The Australian government has displayed great amounts of chutzpah and discernment of principles by recognizing a truth which though defined by numerous legal precedents as well as a fair number of international treaties, accords, committees and even Article 80 of the Charter for the United Nations but should still brace themselves for great upheavals and assaults filled with opprobrium, malice and scorn. One might wonder what faux pas they could have committed to draw such a serious and strong set of reactions. The Australians actually announced they no longer intend to use of the term “occupied” when referring to Jewish neighborhoods in parts of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority. As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, speaking on behalf of Australian Attorney General Bronwyn Bishop was Senator George Brandis who referred to such terminology as “unhelpful.” He further stated, “Australia supports a peaceful solution to the dispute between Israel and the Palestinian people, which recognizes the right of Israel to exist peacefully within secure borders and also recognizes the aspiration to statehood of the Palestinian people. The description of areas which are subject to negotiations in the course of the peace process by reference to historical events is unhelpful.” Senator Brandis concluded stating, “The description of East Jerusalem as ‘Occupied East Jerusalem’ is a term freighted with pejorative implications, which is neither appropriate nor useful.”
The very initial condemnations which came from this announcement came from within the Australian government. One of those condemning the position was Independent Senator Nick Xenophon who said, “It’s an extraordinary and reckless departure from the bipartisan approach of the last forty seven years. It is contrary to the government’s position it is completely unhelpful to walk away from the term ‘occupied’. If you don’t acknowledge historical facts, what are the hopes for lasting peace in the Middle East?” He concluded by pointing out, “Even Israel’s strongest ally, the United States, does not hold this position.” Senator Xenophon’s criticism struck me like somebody’s mother asking if their friends all jumped off a bridge would you jump too? Australia and Israel have had close relations and an unemotional and strictly legal inspection of historical documents which pertain to the areas in question all without question give Israel the primary, if not the sole rights to these lands. Even the most anti-Israel and pessimistic legal interpretation would still allow for Israel to retain as much of these contested lands as she could logically prove she required in order to establish defensible borders. That could even include every inch of lands within Judea and Samaria, often mislabeled the West Bank, as the wording of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 does not require Israel to return all of the lands gained from the Six Day War but only as much of the lands while allowing for her to retain those lands necessary to provide a defensible border. As Israel returned the entirety of the Sinai Peninsula as well as all of the Gaza Strip, retaining the West Bank would be permissible under the requirements of the stipulations of the United Nations. Israel has already relinquished claims to over ninety percent of the total lands she acquired in the defensive actions of the Six Day War but the Arabs through their Palestinian proxies are attempting to make United Nations Resolution 242 apply to only those lands Israel still retains control over and is demanding that Israel be forced to surrender those lands as per that agreement knowing and despite the reality that Israel has surrendered sufficient lands to satisfy all United Nations requirements and thus cannot actually be required to release her hold on any further areas.
But it can be bet safely that Australia will face condemnations from many sources for their principled stand. The barrages have already fired the first salvos with denunciation and recriminations coming from Palestinian spokesperson and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat. Mr. Erekat wrote a June 5 letter which was made public by Ma’an news where he wrote, “Palestine will request that the Arab League and the Islamic Conference review the relations of the Arab and Islamic world with Australia in light of Australia’s unlawful recognition of the illegal settlement regime in occupied Palestine.” He went on to further write that the remarks demonstrate that Australia “does not intend to comply with its duty under international law not to recognize Israeli sovereignty over any part of the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in 1967, including East Jerusalem. Palestine views these developments in the gravest terms and is weighing the appropriate legal and diplomatic response.”
What is preposterous and filled with twisting of the truths and realities is the presumption by the Palestinian governance that they have the sole legal and principled right to define international law by whatever interpretation they choose and that it is their right to dictate to a sovereign nation what their interpretation of international law must be. Simply because so many nations choose to regurgitate the tripe dictated by the Palestinians with an implied threat of terrorist enforcers attacking any nation which disagrees and having a history of hijacking international airliners from numerous nations, assaulting and murdering Olympic athletes during the Olympic Games and numerous assassinations and other international crimes is no reason that their word must be accepted by any nation willing to stand for what they believe. That so many nations have cowered before their threats speaks volumes to the lack of leaders willing to take a position which requires a stiff spine and a solid sense of taking a righteous stance and braving the slings and arrows of outrageous slanders from those less willing to speak truth to power no matter the numbers or the loudness of their indignant protestations. As long as we are butchering Shakespeare quotes, Me thinks Master Erekat protests too much. Or should we go with, Out out damn spot? Truthfully, I want to thank those in the Australian government and those who voted them into office and all who support their brave, forthright, honest and insightful stance which states the reality which has been clouded and obscured to such an extent that anybody standing for these truths often felt alone screaming in the wilderness wondering if anybody would hear, and if so, would they even care. Thanks to the statements made by the ruling coalition leadership in Australia we know that there are others willing to stand and speak truth and bare the scorns from lesser men who cower in the shadows of the deceitful statements simply because those lies were repeated sufficient number of times with greater and greater volume. What was further proven by the Australian statements which were made quietly and politely and the response which was filled of invectives and insults which were to be assumed valid simply because these too were spoken with great volume. It has been my experience that the truth is spoken softly and the lie screamed and repeated as if placing such force of wind behind the sounds would validate them. Apparently for much of today’s world and its leaders, that assumption is proving true. Perhaps the Australian stand for truth and softly speaking that truth will awaken others or if not, perhaps at least shame them in their acquiescence to the quiet convenience of laying with deceivers. Thank you Australia and may you be honored for your standing with convictions.