Leading article Australia

The evil of 2334

5 January 2017

3:00 PM

5 January 2017

3:00 PM

If, as the Australian newspaper implied this week, The Spectator Australia has played a minor role in the recent acknowledgment by the Jerusalem Post that Australia’s multi-faceted support for Israel is worthy of special commendation, then we wear such praise as a badge of honour.

‘Australia has emerged as one of Israel’s few true friends… We should not take this friendship for granted,’ the Jerusalem Post editorialised. Which, to be blunt, is something of an understatement.

With New Zealand shamefully sponsoring the odious and breathtakingly anti-Semitic UN Security Resolution 2334; with a ragbag collection of Islamic and failed fellow-travelers gleefully joining in like ‘a pack of jackals’; with Britain equally shamefully voting for this disgrace; and with the US abstaining (in effect voting for) the resolution as part of Barack Obama’s and John Kerry’s vitriolic lame duck death throes, it is unclear if Israel has any real friends outside of Australia.

As this week’s cover stories by David Flint and Daryl McCann make depressingly clear, 2334 is a grotesque attempt by the failed Obama administration not only to disguise a plethora of disastrous actions and inactions they are responsible for, that have fuelled global and Middle East instability and war, but worse, is a direct existential threat to Israel. Already, historical revisionism is being given succour by 2334. This week, for example, saw Islamic guards harrassing an Israeli archeologist for using the term ‘Temple Mount’ on, er, the Temple Mount.

The sad reality is that an increasingly friendless Israel must now contend with a United Nations captured by Islamic nations and left-wing, socialist ideologues using every weapon at their disposal to delegitimise Israel’s hard won and constantly threatened nationhood and security. As our cover illustration makes clear, we believe 2334 deserves to live in infamy alongside other so-called ‘legal’ attempts to eradicate Jews.

If there is a bugle sound in the distance and an approaching cavalry, it is that of Donald Trump. Let us hope that he is as good as his word when he tweeted: ‘We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but.. not anymore. Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!’

Israel’s international isolation was brought home by a snide article in the Daily Telegraph by ‘the former Anglican bishop of Canberra and President of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network’, George Browning, who felt there were ‘troubling questions’ regarding Malcolm Turnbull’s support for Israel, which he connected to ‘certain powerful domestic constituencies’. You mean Jews, George?

The Jerusalem Post rightly paid special tribute to the recent comments by Mr Turnbull and Julie Bishop, who spoke out, in their own ways, against the vote for 2334. Ms Bishop stated that it was ‘unlikely’ that Australia would have supported the resolution, were we still on the Security Council, whilst Mr Turnbull, speaking at a menora-lighting ceremony, denounced the resolution as ‘one-sided’ and ‘deeply unsettling’.

As the Australian noted, the Post’s pro-Australia stance came after Tony Abbott wrote in these pages calling for Canberra to cut its $40 million-a-year aid to the Palestinians so long as they are still paying pensions to ‘terrorists and their families’. Mr Abbott’s Jerusalem Diary in last week’s Speccie caused quite a stir, generating headlines here and abroad. Twice last year we ran articles concerning – and yes, this really is ‘troubling’ – allegations of money from Australian charities or churches finding its way into the hands of Palestinian terrorists.

A statement from Ms Bishop confirmed that ‘Australian aid to the Palestinian Territories is under review after the aid program for World Vision in the Palestinian Territories was suspended last year’.

At a time when our nation’s finances are in poor shape, the last thing the Aussie taxpayer needs to hear is that their hard-earned readies or charitable donations are possibly being used for nefarious purposes. As such, we fully support Mr Abbott’s call for a reduction to – we’d go so far as to urge an abolition of – Palestinian aid largesse until such time as the Palestinians acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. We also strongly support the suggestion to relocate our embassy to Jerusalem. If symbolism is so important, as the Left keep insisting, then there could not be a more powerful nor overdue symbolic gesture for us to undertake in support of a friend. We also share One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts’ displeasure with New Zealand. The Senator suggests cutting Kiwi benefits in Australia.

With Islamists having hijacked much pro-Palestinian activism (Gaza clerics urging their flock to ‘stab! stab! stab!’ Jews, the screening of revoltingly anti-Semitic children’s TV shows, etc.) support for Israel is not only a necessity in and of itself, but a critical component in a strong Western coalition against terrorism.

Glad we can play our part.

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