Australia needs to find its voice over Israel (but it ain’t likely)

A fine letter in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald:

Finally, Kevin Rudd has done the unthinkable and questioned Israel about its actions (”Betrayed PM should not be taken for granted by Israel”, February 26). As Peter Hartcher points out, this is not the Prime Minister’s style.

Mr Rudd seems to have a distorted his Christianity by stating that “Israel is in his DNA”. As a Christian, I would have hoped he would recall the essence of the Christian message – that we are all children of God and implicitly share the same DNA: Muslim, Jewish, Christian and everyone else.

Mr Rudd was silent on the invasion of Gaza in February 2008, which left more than 120 Palestinians dead. He was silent about the deaths of more than 1300 Palestinians in January last year. He dismissed the United Nations fact-finding mission to Gaza, led by Richard Goldstone, that called for transparent war crimes investigations on both sides.

He would have also ignored the extrajudicial killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh but for the forgery of the three Australian passports. Certainly not a perfect example of man committed to following the principle of international law, but better late than never.

Yes, Israel needs friends, and there is no question that Australia remains one, but friends must be accountable for their actions. If Israel wishes to see the end of Hamas arms traders and of rocket attacks, it needs to follow international law, cease attacks by its air force, navy and army on Palestinians, and end the occupation of Palestinian territory.

Stewart Mills Balmain

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

Site by Common