Julie Bishop silent on Palestine

Bishop George Browning – 2nd January 2014

AUSTRALIA concluded its two-year term on the UN Security Council on December 31.

“In her end-of-term report on Australia’s achievements on the council, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s press release on Wednesday rightly noted a range of achievements ­intended to strengthen international co-operation through multilateral action.

However, she curiously failed to mention Australia’s decision to oppose the resolution brought to the council by Jordan seeking to provide a negotiating timetable for the resolution of the Palestinian question within the framework of numerous UN decisions.

There is no issue more deeply embedded in the UN and other agencies intended to advance the peaceful resolution of disputes and humanitarian standards of conduct in international affairs than the question of Palestine.

This was recognised by Australia as early as 1947 and has been pursued at a practical level by our troops’ participation in virtually all the peacekeeping forces deployed to the area since that time.

Yet while proudly listing Australia’s achievements on the Sec­urity Council, the peaceful res­olution of the Palestinian question received no mention in Bishop’s remarks.”

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Australian Government Vote Against Ending the Occupation of Palestine

In its last action as a member of the UN Security Council, Australia voted against a UN Security Council resolution to end the occupation of Palestine. The US was the only other country to vote against the resolution which was supported by eight other members including Russia, China, France, Argentina, Chile, Luxemburg, Chad and Jordan. Five other countries abstained including the UK, Rwanda, Nigeria, Lithuania, and South Korea. In defending its position the Australian government stated that the resolution “.. lacks balance and seeks to impose a solution put forward by one party alone.” Obviously, the Australian Government is happy with Israel’s imposed solution via the blockade of Gaza and the colonization of the West Bank.

The latest opinion poll initiated by APAN and conducted by Ray Morgan have clearly shown that 57% of Australians want the government to vote for the recognition of Palestinian State. One wonder who’s interest and agenda this government represent.

Vote Yes_Dec_14This map shows the majority of the world already recognises Palestine(all countries in green do). But even though the majority of Australians support immediate recognition of Palestine Australia doesn’t yet!

In December with the support of APAN hundreds of Australians wrote to their local representatives asking them to support a YES vote in the UN Security Council.

Australian parliamentarians have begun calling for immediate recognition of Palestine! Lets get behind them and call on the rest of parliament to join them!

A Morgan Opinion poll undertaken in early November 2014 showed that the majority of Australians support immediate recognition of Palestine. In comparison to Opinion Polls of previous years, people reported having increased knowledge about the situation, and an increasing sympathy for Palestinians.  Nearly a third of people polled indicated they believe that the Government favors Israel rather than holding a balanced position. Read more.

On August 31, 2014, Israel announced the confiscation of a thousand acres of Palestinian land for the expansion of its West Bank settlements.  The international response was swift and strong, yet there was no response from either the Australian Government and a very week response from the Opposition. Only the Australian Greens had called on Israel to reverse the decision.  APAN launched a campaign where Australians wrote to their local members, and within a week there was a condemnation issued by both the Government and Opposition. Read more.

APAN Dinner: Honouring the UN International Year of Solidarity
On August 29, 2014, APAN was pleased to host a dinner to honour the UN Year of Solidarity for the Palestinian people.A_BurkeShadow Minister for Finance, Mr Tony Burke MP stated in his speech “if you are serious about a two state solution, the settlement activity must cease. If you are serious about justice, then we need to acknowledge and acknowledge the truth, that all Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal. If we’re serious about speaking the truth then we must unequivocally be able to say that East Jerusalem in occupied”. Download full speech.  Both Senator Rhiannon and Craig Laundy MP (in a message read in his absence) congratulated APAN for their strong and effective work in the Australian parliament.
Read more.

Bishop Browning invites parliamentarians to “catch up” to the Australian public support International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian Peopleof Palestine

APAN was honoured to be part of an event at Parliament House in March 2014 for the launching of the UN International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The room was full of people wanting to honour this year – including 24 parliamentarians across the political spectrum, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the UN, business and community leaders, academics and community representatives. The event was co-hosted by Parliamentary Friends of Palestine and the Parliamentary UN Friendship group. In a passionate speech, Bishop George Browning asked the politicians to “catch up” with the Australian people who have had enough of not only Israeli policy victimising the Palestinians and the in-difference shown by the international community who won’t stand up against the injustices and inflected suffering. Read more and see photos of the event

Read more APAN highlights