On December 6, in the United Nations General Assembly, Australia joined 87 other nations in condemning Hamas’ terrorist tactics against Israel.
“The Australian Government has once again shown its commitment to peace between Israel and the Palestinians through its voting in the United Nations,” Mark Leibler, Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) national chair, said
“AIJAC welcomes and congratulates Australia on its consistent and principled approach to this region in the United Nations,” Leibler said. “In supporting this US-sponsored resolution, Australia has demonstrated its strong belief that terrorism against Israelis is not acceptable.”
However, AIJAC is dismayed that the resolution failed to secure the two-thirds majority required to pass.
“It is a stain on the UN that its member states could not unite against a group that indiscriminately fires rockets at civilian neighbourhoods and hides its military equipment behind human shields,” Dr. Colin Rubenstein, executive director of AIJAC, said.
“Those who voted against this resolution have trampled on the rights of Israelis to live in safety and security. Those who opposed this resolution have stated loudly and clearly that they support the right of Hamas to kill, kidnap and harm Israelis with impunity.”
The resolution, among other things, condemned Hamas for putting civilians at risk by firing rockets at their neighbourhoods, and demanded that Hamas and other terrorist actors, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad, stop all violent activity. It highlighted Hamas’ construction of military infrastructure, including tunnels into Israel, using materials that should be used to support Gazan civilians. It also called for reconciliation between Palestinian factions in an effort to reunite Gaza and the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.
Despite 87 nations voting in favour, all Arab states voted against this resolution, as did many in the Asia-Pacific, including Indonesia and Malaysia.
“We are particularly disappointed that New Zealand, a valued neighbour, abstained on an earlier Arab League resolution to require a two-thirds majority for the passage of the US resolution,” Rubenstein said.
“The Arab League resolution was a blatant power play that ignored the fundamentals of the issue: that Hamas’ involvement in terrorism must stop.”