From AIJAC, May 22, 2018:
AIJAC applauds the principled stand the Australian Government took in opposing the one-sidedly anti-Israel resolution to set up an inquiry into the violence in Gaza at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last week. We also commend Prime Minister Turnbull for exposing Hamas as the instigator of the violence while reiterating Israel’s right to self-defence and secure borders.
Australia can hold its head high as the only member state along with the US to oppose this biased and counter-productive resolution whose language predetermined Israeli guilt before any investigation was even begun. At a time when Israel’s borders are at risk from Iran and its proxies, including Hamas, it is unfortunate that world bodies, including the UNHRC, single out Israel as the aggressor whilst avoiding any mention of Hamas or its activities. The Government promised not to support one-sided resolutions when it recently joined the Council and we commend the Government for keeping its promise.
We are however disappointed at the comments by Labor MP Anthony Albanese on ABC television on Sunday morning. His characterisation of recent events in Gaza where he placed responsibility squarely on Israel and chastised the Government for its principled and pragmatic approach at the UN Human Rights Council is concerning. He fell into the trap of pre-determining the results of any investigation by insinuating that Israel used disproportionate force - as well as incorrectly accusing Israel of expanding settlements in Gaza where no settlements exist. We trust that Labor Party leader Bill Shorten and his parliamentary colleagues will pursue a genuinely constructive approach, recognising some of the real obstacles to a final lasting peace in the lead-up to the Labor National Conference in July.
Mark Leibler AC, National Chairman
Dr. Colin Rubenstein AM, Executive Director