JEWISH community leaders have praised the Australian government for voting against a series of anti-Israel resolutions in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last Friday.
Australia and the US voted against each of the resolutions and issued forceful statements against a particular item which blamed Israel for the so-called “suffering” of Syrian citizens in the Golan Heights.
As well as condemning human rights abuses against the Palestinians, the resolutions also called for an arms embargo against Israel, for Israel to withdraw to pre-1967 lines and for Israel to halt settlement activity.
Zionist Federation of Australia president Danny Lamm said his organisation “applauds Australia on its principled vote”.
Lamm said the UNHRC, “which counts human rights ‘luminaries’ such as Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Qatar and Iraq as members, has an obsessive pre-occupation with Israel”.
While eight countries including Britain abstained, only four countries voted against the resolutions. “We are delighted that Australia – which only joined the UNHRC this year – was amongst those four,” said Lamm.
Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council national chairman Mark Leibler said, “We thank the Australian government for doing the right thing and voting in a principled way against these resolutions, which epitomise the terrible biases and counter-productive approach which have long dominated the UN Human Rights Council.”
Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Anton Block said, “Once again, a UN body has betrayed the aggrieved peoples of the world by choosing to privilege the Palestinian cause above all others for the sole reason that it presents an opportunity to condemn the Jewish State.
“However, as Australians we can take immense pride in the fact that our government chose to stand apart from this absurd spectacle,” he said.