Skip to main content

Australia opens itself open to ridicule about its policy on East Jerusalem

It is bad enough that Australia is lead by a PM who is increasingly the subject of derision (even the Washington Post had a headline article about the man recently describing him as one of Australia's worst PMs) but with a cabinet of people such as his Foreign Minister and Attorney-General, anything is likely to be said or done.  Take today's policy pronouncement on Australia's position on East Jerusalem as but one example
Haaretz reports:

"The Australian government will no longer refer to East Jerusalem as an occupied territory, it emerged Wednesday in a statement released by Attorney-General George Brandeis after a Senate Estimates hearing. This constitutes a dramatic shift in Australian policy on Israel since 1967.

During the hearing, which focused on the country's foreign policy in the Middle East, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon called East Jerusalem occupied territory several times. Brandeis, who was responding to questions during the hearing, rejected use of the term "occupied" and said such a label predetermines an issue that is subject to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

"The tendentious description that Senator Rhiannon is using is not the descriptor that the government uses,'' he said. ''I don't profess [a] view on this matter. I'm merely correcting the use of a term."

Several senators subsequently demanded to know what the government's position on East Jerusalem is, but Brandeis refused to elaborate. However, after several hours, Brandeis recited a written statement indicating it does not define East Jerusalem as occupied.

Drafted in coordination with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and departmental head Peter Varghese, the statement said that ''The description of East Jerusalem as 'Occupied East Jerusalem' is a term freighted with pejorative implications, which is neither appropriate nor useful.''

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Whatever democracy the Palestinians had is dying

Almost a desperate cry from a well-known, respected and sober moderate Palestinian.

Mustafa Barghouthi is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was a candidate for the Palestinian presidency in 2005.

He writes in a piece "The Slow Death of Palestinian Democracy" on FP:

"Palestinian municipal elections were supposed to be held last week. Instead, they were canceled. A statement released by the Palestinian Authority claimed the cancellation was "in order to pave the way for a successful end to the siege on Gaza and for continued efforts at unity" between Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and the government in the West Bank.

The cancellation of this election was an unjustified, unlawful, and unacceptable act. It damages democratic rights and makes a mockery of the interests of the Palestinian people.

But this is far more than an internal Palestinian issue. The only lasting peace between Isr…

Big Brother alive and well in the USA in 2007

The so-called "war on terror" has shown itself up in a multitude of manifestations. The most dangerous thing has been governments using the "excuse" of the war to restrict certain civil liberties, allowing government agencies to pursue a variety of things that they would otherwise would not - and should not - be allowed to do and gathering, and retaining, a variety of information on its citizens.

The Washington Post reports on the latest incursions into civil liberties of all Americans:

"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as lo…