Is Australia Guilty as Charged?

A recent op-ed by Paul Duffill, an Australian academic and BDS advocate, in the Sydney Morning Herald charges Australia with being guilty of double standards on human rights because the country fails to consistently condemn Israeli settlements.

The article gives readers the following background on the issue:

Israel’s settlements are built on land seized from Palestinians in 1967

No mention is made that Israel was left in control of these areas after being attacked in 1967. No mention that the disputed land includes areas like the Old City of Jerusalem and Gush Etzion, places that were historically Jewish until 1948 when many of the residents were massacred, and the survivors were driven out of their homes by the Arabs.

Even more troubling, the article plants the blame for lack of progress on a peace agreement solely on the settlements. It ignores the wave of terrorism — terrorism that is by no means limited to the disputed areas — and the unrelenting incitement and praise of terrorism by the Palestinian Authority.

Duffill could have noted Israel’s frequent calls to sit with the Palestinians and directly negotiate for peace. Even when Prime Minister Netanyahu recently said he would clear his schedule to sit down with PA President Abbas at any time, his call was ignored.

Duffill made a few claims about the Israeli security barrier that are inaccurate. The barrier — not a “wall” — is built mostly along or close to the 1949 armistice line. It is not built “throughout the occupied Palestinian West Bank.”  The barrier is not “integral to Israel’s occupation and settlement activities.” It is integral is Israel’s efforts to fight terrorism emanating from Palestinian areas.

Even worse, Duffill compares democratic Israel to some of the worst human rights abusers in the world — including the Hamas terrorist group. This is the same Hamas that not only targets Israeli men, women, and children but also has used Palestinian residents of Gaza as human shields, storing arms in schools, mosques, and hospitals.

Duffill ignores the terror, the incitement, and the intransigence on the Palestinian side to accuse Israel of being the sole obstacle to peace.

Now who is guilty of having a double standard?

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