Monday, November 10, 2008

Australia votes against Israel at the UN

From The ABC News, 10/11/08:

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith says Australia has voted against Israel on two United Nations resolutions ....

...Over the weekend Australia changed its vote to support a resolution calling on Israel to stop establishing settlements in the Palestinian territories. It also supported a resolution calling for the Geneva Conventions to apply to Palestinian territories.

Mr Smith says the new position is consistent with the Government's view on peace in the Middle East. ..."Nothing this Government will do will jeopardise our long-standing public policy and foreign policy commitment to a two-nation state solution for the Middle East and our very strong support of the roadmap to peace and the Annapolis peace process."

But the Federal Opposition has accused the Government of jeopardising the Middle East peace process. Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull has questioned the merits of voting against Israel.
"[That is] not simply highly critical of our friends in Israel but accuse the state of Israel of acting in breach of international humanitarian law," he said. "Does the Prime Minister consider this change of policy, Australia making that grave allegation of misconduct against Israel, is conducive to achieving peace in the Middle East?"
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