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
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
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
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
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 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