30 August 2013

Policy Statement on Israel by the Rise Up Australia Party

Further to our recent posting of responses to ten policy questions - focusing on issues of special interest to the Australian Jewish Community and friends of Israel - from the Australian Labor party and the Liberal/National coalition, readers of this blog will be interested in the following excerpt from the Policy Statement on Israel by the Rise Up Australia Party:

Throughout its history Australia has had good international relations with Israel. Australian troops played a significant role as part of the British forces in the area in WW1, especially the Light Horse at the Battle of Beersheba.  The ANZACs also contributed greatly in WWII.  ...  However, there has been a trend in the 21st century by many in Australian politics to reverse or weaken this long-standing relationship.
1.         Democracy
Rise Up Australia Party (RUA Party) supports governments that rule by democracy and allow freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press over those that do not.  Israel is the sole functioning democracy in the Middle East and we applaud its decision to allow Arab citizens who had been in the land for as little as two years to become citizens when it first became a sovereign State in 1948 and that some of these citizens have served, or their descendants now serve, as members of the Israeli parliament...
2.         Israel and the United Nations
RUA Party would restore bipartisan support for Israel which was damaged when Australia abstained rather than voted against the recognition of a Palestinian State on November 29, 2012 at the United Nations General Assembly.
RUA Party deplores the bias of the United Nations which has passed over one hundred resolutions against Israel since 1948 whilst virtually ignoring Arab aggression and many world-wide human rights atrocities. Despite being the only functioning democracy in the Middle East, Israel routinely faces more criticism and condemnation at the United Nations than any other country.
3.         The Two-State Solution
RUA Party upholds that the two-state solution was already formulated last century when the Ottoman Turkish Empire was divided after WW1. ...the territory known as Palestine was divided between the residents (known as Palestinians) allowing for a future homeland for both Arab and Jewish citizens.  The area east of the Jordan River, comprising 77% of Palestine, where the residents were largely of Arab descent, was named Transjordan, and in 1946, this became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.   The area west of the Jordan River, comprising 23% of the territory of Palestine, where many Jews had returned and settled was allocated to the Jewish Palestinian population for their future homeland. In 1948 this became Israel.  We therefore believe that the Palestinian State already exists as the country of Jordan.  This is the two-state solution.
...RUA Party deplores the attitudes of Arab nations to use ‘refugees’ as political pawns.
4.         The Peace Process Failure
RUA Party believes that Israel should not further negotiate land-for-peace deals unless the Palestinian organisations and surrounding nations formally recognise Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation in their midst ratifying this legally and in a binding manner.
RUA Party will not support any country or people group engaging in ‘peace’ talks with Israel (in English) while its leaders call for Israel’s destruction, summon their people to war, and train their children in aggression against Israel (in Arabic).  RUA Party will call for transparent media reporting of the facts in these matters.[
5.         Israel has the right to defend itself and live within secure and defendable borders
RUA Party supports Israel’s right to defend herself against aggression, including reasonably foreseeable potential aggression, and to do whatever is necessary to keep its people safe from terrorist or military attacks. RUA Party questions the continual and aggressive use of the term “occupied territories” in reference to land that was taken in defensive military operations in retaliation for war being imposed on Israel, or ongoing attacks from its Arab neighbours.
6.         Trade relations
RUA Party would encourage and promote trade relations with Israel.  Australia has much to gain from Israeli inventions and ingenuity especially in the fields of medicine, physics, water management and hi-tech computer technology, and can also learn much about the absorption of people from many different ethnic backgrounds.
RUA Party opposes the anti-Semitic actions of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and its efforts to cripple the Israeli economy.
7.         Jerusalem as Israel’s Undivided Capital
RUA Party upholds Jerusalem’s right to be the undivided capital of the Jewish people.  It will call for Australia to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, move Australia’s embassy to Jerusalem and call other countries to do the same.  
...RUA Party considers that the current Muslim focus on Jerusalem is politically motivated rather than religious.  During the years of Muslim domination of Jerusalem from 637AD to 1917 by various Islamic groups (except for the Crusader period of 1099 to 1187), the city was never made a capital city and barely developed.  Jerusalem has only been considered a major Muslim pilgrimage centre since it was captured by Israel in 1967....
8.         Religious Freedom and Holy Sites
RUA Party recommends that Israel be given and retain governance over all holy sites within her borders.  When Israel has oversight, freedom of religion and access for international pilgrims has been assured for all religions.
RUA Party calls for the Jewish people to be allowed free and safe access to their holiest site, Temple Mount, and other Jewish holy sites in the land, and for unrestricted access for local and international pilgrims to Christian sites.