel resolutions in which the current Australian government has reversed the voting pattern that applied under Labor and restored the voting pattern that applied under Foreign Minister Alexander Downer
Kol HaKavod to the Liberal Party.
According the ALP, Julie Bishop needs to give a better explanation of why the Abbott government has changed Australia’s position on Israeli settlement activities in the mis-named ‘occupied Palestinian territories’
According to me, the ALP needs to give a better explanation of why the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd government, in conjunction with Bob Carr, changed Australia’s position on Israeli settlement activities in occupied Palestinian territories.
I don’t recall the ALP explaining anything. What hypocrites.!
Yet Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Tanya Plibersek said,
“It’s also quite extraordinary that the government would make such a change without reporting back to the Australian people about it,”
A spokeswoman for Ms Bishop when asked why the Abbott government changed Australia’s position regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict in two recent United Nations votes said,
“The government will not support resolutions which are one-sided,”
Acting on instructions from Ms Bishop, government representatives at the UN have withdrawn Australia’s support for an order to stop “all Israeli settlement activities in all of the occupied territories”.
While 158 countries supported the UN in calling for an end to Israeli settlements, Australia joined eight other countries, including South Sudan, Cameroon, Panama and Papua New Guinea, in abstaining from voting. Labor governments under Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard condemned the settlements.
The Abbott government has also indicated it no longer believes Israel, as an “occupying power”, should be forced to comply with the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
At the UN meeting, 160 countries supported ordering Israel to “comply scrupulously” with the conventions. Australia was one of five countries to abstain – the group again including countries such as South Sudan, Papua New Guinea, Cameroon and Vanuatu.
Ms Bishop’s spokeswoman said the shifts in position
“reflected the government’s concern that Middle East resolutions should be balanced”.
“The government considers each Middle East-related resolution on a case-by-case basis, and on its merits”
..the spokeswoman said, adding that Australian assistance to the Palestinian Territories in 2012-13 was $55.2 million, including $20 million to the Palestinian Authority.
“Australia strongly supports resumed final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, aimed at reaching a just and lasting two-state solution”
Colin Rubenstein, the Executive Director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, said he
“emphatically [welcomed] the government’s principled leadership in changing these votes, reverting to the Howard/Downer position”.
Dr Rubinstein said he was
“very critical of the previous government’s support for these resolutions”.
The UN resolutions encouraged
“misplaced Palestinian hopes that they do not need to end incitement or make the requisite compromises in the negotiations to achieve positive results.”
“They are part of the destructive international campaign to delegitimise Israel and are totally unhelpful to the cause of progressing to a negotiated two state outcome.”
Refresh if graphic is flattened. WordPress glitch occasionally.
Sixty-eighth General Assembly
58th Meeting (AM)
General Assembly, Wrapping Up Annual Consideration of Question of Palestine.
Situation in Middle East, Adopts Six Resolutions by Recorded Vote. Link:
Sending a strong message of support for the Middle East peace process, albeit with the traditionally divergent views on how to achieve its aims, the General Assembly today adopted six draft resolutions on the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East overall.
As the Assembly wrapped up the discussion begun yesterday on the Palestinian question, a member of Indonesia’s House of Representatives, echoing the sentiment of many delegations, heralded the two-State solution as the “best chance for a peace agreement between Palestine and Israel”. To that end, he called on Israel to show good faith and to make the best use of current negotiations.
The Assembly then adopted four resolutions by recorded vote under that agenda item. By the first, “L.12”, the Assembly proclaimed 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and requested the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to organize activities around that observance, in cooperation with Governments, the United Nations system, intergovernmental organisations and civil society.
That text was adopted by recorded vote of 110 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 56 abstentions.
By a recorded vote of 108 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 59 abstentions, the Assembly adopted “L.13” by which it requested the Division for Palestinian Rights to continue to monitor developments relevant to the question of Palestine, and asked the Secretary-General to ensure the continued cooperation with the Division of United Nations bodies in connection with programme components addressing various aspects of the question of Palestine.
Under draft “L.14”, the Assembly encouraged the Department of Public Information’s programme on the Question of Palestine to formulate ways for the media and civil society representatives to engage in open and positive discussions to explore means for encouraging people-to-people dialogue and promoting peace and mutual understanding in the region. It was adopted by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Cameroon, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Togo, Tonga).
According to the draft resolution on the peaceful settlement of the Question of Palestine, “L.15”, the Assembly, among other things, called for the timely convening of an international conference in Moscow, as envisioned by the Security Council in resolution 1850 (2008), for the advancement and acceleration of the resumed peace process. The draft was adopted by recorded vote of 165 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 6 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Tonga).
When the Assembly turned to the situation in the Middle East, the representative of Egypt expressed concern about recent developments in negotiations. Palestinians, he said, had been put in an arduous situation due to measures taken by Israel, including continued settlement expansion. He then introduced two draft texts, both of which were adopted by recorded vote.
The first, “L.16”, on Jerusalem, stated that all legal and administrative measures taken by Israel to change the legal status of East Jerusalem were null and void, he explained. The draft also, among other things, called for a halt to settlement construction and any attempts to desecrate the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It was adopted by recorded vote with 162 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 8 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Togo, Tonga).
A resolution on the Syrian Golan, “L.17”, included a call for Israel to withdraw from the territory to 1967 borders, he said, adding that peace, stability and co-existence would not be achieved until Palestinians recovered their rights, he said. The illegal measures of the occupying Power were halted, he said, hoping the draft texts would be supported. The Assembly adopted that text by a recorded vote of 112 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 58 abstentions.