"A Rudd Government policy switch risks shaking Australia's relationship with Israel and angering some members of the Jewish community." (Rudd at risk on Israel proposal, Brendan Nicholson, The Age, 10/11/08)
OMG!!! A slight deviation from the former Howard government's policy of automatic diplomatic support for just about anything and everything Israeli governments ever said or did, and all hell is about to break loose! Crikey, what have the Ruddies bitten off here? "The Government has supported United Nations resolutions calling for an end to further Israeli settlement in Palestinian areas and for acceptance by Israel that the Geneva Convention should apply in those areas. Acceptance of the convention would oblige Israel to commit to the convention's standards for the treatment of Palestinian civilians. Australia last year opposed the vote on settlements and abstained from the vote on the Geneva Convention. Both motions were opposed by the United States..."
Wowee! Australia has at last voted for the application of international law rather than its trashing. In doing so, we finally joined the rest of the planet, leaving the usual suspects - Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and the US - out on their diplomatic limb.
But then we got the wobbles (maybe some Rahmbo in the US delegation was glaring at our UN ambassador while drawing his index finger menacingly across his throat): "The Australian delegation opposed a futher motion calling for an investigation of Israel's civil rights record." We were, mind you, "concerned about the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories, but..." You guessed it: "but that motion was considered unbalanced because it did not take sufficient account of Israel's legitimate concerns about Palestinian attacks on its people." (IOW, if I can venture into the minds of our delegates, good sports one and all, and representing the world's most sport-obsessed nation, the so-called Occupied Palestinian Territories are not so much occupied as, well, sort of a level playing field, where two evenly-matched teams, both of whom can play dirty when it suits them, slug it out for the possession of the coveted Holy Land Cup.) Anyways, when it came to this one at least, we were (along with the Canadians) back on the old, familiar diplomatic limb with the United States of Israel and its Pacific pals.
But will this be enough to save the Ruddies from the wrath of "some members in the Jewish community"?