She: "Why did the Australian Ambassador to Israel attend a meeting in occupied East Jerusalem with the Israeli minister for housing and construction; the same minister who is forecasting a 50 per cent increase in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the next five years?"
He: 'Well I think I should say, Senator Rhiannon, that the rather tendentious way in which you've put that question and in particular the use of the word "occupied" is not something that the Australian Government of either political persuasion acknowledges or accepts.'
She: 'So you don't use the term "Occupied Palestinian Territories", even though it's a United Nations term used widely by a number of international agencies, European members et cetera…'
He: 'Well it's used by a lot of people. It's used by a lot of communists too. Weren't you a member of the Communist Party once?'Naturally, Australia's lefties and leftist press are much perturbed at Brandis's stance and what it implies about current Australian government policy, as seen here and here and here
See also here and here
(Hat tip: readers Ian and Marvin)
The PLO's Dr Hanan Ashwari denounces Brandis's comments thus:
Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem is beyond ‘pejorative’ and ‘inappropriate’; it is a deliberate and egregious violation, not just of international humanitarian law and consensus, but of the basic norms of responsible behavior that governs relations among civilized states.”
Trying to fabricate or distort the law to fit Israel’s lawless behavior is shameful and dangerous. Attorney-General Brandis, whether out of ignorance or whether out of blind bias, is trying to render Australia complicit in the Israeli occupation, and is forcing it to become an advocate of international criminal behavior”.From Eli E. Hertz of the Myths and Facts website, a timely item:
'The term “occupied territory,” which appears in the Fourth Geneva Convention, originated as a result of the Nazi occupation of Europe. Though it has become common parlance to describe the West Bank and Gaza as “occupied territories,” there is no legal basis for using this term in connection to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
[University of Sydney] Professor Julius Stone, a leading authority on the Law of Nations, categorically rejected the use of the term “occupied territory” to describe the territories controlled by Israel on the following counts:
(1) Article 49 relates to the invasion of sovereign states and is inapplicable because the West Bank did not and does not belong to any other state.
(2) The drafting history of Article 49 [Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War] – that is, preventing “genocidal objectives” must be taken into account. Those conditions do not exist in Israel’s case.
(3) Settlement of Jews in the West Bank is voluntary and does not displace local inhabitants. Moreover, Stone asserted: that “no serious dilution (much less extinction) of native populations” [exists]; rather “a dramatic improvement in the economic situation of the [local Palestinian] inhabitants since 1967 [has occurred].”See all of Hertz's article here