Palestine: Bob Carr’s Mistakes Need Correcting

December 27, 2016 by David Singer
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Australia’s former Foreign Minister has entered the debate concerning Security Council Resolution 2334 passed on 23 December with his article in the Sydney Morning Herald “The Genius of the UN’s Resolution on Israeli settlements” (December 27).

His contribution is riddled with the following errors that cannot be allowed to stand unanswered and uncorrected and need to be rectified.

  1. He states that Theodor Meron in 1967 advised that the Geneva Convention says no nation may settle its own population on land it wins in war.

What Mr Carr omits to tell readers is that Mr Meron changed his opinion on the applicability of the Geneva Convention in 1968 when he co-signed the following advice to Israel’s then Ambassador to the United States – Yitzchak Rabin:

“to tell the Americans that there are unique aspects to the status of the territories and to our status in the territories. Before the Six-Day War, the Gaza Strip wasn’t Egyptian territory, and the West Bank, too, was territory that had been occupied and annexed by Jordan without international recognition. Given this ambiguous, indeterminate territorial situation, the question of the convention’s applicability is complex and unclear prior to a peace agreement that includes setting secure and recognized borders.”

  1. Carr claims Meron is alive today, an eminent international jurist. He says he was right then and is right now.

No evidence is supplied by Carr to substantiate that claim – which is obviously rebutted by Meron’s revised 1968 opinion to Rabin.

  1. Carr claims all settlements in the West Bank are illegal.

Wrong – all those settlements are legal under article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter – territory-specific legislation that dates back to 1922 and is still valid today.

  1. Carr claims that Israel has been spreading settlements as fast as possible to render it impossible to achieve a two-state solution.

Wrong – the settlements cover only 5% of the West Bank territory. Israel made offers to cede its claims to 90% of the West Bank in 2000/1 and 95% in 2008.

There has been no settlement because the Arabs want 100%.

  1. Carr claims Israeli Governments have gifted settlers the best land.

Wrong – the land given to settlers has been land that has mainly remained unsettled and undeveloped for the last 3000 years. It comprises State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes as prescribed under Article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine.

  1. Carr claims that if the Palestinian Arabs throw up a granny flat without approval in Area C it is promptly demolished by army bulldozers.

Wrong – the granny flats are being thrown up by the European Union without approval to create facts on the ground. Yes – they are being demolished as happens to any illegal structures built in Australia.

The European Union has no right to charge in without authorisation.

  1. Carr asks – If Israel is really open to giving the land back in a peace deal why allow settlements in the first place?

Because the Arabs refused to negotiate with Israel between 1967 and 1993 and Israel was legally entitled to do so. Had they come to the party sooner the situation would have been different today.

Israel did the same in Gaza and unilaterally disengaged from every square inch of land there as well as a part of the West Bank in 2005 to advance the two-state solution.

  1. Carr relies on Obama’s envoy and former Ambassador Martin Indyk to confirm settlements destroyed the deal.

Yet between 1948 and 1967 there were no settlements after all the Jews living in the West Bank had been driven out by the invading Transjordanian army. The Arabs could have had their state at any time during those 20 years in precisely the area they now claim for themselves with the stroke of an Arab League pen.

They could have had an even greater area had they not rejected the 1947 UN Partition Plan.

Carr finally twigs when he states that historically the aged and corrupt Palestinian leadership has to bear some responsibility and that they’ve let their people down.

Too many offers have gone begging and will not return again given the horrendous events being played out in the Middle East right now.

  1. Carr claims the Palestinians are offering a demilitarised state – a Palestine without an army –and Western peacekeepers within their borders. It is hard to imagine more explicit security guarantees.

Please Mr Carr – direct me to the source of this very important information.

  1. Carr claims the 83% Arab population of the West Bank is being ruled by a racial and religious minority of 17%.

Wrong – 95% of the Arab population live in Areas A and B and their daily lives are completely ruled by the PLO. Only 5% of the Arabs live in Area C under Israeli rule.

Bob Carr relying on incorrect and unsubstantiated facts – like the United Nations – is in a state of complete denial about Jewish rights to settle in the West Bank and the legality of Jewish settlements.

He should take the time to better acquaint himself if he wants to be believed.

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network


8 Responses to “Palestine: Bob Carr’s Mistakes Need Correcting”
  1. David Helfgott says:

    This item should not be allowed to slip away ignored.
    I eagerly await Mr Carr’s educated reply.

  2. David Samson says:

    Carr’s waffle sounds very much like another Israel hating leader by the name of Carter.

  3. Jack Nathan says:

    Carr was never a friend to Israel. His role as foreign minister was an embarrassment.
    He even had the hubris to think he could become prime monister

  4. Leon Poddebsky says:


    He has had plenty of opportunities to discover the facts.
    He claims to be an avid amateur historian, so had he wanted to be objective, all he had to do was to go to the freely available sources.
    We all recall how he glorified Hanan Ashrawi, a woman who denies that Jews have any national rights in The Land of Israel. Handing her “The Sydney Peace Prize” was as hilarious as it was revealing.
    Let’s remember, too, that his attitude towards Jews goes beyond the conflict issue: he resents “the felafel lobby’s” lobbying activities, as if Jews should be forbidden from putting a case to the Australian government. In his book that’s undue influence. Democratic, eh?

    Remember his lament about a people that has been so persecuted over the centuries now becoming persecutors themselves? Nice, eh?

    Contrast his utterances with Julie Bishop’s retort to the assertion that the communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal: she replied, ” I’d like to see which law says that,” or something to that effect.

  5. john nemesh says:

    David should9if he has not already) send this to the SMH.

    • david singer says:


      Good suggestion.

      Have just sent the following Tweet to the Herald with a copy of this article attached

      #BobCarr’s article on #SecurityCouncil Resolution #2334 is full of factual errors that need correcting.

      Interesting to see if the Herald takes action.

      Everyone else offended by Carr’s article should twitter the Herald as well.

  6. david singer says:


    Quite frankly I don’t think Bob Carr knows the truth – but has only used false facts that have been fed to him by others to form his opinion and caused him to so drastically change his position over the years.

    The errors he has peddled in this article are outrageous and factually incorrect. He needs to admit his errors. Prominent people like Mr Carr make these errors and they are accepted as the truth by unsuspecting readers because they automatically believe that no former Foreign Minister would ever get his facts wrong.

    I would be more than glad for Mr Carr to come on to JWire and tell me it is I who have got the facts wrong – not him – and justify his position.

    I will be the first to apologise to Mr Carr if he proves any of my 10 claims to be factually incorrect.

  7. Leon Poddebsky says:

    David, isn’t it the case that he knows the truth, but prefers to invent his own “facts” to suit his agenda?
    Is it possible that a foreign minister of an enlightened progressive country, where rationality and truth are respected, could be unaware that what he wrote is a goulash of the opposite?

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