web analytics
October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

A Tale Of Two Countries: America And Australia

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Even as Israelis and Jews the world over engage in practically nothing other than prayer and whatever else they can do for the three Hamas-kidnapped teenagers, it appears that for the international political arena, it’s business as usual.

Two examples come to mind. U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki’s comments over the past few days on this painful issue can be summed up in one sentence: “We urge the sides to exercise restraint.” This, even as Israel knows it must do whatever it can before time runs out.

Ms. Psaki confirmed that one of the kidnapped boys – Naftali Frankel of Nof Ayalon – is an American citizen, but most she did not even take the trouble to learn his name. “I believe his name has been reported,” she said in a Wednesday press briefing, but “I don’t have it in front of me right now.”

Asked if the U.S. bears any responsibility for the kidnapping, given its support for the new Fatah-Hamas government, Psaki allowed that Hamas is a terrorist organization, but that “we do not believe that Hamas plays a role in the government.” After further “nudging” by reporters, she finally acknowledged that “if we again were to find that an entity that we work with does not abide by the [Quartet's] principles, we would re-evaluate our support and relationship.”

The second example of business as usual concerns Australia’s stance on Jerusalem. As recently reported, Australia had announced it would no longer term eastern Jerusalem an “occupied” area. Foreign Minister Julia Bishop said she knew of no law rendering the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria illegal, and other Australian politicians echoed these sentiments. Calling the communities “illegal” does not help the peace process, Liberal MP Wyatt Roy stated, and even more significantly, Attorney General George Brandis refused, even under strong questioning in the Senate, to say that eastern Jerusalem is ”occupied” by Israel.

Crystallizing the Australian stance was Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who did not hesitate to advise his American hosts this month that it would be advisable for them “not to use terms which suggest that matters have been prejudged.… The truth is they’re disputed territories.”

Abruptly, however, in the midst of the terrorist kidnap crisis, Australia “clarified” last week that actually its position on “the legal status of the Palestinian territories, including east Jerusalem,” had not changed. This was clearly the result of heavy pressure from Arab countries, including an implied threat of a boycott.

Foreign Minister Bishop met with Islamic and Arab national ambassadors, and said afterward that her country’s position is “consistent with relevant UN resolution adopted over many years, including UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.” She also wrote that the idea of not referring to Jerusalem as occupied is “about nomenclature, and not a comment on the legal status of the Palestinian territories.”

Interestingly, rather than bemoan the apparent Arab success in influencing Australian policy, we might be encouraged that the Australian cave-in appears to be quite minor. If, as Minister Bishop explained, the Australian position is limited to “nomenclature,” and Australia makes sure not to refer to “occupied East Jerusalem,” supporters of a unified Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty have reason to celebrate. For “nomenclature” is truly the name of the game. The choice of words used by the media and public officials in describing current events is critical on the public relations battlefield, as even occasional news consumers are well aware.

As evidence, note the strenuous efforts of Islamic terrorists to ensure that the world media refer to them merely as “militants.” They have been quite successful: A Google search of the term “ISIS militants” – referring to the soon-to-be conquerors of Iraq who have been described as more cruel than al Qaeda – brings up 4.37 million instances, nearly 50 times more than “ISIS terrorists.”

Egypt Slaps White House, Jails Al Jazeera Journalists for 7 Years

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Journalists around the world are expressing outrage in the wake of an Egyptian court’s decision to sentence three Al Jazeera journalists to prison for seven years.

The three were taken from their hotel room in Cairo in December 2013 and charged with conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to tarnish Egypt’s international reputation. Australian ex-BBC reporter Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian ex-CNN journalist Mohamed Fahmy, and local Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed were among 20 accused in connection with the charges.

Al Jazeera has denied the accusations and journalists around the world have condemned Egypt for conducting what is seen as a direct campaign by Egypt’s new president to snuff out freedom of speech.

In the United States, the issue was also perceived as a diplomatic slap to the White House, which condemned the sentence. Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri to express his government’s “serious displeasure” over the matter.

The court decision had come just one day after Kerry’s unannounced visit to Cairo in which he announced that Washington had unfrozen billions of dollars in military aid to Egypt. He also vowed during his visit that the U.S. would deliver 10 Apache attack helicopters for use in the fight against terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.

Newly-elected President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi refused to “interfere in the judicial verdict,” setting off an international firestorm.

“Egypt should review its unacceptable sentences against Egyptian and international journalists, and show commitment to freedom of the press,” said British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Al Jazeera reported.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott added that his government would work to get the imprisoned journalists out of the country “quickly.”

Leaders from various other international groups said that they, too, would work to free the journalists.

Jordan ‘Concerned’ over Aussie Stand on Jerusalem

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Jordan has summoned the Australian charge d’affaires to express “concern” over Canberra’s decision to drop the word ‘occupied’ from its references to Jerusalem.

“The ministry summoned [Australian charge d’affaires John Feakes] and informed him that the kingdom is concerned about the Australian government’s decision to stop referring to east Jerusalem as ‘occupied,’” Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sabah Rafei said in a statement.

“The Australian government’s decision violates international law and resolutions that consider east Jerusalem to be an integral part of all Palestinian territories occupied in 1967,” the statement continued.

Australia’s government decided last week to drop the word ‘occupied’ in references to areas of Jerusalem restored to Israel’s capital by IDF soldiers during the 1967 Six Day War. Israel annexed the area shortly after, despite international refusal to recognize the move.

The territories referred to by Amman were actually occupied by Jordan in 1948 during Israel’s War of Independence – a fact conveniently omitted in all references to the issue by Arab statements on the matter.

Palestinian Authority Summons Aussie Ambassador

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

The Palestinian Authority has summoned Thomas Wilson, Australia’s ambassador to the P.A., for a dressing down over Canberra’s decision to remove the word “occupied” from eastern Jerusalem.

According to Rotter, the Palestinian “foreign ministry” told the ambassador that the international community recognises the “fact” that the Palestinian capital is occupied.

Netanyahu Slams Int’l Community for Supporting Hamas Government

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

PM Netanyahu slammed members of the international community who have rushed to support the Palestinian Unity Government with Hamas, at his Sunday cabinet meeting. Netanyahu said that anyone who thinks that Hamas will be moderated is mistaken, clearly hinting at US Secretary of State John Kerry, who reportedly, secretly offered Hamas financial aid in exchange for moderating their public positions against Israel.

Netanyahu reiterated that PUG president Mahmoud Abbas’s first obligation is demilitarizing the areas under his control. No one in the international community is even bothering to demand that Hamas’s independent terrorist army be disarmed.

Netanyahu also singled out Australia with exceptional praise for clearly stating the truth about Jerusalem not being occupied territory.

The text of Netanyahu’s speech follows:

“Over the weekend, the leaders of Hamas reiterated their intention to destroy the State of Israel. Whoever hoped that the Palestinian unity between Fatah and Hamas would moderate Hamas is mistaken. Instead of the Palestinian authority taking over Gaza, the signs are being more and more seen that the complete opposite is taking place, i.e. that Hamas is increasing its control in the Palestinian Authority areas in Judea and Samaria. Therefore, international pressure must be applied on Abu Mazen to dissolve the partnership with Hamas. This touches on the roots of the conflict and the roots of a solution in which peace is achieved between us and the Palestinians.

In any case, Abu Mazen promised to uphold all of his previous commitments, and the first of these is honoring the commitment to demilitarize the areas under the control of the Palestinian government, including – of course – the Gaza Strip.

Over the weekend we also heard an interesting declaration from the Australian government of a kind that we do not always hear. It simply said that eastern Jerusalem is not occupied territory; the minimum is that is an area in dispute.

To say this sharply and with such clarity and, I would say, courage, is refreshing given the chorus of hypocrisy and ignorance, ignorance not only of ancient history, but of recent and current history. What has really happened here? Who invaded who? Who occupied what? What is subject to negotiation? What is the area in dispute? These are new things. I certainly appreciate this stand by the Australian government and I am certain that all those who want to see an agreement here based on peace, justice and truth – and it is impossible to build peace based on historic lies – would agree. There is truth and it must be embraced. It requires many, many conclusions and steps, but it certainly does not require the sanctification of lies.”

Jordan Rejects Australia’s Dropping of “Occupied”

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

The Jordanian government announced it rejects Australia’s dropping of the word “occupied” in connection to eastern Jerusalem.

Jordan’s position is rather hypocritical, as Jordan illegally occupied eastern Jerusalem from 1948 until 1967, after capturing half the city in its 1948 attack on Israel.

Since the year 1805, if not earlier, Jews have made up the majority of the residents of united Jerusalem.

Whereas, 80% of Jordan’s citizens define themselves as Palestinian, making Jordan a de facto Palestinian State.

Australia Has PUG in a Tizzy

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

The Palestinian Unity Government (PUG) has called for the Arab and Muslim countries to reevaluate their relationship with Australia and consider legal and diplomatic reprisals against the Land Down Under.

When Australia’s Attorney-General George Brandis said that Australia would no longer use the word “Occupied” in reference to eastern Jerusalem it threw PUG into a tizzy.

That statement followed other balanced statements by Australia’s Foreign Minister, when she visited Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is set to visit Australia in June.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/australia-has-pug-in-a-tizzy/2014/06/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: