Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

AIJAC Praises Government's Latest UN Votes

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November 25, 2008


AIJAC's National Chairman Mark Leibler and Executive Director Colin Rubenstein welcomed the Rudd Government's votes on two anti-Israel resolutions considered last week by committees of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). These resolutions are part and parcel of the approximately 20 anti-Israel resolutions voted on each year at the UNGA.

"By voting against one resolution and abstaining on another, the Government has maintained Australia's courageous and principled voting pattern set in previous years, which recognises that one-sided and completely biased resolutions do not advance Australia's and the parties' stated goal of a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," Leibler and Rubenstein said.

The Government voted against a resolution recognising the Palestinians' "permanent sovereignty" over all natural resources in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. That resolution focused solely on supposed Israeli misdeeds while ignoring Palestinian terrorism directed at Israel. The Government also abstained on a resolution that affirms the Palestinians' right to self-determination - a principle to which Israel has already agreed - but omits the Jewish people's corresponding right to the same.

"Although superficially seeming to promote a two-state resolution, these resolutions are in fact counter-productive to an effective peace process because they demonise Israel, place demands only on one party, and encourage the Palestinians' maximalist demands," stated the two AIJAC leaders.

It is particularly pernicious for the resolution on self-determination to omit the rights of the Jewish people, since "the Palestinian leadership's refusal to recognise Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state remains a significant obstacle to any two-state resolution to the conflict. By encouraging and, in effect, endorsing, that refusal through this resolution, the UN undermines its already tattered credibility in efforts toward a lasting two-state resolution to the conflict," they added.

With respect to the other anti-Israel resolutions, especially those voted on at the plenary session of the UNGA, Leibler and Rubenstein stated: "We hope and expect that the Government's principled opposition to these resolutions, especially those relating to the entrenched pro-Palestinian bureaucracy at the UN, will continue to this year."

For additional information, contact Dr. Colin Rubenstein on (03)-9681-6660 or at crubenstein@aijac.org.au.

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