Not happy, Israel

October 1, 2011 by  
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The Australian Government has expressed disappointment at Israel’s announcement that it would build approximately 1,100 new housing units in East Jerusalem…but the ECAJ says the government has got it wrong.

 

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said the decision to further expand settlements was counter-productive to the Middle East peace process.

“This is an unwelcome development at such a sensitive time in the peace process and when the Quartet has just called on Israelis and Palestinians to refrain from provocative actions and resume direct negotiations,” he said.

The Australian Government calls on Israel to cease settlement activity, and for both sides to comply with the Roadmap obligations and urgently return to direct negotiations.

The Foreign Minister made his statement from Papua New Guinea where he is currently on an official visit.

Responding to Mr Rudd’s statement, ECAJ President Dr Danny Lamm said “The Foreign Minister is misinformed.  The 1,100 new housing units to which he refers are to be built in Gilo in south-western Jerusalem, not in East Jerusalem”.

“Every significant peace plan that has been put forward to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, including the bridging proposals of former President Clinton in January 2001, has provided for Gilo and other predominantly Jewish neighbourhoods of Jerusalem beyond the Green Line to be absorbed into Israel in exchange for parts of Israel’s pre-1967 territory”, Dr Lamm said. “This is also what Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, offered the Palestinians in 2008, including a map with a proposed border which would have granted the Palestinians land equivalent to 100% of the area of the West Bank and Gaza.  There has never been a similarly definitive counter-proposal from the Palestinian side.”

Dr Lamm said “Israelis living in areas which, on any view, will end up as a part of Israel cannot be expected to put their lives on hold indefinitely while the Palestinian leadership continues to be stuck in the historical dead-end of denying the sovereignty of the Jewish people even in Israel itself.  Time and history march on”.

Dr Lamm welcomed the Foreign Minister’s call for the parties to return urgently to direct negotiations, noting,  “This is what Israel has been calling for all along”.

Dr Colin Rubenstein, the executive director of the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, added: “We welcome the call for an urgent return to direct negotiations,but also note the Quartet proposal last week to do so without preconditions,a position Israel has responded positively to,but criticised by the Palestinians. In other words the Palestinian demand for yet another total settlement freeze has been rejected by the Quartet!

Further,the preliminary planning announcement about more housing units in Gilo represents natural growth within a Jewish neighbourhood in south-western Jerusalem that will remain part of Israel under any conceivable peace deal.And more generally, there has been no territorial expansion of Israeli settlements for almost a decade.”

Shadow Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told J-Wire: “The Coalition continues to call on the government about this matter. It seems Prime Minister Gillard and Foreign Minister Rudd are still of differing opinions and the only small statement I have seen Mr Rudd make on this matter was buried in a general address to the UN General Assembly on 22 September.”

 

 

 

Comments

3 Responses to “Not happy, Israel”
  1. lets talk tachles… all these people with their suits, pretending to know right from wrong…. and yet Australia, a modern nation is failing to lead by example! why cant we see an aboriginal in the work force in Sydney? why is it, that the world is so good at pointing at Israels every action, twisting it and shaping it according to their need? what did Mr. Rudd do in order to help the victims of oppression on his own land, when he was in power?.what would he do, if his own country and people, were under a constant threat, and from the day of liberation? what if instead of alcohol the aboriginals were to hold guns? what then? and what of the world going on and on about Sept 11? they invaded a country and justified two wars over one terrorist attack… how can the first world countries, preach us on having to fix their own wrong doing in the world….? was it not great Britain who puled out of Israel prematurely….? Hello! does anyone remmber anything? or does the western world suffers from illusion…? would they sign up a land to a group of leaders, who could easily become friends with the next coming international terror group….? or should we wait for another big attack such as Sept 11, in order for the world to wake up once more?

  2. Rita says:

    With the Foreign Minister coveting a job at the UN and with someone like Lee Rhiannon-nee-Brown in the mis-named party of the “Greens” holding the balance of power in the senate, what chance of being fairly treated and portrayed has Israel got !! ?

  3. Otto Waldmann says:

    Here’s a cogent argument from Danny Lamm, but would Mr.Rudd consider it !!??
    I hope that the tiny detail about the actual location of the aggressive and totally unpricipled Jewish settlement on….. whose land, was conveyed directly and forcefully to Rudd and reply sought.
    We need our politicians to be accountable and must extract relevant, detailed answers from them. Indeed, it is not enough to simply pose the question, but far more important to seek and obtain explanations when their attitude does not make sense, it is highly prejudiced and affect seriously our community’s state, otherwise we will be seen as being ourselves unreasonable by the same politicians !!

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