Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Doctor Who?

No gathering of Zionists and Labor politicians these days is complete without both parties dropping the name of former Australian Minister for External Affairs (1941-1949) Dr Herbert Vere Evatt (1894-1965):

"[O]n 29 January 1949 PM Ben Chifley announced that Australia would become one of the first countries to recognise the new state of Israel, describing it as 'a force of special value in the world community'. As President of the General Assembly, 'Doc' Evatt then presided over the historic May 1949 vote admitting Israel as the 59th member of the UN." (Kevin Rudd, Federal Parliament, 12/3/08) [See my 14/3/09 post The Israeli Occupation of Federal Parliament 3]

"The pivotal role played by Australia - and one Australian in particular - in the establishment of the State of Israel was celebrated at a gala event in Sydney on Sunday night. The Tribute to Doc Evatt dinner, hosted by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia and the Zionist Federation of Australia, was held on the 62nd anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly's adoption of the partition resolution that led to the creation of the Jewish homeland." (Honouring the Doc, The Australian Jewish News, 4/12/09)

"The work of Australian Labour leader Doc Evatt in 1947 towards the establishment of the State of Israel was acknowledged and Rudd received an ovation when he reminded the audience that 'the first country to vote for the establishment of the State of Israel was the Government of Australia'." (Rudd, Abbott & Shalom talk at Sydney Forum, jwire.com.au)

Get the picture? Doc Evatt's a Labor icon. Why, there's even an Evatt Foundation, at which you can read that: "[Evatt] realised many of the labour movement's highest ideals... His achievements and uncompromising stand for just principles in public life will always be remembered... Dr Evatt initiated Australia's first independent foreign policy and became widely recognised around the world as a supporter of the right of the smaller nations to peaceful development and equality... At the San Francisco Conference [of 1945], Dr Evatt spoke to the Great Powers on behalf of the other nations of the world with a voice that commanded universal respect. After 3 months of diplomatic struggle, the Charter of the United Nations was adopted, a Charter that had become more humane and larger in scope, now containing provisions for the poor, the weak and the oppressed, provisions that had never been envisaged by the Great Powers... In 1948 Dr Evatt was elected President of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The only Australian to have ever held the position, he presided over the adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the cornerstone of human rights protection throughout the modern world." (Doc Evatt: A Brilliant & Controversial Character, evatt.labor.net.au)

Very impressive, on the surface, yet how does one reconcile the alleged mover & shaper of the UN Charter with his support for the partition of Palestine?:

Article 1(2) of the UN Charter informs us that one of the purposes of the UN is "To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples..." Thus, partition being against the will of the majority of the inhabitants of Palestine in 1947, their right to self-determination was violated.

Article 80(1) informs us that "nothing in [the charter's chapter on trusteeship] shall be construed in or of itself to alter the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the UN may respectively be parties." Thus, the rights of the Palestinian people under the mandate instrument, including the right of self-determination, are preserved.

And how does one reconcile the alleged mover & shaper of the UDHR, Article 13(2) of which reads, "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country," with his evident lack of real concern for Palestinian refugees?:

"Evatt believed that the Palestinian refugees... should be treated as a separate humanitarian issue and that their unresolved status as refugees should not impede Israel's membership [of the UN]." (HV Evatt & the Establishment of Israel: The Undercover Zionist, Daniel Mandel, 2004, p 227)

Displaying a decidedly colonialist mindset, Evatt was clearly blinded by the light (unto the nations): "I believe the State of Israel will become a bulwark of Western Civilization in the Middle East." (ibid p 222); "... Israel has come to stay, will carry out the UN's decisions, and will be a powerful force for peace and justice within the UN." (ibid p 229)

Although laughably naive in hindsight, such a misreading of the Zionist project impelled Australia to back Israel's membership in the UN on May 11, 1949.

Speaking of which, here's the most interesting part of that General Assembly resolution (273 (III)): "Recalling its resolutions of 29 November 1947 [181: partition resolution] and 11 December 1948 [194: Palestinian right of return resolution] and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by the representatives of the Government of Israel before the Ad Hoc Political Committee in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions, The General Assembly... 1. Decides that Israel is a peace-loving State which accepts the obligations contained in the Charter and is able and willing to carry out those obligations; 2. Decides to admit Israel to membership in the United Nations."

That's right, to win membership in the UN Israel agreed to implement both Resolution 181 (in its entirety) and Resolution 194 which stated that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date." Needless to say, Israel is still a member of the UN and those refugees are still waiting for it to implement their return - 61 years later.

Following Israel's membership in the UN, the question of the status of Jerusalem arose. If Israel were to implement all of the terms of Resolution 181, Jerusalem would come under full international control. Having, as we have seen, agreed to implement 181 as a condition of its UN membership, "peace-loving" Israel (and Jordan btw, which had taken control of East Jerusalem) would tolerate only a limited internationalisation of the Holy Places. This proved too much for Evatt, however. "So far as Australia is concerned," he wrote, "we shall adhere steadfastly to the principle of a UN international regime for the whole of Jerusalem and Bethlehem as a corpus separatum." (Mandel, p 260) Australia thus went on to vote for a resolution calling for the internationalisation of Jerusalem.

Consistency surely requires that today's Labor politicians, who can't attend a Zionist gathering without invoking the 'legacy' of 'Doc' Evatt, base their Middle East policy on same. This includes, inter alia, the full implementation of UNGA resolutions 181 and 194, that is a two-state solution based on a 'Jewish' state in only 56% of Palestine (the % alloted to it by Resolution 181), international control of the whole of Jerusalem - East and West - and a return to their homes of all Palestinian refugees and their descendents. Should Israel not agree to this, the Rudd government should immediately begin proceedings to have Israel expelled from the UN.

Alternatively, they could stop dropping Evatt's name.


Anonymous said...

Terrific post - well done!! On my reading, Evatt was a man of principle (albeit blinded by his contempt of the lower races). This stands in stark contrast to the low-life that now inhabits the Labour party; they know they are doing wrong, but don't care as long as the Zionist money is not rallied against them.

Syd Walker said...

Yes. I only just read this post for the first time. Superb and very informative.

Just one query. You cite the terms of the GA res 273, which expresses the view that israel is a peace-loving state "which accepts the obligations contained in the Charter and is able and willing to carry out those obligations". You then go on to say "to win membership in the UN Israel agreed to implement both Resolution 181 (in its entirety) and Resolution 194 which stated that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date."

Do we have the text of Statements made by the Gov of Israel at the time to win acceptance for res 273? Did Israel directly and unambiguously agree to implement the earlier resolutions?

If Israel made specific public pledges at the time to carry out resolutions 181 and 194, they would seem to me even more compelling evidence of blatant duplicity than citing the (somewhat delusional) text of UN GA resolution 273 itself.

MERC said...

Good question. I'll look into it and get back to you.

MERC said...

The only reference on the internet I can find to "specific Israeli public pledges" is at kentlaw.edu, in 'On the Degradation of the Constitutional Environment of the United Nations by Leo Gross (The American Journal International Law, July 1983): "The reference [in the text of res 273] to these resolutions [181 & 194] resulted from a lengthy discussion in the Ad Hoc Political Committee in the course of which delegates asked the representative of Israel, Aubrey Eban, to clarify the future policy of Israel concerning refugees, the status of Jerusalem, and other matters. Some delegates may have desired to obtain committments. However, such efforts turned out to be without result other than the incorporation of references to the resolutions in question." (footnote 61) We need a transcript of the Ad Hoc Political Committee's proceedings. Sounds though like the issue was fudged.

Syd Walker said...

Thanks for checking this. It's a fascinating part of history I'd like to know more about.

Eban was a very smooth operator.