Exactly a year ago on this page and on our cover we denounced the Obama administration-sponsored United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 in the strongest possible terms, labelling it a ‘direct existential threat’ to Israel.
2334 denies the legality of Israeli settlements, including – crucially and ominously – within East Jerusalem. As we suspected, Barack Obama’s and John Kerry’s eleventh-hour move would be a watershed in the Left’s and the Islamic world’s relentless campaign to delegitimise not only the state of Israel, but the history and heritage of the Jewish people themselves.
And so it has turned out.
But we did have some good news to report. As we pointed out, Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop were to be commended for comments each made appearing to suggest, although not specifying, that Australia would ‘probably’ not have supported resolution 2334 had we still been on the Security Council ourselves. These vague assertions were enough for the Jerusalem Post to lavish praise on Australia as ‘one of Israel’s few true friends’. Not long after, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an historic visit to these shores, where Mr Turnbull assured him of the enduring friendship between our two countries and went so far as to criticise the UN, saying: ‘We do not support one-sided resolutions which condemn or criticise Israel.’ Fine words. But were they matched with fine actions? Alas, no.
In that same editorial, we strongly supported the suggestion made by Speccie Diarist and former PM Tony Abbott in the previous week’s issue that we should ‘join any move by the Trump administration to move its embassy to Jerusalem.’ We wrote: ‘If symbolism is so important, as the Left keep insisting, then there could not be a more powerful nor overdue symbolic gesture for us to undertake in support of a friend.’ We also approved whole-heartedly of Mr Abbott’s call, similarly made in these pages, ‘for a reduction to Palestinian aid largesse until such time as the Palestinians acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.’
Equally, we pointed out that the imminent inauguration of President Trump was ‘a bugle sound in the distance’ signifying the ‘arrival of the cavalry’.
A year on, we find our prediction about Mr Trump happily fulfilled, the Diary observations of Mr Abbott accurate, prescient and insightful, but the praise for Mr Turnbull and Ms Bishop tragically misplaced.
In the run up to Christmas, President Trump did announce his plans to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as Mr Abbott had predicted. True to form, the UN immediately opted for a vote in the General Assembly attempting to deny this action and to reverse this reality.
At this point, Australia had the option of doing what Diarist Abbott had urged, and what PM Turnbull had implied he would do, which was to stand up to the bullies by voting in support of our two key friends and allies, the US and Israel.
Disgracefully, Australia chose the coward’s option and abstained, with Ms Bishop making the ludicrous and ghoulish claim that the future of Jerusalem could only be decided with the approval of the world’s Muslim nations.
Can she be serious? As we go to print, Ms Bishop’s beloved Iran is being convulsed by yet another bloody uprising, as brave women risk their lives tearing off that symbol of oppression – their headscarves – that Ms Bishop herself so pathetically opted to wear. Why on earth should the status of the ancient religious and cultural capital of the Jewish people be beholden to the medieval whims of murderous tyrants of the Muslim world? And why is Australia following the likes of Britain and France by selling out the Jews?
Is it to curry favour with Muslim voters in Sydney and Melbourne? Is such the value of our word and the loyalty of our ‘friendship’?
Perhaps the Jerusalem Post might like to re-think that editorial.
Just when you thought it was safe to assume 2018 would see an end to the trite cultural distractions of the ‘progressive’ Left and the beginning of serious political debate about critical issues, such as debt and energy, up pops… the Republic! Complete with its own mooted Postal Plebiscite (woo-hoo!) and a divisive, time-consuming ‘open discussion’. Despite the swift denials, how long ‘til certain Libs are caught wearing red bandannas at the Cherry Bar?
Subscribe to The Spectator Australia today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator Australia for less – just $20 for 10 issues