The Australian government announced Â it would no longer refer to East Jerusalem as “occupied” territory in what one legislator called a “massive shift” in foreign policy.
PLO: Australia’s East Jerusalem decision ‘disgraceful’
Earlier Thursday, Canberra announced that it would no longer refer to disputed area as ‘occupied’ territory. Predictably, the Fakestinians are throwing hissy fits.
A senior Palestinian official said Thursday evening that it was “absolutely disgraceful and shocking” that Australia would no longer use the term “occupied” territory in reference to East Jerusalem, a shift announced by Canberra earlier the same day.
The announcement came as the Palestinians were marking Naksa Day, an annual commemoration markedÂ in remembrance of Israel’s victory during the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel captured East Jerusalem, the Old City and the West Bank from Jordan, among other territorial gains.
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“It is absolutely disgraceful and shocking that on the 47th anniversary of Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), and Gaza, Australian Attorney-General George Brandis is issuing such inflammatory and irresponsible statements… Such pronouncements are not only in blatant violation of international law and global consensus, but are also lethal in any pursuit of peace and toxic to any attempt at enacting a global rule of law,” PLO Executive Committee member and veteran politician Hanan Ashrawi said.
The Australian government had announced in a statement earlier Thursday it would no longer refer to East Jerusalem as “occupied” territory in what one legislator called a “massive shift” in foreign policy.
Attorney General George Brandis explained Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s position that using the word “occupied” was judgmental and does not contribute to the dialogue about the contested area, the Australian Associated Press reported.
“The description of East Jerusalem as ‘occupied’ East Jerusalem is a term freighted with pejorative implications which is neither appropriate nor useful,” Brandis said during a Senate meeting. “It should not and will not be the practice of the Australian government to describe areas of negotiation in such judgmental language.”
Ashrawi said that the “illegal annexation of East Jerusalem” is a “deliberate and egregious violation,Â not just of international humanitarian law and consensus, but of the basic norms of responsible behavior that governs relations among civilized states.”
“Trying to fabricate or distort the law to fit Israel’s lawless behavior is shameful and dangerous,” she continued. “Attorney-General Brandis, whether out of ignorance or whether out of blind bias, is trying to render Australia complicit in the Israeli occupation, and is forcing it to become an advocate of international criminal behavior.”
IsraelÂ effectively annexed East Jerusalem in 1980, unifying the city under Israeli sovereignty, though most of the international community hasÂ not recognized the move.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.
Read more:Â PLO: Australia’s East Jerusalem decision ‘disgraceful’ | The Times of IsraelÂ http://www.timesofisrael.com/plo-australias-east-jerusalem-decision-disgraceful/#ixzz33x4UXff5
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More from the Elder, here:
“The Palestinians handled this very badly. Such disagreements are usually handled in private,” the senior Australian source said, adding that the Palestinians’ behavior partially led to Canberra’s announcement this week to no longer refer to East Jerusalem as “occupied.”“Erekat’s letter was quite personal and does not reflect the way senior officials would usually write to each other. Apparently, they don’t put much stock in their relationship with Australia, and don’t really have appreciation for our financial support.”
Canberra also has not welcomed the establishment of the new Palestinian unity government, which is backed by Hamas – as the UN, the EU, and many countries have – but also has not severed ties with the PA, as Jerusalem would have liked. Aid will continue to flow to the new government, and Australian officials traveling to the region will continue to visit their counterparts in Ramallah.Â At the same time, Australia does not bar officials from meeting Israeli officials in East Jerusalem, as opposed to most other countries.Â (h/t Yoel)
Lieberman lauded Brandis’ stance as a “serious approach to the issue,” adding that the former’s remarks were “free of populism or efforts to kiss up to extreme Islamists, who terrorize anyone who dares tell the truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
“The territories [in question] have been part of Jewish history for thousands of years and were never a part of any Palestinian state, which never actually existed,” Lieberman went on to say.
Lieberman concluded with the hope that “additional countries will find the integrity and courage shown by the government of Australia.”
Judea and Samaria are not Palestinian land; at the very most there is debate about them. We also demand full ownership of them. Our historic, legal, and religious rights to them are greater than those of Saeb Erekat and Abbas.
The fight to legitimize our hold on the land of our life depends to a large degree on our determined activity and a righteous stance.Â The government in Australia changed, and along with it the definition of construction in east Jerusalem. It is no longer “occupied territory” but Israeli territory, the Jewish people’s only homeland.
Caroline Glick:Â Ending Abbas’s winning streak
The fact is that Israel has gotten nothing from playing along with American coddling of Abbas. It receives less support from Obama every day.Â And its willingness to go along to get along has demoralized and angered the Republicans who oppose what Obama is doing. It has given cover to Democrats who are loath to oppose the White House.
The time has come for Israel to stop playing this game, where the PLO gets to materially breach its agreements and so render them effectively null and void, while Israel, the sucker, keeps upholding them.
The time has come for Israel to stop collecting tax revenues for the PA. All of the money Israel collects and transfers to the PA is now serving Hamas directly.
And it isn’t enough to keep collecting, but stop transferring the revenues. The monies always end up being transferred eventually.
The only way to end this is by actually ceasing to serve as the PA’s taxman.
Obama won’t like it. But what’s he going to do? Facilitate Iran’s nuclear weapons program? Blame Israel for Palestinian aggression against it? Recognize and fund Hamas?Â The only way to get off this train is to get off. And disembarking is also the only way to impact US behavior.Â No single act by Israel will do more to empower the US Congress to stop funding the Palestinians than that.
And once that happens, a virtuous circle is formed, where at a minimum, Abbas’s winning streak will end.