Statement on Australian UN votes

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The Zionist Federation of Australia commended the Australian Government for maintaining its principled voting record in the United Nations.

On 2 December, the UN General Assembly voted on five one-side resolutions involving Israel and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Australia voted against all five, being joined in that stance by Canada, Israel and the United States.

ZFA President Jeremy Leibler said, “Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne have made clear that Australia’s votes at the UN aren’t ‘pro-Israel’ or ‘pro-Palestine’, but depend on whether each resolution promotes or obstructs peace. Since the 1970s, the General Assembly has engaged in these annual one-sided attacks on Israel. These resolutions have achieved nothing for Palestinians, but have undermined the moral legitimacy of the UN General Assembly.” Mr Leibler concluded, “These resolutions have and continue to impede peace, and the Australian Government made the only moral decision available to it and voted no. We congratulate the government on its stance.”

Last year, Mr Morrison called out the UN as ‘the place where Israel is bullied and where antisemitism is cloaked in language about human rights’. The Zionist Federation of Australia awarded the Jerusalem Prize to Mr Morrison last year due to his ongoing efforts to strengthen the Australia–Israel relationship.

The resolutions passed yesterday in New York were annual resolutions that continue the operations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (the only UN committee devoted to a single people) and divisions and ‘special information programmes’ that support and propagate the Committee’s work. These include the promotion of boycotts against Israel and the dissemination of material that only considers Israel’s alleged obstruction of peace, and never Palestinian actions. Another resolution, disarmingly named the ‘Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine’ repeatedly blames and condemns Israel for the lack of peace and doesn’t mention the many Palestinian acts that obstruct peace. A final resolution called on Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights, but ignored both the ethnic cleansing and other crimes against humanity carried out by the Syrian government over the last decade, and the fact that Syrian territory has been used to launch attacks against Israel over the same period.

This session of the UN General Assembly will likely include a total of 17 resolutions that single out Israel, and one resolution each on serial human rights abusers Iran, Syria, North Korea and Myanmar, with two resolutions about Crimea.

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