Some years ago the editorial team of this blog were invited to engage with the Foreign Editor of the West Australian following scathing criticism we published regarding the West’s media bias.
We were impressed by the willingness of Alan Kirk to engage, the fairness of his approach, and the personal time he extended to respond to our allegations.
On Thursday 8 September Mr Kirk published an opinion column in the West that leaves me staggered. The title is “Palestine Vote a Difficult Choice”, and offers commentary on how Australia should approach its decision to cast a UN vote either for, against, or as an abstention to the creation of a Palestinian State.
Frankly, I am unable to fathom how so much commentary, and such a fairhanded approach to incorporate opinions from both sides of the conflict, can lead him to the conclusion, albeit an indirect and implied conclusion, that Australia should support a vote for the creation of a Palestinian State at the United Nations.
Ironically, I have no doubt that Mr Kirk and I would both like to see the same outcome. That is peace in the Middle East. We would also probably agree that the most practical way of achieving this is a two state solution – independent and sovereign countries for both Jewish Israeli’s and Arab Palestinians (not that either state should be ethnically exclusive). Both of these States would coexist and extend full recognition and support of the other to make peace possible.
Where it appears we would not agree is on the means by which such an outcome is derived. If one accepts the argument put forward by Mr Kirk, as advocated by Fremantle MHR Melissa Parke, then Palestinian’s are awarded a State whilst completely abdicating their responsibility towards a negotiated settlement, acceptance of co-existence, compliance to treaties such as Oslo, and all other measures that are required for Israel to have the confidence to embrace peace.
I do not disagree with Mr Kirk that Australia’s interests need to be factored into the decision how to cast its votes. I do not believe that those interests are represented by effectively prostituting Australia’s moral conscience for the chance to tilt a seat on the UN Security Council. Or for that matter, Australia should compromise its integrity due to the balance of power in the United Nations which is skewed against free western democratic nations.
Once again, I respect Mr Kirk’s efforts to represent fairness in his analysis, and to boldly put forward a well considered analysis. I do however call him to account on a number of matters:
- The article describes Palestinian leaders as putting forward a resolution for recognition of “their lands”. This may be a Palestinian narrative, but it is not an historic fact. There has never in history been a sovereign independent State in the territories of Judea and Samaria other than a Jewish Commonwealth. The Government of Israel has a stronger case for claiming ownership of this land than the Palestinian Authority, as the victors in the 1967 war, a war which was not started by the Government of Israel.
- The article includes the Statement “All this while Israel continues to build settlements on Palestinian land occupied illegally under international law.” This too is conjecture presented as fact, and a claim of the Palestinians that can be compellingly disputed. Israel has the legitimate right to develop it’s sovereign territory and has strong sovereign claim to the land that some claim is “occupied”. Mr Kirk may be entitled to side with that opinion, but he is not entitled to transform that opinion into fact.
- There are glaring omissions in the analysis published that ignore events of recent weeks. How is it than more than a million Israeli’s have cowered in bomb shelters while hundreds of missiles fired from Gaza have been indiscriminately aimed at the civilians of Israel, and that this has received no mention in the analysis, let alone hardly a mention in the reporting of the West in recent weeks? How is it that the PA President Abbas has explicitly stated that a future Palestinian State would not recognise the right of Israel to exist, yet this is not factored into the commentary? How is it that the near financial collapse of the Palestinian Authority, their dependence on aid, and their payments to families of convicted terrorists is not accounted for in the debate of whether or not Statehood should be supported? How is it possible that the Palestinian Authority, which has not facilitated elections for several years since the culmination of its supposed democratic term, has proven itself capable of management of a democratic State?
What we see here in the West Opinion column is selective analysis based on a noble ideal, to the exclusion of political and existential reality.
It will be an interesting one for advocates of Israel based in Perth over the next few weeks in the lead up to the UN vote. Whilst low life scum advocating the boycotting of Israeli products will take their rabid hatred to the streets, many times their number will stand up against their filthy hypocritical and indecent nonsense to peacefully demonstrate against the unfair isolation of Israel. Only a year or so we were surprised to see people yelling obscenities and calling for the death of Jews in the streets of Australia. Now we see people in Perth pasting posters in university accusing Israel of being an apartheid State and screaming for the elimination of the Jewish State through open street protests. Good people must stand up against this. Hundreds of multifaith supporters of Israel will assert their support of Israel at an event this weekend, but it is incumbent on all decent Western Australian’s to stand up against the unfair demonisation of Israel, especially where the line is crossed from critical debate to incitement.
Whilst the West Australian brings about debate, it fails to contextualise that any UN vote on the creation of a Palestinian State is untenable without Palestinian recognition of Israel’s sovereignty, and Australia must factor this into its voting decision. Fair minded Australian’s understand this. For this reason, what I see from the Australian community in the form of a viewpoint on Israel does not reflect what I read in the form of geopolitical analysis in the West Australian.
At the end of the day the vote for a Palestinian State at the UN is not about whether or not there should be a Palestinian State. It is about whether or not the “global community” should reward the Palestinians with a State when they have not done anything in the slightest to demonstrate that they deserve it. It is also effectively about whether or not the Jewish people, with only one small State in a very large world should have the continued right to self determination.
God didn’t give Jews the whole planet, just a little piece of it. If the people of the world once again set the Jewish nation towards a path of destruction by empowering and inciting the enemies on their doorstep (enemies that make no secret of their intention to destroy Israel), then we will all suffer. That includes the people of Australia.
I disagree with the analysis of Mr Kirk. The Palestine vote is not a difficult choice at all. Australia should reject the notion of a Palestinian State until such time as the Palestinian people evidence they can peacefully and willfully live alongside the Jewish State of Israel.