By Norman and Barbara Miller, Indigenous Friends of Israel

Jihadi Bob Carr has been pushing the terrorist organization Hamas’ position for some years. So now we have Penny Wong, Anthony Albanese, Tony Burke, and the ALP cabinet reversing the previous government’s decision that West Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Who is Australia to be telling another nation where its capital is? How insulting! No wonder Hamas has congratulated Australia for the decision.

Unsurprisingly, there has been an angry reaction from Israel and the Australian Jewish community who were blindsided by this with no consultation with them. It is the first time Israel has called in the Australian ambassador to explain our actions.

Also, there was no discussion of this pre-election and there has been no public consultation about it or discussion with the Australian parliament or even it appears, with the ALP caucus.

The decision by the Albanese government that West Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel flies in the face of the Abraham Accords with the increasing cooperation of Arab states with Israel. Australian foreign policy needs to be more mature in this area and aware of the new face of the Middle East.

It is also disappointing that the previous Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, did not follow through with his intention to recognise a United Jerusalem and move the Australian embassy there. It is likely that a number of Arab governments will at least move their embassies to West Jerusalem in the future as this is where the Knesset or parliament is and many national institutions.

As Indigenous Australians, we do not agree that Israel is a colonial settler apartheid state as the propaganda of Hamas asserts. There has always been a Jewish presence in Israel which became a nation about 3,000 years ago and reformed in 1948. The Arab presence is relatively recent. We believe the Jews are the Indigenous people of Israel. Israel respects human rights and does not practice apartheid with Arabs in the Knesset and many occupations. Arab Israelis have the same rights as other citizens.

Re a two-state solution, Israel has come to the table and been prepared to accept peace plans a number of times over the years. However, the Palestinians want Israel, the only Jewish state, wiped off the map so it is hard to get a two-state solution in this atmosphere, particularly with terrorist attacks against Israel occurring regularly.

In a double-whammy, this decision was announced on a Jewish sacred holiday and follows Labor’s pledge on the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana of $20 million to the UNRWA for Palestinian Arabs as well as Labor’s refusal to sign up for a Pro-Israel Motion at the UN. Australia and some other nations had reduced their funding of UNRWA because of its funding of terrorism.

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