Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) National Chairman Mark Leibler AC and Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein AM today wrote to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to express AIJAC’s “sincere appreciation for Australia’s principled stance at the UN General Assembly by voting in favour of the US amendment to the unbalanced motion on Israel, and then being one of only eight countries to vote against the motion when the amendment failed.”
The original motion, put by Algeria, Turkey and Palestine, deplored various measures Israel has taken, or has allegedly taken, to defend itself against Palestinian attacks, including on the Gaza border, and called on Israel to cease such conduct. While the motion also briefly deplored the firing of rockets from Gaza at Israel, it made no mention of Hamas.
The US amendment sought to redress this imbalance by inserting clauses holding Hamas responsible for its role in the violence. Although the amendment actually achieved a majority, with 62 countries voting in favour and 58 against, with 42 abstentions, it required a two thirds majority to succeed, and was therefore not carried. The original motion was then put, and carried 120 votes to eight against, with 45 abstentions.
Dr Rubenstein stated, “It is heartening for the Australian Jewish community, and Israel supporters in general, that we have an informed and courageous government which regularly demonstrates it understands that one-sided motions condemning Israel for defending itself while all but ignoring the true cause of the violence not only achieve nothing for peace, but are counter-productive – they in fact only encourage further intransigence and violence from Hamas and its extremist collaborators.”
“AIJAC remains very grateful for the leadership Ms Bishop and the Government have demonstrated,” Dr Rubenstein concluded.
For additional information, contact AIJAC on (03)-9681-6660.