Statement on Australia’s position on the Iran “nuclear deal” and the prospect of formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
Our community wholeheartedly supports the prospect that the Australian government will review its position on the Iran “nuclear deal” and the prospect of formally recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocating its embassy there. This would be congruent with fundamental Australian values, promote peace and serve our national interests.
Moving the Australian Embassy to West Jerusalem, inside the 1949 Armistice Line, in no way prejudices the outcome of future peace negotiations unless one entertains the prospect that Israel’s long-standing sovereignty in the city is to be removed. Recognising that this is no prospect at all in fact promotes the cause of peaceful co-existence in the region.
Our community overwhelmingly supports modern Zionism as the political movement for the self-determination of the Jewish people. The wider Australian community is also supportive of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.
The intractable, century-long Arab-Israel conflict is regretfully perpetuated by an apparently persistent Arab ambition to destroy Israel as a Jewish nation, which they pursue by demands for a purported “right of return” to Israel within the 1949 Armistice Line, incitement to terrorism, and by paying stipends and pensions to convicted terrorists. (See Appendix 1 for further detail.) Objection to the Jerusalem move are motivated by the same destructive ambition. (See Appendix 2.)
Formal Australian recognition of the obvious fact that Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s Parliament and all its national institutions recognises the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish nation. Until the Arab side reconciles itself to this, there is little hope of any resolution. Thus, such a move would support Arab-Israel peaceful co-existence. The US move in this direction is clearly intended to discourage continued Arab intransigence and refusal to negotiate. Australia should support it.
Some Arab and Muslim diplomats have criticised the prospect of Australia recognising Israel’s capital, and implied that bilateral relations and trade may be negatively affected. However, trade between the US and Arab and Muslim states, in the 8 months after the US announced in December 2017 that it would move its embassy to Jerusalem, have increased, not decreased. US exports to Egypt have increased by 93.7%, to Qatar by 85.5%, Morocco 22.9%, Lebanon, 16% and to Indonesia by 37.9%. Despite grandstanding and rhetoric by individual diplomats, nations continue to pursue their national interests.
Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham correctly pointed out that you “don’t… expect that two nations will always agree in terms of foreign policy positions as they relate to a third nation. But that shouldn’t get in the way of a strong bilateral relationship.”
And Greg Sheridan, in The Australia, 15 November 2018, also said: “Islamist politicians will not like any pro-Israel statement … some Indonesians will object to it. … so be it. It would be completely wretched, and damaging to our national interests, for the Morrison government to back away now from doing anything on the Jerusalem front.”
In relation to the Iran issue, Arab states will applaud Australian reconsideration of its support for the nuclear deal and any increased diplomatic efforts to contain Iranian hegemonic ambitions. It’s no secret that virtually all the Arab states are alarmed by the Iranian threat.
Finally, as the Australia-Israel & Jewish Affairs Council has pointed out: Australian reconsideration of both the Iran and Jerusalem issues will be well received by our most important strategic all: the USA – a critical national interest consideration at a time when Australian security and economic concerns vis-a-vis North Korea and China loom larger than ever.
Appendix 1 – Arab Incitement to Terror
Arab terror attacks in Israel result from explicit calls by the Arab leaders to “spill blood.” Arab children have been taught to idolize the murder of Jews as a sacred value and to regard their own death in this “jihad” as the pinnacle of their aspirations.
The Palestinian Authority incites antisemitism, glorifies martyrdom and encourages terrorism, by awarding generous lifetime pensions to terrorists and their families, on a sliding scale – the more Jews they kill, the higher the pension.
An apprehended terrorist told interrogators in Israel last year: "I've accumulated large debts... I decided to do something serious, such as committing murder... and then my family will get money (i.e., from the PA) and will live comfortably... "
In June 2017, PA District Governor, Laila Ghannam, praised the "Martyrdom " of a 17-year-old terrorist who was shot and killed while throwing Molotov cocktails at Jewish civilians, praising the fact that rather than obtaining matriculation this summer, the terrorist "achieved the highest Martyrdom".
The PA’s incessant incitement perpetuates the conflict and grooms the next generation of terrorists by naming streets, public squares and even children's soccer tournaments after terrorists. In May 2017, the PA inaugurated the Martyr Dalal Mughrabi Center, named after a terrorist leader in the murder of 37 civilians including 12 children, in the Nablus district. In April 2017, Safa, the daughter of Abdallah Barghouti, a terrorist who prepared explosives for attacks in which 67 were murdered, read a letter to her father at her school assembly saying: "Father, I am very proud of you".
The apathy shown by the international community to this death-culture, and the unbalanced way subsequent violence is often treated by the international media is doing long-term, and possibly irrevocable, harm to the Arabs themselves, more than to anyone. Yet there is little international opposition to the exploitation of Arab children.
Appendix 2 – The Muslim Claim to Jerusalem
In relation to the Jerusalem issue, it is instructive to review an essay by historian Daniel Pipes, published in 2001 about the history of Muslim "interest" in the holy city. The following is from the conclusion. (The link for the full essay is https://www.meforum.org/articles/other/the-muslim-claim-to-jerusalem.)
“...Politics, not religious sensibility, has fueled the Muslim attachment to Jerusalem for nearly fourteen centuries; what the historian Bernard Wasserstein has written about the growth of Muslim feeling in the course of the Countercrusade applies through the centuries: ‘often in the history of Jerusalem, heightened religious fervour may be explained in large part by political necessity.’
“This pattern has three main implications.
“First, Jerusalem will never be more than a secondary city for Muslims; ‘belief in the sanctity of Jerusalem... cannot be said to have been widely diffused nor deeply rooted in Islam.’
“Second, the Muslim interest lies not so much in controlling Jerusalem as it does in denying control over the city to anyone else.
“Third, the Islamic connection to the city is weaker than the Jewish one because it arises as much from transitory and mundane considerations as from the immutable claims of faith...
“In modern times, some scholars have come to the same conclusion: ‘Jerusalem plays for the Jewish people the same role that Mecca has for Muslims,’ writes Abdul Hadi Palazzi, director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community...”