Dear Australian Government; Palestinians have the Right to Defend Themselves


Al Nakba, the Catastrophe, was not a one off event that happened in 1948, that was only the beginning. Al Nakba is an ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people by an overtly militaristic, genocidal Israel and our Australian politicians have given them the OK to do so. The Australian Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnball made this asinine remark: “Well, Israel risks extinction, Israel faces an existential threat every day … Israel can barely afford to lose a battle let alone a war”. Malcolm is drawing a long bow there, Israel is a military force with no equal in the Middle East, Palestine has no Defence Force, none, zip, nada.  It is disingenuous at best for him to make this statement of a powerful modern, nuclear force, determined to destroy a civilian population. Meanwhile Christopher Pyne is in Israel visiting ‘our’ friends in tough times while the slaughter of Palestinians continues down the road, the obvious inference is Palestine is not ‘our’ friend. How could we forget George Brandis’ disavowal of The International Court of Justice and the United Nations General Assembly who have deemed East Jerusalem part of the West Bank and an occupied territory? The Abbott government also registered opposition to a United Nations resolution to end ”all Israeli settlement activities in all of the occupied territories” and Julie Bishop questioned whether Israeli settlements on the West Bank were illegal. Then there is our Treasurer, Joe Hockey, himself a Palestinian, conspicuous in his absence from commenting on the slaughter in his ancestral country.

The above is spewed from a temporary member of the UN, a seat paid for at great expense, by the Australian taxpayer.

I hear the cry; ‘Israel has a right to defend itself’, sorry, no it doesn’t. However, Palestinians do have a right to resist and a right to self-defense under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. I hope that is simple enough for our gormless, spineless politicians to understand. Are Palestinians expected to just lay down and die so Israel can keep up it’s pretense as the only democracy in the Middle East, with the most moral army in the world and that they are somehow the poor victims here?

It is a fact in International Law, conveniently ignored, that Israel is a Belligerent Occupier, therefore has obligations and responsibilities to the Palestinian people.

Taking Care of the Civilian Population

Beyond the maintenance of law and order, Occupying Powers are responsible for the care of the civilian population, including its overall health and hygiene. In particular, the Occupying Power must, to the “fullest extent of the means available to it,” ensure the population receives adequate food, water, and medical treatment; if supplies in the occupied territory are inadequate, foodstuffs and medical stores must be brought in. National Red Cross and Crescent societies, like the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, must be permitted to conduct humanitarian activities, a requirement that also applies to other relief agencies, such as those that maintain public utility services, distribute aid, and conduct rescue operations.

In direct contravention, Israel bombs the utility services and relief agencies: UN Shelters, schools, hospitals, Mosques, the only power station, farm land so on and so on and so on, ad nauseam, for over half a century. Israel is deliberately targeting the health sector and if we believe Israel has the right to defend itself we should also believe them regarding ‘surgical strikes’, but we should remind Israel that doesn’t mean targeting where injured Palestinians receive surgical help. It also suggests that all the children and civilian infrastructure that has been destroyed is deliberate. We know, thanks to WikiLeaks, that the Israelis calorie count, allowing Gazans to eat 2,279 calories worth of food each day, and that Israel intends the Gazan economy to function at the lowest level possible while avoiding an humanitarian crisis.

Why is this permissible to the Australian Government? How much killing is the world, and in particular the Western world, willing to sit by and watch? Seems to me Palestinians are the model of restraint, but how much are they meant to bear for an apartheid, bigoted, racist ideology that nobody cared to ask them their thoughts on. But hey, shhh on that, because apparently pointing out the bleeding obvious is anti-Semitic.

Ban Ki Moon said; “Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children”, I and millions of people across the world agree. Is the Australian government so morally bankrupt, or bought and paid for, that it can turn a blind eye to Israel’s habitual gangster behaviour toward the people of Palestine. Israel: where too many dead Palestinian babies is never enough. Surely our politicians can at least admit to disproportionate force, even if they are squeamish about actually sanctioning Israel for war crimes, crimes against humanity, collective punishment and genocide. At the time of writing the UNRWA has lost 9 staff members, the latest being a school attendant killed in an air strike in Rafah. Total number of people killed is 1650 and 8900 injured. This figure includes 181 children confirmed killed, these figures change by the hour.

It seems our illustrious leaders would prefer Palestinians to lay down and die and rewrite history. It would make everything so much easier for colonialist Israel if Palestinians went against all human instinct and choose not freedom, but servitude. It seems it’s un-Australian to be anti-Israeli genocide these days. Tony Abbott said in a speech at at the Central Synagogue, echoing Malcolm Turnbull’s hubris, he presumptuously stated; “When Israel is fighting for its life, well, as far as I’m concerned, Australians are Israelis. We are all Israelis in those circumstances.” On one thing I’m quite sure, Tony Abbott does not speak for all of us and I resent him speaking for me. Why is it so hard to understand Palestinians want and deserve the same rights as the Israelis, including the right to defend themselves until there is no further need for them to do so?

Finally, I would like to convey my deepest sympathies to the brave people of Palestine at this sad time in their struggle for independence and self determination.

Picture 229 (3)

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Further reading:

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