Crikey Says

Nov 28, 2012

Crikey says: we can’t squib it on Mid-East forever

Julia Bishop blows up Coalition advantage, Labor promises an education revolution with no money or decisions: another day in Canberra. Visa is using government comments as an excuse to boycott WikiLeaks, we've learned. Plus Doha talks, mental health reform and a fond farewell to Peter Meakin.

Ordinarily we'd dismiss Labor's internal fight over recognition of Palestine and an upcoming UN vote on observer status. Certainly the rest of the world does. There's a farcical "we warn the tsar" quality to domestic debates about complex international issues. But while the political media is obsessed with the Prime Minister being rolled over the issue in caucus, it's the international diplomacy aspect that will really start to get sticky. Next year Australia takes its place on the United Nations Security Council. Debates about the effectiveness of the UN aside, the spotlight will shine brightly on the desk that bears our nameplate in New York and the way our representative casts our vote. From a middle power, Australia's voice will be among the 15 that really count. Only seven countries are expected to vote against the move to upgrade the status of Palestine -- Israel, naturally, the US, Canada and a clutch of Pacific island states. Labor MPs were right to question why the Prime Minister would join a minority group on a largely symbolic step towards achieving what our government says it wants -- a two-state solution in the Middle East. And so Australia will squib it, sitting on our hands for the vote that will please or appease no one. Once on the Security Council, we're going to have to do better than that.

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5 thoughts on “Crikey says: we can’t squib it on Mid-East forever

  1. AR

    As always, given the grovelling subservience this country always shows to the Hegemon.

  2. Warwick Glenn

    Finally, we are demonstrating that we don’t necessarily follow the dictate of the US, but not too much.

  3. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Like most western countries Australia will continue to “squib it” on Israel/Palestine for as long as we are in thrall to the United States. Israel defies the UN, America backs it. Israel defies the US, America backs it. Israel forges Australian passports for its murder squads, Australia does nothing, America backs it. There’s a Zionist rut and we’re lying in the bottom of it, face down.

  4. j.oneill

    One of the things that puzzles me about Australian politics is that Julia Gillard is described as being in the “Left” faction of the Labor Party. Yet it is impossible to find her holding a single “left” position on foreign affairs. Her slavish support for the Zionist cause is only one illustration of that.

    In an address to a media conference in London earlier this month John Pilger described her as the most warlike Australian PM of his lifetime. Is it not past the time when we discarded any pretence that she owes the least bit of allegiance to the Left and call her for what she is: an American/Israeli stooge who confuses her own personal ideology with Australia’s best interests.

    For the avoidance of doubt I should add that the Coalition response to the news that Australia was going to abstain on the Palestinian vote later today was to decry it for showing insufficient support for Israel!

    If you think that Australia is going to acquire a sense of international responsibility and show independence in its forthcoming Security Council voting pattern then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

  5. Ian

    This is sick. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – foreign policy should be made into an election issue.

    This is not just about poor, defenseless Palestine but about the maintenance of the US empire. It’s at the core of the rotten system that seeks to dominate the world with China the ultimate target. We are a danger to ourselves and to the world by behaving as we do. When the time comes China will defend itself using whatever means it has at its disposal including economic ones and Australia has a lot to lose.

    The US empire is in crisis and like empires before it it is determine to hang on. This time, though it’s a global issue. At the very core of all this has been Israel’s takeover of Palestine and the US support for it. The “captured” Western world does nothing to stop it and are in fact allies and complicit in the whole thing.

    This goes way beyond the middle East and perpetual wars. The US has controlled the debate and actions on climate change too and Australia has said or done nothing in response.

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