The signs of pro-Israel bias are all around. Last month, the Attorney-General, George Brandis, refused to call East Jerusalem “occupied”. The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, publicly welcomed this as a change of Australia’s position. Brandis provoked a damaging diplomatic rift with Arab countries. There is a near-universal consensus that East Jerusalem is occupied under international law and does not belong to Israel.
In January, foreign minister Julie Bishop doubted the illegality of Israel’s settlements in the Palestinian West Bank. Again, there is universal legal consensus that the settlements violate the Geneva Conventions. The conservative International Court of Justice said so 10 years ago.
Of the five General Assembly resolutions on Palestine adopted last year, Australia joined a handful of countries in voting against three, and abstaining from two. The resolutions were not anti-Israel, but pro-international law, which Israel persistently chooses to violate.
By encouraging or tolerating Israeli violations of international law, Australia weakens the international rule of law, undermines peace, and forsakes justice for Palestinians.