Having read the runes, I concluded my 5/12/09 post Tunnel Vision thus: "Given Australia's tendency to cosy up to Israel at various UN and other fora (and Shalom's hugs & kisses for our cold-shouldering of Goldstone and Durban II), I can't help wondering if this hopelessly laid-back land isn't being subjected to the hard word - along the lines of Cut the tease, bitch. If you really love me, you'll move your embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem."
Well, there's no more wondering, folks - the cat's finally out of the bag. Here's part of the report in today's Australian Jewish News on the Melbourne leg of the so-called Australia Israel Leadership Forum (See Tunnel Vision for the Sydney bit):
"If the shared sense of joy underlined the longstanding relationship between the two countries - a common theme in the keynote addresses on the night from [DPM Julia] Gillard and [Silvan] Shalom - one point of contention was raised by [Avi] Dichter when he took to the podium. Insisting that 'Jerusalem will never return to the borders of 1967', the Kadima Knesset member said: 'Australia was the first country to vote for the establishment of Israel as a Jewish state in 1947, Australia was among the first countries to vote against Goldstone. And Israel was among the first countries to support the Australian effort to be a member of the UN Security Council. But Jerusalem is still not recognised by any country as the capital of Israel, even by our closest friend... I think it's time to take another historic first step in our close relations and let's open the Australian embassy in Jerusalem'." (Dancing Deputy commits to Israel)
That's right, folks, the AJN reports Gillard "dancing the hora" (and Shalom "singing Let It Be"). And, if you didn't get it first time around, here's a slice of the AJN's editorial:
"As the successful forum draws to an end, the question that should be asked is what can now be done to raise the bar and take relations between the two countries to the next level? A challenge by visiting Kadima legislator Avi Dichter to the Australian Government may be a key to answering that question. 'Jerusalem is still not recognised by any country as the capital of Israel, even by our closest friend', Dichter told a gathering in Melbourne. 'We deserve and we expect such a step and there would be no better way than to open an embassy in Jerusalem. So my dear friends, I think it's time to take another historic first step in our close relations and let's open the Australian embassy in Jerusalem'. If the European Union can declare, as it did this week, that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state, Australia can and should be prepared to make a powerful statement of its own on Jerusalem, and finally acknowledge the reality on the ground: that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and is the rightful address for the Australian embassy - today and not tomorrow." (Strengthening the ties that bind Israel to Australia)
Check out the language: We deserve and we expect - Australia can and should - today and not tomorrow.
The opening paragraph of the just issued EU Report on Israel Annexing Jerusalem reveals what is at stake here: "Long-standing Israeli plans for Jerusalem, now being implemented at an accelerated rate, are undermining prospects for a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and a sustainable two-state solution. Although Israel has legitimate security concerns in Jerusalem, many of its current illegal actions in and around the city have limited security justifications. Israeli 'facts on the ground' - including new settlements, construction of the barrier, discriminatory housing policies, house demolitions, restrictive permit regime and continued closure of Palestinian institutions - increase Jewish Israeli presence in East Jerusalem, weaken the Palestinian community in the city, impede Palestinian urban development and separate East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. Israel is, by practical means, actively pursuing the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem."
And Gillard danced the flogging hora!!!
PS: Here's a particularly juicy bit of the AJN's AILF coverage I missed. The language says it all: "Hailing the success of the forum, AILF chairman Albert Dadon said: 'I think it went particularly well. We achieved all our objectives... to have the Israelis come to Australia, to talk on specific issues, to develop those relationships between Australia and Israel in a way that hasn't been done before. Relations are already very good. But what we have been able to achieve is to have frank and open dialogue on issues we wouldn't normally tackle, simply because they are taboo or because they're usually not on the agenda'." (Dancing Deputy commits to Israel, 11/12/09)
Seems nothing's taboo anymore. The world will not, repeat not, respect us in the morning.