Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Australia's Foreign Policy Shame

What a bizarre, bottom-dwelling cult is the ALP these days.

And, as always, it's the party's stance on the question of Palestine, more than any other perhaps, that should strip away any lingering illusions we may have that it is anything more.

A simple, straightforward, morally correct decision to vote in favour of Palestine's cap-in-hand bid for observer status in the United Nations General Assembly is simply beyond it. Instead, in deciding to abstain, it's positioned itself, in cowardly fashion, on the fence.

In addition, but for what has been described in the ms press as cabinet and backbench revolts, its parliamentary leader and prime minister, Julia Gillard, in complete thrall to the planet's most deluded and psychotic national entity, would have had us alone and palely loitering on the international stage with naught but the US, its toxic brat, and maybe Canada, for company.

While one would think the ALP long past embarrassing, one gets the distinct impression that the aforementioned 'revolts' were really nothing more than a desire by ministers and MPs to avoid international ignominy. To hell with notions of elementary justice for the Palestinians, the governing party, warned by former Labor foreign minister Gareth Evans, who had briefed Labor MPs on Monday, that "[it] would be on the wrong side of history if [it] stood with the US and Israel against the rest of the world," has merely recoiled from the idea of being shamed in such a public manner.

It goes without saying, of course, that the Abbott opposition is immune from any shame whatever, with its foreign affairs spokeswoman, Julie Bishop, quoted as saying the government's "decision to abstain was disappointing because the Coalition backed a no vote as 'the path to peace and reconciliation'," a position virtually indistinguishable from that of the Prime Minister's "personal view," which was that a vote in favour "would hurt the peace process because the US has threatened to withdraw funding for the Palestinian Authority."

Perhaps the only satisfaction to be gleaned from this whole sorry saga is that "the Israeli government is understood to be furious" and "seething," and the Government's 'Minister for Israel', Michael Danby, "is said to be heavily bruised by the stoush after pushing for Australia to reject the Palestinian bid."

[Quotes drawn from Backbench revolt forces PM to drop Israel support, Phillip Coorey, Sydney Morning Herald, 28/11/12; Gillard rolled on Palestine, The Age, Daniel Flitton, 28/11/12)]


Anonymous said...

Don't knock it. It's a win - albeit a minor one. The fact that the Labor Caucus was willing to fight Gillard on this for whatever reason is good news. The more the US is isolated on this issue the better.

Denise said...

It must be the first time for years that an Australia foreign minister has dared to deviate from the US line. I agree it is only part of the way towards justice but it is one step in the right direction.

Peter D said...

I'd be interested to know if Gareth's argument swayed their opinion, or whether the "pandering to the Western Sydney Middle-East vote" line run by tv news today was what done it. Methinks the former has the ring of truth to it. Channel 9 today was bending over backwards to avoid mentioning the possibility that supporting Palestine in the vote might be the ethical and decent thing to do, which turns said possibility into the elephant in the room.

Kevin Herbert said...

The Liberal Government is next.

Abbott & co are wedging themselves on this issue, and there's scandal waiting in the wings for them.