Moving Australia’s embassy to Jerusalem is fanciful Senator Paterson

One of the rites of passage for incoming members of the Australian Federal parliament is to make a maiden speech.  As these speeches are largely personal, they usually don’t rate much attention beyond the member’s family and friends. They are rarely the focus of any press attention.  However Liberal Senator James Paterson’s maiden speech, delivered last week, was covered not only by the Australian media (SMH; The Guardian) but even as far away as Israel.

I think that assertions of Israel being a beacon of democracy might be challenged by the 4.7 million Palestinians of the Occupied Territories who have been living for almost fifty years under military occupation.  It might be challenged by the 300,000 Palestinians who live in Jerusalem without citizenship or proper infrastructure, or over 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of Israel (20% of its population) who live under 50 laws that discriminate against them.  His claims that Israel is a tolerant and harmonious society might be challenged by the many within Israel who are currently campaigning to protect freedom of political expression, or even the Arab members of the Knesset who are facing a Bill that seems written to expel them.

His proposal to move Australia’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem however requires the most attention.  If this was such a good idea, one wonders why no country has actually done it. No country in the world has its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.

Read full article at On Line Opinon