An appalling essay at the Drum, the blog of the Australian national broadcaster, by ALP Federal Parliamentarian Andrew Leigh. The typical "as a friend" stuff. I left a comment. As one friend to another we owe it to warn Australia as well.
We owe it as friends to warn Israel
With plans to further expand settlements in the West Bank and elections next week likely to deliver a government weighted further to the right, Andrew Leigh says prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians look dim. As a friend of Israel, does Australia have a duty to highlight the dangers ahead?
Israelis will go to the polls next Tuesday to elect a new government.
If early signs are to be believed, Israel's most conservative government ever may be replaced by one even further to the right.
Already, there are signs that settler activity will intensify after the election.
The question for Australia is: what can we do to bring about peace in the Middle East?
First, some background.
In last November's United Nations vote on Palestinian status, Israel lost the support of 95 per cent of United Nations members (including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany). If there was one reason, it was the remorseless spread of settlements.
Around 510,000 Israeli settlers now reside in the West Bank. Since the 1993 Oslo Peace Accord, the number of Israeli settlers has doubled. With every block of settlements, a Palestinian state gets harder.
All these settlements are illegal under international law.
The Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a party, says "the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies".
This isn't just a matter of legal niceties. From a practical standpoint, settlements make it vastly more difficult - if not impossible - to set up a Palestinian state.
|Andrew Leigh Among Friends|
The Ape has edited and revamped his response to Andrew Leigh's appalling essay in The Drum the other day. The ABC did not publish the response of course even though the Ape submitted it in good faith.
No sense of humour; the ABC.
The Israel Deep Freeze Double Goose Step Back To The Auschwitz Borders
Dear Dr Andrew Leigh and ALP
As more than a particular friend of Australia it is only fair to return your warning to Israel right back at you.
It seems to me that the Australia of your government could do with some warning. Certainly more than Israel. The Israelis are under no illusions about what they are up against. You on the other hand appear to be completely clueless.
Here are some home truths that it might be a good idea to take on board for the sake of our country.
1.History did not begin in 1967
2.That means the settlements are not illegal under international law. It is disappointing that the Australian role in this is being airbrushed out of history in favour of some PC but utterly baseless alternative narrative that turns more on the psychology of the darker recesses of the extremist religious mind than on any concept of historical truth..
Even if history began in 1967 the settlements would still not be illegal. That is because of the circumstances in which the land came into the possession of Israel following the war of aggression launched against her at her most vulnerable point at her most dangerous hour by the autocrat in Amman despite direct appeals to remain neutral.. If you cannot think of any precedent in all of history where the loser did not or should not pay some price, even just to ensure security, then you may care to explain what quirk in your mind found an exception for the Jewish state.
3 Certainly since Jordan formally renounced any jurisdiction over the territories Israel would have been within her rights to have annexed the whole kit and caboodle, Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and all. That is if the concept of "international law" has any worthwhile meaning worth retaining. That Israel has not done that has nothing to do with international law and everything to do with this being repugnant to any idea of Jewish nationhood. Those who insist on a "one state solution" have usually crossed one of the red lines that define antisemitism. Beyond Jerusalem Israel has never made any permanent claim over the territories. It has always been a matter of where to draw the borders. This has been the only issue both before and after 1967. The Israelis want recognised and agreed borders. The Palestinians and the Islamists and especially Iran want no borders and no Israelis.
And you say Israel is the obstacle to the two state solution? That it is Israel that must change?
It is at this point international law becomes irrelevant. It has always been a case of people of goodwill helping an essentially peaceful people have their secure state at peace with all.
Legal niceties aside indeed.
4 All of this is especially true in respect of Jerusalem and the adjoining "settlements", and E-1, that have always been earmarked for Israel under any realistic two state deal. This "settlement activity that roars ahead" of which you speak and which you claim is blocking the Palestinian state is in Jewish neighbourhoods in Jerusalem and other areas that have never previously been contested as part of Israel under land swaps.
Read Isi Leibler's just published piece on this. Do you have any idea of what you and the ALP have bought by signalling that this is again open as far as Australia is concerned? Especially in the explicit context of point 5? Do you seriously think you are helping?
5 The Palestinians have rejected the two state solution with a vengeance. You have no right not to know this.. They demand all the land to the sea. They do this openly and in every speech and they are being encouraged.. Just look at this from just yesterday in the British Parliament from the "Ambassador of Palestine to the UK" .. in the presence of British MPs.
Every Palestinian faction is united on this now. Why wouldn't they? Wherever they look in the West they are being told they are winning . "Armed struggle" it is. Or the ethnic cleansing of the Jews outside of the 1949 armistice lines, just like from Gaza where they had lived pretty much for as long as there has been a Gaza,,; followed by the forced collapse of the state through the spurious and offensive Muslim right of return. That is their bottom line. With respect are you deaf? Do you think the Israelis are? That you overlook Palestinian intransigence and ignore the numerous repeated and specific offers by Israel and the world of a Palestinian state both before and after 1967 right up until Olmert's extraordinary offer a few years ago causes concern about your sincerity when you talk about peace.
6 No where in your essay do you mention the campaign of Nazi inspired genocidal antisemitism that is part of Hamas and Islamist ideology and reaches as far as Australia. That this has reached this far , and the threats this conflict and all the others involving radical Islam present on the home front, you appear to have no inkling of at all. It is as if it does not exist. It is as if this and Islamist imperialism are simply not factors in the equation despite all the evidence.. Just as the human rights of the Israelis to their liberal democracy appear to be of little concern to you, beyond some somewhat condescending quips about technology and economic innovation and independent judges, academics and journalists. Just like Czechoslovakia before she was handed to the Nazis.
More innovative and independent than in Australia. For better or for worse.
7 To expect the Israelis to retroactively deep freeze their vibrant state permanently along 1949 armistice lines in the teeth of all this is an invasion of their human rights. Would you put up with that? . This is not the border. It never was and there have been three wars since then. These lands are not "occupied". They are disputed and especially in regard to those areas which were supposedly settled to be part of Israel under any two state deal long ago, with land swaps, Jewish East Jerusalem, E-1 and the surrounding neighbourhoods, it is absurd and offensive to suggest that the Fourth Geneva Convention has application as you and the overt Israel bashers, including naturally the UN, have done.
As far as the Palestinians and their foreign string masters are concerned it is not just these lands that are disputed. All the land is disputed all the way to the sea. Now more than ever. This is at the very core of the problem. There are reasons why this problem is worse now than ever before.. These are the Islamic Revolution and Islamism. Not necessarily in that order. Did they miss that at your universities? Do you think you are helping by feeding it?
Perhaps you think these are Israel's fault. That you don't even mention the core of the problem suggests you are part of the problem.
8 The Israelis are not going to give up their brilliant little democracy without a fight.. Would you? To paint them into a corner is to invite war. That you can not see this, and you ignore completely the most pressing issue for Israel and the world, the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran, as if it was an entirely different and irrelevant topic, in favour of the by now clearly outright fraudulent "Palestine" ruse of the Islamists suggests a serious deficit of political courage. You just cannot bear to face the real problem, as huge as it is, so you look in the exact opposite direction.
I am an Australian of some generations and let me tell you something true, friend. Mate. Friends like you Israel can do without. That you appear to not understand that a liberal democracy anywhere is not dispensable in the face of this vile ideology without us all being dispensable , and that she is not in any way responsible for this vile ideology, or any of the other sick political cultures that have plagued the Arab world since the end of the First World War, including the Palestinians, suggests you do not appreciate how crucial this issue is for the health and future of the West and for Australia. The Islamists mean to win. Essays like yours embolden them. Friends like you both Israelis and Australians can do without. That is why all Australians, not just Jewish Australians, who care about ideas like democracy, self determination and human rights should vote against the ALP this year.
Resident Human Rights Activist
Cross posted Israel Thrives
hat tip Shirlee