The Australian prime minister had already expressed opposition to one-sided UN resolutions in an op-ed published preceding Netanyahu’s arrival.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stressed more than once on Wednesday that Australia will continue to maintain its policy of opposing one-sided United Nations (UN) resolutions against Israel.
“We do not support one-sided resolutions, which condemn or criticize Israel,” Turnbull said during a joint press conference on Wednesday with visiting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “We haven’t done in the past, and we won’t in the future.”
Turnbull was referencing UN Security Council Resolution 2234, which condemns any Israeli presence in territory won from Jordan during the Six-Day War in 1967, when the the surrounding Arab nations aimed to destroy the Jewish state. The resolution passed unanimously with an abstention by the then-outgoing Obama administration.
“We are a very committed friend of Israel,” stated Turnbull. “We are a very consistent friend.”
Turnball was responding to questions about similar statements made in an op-ed he authored in The Australian, shortly preceding Netanyahu’s arrival, titled, “Israeli PM’s Visit Cements a Warm, Old Friendship.”
“My government will not support one-sided resolutions criticizing Israel of the kind recently adopted by the UN Security Council and we deplore the boycott campaigns designed to delegitimize the Jewish state,” wrote Turnbull.
The Australian leader echoed his remarks while addressing Sydney’s Jewish community with Netanyahu at the city’s Central Synagogue. “I came here with a message of solidarity on behalf of the Australian government in the wake of that UN Resolution which was so regrettable, a resolution which we would never support,” he said. “My government will not support…a resolution so one-sided, attributing fault only to the state of Israel.”
“It was an unfortunate resolution,” he continued. “We regret it and we disassociated ourselves from it in our public statements and right here in this shul (synagogue).”
Netanyahu expressed appreciation for Australia’s friendship. “I salute you, Malcolm Turnball, and the governments of Australia who stood up time and time again against this demonization, including recently. You refused to accept this hypocrisy, and standing up for Israel means standing up for simple truths,” Netanyahu said at the synagogue. “Israel and Australia are very good, strong friends.”
Netanyahu made similar comments during the joint press conference as well.
“I wasn’t surprised by the friendship that was expressed in the article,” said Netanyahu. “Australia has been courageously willing to puncture UN hypocrisy more than once, including in this absurd resolution.
“The UN is capable of many absurdities, and I think it’s important that straightforward and clear-eyed countries like Australia often bring it back to earth,” Netanyahu added.
By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News