Sunday, May 18, 2014

Our Klutz in... East Jerusalem

On Tuesday [?], Australia's ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma, met Israel's Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel in the latter's East Jerusalem office.

East Jerusalem, of course, is Israeli-occupied (and illegally annexed) Palestinian land.

As chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has said in a protest letter to Australian officials:

"It should be noted that diplomatic recognition of the situation created by the attempted annexation of our capital is a flagrant violation of international law... Australia's ambassador to Israel meeting with Israeli officials in East Jerusalem has the effect of attempting to legitimize the illegal situation on the ground and may be deemed as aiding, abetting or otherwise assisting illegal Israeli policies... As such, Australia's actions are tantamount to complicity in ongoing Israeli violations of international laws of war." (Bishop rebuked over envoy's East Jerusalem visit, Daniel Flitton, Sydney Morning Herald, 17/5/14)

The account of the meeting in Israel's Haaretz suggests that Sharma has wandered cluelessly into an Israeli propaganda trap:

"An all-too-routine meeting was held Wednesday morning between Israel's Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel and Australian Ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma. In fact, nobody would have known this meeting was even happening, had it not been for a press release distributed by Ariel's bureau blatantly pointing out the fact that the talks between the two were taking place at the government compound in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Most of the international community does not recognise Israel's authority in East Jerusalem. Therefore, few diplomats or representatives of foreign nations - if at all - would come to an official meeting with Israeli politicians or government officials in that part of the city. Media outlets self-identified as right wing and with Ariel's Habayit Hayehudi party - such as the NRG website and Israel National News - were quick to publish that the meeting was taking place, presenting it as a sort of Australian recognition of Israeli authority over East Jerusalem... It is not certain that the Australian ambassador in Tel Aviv should worry about the future of his diplomatic career. On of the reasons is that [Australian Foreign Minister Julie] Bishop said during her visit to Israel in January that she is not convinced settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem constitutes a violation of international law. At the time, she told The Times of Israel... that she wanted to verify what international law deems it to be illegal." (PA complains to Australia after envoy meets Israeli official in East Jerusalem, Barak Ravid, 15/5/14)

Good one, Dave! You're everything and more that Israel could ever have hoped for in an Australian ambassador. Oh, and the perfect foil for that other klutz, Julie (Fourth Geneva Convention? What Fourth Geneva Convention?) Bishop.

For Dave's record of *cough* service for -?-  just click on his label below.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Clueless Jules does not waste a minute blasting Russia for breaches of international law.

The comparisons between Russia and the Bandit State are not so clear cut.

Just how many Palestinians were ever calling out to be occupied?

Another case of selective justice.