AIJAC and ZFA to Bob Carr: “We disagree”

August 13, 2013 by  
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The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council has said that it disagrees with Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s claim about the legality of settlements but adds there is more in the mix to be considered.

AIJAC logo 1AIJAC’s statement: “We disagree with Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s claim regarding the legality of settlements but that is not the principal problem with the policy shift he has led. We are disappointed that Senator Carr has altered a long-standing bipartisan policy in Australia by repeatedly asserting a contentious and disputed legal claim in a way which is both one-sided and which also potentially undermines  progress towards a negotiated two-state resolution to the conflict.

A strong case can be made that the Fourth Geneva Convention does not apply in the West Bank and, even if it does, that it would not forbid Israeli settlements there.  However, that aside, progress toward peace requires encouraging the Israelis and Palestinians to compromise and work together. Unequivocal proclamations on contentious legal claims prejudice the outcome of negotiations by narrowing the scope for compromise on important final-status issues, discourage flexibility in the negotiating process and detract from efforts to bridge the major differences between the two sides. We call on Senator Carr to return to the traditional bipartisan policy of placing principled and realistic support for negotiations toward a two-state resolution at the centre of Australia’s approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues.

zfalogoPhilip Chester, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia added: “The comments made by Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, at an event marking the end of Ramadan, again focusing on the legality of settlements, are disappointing and counterproductive. At a time when political leaders around the world should be doing everything they can to encourage both the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate without any preconditions or pressures, we do not believe that the Foreign Minister’s comments are helpful. “


11 Responses to “AIJAC and ZFA to Bob Carr: “We disagree””
  1. In relation to what Bob car:
    Bob Car like John Howard said many times that he was a friend of Israel so branding him antisimetic won’t do. Car was speaking to Muslems he had to please his audience so keep this in your minds OK

    • Otto Waldmann says:


      mate, to be honest, I never thought of that stuff the way you putit.
      Can you give us a kinda brain scanner with all the graphs even if the lines go way out of the screen, of how you arrived there and, mainly who supervised you on route !

      AJN not to be confused with Australian Jewish News bcs. at times they are even worse.

  2. Yosi says:

    Over the years Bob Carr has portrayed himself as a friend of Israel and the Jewish People.In actual fact Bob Carr like Kevin Rudd is a Chameleon and has shown that he is not our friend or a supporter.To deny Jews the right to live in Judea where Jews come from verges on antisemitism and is outright disgraceful.

  3. Pamela says:

    Seriously what would Bob Carr know about Israel! He should not be making inflammatory comments
    and concentrate on keeping his post as Foreign Minister. He made a total botch when he was NSW Premier! Congrats AIJAC ZFA

  4. AIJAC and ZFA may disagree with Bob Carr’s statements, however they are misleading the the Jewissh Community in asserting there is any question of the “legality” of the settlements. It is not only the EU and the USA who accept the Fourth Geneva Convention, but also the Supreme Court of Israel.

    Some Australian Jews may reserve the right to themselves to to oppose the Israeli Legal system but in doing so they are directly opposing democratic rule in Israel. The settlements are in direct violation to agreements signed by Israel and while there are Israeli political parties which do not support Democracy, many Australian Jews are appalled by the views of members of Knesset such as Bennett, Danon and others who wish to legalise the right to land by conquest.

    • David says:

      Ann Elizabeth Fink

      You are being very misleading on all three counts when you state the EU, USA and the Israeli Supreme Court accept the Geneva Convention

      1. The EU is not a signatory to the Convention.

      2. As to the USA – please note the following from the Harvard Program On Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research:
      “It should be noted that Israel’s objection to the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to territories it occupies is far from unique. The majority of occupying powers since 1949 have contested, at least in part, the applicability of the law of occupation in the territories they occupied, such as in the case of Iraq in Kuwait (1990), Russia in Afghanistan (1979-1989), Indonesia in East Timor (1975-1999) and the U.S. in Granada (1983) and Panama (1989). One reason for this opposition is that occupying powers often fear that acquiescing to the applicability of the law of occupation to territories under their control may have implications beyond the protection of the occupied population.”

      3. As to the Israeli Supreme Court – your claim is misleading – as is made clear from the Harvard Program:
      “In the Court’s perspective, the Geneva Conventions are not as a whole reflective of customary law (in the same way the Hague Regulations are). They can be enforced only partially on the basis of the customary nature of certain provisions. For instance, the Court has held that Article 49 (on deportations, transfer, and evacuations)—at least to the degree it prohibited individual deportations of persons who constitute a security threat— was inapplicable to the OPT because it did not express customary international law. On the other hand, the Court has held that Article 23 (on free passage of humanitarian consignments), Article 64 (on penal legislation), and Article 78 (on security measures and internment) were applicable to the OPT, as well as generally all provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention relating to detention.”

      The partial applicability of the Geneva Convention by the Supreme Court is however only one half of the picture.

      The other half that you and Bob Carr and now the Labor Party studiously ignore is article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter. Do you agree they are relevant to determine the legal right of Jews to live in the West Bank?

      What agreements do you claim are being violated by Israel in relation to the settlements?

      Who are the Australian Jews you claim are opposing the Israeli legal system and thereby directly opposing democratic rule in Israel?

      Facts rather than generalised and unsubstantiated statements would be appreciated.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      Ann love,
      what have you really got to gain by being publicly humiliated by David who, unlike you, knows what the hell he’s talkin’ about !!!
      Wouldn’t you be better off taking your toys ( live snakes, vipers etc.) and play in that intellectual quick sands pit/site specially built by that bloke Alex Feign famous for producing the purest organic venom !!??

  5. steve says:

    Mr chester….there is a difference between ‘not helpful’ and downright inflammatory bordering on racial incitement.

  6. David says:

    Congratulations to AIJAC and the ZFA for speaking out as you have.

    The issue now goes far beyond Senator Carr’s incorrect and inappropriate statement at the Lakemba mosque – because it has apparently now become Labor Party policy and is the view of Prime Minister Rudd himself -if Senator Carr has been correctly reported.

    Certainly to my knowledge there has been no statement issued by Mr Rudd or anyone in the Labor Party denying that it is now the policy of the Labor party that Jews have no legal right to live in the West Bank.

    I wonder what other surprises are to follow should Labor win the next election.

    • Phillip says:

      Put your mind at rest – they won’t win.
      And Julie Bishop’s views representingthe views and policy of the Coalition on this issue are in line with those of AIJAC and the ZFA.

      • David says:


        Whether Labor wins or does not win – Australia will have one of its major political parties with an anti- Jewish policy.

        That is something the Jewish community in Australia should be very concerned about.

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