Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Australia and its Israel Embassy: What are they Thinking?

By James O’Neill | OffGuardian | October 18, 2018

According to recent media reports, the Liberal candidate in the Wentworth (Sydney) by-election, former diplomat David Sharma said he “was open” to the idea that Australia’s embassy in Israel could be shifted from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In a separate tweet he went further and said Australia “should consider recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The ostensible reason is that it would be following the lead of the United States.

In separate reports, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is said to be making an announcement in Canberra on 16 October also suggesting that Australia should follow the US lead.

Sharma did qualify his suggestion that Australia’s embassy shift to Jerusalem “should be looked at in the context of a two-state solution (to Israel-Palestine)“.

It is possible that both Sharma and Morrison have timed their statements to coincide with the by-election by making a pitch for the Jewish vote in that electorate. According to census data, Wentworth has 12.5 percent of its population professing the Jewish faith, a significant figure in electoral terms. That is the kindest interpretation that can be placed on their remarks.

More likely, it is yet another example of Australia blindly following the United States in adopting a policy that is clearly in breach of international law. The Guardian and other mainstream media outlets have noted that the American policy has thus far only been followed by Guatemala. No mainstream media outlet has raised the issue of such a policy being in breach of international law. The special status of Jerusalem has been completely ignored.

Jerusalem is an international city under United Nations protection, and has been so since Resolution 181 of 1947, which declared Jerusalem a “separate entity.”

In June 1980, UN Security Council Resolution 476 was unanimously passed (i.e. including the US), declaring that “all actions by Israel, the occupying power, which purports to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of international law.”

UNSC Resolution 478, also passed unanimously, called upon all “States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem.” UNSC resolutions are binding on all States. There is no room for ambiguity here, and even if Sharma and Morrison (and the Australian media) choose to ignore this issue, that is not an excuse. It has to be presumed that the legal advisors to the government in the Department of Foreign Affairs are cognisant of the legal implications of the government’s proposed shift in policy.

Sharma’s qualification that such a move would be in the context of a two state solution is absolutely meaningless. The Israeli government is totally uninterested in such a development, as its actions since 1948 make abundantly clear. Its ongoing theft of Palestinian land, the blockade of Gaza, the daily shootings of Palestinian men, women and children and its complete ignoring of multiple General Assembly resolutions over decades are all symptomatic of a violent, apartheid regime for whom international law is just an impediment to fulfillment of the Yinon Plan for a Greater Israel.

That Australia should even contemplate moving its embassy to Jerusalem beggars belief. UNSC resolutions are binding on member states. The fact that the United States chooses to ignore international law comes as no great surprise, even when, as with the Jerusalem resolutions they were a party to their formulation and voted for them.

The latest suggestions about Australia moving its embassy to Jerusalem puts them in the same dubious company as the US and Israel, both serial violators of international law. Does Australia really want to be in that company? Its voting record in the UN on Israel-Palestine issues tends to answer that question in the affirmative. This latest disregard for international law is consistent with Australia’s disregard for its international obligations toward the treatment of refugees on Manus and Nauru. It therefore marks a continuing downward slide from its earlier proud role as a supporter of a principled approach to foreign policy issues, and especially issues of international law.

This degradation of policy has not been matched with a reduction in the rhetoric of Australia’s professed belief in the “rules based international order.” The manifest hypocrisy of that position is now exemplified even more by the proposed shifting of the Australian embassy to Jerusalem. Australia’s policies are no more than a hollow sham.

James O’Neill is a Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst. He may be contacted at joneill@qldbar.asn.au

October 18, 2018 - Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , ,

8 Comments »

  1. “It is possible that both Sharma and Morrison have timed their statements to coincide with the by-election by making a pitch for the Jewish vote in that electorate”.

    Both contenders for the seat of Wentworth are Jewish, one by birth and the other by conversion. So a Jew will win the seat, but, if Sharma loses, then the PM Morrison will be the head of a minority seat government, and will be “Cactus”(an Australian term meaning “up shit creek”). Australia’s government for the last 5 years(with 3 different PM’s), has been truly pathetic.

    Bring it on!.

    Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | October 18, 2018 | Reply

  2. Australian politicians are not concerned with fairness or integrity. They are only after their own money and power.

    They don’t think, they just follow orders.

    Comment by tonytran2015 | October 18, 2018 | Reply

    • You’re right The current Government are financed by donations from the “Institute of Public Affairs”(IPA) which is a Think Tank controlled by Australia’s Richest people(Rupert Murdoch for one, but many others as well, Gina Reinhart, Andrew Forest, etc etc). It’s just like AIPAC in the USA, only maybe not so many Jewish people.

      Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | October 18, 2018 | Reply

  3. Great, informative post! Thank you. Memo to anyone and everyone: ANY contemplation of or attempt to fabricate a “two-state solution” is dead, dead, dead, dead….

    Comment by roberthstiver | October 19, 2018 | Reply

    • The “LIKUDNIKS” have zero intention of doing anything other than grinding the Palestinians into the Dust……(while the ‘World’s Policeman’ turns a blind eye……)

      Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | October 19, 2018 | Reply

  4. Thinking of co-evading the whole world with Israel.

    Comment by Laffaz | October 21, 2018 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.