Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code
parliament house.gif
Think Tanks
Oz Blogs
Economic Blogs
Foreign Policy Blogs
International Blogs
Media Blogs
South Australian Weblogs
Economic Resources
Environment Links
Political Resources
South Australian Links
"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

no political courage « Previous | |Next »
July 22, 2004

I see that the UN's General Assembly passed a resolution Tuesday night demanding that Israel abide by a world court ruling to dismantle a 451-mile "security barrier" that cuts through Palestinian territory. The Washington Post reports that:

"The resolution in the 191-member assembly passed by a vote of 150 to 6, with 10 governments abstaining. The United States opposed the resolution, saying that the international court and the General Assembly are inappropriate venues for resolving the Middle East crisis. Israel, Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau also opposed the resolution."

Good old Australia. It really is all the way with the USA these days. Australia did not even have the political courage to abstain. Obsequiousness to America describes Australia's relationship to the US.Even Bush's poodle, Tony Blair, sided with Europe against the US.That leaves the US and Israel without any significant allies.

Australia's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, justified siding with the US by saying that it was wrong to take the matter to the International Court of Justice and that Israel must find ways of defending itself against terrorists. What, no role for international law in settling disputes? If you do not acknowledge international law, then you do not have to recognize that the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are considered illegal under international law.

Downer went on to say that:

"It isn't reasonable to Israelis that they can't erect a security barrier to protect the people of Israel from suicide-homicide bombers."

Isn't it unreasonable that Israel uses a security wall to take Palestinian land in the occupied territories? The Wall is not being constructed along the Green Line. In places it goes into deep in Palestinian territory, de facto annexing to Israel a great part of it (one-third?). Why is that not wrong? If there is no recognition of international law, then does that mean might is right?

This article describes how the wall gains territory by encircling and squeezing Palestinian villages. Ran HaCohen says that to all intents and purposes liivng within the encircled villages is equivalent to living within a:

"...cage, with no public facilities, no land reserves for housing, no fields, and with a gate guarded by a hostile army, is a viable place to live in. The Israeli authorities know this very well.... Their intention is clear: sooner or later, the hopelessly caged population will have to leave simply to escape starvation...The nearer we get to the Green Line and to major settlements, the smaller the cages get. These are the areas that Israel wants most, so living conditions should drive away the indigenous Palestinian population there as soon as possible."

The wall is one instrument in the old Israeli strategy to vanish the Palestinians out of their territory, yet Alexander Downer turns a blind eye. All that matters is supporting the US.

Israel's key problem is to keep the new land without the people. Since physical expulsion is no longer an option, so the alternative has been to make the Palestinians disappear as a nation by destroying their society. The history of the last 37 years of Israeli occupation is one of the colonisation of the land and resources that aims to strangle the Palestinian economy and makes statehood unviable.

July 23
This piece by Ted Lapkin, from the conservative Australia-Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, shows the way they play politics. It refers to the NZ PM's (Helen Clarke) decision to place diplomatic sanctions on Israel, on the grounds that the two Israeli's who recently obtained a genuine NZ passport under false pretences were Israeli intelligence agents.

Lapkin says that:

"....passport affair is political manna from heaven for the beleaguered Clark. She gets to look like a strong leader by fulminating on the cheap against a country that represents no threat to New Zealand's national security....the official Hamas website has just declared its appreciation for "the daring position of the New Zealand Government against the Zionist entity". This glowing endorsement by a bunch of Palestinian suicide bombers reflects the moral bankruptcy of Clark's Middle East policy. Under her guidance, New Zealand has made common cause with bedfellows who are not only strange, but downright repugnant."

What is covered up and justified by Lapkin is that Israel has a right to do this. He never says that it is wrong. He just says that Clarke is soft on--nay supports--- international terrorism.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:35 AM | | Comments (0)