PM Netanyahu with Australian FM Julie Bishop.
(photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
The US may have worked for the passage of last Friday’s anti-settlement resolution in the UN, and Western countries such as Britain, France, Japan and Spain may have supported it, but if Australia was on the Security Council, it would likely not have voted for it, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop indicated on Thursday.
By doing so, Australia would have broken with New Zealand, which was one of four states that brought the resolution to the Security Council, and with the US, which enabled it to pass.
According to The Australian daily, Bishop said the current government of Malcolm Turnbull is “firmly committed to a two-state solution,” but indicated it would not have supported the UN move.
“Australia is not currently a member of the UN Security Council and therefore not eligible to vote on UNSC resolutions,” Bishop said. “In voting at the UN, the coalition government has consistently not supported one-sided resolutions targeting Israel.”
Bishop visited Israel in September, and Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to make the first-ever visit by a sitting prime minister to Australia in February. During that trip he is also scheduled to travel to Singapore and Fiji.
Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull condemned the resolution in a speech to the Central Synagogue in Sydney on Friday, according to Australian Jewish News
He described the resolution as "deeply unsettling for our community" and "one-sided" and vowed that "Australia stands with Israel. We support Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East... We support a peaceful resolution of the disputes between Israel and the Palestinians... we support a two-state solution just as the government of Israel does."
He added that the peace process "...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," and he emphasized that "above all, we stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel in the fight against terrorists."Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.