Australia and Israel: For such a time as this

January 14, 2017

The contemptible UNESCO resolutions concerning Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the burial grounds of Israel’s founding fathers in Hebron have shown again how fierce and unrelenting the effort is to delegitimise Israel by disputing or seeking to sever its ancient roots in—and millennia-long ties to—this land. That such international positions are taken against the Jews’ indigeneity is appalling enough. What defies belief is that Judea-Christian nations (like Australia and Israel and America for example) whose cornerstone is the same Bible that authenticates Israel’s claims to its land, to Jerusalem and to the Temple Mount have not rallied to stand with Israel against this assault on the origin of all Christians and Jews.

Can Australia be different?

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop describes her nation’s relationship with Israel as warm and close. Aussies hardly need me to note that there is so much more that has gone into this mateship than just diplomacy and co-operation. An enormous amount of Australian blood was shed to help liberate the Jews’ historical homeland in World War I, and to keep the Nazis from reaching this land and killing its Jews in World War II.

Ties have continued to deepen between the two countries and, during the tenure especially perhaps of Tony Abbott, Australia was exemplary as virtually the only country that refused to try and strong-arm Israel into the “two state solution.”

As you may know, Australians, Benjamin Netanyahu is set to soon become the first sitting Israeli Prime Minister to visit your country.

As he declared in his visionary address to the United Nations on September 22, 2016, Israel is widening the circle of its diplomatic missions and strengthening new ones. Against all the odds in this prejudiced and hostile world, Israel believes it is moving strongly into a new era.

It is an era Australia could not only move into along with Israel, but one your nation can actually help bring about by cementing this friendship in a most significant way.

Did you know that, of all* Australia’s embassies and high commissions, Israel is the only country which does not have the senior diplomatic representative of the Australian government in its designated capital?

Australia’s official position on this matter has been in line with the rest of the overwhelmingly anti-Israel world’s that—apart from the United States Congress—refuses to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Ms Bishop holds that Israel isn’t making an issue of this with Australia, and that in any case, “all other countries with diplomatic representation in Israel” maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv.

“After 100 years, Australia, why wouldn’t you stand with your mate?”

That is not a justifiable argument. It is still wrong. And there is no international law stopping Australia from making it right by moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

This act of indefensible discrimination is one Australia can and should move immediately to amend, and Mr Netanyahu’s upcoming visit is a golden opportunity to do so. Although no official request in this regard is being made, it is an extremely important matter for the Government of Israel – an issue all of Israel, and Jews everywhere, quietly yearn to see addressed.

Were the initiative for such a move to come from the Australian government rather than in response to an Israeli complaint or request, it would incomparably reinforce the friendship between the two nations and the fruits both would reap would be rich.

A campaign has been initiated to encourage Australians to write their federal lawmakers asking them to bring the matter to the floor for debate. I want to strongly encourage you, the reader, to take just a few minutes to write yours – a handwritten letter in a stamped envelope is much more impacting. Use your own words. Points can be taken from below: [see notes below]

As a matter of interest and encouragement, a similar initiative is being worked on in the Czech Republic and in The Netherlands. And US President-elect Donald Trump has committed to moving the American embassy to Jerusalem when he
takes office.

Apart from Mr Netanyahu’s Australia visit, 2017 will see at least two other momentous, related events:

The 100th anniversary on October 31 of the charge of the 800 Australian Light Horse in the Battle of Beersheba – a glorious moment near the dawn of your nation’s history that so impacted the subsequent rebirth of Israel’s national home.

The 50th anniversary on June 10 of the return of the Jews to the cradle of their nationhood and to their holiest site – the Temple Mount.

These interrelated anniversaries offer a wonderful occasion for the young nation of Australia to stand solidly with the ancient, indigenous and restored nation of Israel – a nation whose legitimate and historical claims its enemies—who are also Australia’s—seek to sever and deny.

After 100 years, Australia, why wouldn’t you stand with your mate?

“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:14

*Nauru has no officially designated capital. While Amsterdam is constitutionally the capital in The Netherlands, the Government is located in The Hague – This is not to be compared with Israel however because Jerusalem is the seat of the government, home to the president’s residence, government offices, supreme court, and parliament.

Why Australia has every justification for supporting Israel’s claim to Jerusalem, and no justification for opposing it:

  1. Australia was founded as a Judeo-Christian country “humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God” (preamble to the “Act to Constitute the Commonwealth of Australia” July 9, 1900).  As Justice Hargraves famously commented concerning Australia 26 years earlier: “…‘Christianity is part and parcel of our general laws’ [and] all the revealed or divine law, so far as enacted by the Holy Scripture to be of universal obligation, is part of our colonial law….” (Ex Parte Thackeray 1874)
  2. Christianity – and therefore Australian Law that is rooted in Christianity – is founded on and informed by this Bible, which quotes Almighty God as bequeathing the land of Israel, inclusive of Jerusalem, exclusively and forever to the line of Abraham’s offspring through Isaac and Israel (and away from the line of Ishmael and Esau).
  3. The Jewish people are the only indigenous people of the geographical area known in the Old and New Testaments and historically as the Land of Israel.  The Jews are the only nation that was formed in this land, where their founding fathers still lie buried.
  4. As David Ben Gurion stated on declaring Israel independent: This historic connection between the Jewish people and this ancestral land (including the “West Bank” and the city of Jerusalem) was recognised in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and affirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations.
  5. According to its Declaration of Independence, in 1948 the State of Israel was founded explicitly and unequivocally in “the birthplace of the Jewish people” as “the Jewish state.”
  6. The Jews have regarded Jerusalem as the capital of their national homeland for 3000 years.
  7. No other nation has ever claimed Jerusalem as capital – nor has it ever been the seat of any other national government in history.
  8. The hope of and belief in their ultimate return to Jerusalem – as expressed every year at Passover for thousands (thousands!) of years, and as prayed for daily by every devout Jew down through those twenty centuries – sustained the Jews as a people in the Diaspora.
  9. Jerusalem serves de facto and de jure (under Israeli law) as the seat of the government, home to the president’s residence, government offices, supreme court, and parliament.
  10. Despite these indisputable facts, Israel is the only country whose capital city of choice is rejected by the international community.  This patent discrimination exclusively against the Jewish nation reeks of that most ancient of racial prejudices – anti-Semitism.
  11. On July 30, 1980, the democratically-elected Israeli parliament – the Knesset – passed The Jerusalem Law (Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel).
  12. United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 declared the Jerusalem Law “null and void” and called on member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from Jerusalem.  Australia has the right to act independently and is not bound to comply with this call.
  13. Many countries officially adhere to the proposal that Jerusalem have international status, as called for in the Partition Plan of 1947.  The Partition Plan was a General Assembly resolution that has no legal standing.
  14. The international community insists that it will not recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel because of the Palestinian Arabs’ (violence-driven) insistence that it wants half of the city for the capital of a future Palestinian state.   The suggestion that the Palestinian Arabs also have a claim to this city is spurious. It has never (never!) been theirs and they have never (never!) been a nation.
  15. There is a massive effort underway by Israel’s enemies to – in 2017 – have the Balfour Declaration declared illegal and the creation of the Jewish state seen as illegitimate.  This month’s UNESCO resolutions are only the latest steps in this campaign.
  16. The Muslim-led effort to delegitimise Israel at this most fundamental level of its claim to Jerusalem is also an assault on those nations of the world that, like Australia, were founded by men and women who believe in Almighty God and who revere the Bible.



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