I can’t say I was shocked by the Albanese Government’s abandonment of Israel at the UN General Assembly. This vote, which demanded that Israel reach a ceasefire with terrorist organisation, Hamas, responsible for the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, was just the latest in a litany of anti-Israel moves from Canberra.
The unrecognition of ‘West Jerusalem’, changing of language used to describe territories captured in 1967, and more than doubling taxpayer funding for questionable Palestinian Arab causes are just a few of the hostile moves this government has made.
But in terms of moral confusion, this takes the cake. On October 7, Hamas terrorists raped, beheaded, and burned alive 1200 innocent people. Their attack broke an existing ceasefire. Many in Israel feel that it was this ‘ceasefire’ and tolerance of Hamas on its border that allowed the attack to happen. The depravity of Hamas’s acts, means Israel has no option but to destroy them. Hamas has been clear that they plan to keep carrying out massacres, like October 7. Israel has been equally clear; they won’t allow that to happen.
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, no decent person called for a ceasefire. When Al Qaeda struck the World Trade Centre, no decent person called for a ceasefire. Hamas is no less evil than the Nazis or ISIS. Now, just as then, the forces of good have a clear mission to defeat them. That is exactly what Israel is doing. It turns out, that when they aren’t fighting babies and Holocaust survivors, Hamas aren’t so tough. Their military positions have fallen, and hundreds of terrorists have surrendered. Perhaps Israel’s success, explains the frenzied clamoring in some quarters for a ceasefire, which would preserve Hamas’s ability to fight another day.
The Israeli Government has a strong mandate from its people to pursue this war. For many, that is the only justification for Netanyahu’s government remaining in power. If Australia’s Prime Minister or Foreign Minister had bothered to visit Israel, as so many world leaders have following October 7, they may better understand the situation.
All civilian casualties in war are tragic but some battles are too important to just give up. Many German civilians died, in a war their country started. The West could have signed a ceasefire with the Nazis, but it would have been a cowardly and immoral thing to do. The Islamist terrorists in Gaza won’t stop at Israel. Failure to defeat them will have repercussions worldwide. Australians don’t need another Bali Bombing or Lindt Café siege to know the danger.
UN General Assembly resolutions are non-binding and that’s just as well. The body has long been obsessed with Israel, passing more resolutions against the Jewish State, than any other nation. An automatic bloc of dictatorships like North Korea, Russia and Syria pass judgment on democracies like Israel. The results are predictable. Israel has learned to disregard anything that comes from the UN General Assembly but when friends like Australia turn their backs, it hurts.
For Australia’s Jewish community, already grappling with a surge of antisemitism, this is yet another slap. We see a flow-on impact of the messaging from the top, in anti-Jewish vandalism and attacks on the street.
Australia’s position, which differs from Western powers like the USA, UK and Germany also impacts our national security. Other nations, both friendly and not so friendly, are probing the Albanese Government for signs of weakness. That Labor wants Israel to ignore its obligation to defend its citizens, should worry Australians, considering our own national security environment. It’s notable that several pacific nations either voted alongside Israel or abstained, including, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Palau, Nauru and others. Perhaps they reason, that aligning their foreign policy with the United States, is a prudent move.
Even Ukraine which often votes against Israel didn’t vote for this resolution. Perhaps realizing that failure to support a democracy engaged in an existential fight portends badly for their own battle.
This war was started by Hamas. It could end tomorrow if Hamas surrendered and released its hostages. A UN resolution acknowledging that would have been befitting.
The Albanese Government chose the joyous Jewish festival of Simchat Torah to announce their unrecognition of Jerusalem, the Jewish people’s 3000 year old capital. This UN Resolution took place on Chanukah, another celebratory festival. Chanukah’s story largely takes place in what Labor has declared ‘illegally occupied territory’, culminating in the Jews recapturing the Temple (in East Jerusalem). The message of Chanukah is fitting. The few can be victorious over the many. A small amount of light can illuminate much darkness. The Albanese Government may have placed itself with the majority in the United Nations General Assembly, but the forces of light worldwide must support Israel’s total victory over Hamas. The West’s continued moral standing depends on it.