On Thursday, Julie Bishop, Australia’s foreign minister, confirmed Australia would likely have voted against the United Nations Security Council Resolution viciously attacking Israel.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Bishop acknowledged that her nation was not currently a member of the Security Council, but added, “in voting at the UN, the Coalition government has consistently not supported one-sided resolutions targeting Israel.” Bishop, who is a fierce defender of Israel, said Israel and the Palestinians should “resume direct negotiations for a two-state solution as soon as possible.”
Bishop’s unwavering support for Israel was evidenced in 2014, when she told the The Times of Israel that the Israeli settlements were not illegal. She stated, “I would like to see which international law has declared them illegal.” She added:
I don’t want to prejudge the fundamental issues in the peace negotiations. The issue of settlements is absolutely and utterly fundamental to the negotiations that are under way and I think it’s appropriate that we give those negotiations every chance of succeeding.
Our interest is in a negotiated peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians and we believe that every opportunity should be given to those negotiations to proceed to its solution. I don’t think it’s helpful to prejudge the settlement issue if you’re trying to get a negotiated solution. And by deeming the activity as a war crime, it’s unlikely to engender a negotiated solution. The issue of Israeli settlements should be determined in the course of the current US-brokered peace talks.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has plans to visit Australia in February; that would be the first time an Israeli prime minister has visited Australia while in office.