Home Australia UNSC and Israel-Palestine: An Update

UNSC and Israel-Palestine: An Update


julie-bishopAustralian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

by  James O’Neill*

On 27 December 2016 Gumshoe News published an earlier comment by me on the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2334 in which the Council unanimously condemned the ongoing measures by Israel to alter the “demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian territory it has occupied since the 1967 war.”

The Council confirmed that the establishment of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory had no legal validity and constituted a “flagrant violation of international law.”

The resolution outraged Israel.  Prior to the vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had telephoned New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully with a blatant threat to New Zealand if it continued its co-sponsorship of the resolution.  Netanyahu reportedly told McCully that from Israel’s point of view “it will be a declaration of war………..and there will be consequences.”

This is extraordinary conduct, although not out of keeping with previous behaviour by senior Israeli government figures.

The Australian government through its Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has issued a statement that unequivocally places Australia in a tiny minority of the world’s nations in its unquestioning support for the international pariah that is the State of Israel.

Bishop said that Australia does not support “one-sided resolutions targeting Israel.” It would not have taken the same line as New Zealand.  Rather, it remained “firmly committed to a two State solution.”

Lest anyone think that things would be different under a Labor government, their leader Bill Shorten, who has been in Israel this past week, quickly chimed in by describing Netanyahu as “a good friend of Australia.”

Well Bill, with friends like that, who needs enemies?

Shorten could have shown some political courage and intellectual honesty by asking Bishop to specify in what way was the Security Council Resolution “one –sided and targeting Israel?”

The resolution did little more than pointing out the blindingly obvious, except it would seem to those who inhabit the Canberra environment.  Israel has for the past 50 years been in breach of international law, and shows absolutely no sign of changing its behaviour.

Exactly what part of Israeli settlements having “no legal validity and constituting a flagrant violation under international law” does Ms Bishop, Mr Shorten and their respective parties disagree with?

Equally, what part of “confiscation of land, and displacement of Palestinian citizens in violation of international humanitarian law” equals one-sidedness, or, more importantly, is other than objectively true?

Does Australia, whose own adherence to international law in multiple areas, as for example in the treatment of refugees, is similarly deplorable, really want to excuse or justify Israel’s conduct?  Australia is one of the loudest supporters of the American mantra of ‘freedom of navigation’ but maintains a stunning silence when that concept is flagrantly breached by Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

Does Bishop’s government really condone the blatant threat made to its ally and good friend, New Zealand?  Isn’t a declaration of war worthy of at least some comment by the Australian government?  Or does Australia not want to be put in the position of choosing between Israel and New Zealand in the uncomfortable knowledge, based on past performance, that such a choice would pose a real dilemma?

It would seem that Australia is already positioning itself as the loyal acolyte of the incoming Trump administration.  The appointment of Donald Friedman as the US’s next ambassador and his reported views should ring alarm bells in Canberra.  Friedman rejects the creation of a Palestinian State and supports Israel’s complete annexation of the West Bank.

How does Bishop square these views with her claimed “firm commitment” to the delusional concept of a two-State solution, that her very support of Israel has done much to render impossible in any meaningful sense.  Are she and her government going to challenge Mr Friedman’s views?  It would be unwise to hold one’s breath on that one.

The blunt truth is that Australia’s unquestioning support for what Philip Giraldi accurately describes as “a particularly noxious version of Israeli fascism” (Welcome to Greater Israel, Unz Review 27 December 2016) poses a serious threat to Australia’s own standing in the international community.

One is reminded yet again of the old joke about the mother watching her son in the passing out parade.  Look, she says proudly, they are all out of step except my Johnny.

In international affairs, Australia is Johnny.  It is not a good or enviable position to be in.

*Barrister at Law.  He may be contacted at joneill@qldbar.asn.au


Adapted photo: Israel Government Press Office


  1. “Or does Australia not want to be put in the position of choosing between Israel and New Zealand in the uncomfortable knowledge, based on past performance, that such a choice would pose a real dilemma?”

    James, any particular “past performance” — or just in general?

    • Mary, what I was alluding to there was that Australia has a long history of supporting Israel, in the UN and out of it, and an even longer history of doing the dirty on New Zealand. If forced to choose, I would not guarantee that Australia would give its first preference to NZ. One interesting point that arises is that if Israel did attack NZ (after all it did say that the UN vote was an “act of war”) where would Australia and the US stand viz a viz the ANZUS treaty?

        • It still formally exists. According to Australian Defence and Foreign Policy documents it is the “cornerstone” of our defence arrangements. For reasons I have pointed out elsewhere (on John Menahu’s blog and New Eastern Outlook) our whole defence policy is delusional, and that includes the much misquoted and even less understood ANZUS Treaty.

          • Talk about hilarious. Article III of the ANZUS treaty:
            Article III
            The Parties will consult together whenever in the opinion of any of them the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened in the Pacific.

            What if one of them is threatening the other?

            Well I suppose they can consult. Thank you , James.

          • Mary, take note that you had no difficulty accessing the ANZUS treaty.
            Now try accessing the ALLEGED treaty between the U.S. and Australia. Best of luck on that one.

          • Eddy,
            Oh, THAT TREATY!
            By the then PM with General Macarthur?
            Right! The public and most MPs have never heard of it and you will never see it.

      • Israel would never OPENLY attack New Zealand, despite it’s claims. That’s not how they operate.
        They work BEHIND the scenes in secret, undermining Governments left right and center, never openly.
        Isn’t that the Moto of Mossad ?

  2. Why is that we Australians keep putting into Parliament people who are, or do become war criminals? We currently have five people who lead or have led a political party who should be charged with War Crimes of sending our troops to illegal wars. These illegal wars were against Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. None of these countries were a threat to Australia or Australian citizens. This occurred because of insistence by the US and Israel.

    Now we have another crop of gutless personnel who will not stand up to the international bully known as Israel.

    • Methinks there is far more to that incident then we are being told.
      Reminds me of when Gallop resigned his position as W.A. Premier after the Explosion of the natural gas compression facility, which brought the state to a halt, when he was negotiating to have 30% held over for the state. Immediately after that event, he resigned, probably after discovering the forces aligned against him, as is evident in the Eastern states with their gas situation, where all states refuse to institute such a reserve for their populations.

  3. Well, that answers the problem we have with our Wallaby’s continually losing to the NZ Rugby All Blacks ….. they have better balls.

  4. As far as I’m aware, Israel has been waging war against the Kiwis now for many years. This latest utterance is nothing new, but it does verify, what Israel thinks of Kiwis.
    Let’s not forget, it was MOSSAD that MURDERED innocent New Zealanders on their home soil.
    It was also Israel, that STOLE, and used Kiwi passports for their own clandestine activities, thereby giving the finger to all Kiwis. B.T.W. they also used Australian passports as well. Ask Rudd.
    Who needs friends like that ?????????
    And to the foreign Minister of New Zealand, well done Bro, your a man of principle.
    Regards our own sycophant suck holes in Canberra, none of them could hold a candle against the actions of the Kiwis.
    It’s amazing, that Australians stoop so low as to allow a foreign nation to wipe their boots on their backs.
    Really shows who they work for, and it’s certainly not the Australian people.

    • Friends!?
      Right: Ask Joe Meadors who was a crewman on the USS Liberty in 1967 when the Israelis attacked the ship for two hours and murdered about 30+ crewmen. They were trying to blame Egypt so that the US would bomb Egypt and kill heaps just for Israel.
      As ex PM Fraser informed ABCs Jonathan Faine on radio; ‘it was a deliberate act by Israel’. Faine said from memory it was a mistaken missile attack. As for friends of Australia, forget our ABC,
      Also look up our five dancing ‘friends’ (Israelis)!’documenting’ and celebrating the mass murder on 911 in the twin towers.
      As for friends, wake up foreign minister Julie Bishop and the rest of your club, no more bullshit, too many now do not take notice of the msm and our ABC lies……. we are on to the truth, try it sometime Ms. Bishop and have half a brain to identify true friends. You too, Turnbull and Shorten.

  5. Of course, with so many members of Australia’s decision and opinion-making “intelligentsia” making their free or generously assisted pilgrimages to Israel, organised via local Jewish identities and organizations discreetly on behalf of the Israeli Government, one can begin to understand how once moral positions can be altered in the heat of the holiday mood. Just ask Turncoat Plibersek. Gillard even got a gig with Haim Saban’s Brookings payoff machine. The trips don’t tend to get talked about or reported on, but there are lots of them for pollies, journalists and anyone else deemed worthy of bringing on-side.

  6. Incongruous witnessing in the last days of 2016, Prime Minister, dancing around with a all male synagogue prancers arm in arm in circles complete with the Jewish hat attire looking with eye to eye contact being in total submerged ego loss other than a thought bubble will the Liberal Party making dollars from my antics? or more important what I owe to Goldman Sachs and more money into my account for me and the grand kids for ever and ever, Amen.

  7. […] The UNSC resolution re Israel and palestine – and Australia’s position. “The blunt truth is that Australia’s unquestioning support for what Philip Giraldi accurately describes as “a particularly noxious version of Israeli fascism” (Welcome to Greater Israel, Unz Review 27 December 2016) poses a serious threat to Australia’s own standing in the international community.” https://gumshoenews.com/2017/01/01/unsc-and-israel-palestine-an-update/ […]

  8. I am responding to Ned’s 2 January 12.42pm reply below —

    “Eddy, Oh, THAT TREATY! By the then PM with General Macarthur? Right! The public and most MPs have never heard of it and you will never see it.”

    Ned, I don’t know of it, but you and Eddy seem to. Can you, or James, enlighten me on our military obligations to the Mother country. (Yes I know AussieMal will throw a fit that I used that term.)

    When I went to look up the ANZUS treaty the other day I saw that it was written in 1951 and contains this pre-Common-Market clause:

    “RECOGNIZING that Australia and New Zealand as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations have military obligations outside as well as within the Pacific Area ….”

    That treaty was written when King George VI was on the throne (I don’t know who the Oz G-G was in 1951 but he/she must have assented to it, yes?)

    ANZUS came into force April 29, 1952 when Elizabeth II had ascended the throne — and Eisenhower had not yet been elected. Not that it matters, but I can’t penetrate the meaning of all this.

    Pray, tell.

    • Mary, the facts are relatively straightforward. The ANZUS Treaty requires the parties to “consult” in accordance with their constitutional procedures in the event that any one of them is attacked. No more, no less. Unlike the NATO Treaty for example.
      Australia cites the Treaty as the “cornerstone” of its defence. That is either wilful stupidity or, more likely, a policy point used to justify Australia’s slavish adherence to US foreign policy in the hope that the rest of us won’t notice.

    • To answer your questions Mary. When I signed on for the Australian military in 1968 I was required to swear allegiance to the Queen. (How’s that for an INDEPENDENT country ? There’s a reason, why Australia has, to this very day, a Govenor General overseeing the activities of our elected Government of the day.) I’m unawares whether that is still a requirement today. Maybe some one else who is more up to date with the matter, could enlighten us on this issue ???
      Going by your post, I suspect you are confused between the SEATO treaty, and the ANZUS treaty. I do recall something a while back, where it was stated that the ANZUS treaty was no longer relevant. I think it was around the time the Kiwis refused to allow U.S. warships into their waters unless they stated categoricly, they were not nuclear powered or carried nuclear weapons, which the Yanks of course refused to do. That was the end of the ANZUS treaty as far as I’m aware.
      Regards the Brits ? LOL. There are thousands of WW 2 veterans who would tell you, the Brits can go an……. well commit acts, these boards are to innocent to have them written down here, suffice to say, the Australian P.M. at the time, told Churchill what he could do with his demands of keeping Australian troops in Egypt fighting his dirty war there, they were needed at home to fight Japan. Ask any returned serviceman who served in Indochina, Malaya, Borneo or anywhere of these Asian nations above Australia, what they think of the Brit assistance they received during that period, keep your ear miffs handy though.
      B.T.W. here’s a good lead to events of those days;

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