It’s foreign to Australia all right!

Andrew L. Urban.

 Foreign Minister Penny Wong spearheads the Labor government’s antisemitic tilt by ordering Australia to vote against Israel’s interests at the UN, supporting a motion to consider establishing a Palestinian state. That’s an attitude foreign to Australia, all right. Fair dinkum!* 

A United Nations resolution in support of Palestinian membership passed with overwhelming support on Friday, May 10, 2024, and granted new privileges to the Palestinian Authority in its current capacity as a non-member [non-existent] observer state.

The resolution won a resounding majority of 143 votes in favour – including Australia. Twenty five abstained, and nine nations voted against the text: Israel, the United States, Hungary, Argentina, Czechia, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea. In the Security Council, the US has vetoed the resolution.

Former prime minister Scott Morrison used social media to describe the vote as “the most hostile policy act” of any Australian government towards Israel.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he understood the distress felt by Jewish Australians after the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, but Palestinians also had the right to live in peace and security.

“Our position was to vote yes … because we believe it was consistent with our support for a two-state solution,” he told reporters in Launceston. According to reports, he didn’t add that neither Israel nor the Palestinians in the region want a two-state solution…

The text, put forward by the United Arab Emirates, calls for the UN’s powerful Security Council – which must rule on Palestinian membership – to “reconsider the matter favourably.”

“The State of Palestine is qualified for membership in the United Nations,” it asserts. It did not explain where that state might be.

Wong says the “rejection of Hamas” is one of the reasons why Australia voted in favour to support a bid for Palestine to become a member of the UN. Yet Hamas welcomed the vote as “an “affirmation of international co-operation”.

She said the rationale for the vote was not as it appears: “What it did do, consistent with the two-state solution, was to express the General Assembly’s aspiration for Palestinian membership of the United Nations, noting that this must be recommended by the UN Security Council,” Wong said during a media conference on Saturday.

“It did reaffirm the international community’s unwavering support for the two-state solution of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security within recognised borders.”

Readers are excused for seeing this as magical thinking. But you don’t have to be Jewish to think the YES vote is a despicable betrayal of Australian values.

*Fair dinkum: Australian colloquialism, often used as an ironic, derisory expression.




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