My latest for LobeLog examines the machinations by Israel, the US and the UK around the PLO bid for upgraded status at the UN General Assembly, particularly the ridiculous conditions that they tried to get Mahmoud Abbas to accept.
Australia has long been one of the countries that often, though not always, have voted in the United Nations General Assembly with the United States and Israel in votes
overwhelmingly going against them. It had been made clear by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard that this would be the case again. She promised that Australia would oppose the rather tepid resolution the Palestinians are bringing to the general Assembly to upgrade their status to Non-Member Observer.
But her “best” intentions were thwarted by a revolt within her own party, Labor, when her cabinet ministers warned her that Labor’s parliamentary caucus would vote against her decision to support the Israeli position and that this could cause a crisis that might even bring down her government. So, Gillard has decided that Australia will abstain in the UN vote.
The significance of this is not lost on Israel, though the scant global attention being paid to it indicates that it is lost on many others. Australia’s close relationship to Israel is long-standing, and has been consistent through both center-left (which is Labor) and center-right governments. Continue reading