Australia pledges to reinstate use of term ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’
(The Times of Israel August 8, 2023)
Many Australians may not know, or will refuse to admit, that they are occupying another’s lands. The Aboriginal people were the first people of Australia; they were there for thousands of years before the European colonists turned up and stole their land.
From around 60,000 B.C.E. the area now known as New South Wales was inhabited entirely by indigenous Aboriginal peoples with their own social and legal organisations. The population of the yet-to-be-named New South Wales was at least 100,000, divided into many different tribal and language groups. Sadly, the Aboriginal Australians were no match for the well-armed invaders with their overwhelming firepower and lack of respect for the original inhabitants.
We Israelis have also been living in our land for a few thousand years, ever since God promised and subsequently gave the land to Abraham and his descendants. Our land has also seen many uninvited invaders, from the Romans to the British. Happily, all have now left, some willingly, some with a little help.
And so, the time has come to stop using the name Australia. The explorer Matthew Flinders first named the land Terra Australis, which was later abbreviated to the current form. I am not sure what the correct Aborigine name should be. But, whatever we decide to call it, it should include the term “Occupied Aborigine Territories”.
After all, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.