Australia abstains in UN vote on Israel over war crimes investigation
Mark Dodd and John Lyons
March 01, 2010 12:00AM
AUSTRALIA has abstained from a key UN vote supporting a war crimes investigation of Israel's military assault on Gaza last year, three months after voting against the resolution.
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said yesterday the decision was unrelated to "recent events", a reference to Canberra's anger at Israel's failure to explain the use of three Australian passports by suspects in the murder in Dubai of a senior Palestinian militant.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied the involvement of its spy agency Mossad in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, which Dubai police say involved 26 people travelling on false passports from four nations.
However, Israel said last night it would provide whatever assistance was needed by any Australian investigation into the misuse of its passports.
"There's nothing we have to fear here, we've nothing to hide," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.
On Friday, the UN General Assembly considered a follow-up resolution to the Goldstone report on the Gaza conflict, which was passed with 98 countries voting in favour, seven against and 31 abstaining.
Australia is traditionally one of Israel's strongest supporters at the UN, and Canberra denied its decision to abstain was related to the passports affair.
"The Australian government always considers UN resolutions on a case-by-case basis and on their merits," Mr Smith said. "Australian abstained on this resolution because . . . it did not endorse the Goldstone report.
"Our vote on the resolution was neither determined nor influenced by recent events."
But the decision appears to mark a hardening of Australia's stand on the Middle East peace process and frustration at the lack of progress by both sides to resume negotiations.
It could be seen as a signal to Jerusalem not to take Australia's friendship for granted.
Mahmoud Al Mabhouh “Drugged and suffocated” what a humane way to dispose of this piece of Trash, why was he not locked in a cell and told that sometime in the future a series of bombs would blow a few limbs off one at a time, until he eventually bled to death a week or so later.
Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop accused the government of downgrading its support for Israel, telling Fairfax: "I don't understand the government's change of heart."
Speaking on the Ten Network's Meet the Press program yesterday, terrorism expert Clive Williams said he had little doubt Mossad was responsible for the Dubai assassination. "I don't think there is much doubt Israel was responsible for the simple reason they haven't denied it," Professor Williams said.
Opposition defence spokesman Bob Baldwin said Israel owed Australia a "deep apology" if Mossad was responsible.
It was right for Australia to vote against the motion in the most disgraceful cabal of despots and thugs that is the United Nations.
Cowardly Cur Rudd shames Australia.
Beijing’s man on the ground in Australia, Australian PM Kevin 07 Rudd,aka Lu Kewen facing rapidly declining popularity polls Rudd,Lu Kewen has fallen back into line and has adopted the lefts traditional attack Israel mode.
Had Israel not been accused of eliminating a Muslim Terrorist Thug from the face of the earth,would Rudd have ordered Australia abstain from voting for the UN’s war crimes investigation of Israel's military assault on Gaza last year?
Perhaps abstaining from voting was a compromise for his UN masters, after all Rudd,aka Lu Kewen has his eye on the top job at the UN after the Australian voters throw him out of office later this year.
Rudd,Lu Kewen,has so far donated in excess of $150 million dollars of Australian’s hard earned Taxes to these Godless Muslim savages the left calls “The Palestinians”