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Arab World Must Respond To Australia's Latest Affront: Arab-Muslim Reactions

13 June 2014

By Khalid Amayreh

The Arab world, if indeed there is still an entity as such, must respond in kind to the latest affront coming from Australia.

This week, the Australian Attorney-General George Brandis said in a speech that his country ought to stop viewing East Jerusalem as an occupied city.

Brandis is notorious for his racist views and xenophobia. Some of his critics have already described him as "Nazi-minded." The Australian press recently quoted him as saying that "people have the right to be bigots," which made racist and anti-immigration groups in Australia ecstatic.

Unfortunately, much of the man's vindictive chauvinism is reserved for Arabs and Muslims. His remarks about E. Jerusalem encapsulate a morbid mind-set not unlike that of the people who wanted to create the Third Reich.

We Palestinians don't wish to harm our or Arab-Muslim relations with the people and state of Australia.

However, Brandis by embracing the illegitimate Israeli view that East Jerusalem is not an occupied territory and that the city is part of the criminal Israeli state has actually gone beyond the pale. For us, this is no less than a political adultery and it can't be forgiven or allowed to pass.

Not only he has seriously offended 1600 million Muslims, including over half a million in Australia itself, he has actually flown in the face of international law and numerous resolutions by the United Nations and UN Security Council which all ruled that East Jerusalem is illegally and unlawfully occupied by Israel.

Hence, the repulsive statement by Brandis must be condemned in the strongest terms and rejected by the Australian government.

However, given that government's record in dealing with Arab and Islamic issues, especially the Palestinian problem, there is little hope that Australia would rethink this offensive decision.

Unfortunately, Australia has always been among the most extreme western states in displaying hostility to the Palestinian cause. Its propensity to appease Zionist whims is probably unmatched by any other western country. Even Germany, which has sought relentlessly to atone for the holocaust by effectively embracing Jewish Nazism, and Britain, which inserted the venomous Jewish snake into the Palestinian child's cradle, doesn't recognize East Jerusalem as part of Israel. Hence, the audacity and offensiveness of Brandis's remarks.

Arab-Muslim reactions:

It is not enough to voice our displeasure to the Australian government over this manifestly hostile move. We must make it unmistakably clear to that distant state that Jerusalem is our soul and heart and that the Holy City is the ultimate inviolable Red Line. We must not have normal relations with Australia unless its government reconsiders this provocation.

We are not bereft of the means to respond effectively to this premeditated insult. The size of the Muslim world's trade with Australia is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. Australia exports livestock to Muslim countries worth of hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

If we proved to the Australian government that our national and religious dignity is worth so much, then that government might reconsider its unprovoked hostility to our people.

But the proverbial ball is not in the Australian government's court. It is squarely in our court, both as people and as nation-states.

That is why we must make it abundantly clear to the government of Australia that it has a few weeks to rescind its odious decision or else we would stop all our imports from that country.

We surely can do without Australian lamb meat. There are numerous other destinations from which we can import lambs.

Needless to say, when the choice is between an Australian lamb meat meal, soaked in hatred and hostility for our paramount causes and our religion, and the First Qibla of Islam, Muslims ought to know rather innately which choice to take.

Otherwise, Australia and other like-minded countries would be correct in treating us this way because those who don't respect themselves are not entitled to be respected by others.

For me and my family, from this moment we will not buy anything produced in, made by or exported from Australia.

Australia must be treated by all Arab and Muslim states as an enemy state until it rescinds its hateful step toward our people and our faith.

Khalid Amayreh is a veteran Palestinian journalist and political commentator living in occupied Palestine



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