Dora McPhee (VIC) responds to McDonald’d “True friends must tell the truth” SMH 20Mar10 March 20, 2010

The Sydney Morning Herald:  “True friends must tell the truth” by Hamish McDonald, 20 March 2010

Hamish McDonald points out the farcical nature of Australia’s mild rebukes of Israel vis-à-vis the use of foreign passports for political assassinations and the continued illegal settlement activity in occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.  As a member state of the United Nations we have  obligations to ensure the rule of law and binding UNSC resolutions are upheld yet we fail miserably in bringing Israel to account to the long term detriment of the Palestinian people.

As Australia is a High Contracting Party to the Geneva Conventions we also have an obligation to ensure respect for the provisions of the Conventions, taking appropriate measures to compel Israel to abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular placing pivotal importance on the respect and protection of civilians from the effects of the hostilities. Under Article 146 of the Fourth Geneva Convention Australia also has an obligation to prosecute those responsible for grave breaches of the Convention.

And yet immediately after the worst of Israel’s violations in Gaza our government was stepping up its closer ties with Israel and speaking out in support of Operation Cast Lead and remaining silent on the collective punishment of the people of Gaza through the Israeli- imposed siege and blockade now in its fourth year.  This makes Australia complicit by its silence in all of the ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights. But first and foremost amongst them was supporting the Partition of Palestine a decision which violated the United Nation’s own charter of human rights, which is the root cause of the Israel/Palestine conflict – a decision that was never affirmed by taking it to the Security Council.

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