Christian groups across Australia this week signed, and widely-circulated, a letter to their government, expressing consternation at a recent policy announcement that has aligned the country tightly with Israel’s avowed enemies.
The letter was drafted immediately after Foreign Minister Penny Wong declared that Australia – which just months ago rescinded its recognition of part of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – would henceforth be referring to the other part of Jerusalem, together with the ancestral heartland of the Jewish nation, Samaria and Judea, as well as to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, as “Occupied Palestinian Territory” (OPT).
Wong also fallaciously asserted that the 144 Jewish towns and neighbourhoods in Judea and Samaria, home to over half a million Jews, are illegal under international law.
Her announcement was made in the runup to the 49th National Conference of the Australia Labor Party (ALP) that is underway in Brisbane this week, and at which it is feared the decision will be taken to officially recognise a non-existent “State of Palestine.”
In their letter, the organisations – representing “hundreds of thousands of Australian Christians” under the banner of the “Southern Cross Alliance for Israel” (SCAFI) – said they were “dismayed” by the decision, and urged the government “to reconsider and correct” its policy.
The term Occupied Palestinian Territory, they wrote, “wrongfully implies that Israel has no legal title in Judea, Samaria or Jerusalem, and that Gaza is occupied by Israel.” (Israel completely exited the Strip in 2005; to use a term coined by the Nazi’s, Gaza is judenrein.)
OPT also “suggests that any Jewish presence in places where Jews have lived for thousands of years, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem including [where] Judaism’s most sacred, ancient and holy site, the Kotel and Temple Mount [are situated] is ‘illegal,’ simply because Jordanian forces ethnically ‘cleansed’ it of Jews between 1948 and 1967.”
The Christians detailed their understanding of “the basis for Israel’s claims” to parts of Samaria, Judea and eastern Jerusalem:
- the international legal mandates for the establishment of a Jewish homeland there, under the League of Nations in 1920 and renewed under the UN in 1945;
- the doctrine of succession of territorial title within the boundaries of the previous British government at the time of Israeli independence in 1949;
- the absence of a competing legal sovereignty in [Judaea and Samaria] at the time of Israeli occupation in 1967;
- the absence of any international rule at that time prohibiting acquisition of land taken in a war of self-defence;
- the Jewish right of self-determination in indigenous land in Judaea and Samaria; and
- the security imperatives of control on the hills overlooking Jewish population concentrations in the coastal centre of Israel.
- There has never been any legal commitment, legal document, treaty, agreement, contract or formal binding resolution that has determined that the territories belong to the Palestinians – or that they are under Palestinian sovereignty. (UNSC Chapter VI Resolutions are recommendations and not binding, as are UNGA Resolutions).
The authors recognised that Judea and Samaria “can be described as disputed territory because Israel gained control of it in a defensive war and relinquishing all control would pose an existential threat [to Israel].
“For Australia to prejudice peace negotiations by unilaterally declaring borders in a disputed territory is absurd and will only entrench Arab intransigence,” they concluded.
“We respectfully urge you to reconsider and to correct this government policy.”
SCAFI chairman John Lockwood told Israel Today that the letter will be delivered directly to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Wong at the ALP conference, where official recognition of “Palestine” is to be considered.
No such state – and no Palestinian nation – has historically existed. Nor do the Palestinian Arabs possess the prerequisites for statehood, which include a settled population, well-defined territorial boundaries, a government, permanence, sovereignty, a political capital city and a head of state.
“It’s on their agenda for discussion,” said Lockwood. “The left is pushing hard; [whether or not it will happen] depends on whether Penny Wong pushes a yes vote.”
According to an Australian Broadcasting Network (ABC) reporter Thursday, the purpose of the three-day-long ALP conference is “to build the Labor Party’s platform in readiness for the next federal election” in 2025. A Friday morning session will be dedicated to discussing “Australia’s Place in a Changing World.”
Just where that place will be, if the so-called progressive party has its way, has Christians Down Under deeply concerned.
For multitudes of Australians, one of the most glorious chapters in that young country’s history was the vital role the ANZAC (Australia New Zealand Army Corps) played in liberating the Jews’ historical homeland from the Ottoman Turks in World War One. That campaign, which included the celebrated Australian Light Horse charge at Beersheba, opened the way for the rebirth of Israel in 1948.
Albanese’s Australia has chosen to side with those who remain collectively committed to the destruction of the Jewish state, and the return of the Holy Land to Muslim control.
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