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The Australian Prime Minister’s Rapture for Jerusalem

Trump’s declaration on recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli state and the transfer of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is the natural continuation of 100 years of colonization in Palestine and the 1917 Balfour Declaration. It is part and parcel of the ongoing attempt to liquidate Palestinian rights and to accelerate the ethnic cleansing of our people, especially in Jerusalem.

– Ahmad Sa’adat

Why the sudden Australian foreign policy shift on the matter of Jerusalem?

Initially PM Scott Morrison’s captain’s call to move the Australian embassy to Jerusalem was a desperate ploy to garner the Jewish vote in the October Wentworth by-election. The Morrison government was then warned against changes to Australia’s status on Jerusalem by its own Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Defence Department and ASIO.

The largest Muslim nation, Indonesia, Australia’s neighbour and largest trading partner, expressed its objection indicating the bilateral defence cooperation commitment may be threatened as well as $16.5 billion free trade (trade with Israel is worth $1.5 billion) agreement under negotiation.

At the East Asia Summit in Singapore, Malaysian PM Dr Mahathir’s reasonable prediction that an Australian embassy move was “adding to the cause for terrorism” was met by virulent condemnations of antisemitism by Australia’s Jewish treasurer, Josh Frydenberg.

On 11 December, PM Morrison announced that Australia intended to formally recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel but, due to a $200 million cost, would delay moving its embassy from Tel Aviv.

On 15 December, at the pro-Israel Sydney Institute, Morrison announceda quasi-compromise; it recognised West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital preempting Jerusalem’s status as  a corpus separatum to be  resolved solely between Palestine and Israel.

The tone of his speech was like a comedy spoof of Moses carrying aloft divine pronouncements for his daring deliverance of Palestine and Israel – except there was nothing divinely newfangled to be heard. It amounted to a hardshell of the hackneyed ‘conventional wisdom’ replete with ambiguities and hasbara-cliches:

+ Repeated slavish adherence to the dead, departed, defunct, belly-up two state solution.

+ Israel = victim : Morrison bemoaned that there was “biased and unfair targeting of Israel,” “Israel is bullied”  by “anti-Semitic agenda masquerading as defence of human rights” and  “ritual denunciations of Israel,” Israelis “live under existential threat

+ but he was stridently silent on Palestinian suffering under Israeli brutal occupation. Morrison, the zionist apologist extinguished“what Rabbi Jonathan Sacks called the “five cardinal sins against human rights: racism, apartheid, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and attempted genocide.”

with

+ “Think about it: a nation of immigrants; with a free press; parliamentary democracy; financially prosperous; the source of tremendous innovation in the world; and a refuge from persecution and genocide, is somehow the centre of cruelty in the world.”

Talk about ‘intellectual fraud’!

+ The on-cue regurgitation of Israeli official propaganda that Palestine’s resistance movement under Hamas = terror.

+ He stated, ‘the Australian Government has also resolved to acknowledge the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a future state’ but to date Australia has not joined the 137 nations that have recognised the State of Palestine  and under Morrison’s direction Australia abstained  on UN Resolutions that condemn Israel.

+ The ‘rancid stalemate’ of Morrison’s moral retardationis no more evident than in his pious insolence that Australia has an entitlement to be an important voice for Israel; ‘We have turned up; we have played our part; we have done our share and we have paid the price through great sacrifice. That’s what gives us a microphone on this topic’. To back this up he rolls out the Battle of Beersheba but not the British -Anzac Sarafand Massacreas well as Australia’s key role in drawing up the partition of Palestine omitting that there was no legal mandate todo so,“The United Nations had no business offering the nation of one people to the people of many nations. Its General Assembly had neither the legal nor the legislative powers to impose such a resolution or to convey title of a territory; Articles 10, 11 and 14 of the UN Charter bestows the right on the General Assembly merely to recommend resolutions.”

It appears that Australian security pressure has watered down Morrison’s gung ho recognition to only West Jerusalem. On 14 December, the Department of  Foreign Affairs warned Australians going to popular Indonesian holiday destinations to “exercise a high degree of caution” recalling PM Mahathir prediction of possible retaliatory terror attacks against Australians. On the bright side, Morrison’s  diluted endorsement has unwittingly put his ‘great friend’ in a bind: – of the 610,000 illegal settlers in the West Bank,  215, 000 live in East Jerusalem which was illegally annexed in 1967.

That said, what could be moving Morrison  to doggedly rush Australia to the edge of a political precipice?

Some ideas are worth considering:

A) There is an alarmingracist i.e. OK to be whiteJudeo-Christian arrogance underlying the Morrison government that overlooks the religious significance of the Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem on which stands the third holiest site in Islam where the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven for 1.8 billion devoted Muslims, and underestimates theirintelligence to see that the Australian ratification of WestJerusalem as Israel’s capital is identical to moving its embassy to Jerusalem and is therefore a political and religious threat.

B) The right-wing conservative coup in August replaced the quasi-secular PM Malcolm Turnbull who refused to move the Australian embassy in respect for the UN position

“The abiding position of the United Nations on Jerusalem was that the city remained a final status issue to be determined through a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to be negotiated between the two sides concerned on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions and other agreements”

with their man, Scott Morrison, who openly identifies as an evangelical and pentecostal member of the The AustralianChristian  Churches.

Morrison stressed that “politics is about doing what you believe in”.. of concern is what he and his evangelical brethren believe:

Pentecostalism is a charismatic evangelical faith. Evangelical Christians take the authority of the Bible as absolute and believe in the fulfilment of “the “prophecy” of the conversion of the Jews, the second coming of Jesus, the final judgment, and the end of the world — the events referred to as the biblical apocalypse” when only believers would rise in Rapture with Jesus to heaven.

Unconverted Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists Sikhs, Jews, Athiests, Taoists etc etc will perish in hell.

About 15 million American Christian Zionists, such as US vice-president Pence, together with the Jewish Lobby have a powerful political influence on the White House that advances Israel’s violent expansionism in Palestine,

“evangelicals who backed Donald Trump in the presidential election have since been pressuring him to pursue policies in line with positions embraced by the settler movement. These include moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and enabling new settlement construction in the West Bank.” Haaretz

Millions of evangelical dollars are directed to the illegal settlementsand invested in the very settlement businesses that the Palestinian BDS movement targets. The mutually exploitative relations between the evangelicals and Jewish Israelis is like two cannibals greedily feasting on each other,

Persico explains why evangelicals are such avid supporters of Israeli settlers and Jewish claims to the entire West Bank. For these groups, he says, “it is essential that Israel control Jerusalem and the entire Promised Land, in order to set in motion the events of the much anticipated Armageddon. The settlers, of course, do not believe this narrative, but they are happy to take advantage of evangelical beliefs in it.” Haaretz

Ideologically, assuming Jesus died to save all humanity, then the essence of Christianity is Agapic equality. So, logically the flaw within the evangelical fulfilment of biblical prophecy is that it is radically exclusive therefore UnChristian. So following on, disrespecting Jerusalem as a Muslim Holy Site and abandoning the political and human rights of Palestinian families to save your own skin is UnChristian, immoral and repugnant (and fantastical).

C) Is Morrison rushing through the controversial recognition of the biblical capital because he may only a small window of opportunity before he is likely defeated in the 2019 May election?

If religious expedience is a factor overriding the serious consequences of the conservatives’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, then Morrison’s zealous rapture for Jerusalem is challenging the separation of church and state in the Australian democracy, challenging Australian political and economic relationships with neighbouring Asian partners, challenging world peace and may well shake up anAustralia’s political apocalypse.

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Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001.

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