Lavinia Moore (SA) writes to the Prime Minister re welcome received by Israeli war criminal Ehud Olmer in Australia 27Nov09 November 30, 2009

I have had my attention drawn to an event which has appeared to have slipped beneath the radar in terms of information to the Australian public, both in terms of Government announcements and media comment.

Ehud Olmert visited Parliament House and was accorded a welcoming “Hear!Hear!”

I am no longer surprised that my government offers a welcome to someone who has not only been subject to indictments for corruption in his own country, but has been mentioned in possible war crimes indictments should he visit the U.K. amongst other things.

My lack of surprise has come about after noticing other actions by my government. These actions appear to show that there is a disconnect between the principles laid down in U.N. Conventions and laws and which underpin honourable behaviour on the part of nation states and their leaders, and on the other hand selfinterest and political or personal expediency.

Actions that I consider to be based on self-interest and expediency include the following:

  1. Earlier this year the Australian Parliament and Government celebrated the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.  It however refused to acknowledge or commemorate the anniversary of the Nakba, without which Israel would never have been able to be born into existence.
  2. More recently, my government’s representative- the Australian people’s representative- in the U.N. voted against the acceptance of the Goldstone Report and its referral to the U.N. Security Council for action in terms of independent and thorough investigations into whether war crimes were committed during the Israeli attack on Gaza in December 2008-January 2009.

I do not understand the actions of my government in the context of being a government of a free democratic country that believes in the rule of law and respect for international conventions such as the Geneva Conventions.

I do not understand how my government believed that it was acceptable to provide a suspected war criminal and an indicted criminal facing corruption charges with a visa to visit this country, and even worse to permit him to visit our centre of government and then welcome him as a V.I.P.

Since when has Australia been a country which welcomes such people? Will the next step be that we will provide a safe hiding place for war criminals seeking immunity for their crimes?

These actions are shameful.

I am writing to protest the actions of my government and remind you that as a representative of the Australian people I expect you to abide by the rule of law and the U.N. Conventions that we are signatory to.

I believe that such Conventions are right and proper, and that for my country to be regarded as right and honourable, we should be seen as abiding by them.
By the letter and in spirit.

My belief in my country does not waver, but my trust in my government is ebbing away.  These things matter to me and I believe they matter to a great many of my fellow Australians. I hope that you can convince me that they also matter to you.

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