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George Brandis’ term “occupied East Jerusalem” pejorative and not helpful

George Brandis upset Muslim states with insensitive “occupied East Jerusalem” comment. Image. The Age

by Barbara Miller 21 June 2014

It is of concern that 57 foreign ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation met to decide on action against Australia after the condemnation of its decision not to use the term “occupied” in relation to East Jerusalem” said Norman Miller, Chairman of the Centre for International Reconciliation and Peace. Mr Miller said he could understand Australia’s position, as stated by Attorney General Mr George Brandis on June 5 that the term “occupied East Jerusalem” was pejorative and not helpful as negotiations were still in process.

Barbara and Norman Miller meeting with Christian Allies Caucus of Knesset 2011. Image supplied

He said “It is interesting that the June 5 statement was made on the anniversary of the start of the Six Day War of 1967 which was a defensive war with Israel being attacked by surrounding nations and taking East Jerusalem from Jordan in the process. Jordan had annexed it after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.” “As Israel’s ambassador to Australia, Mr Shmuel Ben-Shmuel, pointed out in The Australian, Hamas ‘has a charter that calls directly for the violent destruction of Israel (and) Hamas has launched more than 10,000 rockets and mortars” into Israel” said Miller. “Hamas has long being defined as a terrorist organisation by Australian and most Western

nations. Now they are in a unity government with the Palestinian Authority, the peace process will be extremely difficult” said Miller. Miller said “Australia attempts to be a good international citizen, and, despite its size, is one of the top 10 worldwide donors to the Palestinians, giving about $50 million in aid to the PA in 2013, much of it unbound so it can be spent as desired. There has been no suggestion that this will change.” “The issue may refocus the debate on whether Australia should move its embassy from Tel Aviv to an undisputed area of Jerusalem” said Miller. “Normally foreign nations put their embassies in capital cities.”

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George brandis’ term “occupied east jerusalem” was pejorative and not helpful