The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) expressed its gratitude to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne for Australia’s strong rejection of biased anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last Friday.
The UNHRC ultimately passed five resolutions condemning Israel. Australia was the only nation which voted against all five texts – neither the US nor Israel sit on the UNHRC. Notably, for the first time, all the European UNHRC member states took a joint decision to vote against “Item 7” – the permanent agenda item which singles out Israel. Japan and Brazil also voted against this resolution for the first time. Unfortunately, the resolution passed 26 for and 16 against.
President of the ZFA, Jeremy Leibler stated that “It’s no surprise but nevertheless disappointing that these biased and one sided resolutions were passed at the UNHRC. Once again, Australia has shown clear moral leadership on the world stage, voting against these resolutions and against UNHRC standing agenda item seven – a recurring Israel-bashing item which the UNHRC tables each time it meets, that itself signals the inherent bias of this organisation”.
“It is unacceptable that Israel continues to be the target of the UNHRC’s rancour, simultaneously ignoring the gross violations of human rights perpetrated by Syria, Hamas and the Palestinian authority,” Mr Leibler added.
“Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne have shown principled leadership with Australia’s strong stance at the UNHRC last Friday. Australia has long been regarded as a sensible voice in foreign affairs and a long-time friend and partner of Israel. We hope that Australia’s leadership on this issue will encourage the UNHRC to focus its energies on the many human rights abuses occurring around the world,” Mr Leibler said.
Mr Leibler noted that “the UNHRC”s obsessive focus on Israel occurred in the same week that 7 Israelis were injured as a result of rockets being fired indiscriminately into central Israel. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those injured in this terrifying attack not far from Tel Aviv”.
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