Stewart Mills (NSW) writes to the SMH re government’s expulsion of Israeli diplomat 25May10 May 25, 2010

Australia’s decision to expel the Israeli diplomat was obviously a symbolic message of last resort.  And obviously Australia still wishes to remain friends with Israel.  However, I am glad that Australia is holding our friend to account.

Israel needs to be reined in and must end impunity.  Of course Israel should not tolerate rocket attacks from Gaza, but executions like this only add further fuel to the fire – to be used by future assailants.  Certainly Israel’s three year siege of Gaza (comparable to the Siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s); its attack on Gaza in 2009 (and its follow-up attacks); and its failure to take up direct talks even with the Palestinian Authority is a sign of a country that is not working in the bests interests of peace.

How long do Palestinians have to live caged in by Israel?  Israel has F16s, Apache helicopters, tanks, warships and white phosphorus that can be used at will against another people that has limited weaponry.  The International Criminal Court and the UN Security Council won’t step in.  What options are there for Palestinian people?  Where is the two state solution?

My sadness is this year’s decision by the Quartet  (ie the US, Russia, EU and the UN) to call for a two state solution in 24 months is another pipe dream.  Just as the failed dream of the Quartet’s Road Map in 2003 called for two states by 2005 and the Oslo Accords of 1993 that called for two states by 1997.  Why will this year’s decision be another failed dream?  Because countries like Australia only complain to Israel for using Australian property (such as passports) to kill; but do not hold Israel to account when it kills in defiance of international law.

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