Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to jet into Australia on Tuesday for the first-ever visit by an Israeli prime minister to the country.
Dave Sharma, Australia’s ambassador to Israel, called the visit to his country “massively significant” and “historic.”
“We have an incredibly close relationship,” Sharma said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.
“So we attach a great deal of significance to having an Israeli prime minister visit, spend time with the Australian political leadership, with the Jewish community and give Israel’s perspective on world affairs. There is a lot of symbolic and historic significance attached to this visit.”
But some people don’t share the same positive sentiments.
According to the Australian newspaper The Age, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plans to visit Australia has set off a maelstrom with a bunch of 60 rascist, bigoted, anti-Semites including businesswoman Janet Holmes à Court, former Federal Court judge Murray Wilcox, retired Anglican bishop George Browning and Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes protesting his visit.
Business and religious leaders, lawyers, academics, entertainers and former politicians have joined forces to oppose Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Australia, saying his policies “provoke, intimidate and oppress” the Palestinian people and are pushing the Middle East further from peace.
Mr Netanyahu’s visit comes just weeks after his government passed a controversial law retroactively legalising 4000 settlers’ homes built on privately owned Palestinian land. The measure has drawn international condemnation and reignited debate about Australia’s approach to Israel.
As an Australian and someone with Jewish heritage, I would like to know why these anti-Semites are treating Mr Netanyahu in such a despicable and pathetic manner?
Has it escaped their minds that Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East? That Israel is always treating its enemies kindly even when treated terribly? That the issue is not with Israel but the Palestines?
“Mr Netanyahu’s policies consistently aim to provoke, intimidate and oppress the Palestinian population which increase that imbalance, thus taking Israel irretrievably further from peace,” the statement, organized by the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network, says.
“These policies are inconsistent with Australian values and beliefs and we should not welcome him here.”
Bishop Browning said Mr Netanyahu “deserves a red card, not a red carpet”.
The accusation that Israel provokes, intimidates and oppresses the Palestinian population is completely false and is quite the opposite.
The real truth of the matter is that the Palestinians don’t want Israel to exist at all and they’re the ones provoking, intimidating and oppressing Israel.
And this has been true since 1947 when the United Nations voted to divide the land, which was then called Palestine into two states: a Jewish State and an Arab State.
The Jews were benevolent enough to accept the United Nations’ partition, but no Arab or Muslim countries accepted it. That says a lot doesn’t it?
It’s like splitting up a chocolate bar in half and giving it to two children and one refuses to take it because he wants the whole thing, not half. And that’s exactly the case with all of Israel’s enemies. They don’t want Israel to even exist on the map. They want the whole of Israel’s land, not half, not a small percentage, not even their own state.
Throughout history, Israel has always extended an olive branch to its enemies, but unfortunately, that kindness hasn’t always been received well. As you can see, it’s not Israel that isn’t being kind and accommodating, it’s simply the fact that the Arabs and Muslims turn their backs on that kindness and thus a mutual peace agreement is non-existent. Even today we hear constantly about terror attacks committed by Palestinians on Jews or rockets being fired into Israeli territory.
Let’s take a step back in time.
On May 15, 1948, British rule ended and the armies of all the neighbouring Arab states attacked the one day old state of Israel in an attempt to wipe it off the map. However, the little Jewish State survived. Indeed, it was a miracle clearly orchestrated by God.
Then in 1967 it happened all over again in what is known as the ‘Six Day War’. The then Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser announced his plans to “destroy Israel” by surrounding the tiny nation with his own troops as well as other Muslim allies. In that case, Israel pre-emptively struck Egypt and Syria but did not attack Jordan. In fact they even begged the king of Jordan not to join the conflict, but he did. And only because of that did Israel take control of Jordanian land, specifically the western bank of the Jordan River.
Not long after the Six Day War, the Arab states went to Khartoum, Sudan and announced their three infamous ‘no’s’: no peace, no recognition and no negotiations. So what did Israel do? Little more than a decade later in 1978, they once again extended an olive branch to Egypt by giving the entire Sinai Peninsular – which is larger than Israel itself and has the high value natural resource of oil – back to Egypt because Egypt under new leadership had signed an agreement with Israel.
In other words, Israel was very willing to give land to Egypt for the promise of mutual peace and it has always been willing to do the exact same thing with the Palestinians and anyone else for that matter.
All the Palestinians have ever had to do is 1) recognize Israel as legitimate Jewish State and 2) accept their offers of peace through land trades.
For example, in 2000, Israel was ready to give Palestinians a sovereign state in more than 95% of the West Bank and all of Gaza, but the Palestinian leadership rejected the offer and instead responded with a wave of suicide bombers into Israel. Meanwhile, national TV, press, school curricular and radio daily promoted the glorification of terrorism, the demonization of Jewish people and the annihilation of the Jewish state.
Right from the start, Arab nations deliberately chose not to be on good terms with Israel. This conflict extends back into Bible times and has been an ongoing one ever since.
In addition to its benevolence to the Palestinians in offering them land, Israel is often the first to respond in times of war and natural disaster providing international emergency aid in the form of field hospitals, trained personnel and other advanced medical resources saving many lives. Israeli medics treat Palestinians and Arabs (both combatants and non-combatants alike) injured in accidents, military conflicts and so forth. Israeli aid workers and medics also provide medical care directly in Syria, disguising their identities since they’re coming from the Jewish state. Israelis are always there to love and help everyone in need – even their enemies.
Thus the dispute between Palestine and Israel is very easy to explain. One side wants the other obliterated from the planet. This is evidenced by the fact that the Hamas terror group’s motto is “we love death as much as the Jews love life. And it’s true. The Torah tells Israelis: “I [God] have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
I want to leave you with two questions. What if suddenly Israel decided to lay down its weapons, stand down its troops and declare ‘we will fight no more’? What if any Arab country or terror group such as Hamas did that?
I tell you what, Israel would accept any white flags and be more than happy to live in peace. They wouldn’t make an issue of it, they wouldn’t invade these countries and they certainly wouldn’t take advantage of their vulnerability.
But on the other hand, if Israel were to lay down their weapons and cease hostilities, within a matter of hours, I can guarantee you that they would come under heavy assault by their enemies and there would most probably be a bloodbath in Israel.
Even though they’re surrounded by hordes of enemies who call for their destruction, countless Israelis have chosen to take the high road. Faced with hatred, time and again, they’ve decided to answer that hatred with practical ways to help, to connect with, and elevate others.
So all those accusations made by these ‘prominent’ Australian individuals are uninformed, libelous, biased, inaccurate, hateful and completely false.
#IStandWithIsrael … proudly.