‘Voice of truth, honesty’

Nikki Haley addressing the UN General Assembly last Wednesday. Photo: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

THE United Nations General Assembly has “disgraced itself by siding with terrorists” after it passed a one-sided resolution last week condemning Israel for defending its Gaza border, Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Anton Block said.

Australia was one of only eight countries to vote against the resolution last Wednesday, which condemned Israel for using “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force” against rioters trying to breach the fence and called for an “international protection mechanism” for Palestinian civilians.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told The AJN the resolution “failed the test of balance”.

She said, “Its failure to mention the role of Hamas in the recent violence in Gaza and Israel’s legitimate security concerns and need to protect its population left the resolution one-sided and unacceptable.”

The resolution passed with 120 votes in favour and 45 abstentions, while an attempt by the United States to include a condemnation of Hamas was defeated.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called it a “morally bankrupt motion”.

Australia’s opposition to the motion did not go unnoticed by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, with spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon expressing his gratitude. “Your voice, the voice of truth and honesty, is tremendously appreciated in Israel,” he said via Twitter.

Block commended the Australian government and Bishop for “refusing to bow to the anti-Israel agenda” of resolution sponsors Turkey and Algeria.

“By condemning Israel for its response to a violent, armed and coordinated attempt to infiltrate its territory and abduct and murder its citizens, the General Assembly has disgraced itself by siding with terrorists who cynically use ordinary Palestinians as human shields, and compromised the right of all states to exercise their inherent right of self-defence to protect their people and their territory,” he said.

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council national chairman Mark Leibler and executive director Colin Rubenstein have written to the Foreign Minister to express their “sincere appreciation for Australia’s principled stance” in both voting for the scuttled US amendment and against the resolution.

Zionist Federation of Australia president Danny Lamm said, “The fact that following the resolution, Hamas tweeted a thank you to the UN tells us everything we need to know about the rotting core of
the UN.”