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Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Page: 9647

Israel: Relocation of Australian Embassy

To the Honourable President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:

The petition of the undersigned Australian citizens demonstrates that the visit of the Prime Minister of Israel to Australia in this very significant year of 2017, moves the signatories to request that the Australian Parliament take immediate action to move the Australian Embassy. in Israel, from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Your petitioners ask that the Senate:

Takes note of the fact that, as Mr Netanyahu declared in his remarkable visionary speech at the United Nations, Israel is widening the circle of its diplomatic missions and strengthening new ones. Mr Netanyahu sees a new era ahead for his country - an era Australia could not only move into along with Israel, but could indeed help bring about by cementing this friendship in a significant way.

Understands that while Mr Netanyahu will perhaps not be making an issue about our embassy's location anytime soon, this is an extremely important matter for the Government of Israel - an issue all of Israel, and Jews everywhere, quietly yearn to see addressed. Understands further that were the initiative for such a move to come from the Australian government, rather than in response to an Israeli complaint or request, the friendship it would reinforce between Australia and Israel would be incomparable, the fruits of it rich.

Takes counsel that, as demonstrated in the outrageous UNESCO resolutions concerning Jerusalem's Temple Mount and the indigenous ancestral burial site of Israel's founding fathers in Hebron, the effort is fierce and unrelenting to de-legitimise Israel by disputing the Jews' ancient roots in, and millennia-long ties to, their land. Notes that Australia, as a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values and whose cornerstone is the Bible that upholds Israel's claims to this land, especially to Jerusalem and to the Temple Mount, should desire to unequivocally stand alongside Israel against this, and many other attacks, because of our common origins.

Notes that current initiatives continue to deepen ties between the two countries and. during the tenure of the previous Prime Minister, Australia was exemplary as virtually the only country that refused to try and strong-arm Israel into a ''two state solution."

Recognises that Israel is the only country which does not have the senior diplomatic representative of the Australian government in its designated capital! This is surely an act of unjustifiable discrimination that Australia could move to amend. Agrees that whilst all other countries with diplomatic representation in Israel maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv. it does not make it right that they do. Even though, after passing UN Resolution 478 ruling null and void Israel's claim to Jerusalem as its capital. the United Nations Security Council called on its member states who had embassies in Jerusalem to withdraw them, there is no law forbidding Australia from moving its embassy to that city.

Holds to the fact that Australia has always had a warm and close relationship with Israel and there is so much more that has gone into this mateship than just the diplomatic aspects. not least the enormous amount of Australian blood shed to help liberate Israel's historical homeland in World War I, and to keep the Nazis from reaching this land and killing its Jewish population in World War II. 2017 will also mark the 501h anniversary of the return of the Jews to the cradle of their nationhood and to their holiest site - the Temple Mount.

These interrelated anniversaries offer a real opportunity for Australia to stand with its mate, Israel. whose legitimate and historical national claims international organisations - in their so often anti-Semitic attitude towards Israel - are seeking to sever and deny. We humbly pray that these matters are attended to as a matter of urgency.

By Senator Paterson (from 8133 citizens)

Petition received.