Australian FM Julie Bishop with PM Benjamin Netanyahu during her visit to Jerusalem in September. (Youtube/Screenshot) (Youtube/Screenshot)
Netanyahu and Julie Bishop

Australia stands with Israel. We support Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East,” the Australian prime minister stated.

Australia is not a member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), but if it were, it would not have supported the anti-Israel resolution passed over a week ago, condemning Jewish settlements in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria as obstacles to peace, the prime minister and foreign minister indicated.

The UNSC vote passed 14-0. In a stunning shift in policy, the US abstained, rather than using its veto to block the resolution.

In a statement released Thursday, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said her country does not support “one-sided resolutions targeting Israel.”

Her government, she said, remains “firmly committed to a two-state solution, where Israel and a Palestinian state exist side by side in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders.”

At a Sydney synagogue, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also slammed the UNSC resolution, calling it “one-sided” and “deeply unsettling,” the Australian Jewish News reported.

According to the report, Turnbull made the remarks at Central Synagogue on Friday, where he took part in a menorah-lighting ceremony for Chanukah.

“Australia stands with Israel. We support Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East,” he stated. “We support a peaceful resolution of the disputes between Israel and the Palestinians.”

A two-state solution “can only be negotiated between the parties,” he said. “It is not assisted by one-sided resolutions made at the councils of the United Nations or anywhere else, and that is why Australia has not, and does not, support one-sided resolutions.”

Bishop visited Jerusalem in September, where she and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly had friendly meetings. The Israeli leader accepted an invitation to visit Australia in 2017.

“The Australian public would warmly embrace you, welcome you, and we would look forward to the first visit of an Israeli prime minister ever to Australia,” she told Netanyahu.

The current Australian government was inaugurated in July 2016 and is considered very friendly to Israel. Bishop publicly stated two years ago that the international community has no authority to decide on the legality of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

By: United with Israel Staff

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