Gareth W R Smith, Byron Bay
Australia has a long string of racist and anti-humanitarian policies. These range from its treatment of Aboriginal people, complicity with Indonesia over the invasion of Timor Leste, and occupation of West Papua, training of Kopassus special forces at Canungra and Pearce Air Force base and persecution of whistleblowers like Bernard Collaery and David McBride.
Our incarceration of asylum seekers for many years is an international scandal, while our lack of enthusiasm to combat climate change gives Pacific nations a two-fingered salute. Given this list of infamy, it is not surprising that on receiving the Jerusalem Prize from the Zionist Federation of Australia, PM Morrison crowed, ‘We stand with our friends, and under this government that is what will occur. We’ve set up a trade and defence office in West Jerusalem to deepen ties on trade, defence industries, investment and innovation’.
This love affair with Israel translates into an intervention by the Morrison government to the International Criminal Court (ICC) that alleged Israeli war criminals not be prosecuted by the ICC, despite having received a thorough five-year investigation. The alleged crimes being investigated were related to murders, including women and children, and also included allegations of torture. Thankfully, the ICC rejected this push and recently declared that it recognises Palestine as a state and signatory to the ICC. Hopefully, Israeli crimes will now be revealed and punished.