Ali Kazak (ACT) responds to Peter Hartcher’s “Israel feels tarnished as critics apply apartheid tag” SMH 17Nov09 November 18, 2009

The Sydney Morning Herald: “Israel feels tarnished as critics apply apartheid tag” by Peter Hartcher, 17 November 2009

It is unfortunate that the Herald’s international editor  Peter Hartcher’s article “Israel feels tarnished as critics apply apartheid  tag” (17/11)  demonstrates the influence of an all-expenses-paid  trip to Israel.

The UN vote on the Goldstone Report shows Australia’s  international isolation, again, for the sake of Israel’s  occupation.  The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of endorsing the Goldstone Report.  In total, 114 states voted to adopt  the report and 18 objected.  By  isolating itself internationally, the government is wasting $40 million  of our tax money to gain international support for a UN  Security Council seat.

While Mr Hartcher incorrectly mentioned New Zealand  among the countries who voted with Australia at the UN for the resolution, he  failed to mention the banana republics such as the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau  and Panama. And while consulting  the views of Israeli academics he did not consult the views of any Palestinian  academics.

It is not correct at all  that Rudd’s government shifted emphasis in favour of the Palestinian cause.  What the government is doing is window-dressing, for example, by voting  for a resolution which states that the occupied Palestinian territories are  subject to the Fourth Geneva Convention but at the same time voting against  the resolution which condemns Israel for its violation of the Fourth Geneva  Convention in the occupied territories. The government is trying to  appear as if it is even-handed while the facts show that  it continues to be heavily biased towards Israel.

The nature of  Israeli racial discrimination is clearly shown where Australian-born Isi Leibler is allowed to immigrate to Israel just because he  is Jewish and I am denied the right to live in my country although I was born in Haifa, just because I am not.

Ali Kazak was formerly the Palestinian ambassador to Australia and Vanuatu.

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