AUSTRALIA has stood firm in opposing six biased annual resolutions against Israel in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), including three on which it had previously abstained.
The government changed its vote to “no” on a resolution calling on Israel to return the Golan Heights to Syria, another ignoring Jewish ties to Jerusalem and a third which places the blame for the lack of peace with the Palestinians solely on Israel.
All six resolutions still passed overwhelmingly in the UNGA last Thursday.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne told The AJN that the government reviews its voting position on resolutions “in the context of changing circumstances, new developments, and Australia’s national interest”.
“Australia strongly urges all parties to the conflict to return to productive negotiations on ‘final status’ issues and the peace process as a matter of priority,” she said.
Israeli embassy spokesperson Eman Amasha conveyed Jerusalem’s appreciation for Australia’s “principled voting” on the resolutions.
“By voting against each of these resolutions Australia has chosen not to pander to anti-Israel pressure seeking to alienate and vilify Israel,” she said.
“Anti-Israel bias in the United Nations does not serve to expedite the peace process.”
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) also commended the government, particularly in regard to the three resolutions on which it had previously abstained.
Co-CEO Peter Wertheim said voting “no” on the Jerusalem resolution “has sent a message that Australia will not go along with attempts to airbrush the 3000-year long connection of the Jewish people with Jerusalem out of history”.