Thursday, August 2, 2012

Isi Leibler on Australia and Israel -- Proud to be Friends


Australia's foreign minister, Bob Carr, will be visiting Israel next week. Here is Isi Leibler  in the Jerusalem Post on the long and friendly relationship between the two nations which stretches back to when Australia was a teenager and Israel was  occupied by Britain and yet to shake off the League of Nations  mandate that was unlawfully administered by the British. (Or would have been illegal if there was any serious jurisprudential concept of international  law that then, like now, wasn't an offence to decency and the intelligence).

Australia’s positive relationship with Israel dates back to when Australian troops served in Palestine in the course of the two World Wars. To this day, veteran Israelis recount vignettes of the warm and uninhibited relationships with the Australians – in stark contrast to the cold and frequently hostile British attitudes displayed throughout the mandatory period.

Since 1948, when Labor Party leader Dr. H V Evatt served as UN President, until today – with the solitary exception of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam whose hostility against Israel during the Yom Kippur war is considered an aberration – successive governments on both sides of the political spectrum have consistently displayed friendship to Israel.

Australian governments also supported broader Jewish concerns. In 1962, Australia became the first country at the UN to raise the issue of Soviet state-sponsored anti-Semitism and called for the right of Jews to emigrate, with successive governments making significant global contributions towards ameliorating the plight of Soviet Jews. The Australian Embassy in Moscow was regarded as a haven for refuseniks who they invited to receptions despite the tensions this created with the Soviet authorities.

The Australian government made major contributions to the global campaign to rescind the UN resolution bracketing Zionism with racism and also acted as intermediaries for Jewish leaders who sought to promote diplomatic relations between Israel and Asian countries.

Following the previous Liberal (conservative) government headed by John Howard, who emerged as Israel’s greatest champion amongst world statesmen, concerns that the new Labor government would distance itself from Israel proved to be totally unfounded. In fact, aside from the small Green factions, Israel today enjoys genuine bipartisan support throughout the entire Australian Parliament.

Read it all

Cross posted Geoffff's Joint, Bar and Grill


  1. Since taking office as Foreign Minister for a desperate party clinging to power, Bob Carr has shown few time that he is anything but friend of Israel.

    ***While reiterating the Australian Government’s call for both sides to “show restraint and comply with their obligations under the Quartet’s Roadmap for Peace”, FM Carr chose to specifically single out the settlements as a “counterproductive to the peace process” ***

    He generously gave 90 million dollars to the non-existent people who call themselves Palestinians

  2. Fab.

    Good piece.

    I have to say, I like Isi Leibler a lot because he's a no bullshit guy.

    He doesn't equivocate and he doesn't pander to those, like Obama, who are wobbly.

    I'm pretty sure that if I asked Isi Leibler the question, "So, is Jerusalem the capital of Israel?" that he would not hesitate for a moment.

    So, let me ask you this, Geoffff... or, really, anyone who might like to respond. At this point in time, do you think that someone who is willing to eviscerate Jerusalem is "pro-Israel"?

    I am willing to make allowances for what we might call The Oslo Hangover, but it should seem pretty obvious that anyone who recognizes that the "peace process" is dead would also need to acknowledge that Jerusalem belongs to Israel.


    And make no mistake, for the foreseeable future, the peace process is kaput and that is NOT because some Jews insist on living in, and building in, Judea.

    What do you think?

  3. I've got to say I was astonished that Olmert offered up the city in the first place. If they don't take that they'll take nothing. Who knows if he could have delivered even if they accepted. That they walked out even on that deal might have been the point he was trying to prove.

    I'm not an Israeli and this is their city but it looks to me like Jerusalem is off the agenda because it was never really on it in the first place.