POLICY STATEMENT – ISRAEL
Throughout its history Australia has had good international relations with Israel. Australian troops played a significant role as part of the British forces in the area in WW1, especially the Light Horse at the Battle of Beersheba. The ANZACs also contributed greatly in WWII. Australia was the first to vote in support of Israel at the UN Partition plan passed by the UN on November 29, 1947. Full diplomatic relations were officially established in 1949. Australia has had excellent trade relations with Israel and both sides of politics have supported Israel ever since. However, there has been a trend in the 21st century by many in Australian politics to reverse or weaken this long-standing relationship.
Rise Up Australia Party (RUA Party) supports governments that rule by democracy and allow freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press over those that do not. Israel is the sole functioning democracy in the Middle East and we applaud its decision to allow Arab citizens who had been in the land for as little as two years to become citizens when it first became a sovereign State in 1948[i] and that some of these citizens have served, or their descendants now serve, as members of the Israeli parliament.
For the same reasons that RUA Party considers Sharia law detrimental for Australia and promotes integration rather than enclaves with a separate legal system, it supports Israel in its stand against these divisive practices that are incompatible with democracy.
RUA Party would actively seek to encourage other nations in the region to allow democratic freedoms under their jurisdictions.
2. Israel and the United Nations
RUA Party would restore bipartisan support for Israel which was damaged when Australia abstained rather than voted against the recognition of a Palestinian State on November 29, 2012 at the United Nations General Assembly.
RUA Party deplores the bias of the United Nations which has passed over one hundred resolutions against Israel since 1948 whilst virtually ignoring Arab aggression and many world-wide human rights atrocities.[ii] [iii] [iv] Despite being the only functioning democracy in the Middle East, Israel routinely faces more criticism and condemnation at the United Nations than any other country.
3. The Two-State Solution
RUA Party upholds that the two-state solution was already formulated last century when the Ottoman Turkish Empire was divided after WW1. The nations of Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel were formed and the territory known as Palestine was divided between the residents (known as Palestinians) allowing for a future homeland for both Arab and Jewish citizens. The area east of the Jordan River, comprising 77% of Palestine, where the residents were largely of Arab descent, was named Transjordan, and in 1946, this became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The area west of the Jordan River, comprising 23% of the territory of Palestine, where many Jews had returned and settled was allocated to the Jewish Palestinian population for their future homeland. In 1948 this became Israel. We therefore believe that the Palestinian State already exists as the country of Jordan. This is the two-state solution.[v]
Those who lived in Israel who do not wish to live under Israeli rule, but who have legitimate land claims, should be compensated and assisted to re-locate to Jordan or other Arab countries. RUA Party deplores the attitudes of Arab nations to use ‘refugees’ as political pawns.[vi]
4. The Peace Process Failure
RUA Party believes that Israel should not further negotiate land-for-peace deals unless the Palestinian organisations and surrounding nations formally recognise Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation in their midst ratifying this legally and in a binding manner.
RUA Party will not support any country or people group engaging in ‘peace’ talks with Israel (in English) while its leaders call for Israel’s destruction, summon their people to war, and train their children in aggression against Israel (in Arabic). RUA Party will call for transparent media reporting of the facts in these matters.[vii] [viii]
5. Israel has the right to defend itself and live within secure and defendable borders
RUA Party supports Israel’s right to defend herself against aggression, including reasonably foreseeable potential aggression, and to do whatever is necessary to keep its people safe from terrorist or military attacks. RUA Party questions the continual and aggressive use of the term “occupied territories”[ix] in reference to land that was taken in defensive military operations in retaliation for war being imposed on Israel[x], or ongoing attacks from its Arab neighbours[xi].
6. Trade relations
RUA Party would encourage and promote trade relations with Israel. Australia has much to gain from Israeli inventions and ingenuity especially in the fields of medicine, physics, water management and hi-tech computer technology, and can also learn much about the absorption of people from many different ethnic backgrounds.
RUA Party opposes the anti-Semitic actions of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and its efforts to cripple the Israeli economy.
7. Jerusalem as Israel’s Undivided Capital
RUA Party upholds Jerusalem’s right to be the undivided capital of the Jewish people. It will call for Australia to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, move Australia’s embassy to Jerusalem and call other countries to do the same. Jerusalem is mentioned over 800 times in the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament), and not once in the Qur’an. A remnant of Jews has lived in Jerusalem almost continually since King David made it his capital around 3,000 years ago, even when most Jews were living in exile. It has great cultural, historical and spiritual significance for the Jewish people. RUA Party therefore considers that Israel and the Jewish people have the right to call this their capital.
RUA Party considers that the current Muslim focus on Jerusalem is politically motivated rather than religious. During the years of Muslim domination of Jerusalem from 637AD to 1917 by various Islamic groups (except for the Crusader period of 1099 to 1187), the city was never made a capital city and barely developed. Jerusalem has only been considered a major Muslim pilgrimage centre since it was captured by Israel in 1967.
RUA Party supports Islam’s claim to both Mecca and Medina as holy sites. Pilgrimage to Mecca is called for in Islamic writings and has a long history. Muslims pray facing Mecca, not Jerusalem.
RUA Party supports Muslim’s rights to visit and worship on Temple Mount within manageable numbers, and calls the Muslim Waqf to make a reciprocal arrangement for Jews to freely and safely visit and worship on the Temple Mount.
8. Religious Freedom and Holy Sites
RUA Party recommends that Israel be given and retain governance over all holy sites within her borders. When Israel has oversight, freedom of religion and access for international pilgrims has been assured for all religions.
RUA Party calls for the Jewish people to be allowed free and safe access to their holiest site, Temple Mount, and other Jewish holy sites in the land, and for unrestricted access for local and international pilgrims to Christian sites.
[i] Peters, J., From Time Immemorial, J KAP publishing USA, 1984, Page 4
[ii] Kofi Annan, in his speech at the opening of the 61st General Assembly of the UN in Sept 2006, said, “On one side, supporters of Israel feel that it is harshly judged by standards that are not applied to its enemies, and too often this is true, particularly in some UN bodies” http://www.un.org/webcast/ga/61/pdfs/sgstatement_to_the_ga06.pdf
[iii] False and misleading claims promoted by the powerful bloc led by the Arab nations http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/UN/israel_un.html
[iv] The long list of resolutions against Israel can all be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_UN_resolutions_concerning_Israel_and_Palestine
[v] During the British mandate, Jews were not permitted to settle in the area of Transjordan, east of the Jordan, but Arabs could settle in the Jewish areas, west of the Jordan (i.e. West bank). Peters, Op.cit. Chapter 14
[vi] During the 1948 War of Independence, there were approximately 650,000 Arab refugees who fled from the area which became Israel and about 600,000-800,000 refugees who were forced to flee Arab countries due to the political situation. However the Jews were absorbed by the new Israeli state and are no longer refugees, while the Arab nations refused to absorb them and left their people in limbo as political pawns. Peters, Op.Cit. Pages 398-399
[vii] Considering that previous land-for-peace swaps have only led to further aggression, peace talks should only proceed when all rockets and aggression has ceased, with leaders speaking peace (in Arabic, not just in English) and teaching their people to live in peace not calling for further attacks.
[viii] Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, terrorists have fired more than 8,000 rockets into Israel. Over one million Israelis are currently living under threat of rocket attacks. More than half a million Israelis have less than 60 seconds to find shelter after a rocket is launched from Gaza into Israel. In 2011 alone, 630 rockets from Gaza hit Israeli towns. Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 after 611 people had been injured and 15 killed in that year. Most of this goes unreported by the Western media who eagerly send headlines about Israeli aggression when they finally retaliate.
[ix] The territories re-captured by Israel in 1967 were territories that had been specifically designated for a Jewish national home under the legally binding Mandate for Palestine in 1922, based on the decisions of the Principal Allied Powers in San Remo in 1920. The Mandate for Palestine recognized the historic, cultural and religious ties of the Jewish people to the Holy Land, and the fundamental principle that Palestine should be reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish people. The International law of belligerent occupation has no application, as a matter of law, to these territories (Israel has applied these law on a voluntary basis since 1967, and has never abandoned claims to sovereignty over the West Bank and Golan Heights). The so-called pre-1967 borders have no legal status as boundaries, as they were ceasefire lines which were not intended to prejudice the underlying rights and interests of the parties. There is no basis under international law for the claims that Jewish settlements in these territories are illegal, or that these territories belong to the so-called Palestinian people. See
[x] 6 Arab nations immediately went to war against Israel on declaration of the State of Israel in 1948. In 1967, Israel responded to Egyptian, Iraqi and Syrian leaders breathing Israel’s annihilation and the amassing of 465,000 troops plus tanks and aircraft against Israel. In 1973, Israel was attacked on its most holy day, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) by Syrian and Egyptian forces.
[xi] Former State Department Legal Advisor Stephen Schwebel, who later headed the International Court of Justice in the Hague, wrote in 1970 regarding Israel’s case: “Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.”  ^ Yehuda Z. Blum, The Missing Reversioner: Reflections on the Status of (Judea and Samaria, 3 ISR. L. REV. 279, 289–90 (1968) – Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Status_of_territories_captured_by_Israel)