Compared to the malodorous emissions emanating from northern hemisphere sources the clear and level headed expressions of support from Australian and Singaporean leaders make a refreshing change…writes Michael Kuttner.

Singapore, a very small but dynamic country situated in the midst of a potentially volatile region has maintained friendly relations with Israel over many years. Its Jewish community has existed since the 1800’s benefiting from the tolerant attitude of its people. A significant contrast to the prevailing atmosphere in Malaysia where Islamic intolerance and anti Israel policies are the norm. Despite the pressure to jump on the anti Israel bandwagon Singapore has instead fostered close relationships with the Jewish State and these no doubt will be reinforced by the Israeli Prime Minister’s first time visit.

Australia’s connections to mandated Palestine also go back a long way. The ANZACS help liberate it from Ottoman rule, turned back the German invasion in World War 2 and offered enthusiastic support for the establishment of Israel. Back then New Zealand and Australia were united in advocating and voting for the right of the Jewish People to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland.

What a difference today where New Zealand politicians have succumbed to the bash Israel lobby and getting voted onto the UN Security Council meant sucking up to each and every hypocritical member State. Australia has stated that it would never have voted for nor would it have proposed the recent resolution which drips with sanctimonious and blatant double standards. The current Australian Government’s stance no doubt makes Netanyahu’s visit potentially more productive.

Needless to say the usual groups have geared themselves up and will be mouthing mindless slogans and myopic one sided invective. They have a democratic right to parade their prejudices in public but one has to ask why they are not out on the street condemning Iran’s persecution of religious minorities and women and threats to eliminate Israel. When was the last time these righteous denunciators of the Jewish State screamed their invective against innumerable regimes whose human rights records are abysmal? Self appointed “experts” and media anointed prominent critics only seem to materialise when Israel is involved. The media also love to parade people who describe themselves as “ashamed” Jews and invoke the Holocaust as yet another reason to delegitimise Israel and spread baseless accusations. These “ashamed” Jews usually only surface when the opportunity arises to pillory Israel.

As someone whose grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were murdered at Auschwitz I am gratified and definitely not ashamed that today we have a Jewish State which is in a position to combat Jew hatred and the murder of Jews.

Differences over whether the Palestinian Arabs deserve a State or whether they already have one in Gaza and Jordan will not derail Australia’s recognition that the Middle East’s only true democracy deserves to live in peace behind defensible borders and be recognised as the indigenous home of the Jewish People. Israel’s expertise in cyber security, high tech, medical innovations, research, agricultural techniques amongst other pioneering ventures make it a perfect partner for Australia. Unencumbered by ancient prejudicial hang-ups and fetishes related to boycotts, labelling and sanctions, both countries are well suited to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.

What a contrast to the spectacles we currently witness in the northern hemisphere. Here are just a few examples of the latest fiascos impacting Israel and Jews from north of the equator.

France: The campaign to choose the country’s next President is well under way. It looks as though there will be a choice between a self declared “centrist” and the leader of the far right. The latter has proclaimed that in order to fight Islamic terror she would ban all religious clothing in public. This apparently also includes forbidding Jews from wearing kippot (skull caps). A more cuckoo method of fighting Islamic extremism would be hard to find. It epitomises how lost the French political establishment has become. It also should serve as a warning to France’s Jewish citizens as far as their future prospects may be in a country which hypocritically proclaims liberty, fraternity and equality as its motto. History does not make one optimistic.

Germany: Ostensibly one of Israel’s staunchest friends in Europe the forthcoming elections also cast a shadow over what the future may bring. The far right which has eerie echoes of a recent past are cashing in on the problems created by unlimited Islamic immigration and the mad policy of borderless security checks. The left have reverted to a knee jerk anti-Israel stance and the current Chancellor finds herself squeezed between these two extremes. Meanwhile as though living in another universe the Foreign Minister claims that Jewish settlements will cause war. He obviously has been asleep for the last 70 or more years while our Arab neighbours refuse to entertain the notion of recognising a Jewish State with or without Jewish habitations. Manifesting a continuing blindness to reality, Angela Merkel stated that Islam is not the cause of terrorism and implored Islamic clergy to fight against those who use Islam for terror purposes by showing that in fact Islam is a religion of peace. So far she has not been able to explain why the vast majority of Islamic religious authorities in Germany and elsewhere remain conspicuously silent.

Vatican: The Pope has said that “Christian terrorism does not exist, Jewish terrorism does not exist and Moslem terrorism does not exist.” His Holiness has yet to explain why 99% of terror acts committed globally are perpetrated by followers of Islam. Researching the subject I found this explanation which perhaps sheds light on the subject:

The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with non-believers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called ‘hypocrites’ and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter. Unfortunately, there are very few verses of tolerance and peace to balance out the many that call for non-believers to be fought and subdued until they either accept humiliation, convert to Islam, or are killed.

UNITED NATIONS: Hardly a day goes by when this collection of hypocrites does not condemn or censure Israel while ignoring real threats to world peace. The latest gem occurred this week when the UN demanded that Israel remove photos of deer at an exhibition hosted by Israel at UN headquarters because the animals were photographed in the Jordan Valley and are therefore illegal settlers!!

I am waiting for New Zealand’s Foreign Minister to introduce a resolution condemning this flagrant act.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: News broke that the UAE is investing billions in developing and planning a programme to colonise Mars. Instead of investing this vast sum in resettling Arab refugees stuck in UNRWA camps and alleviating the plight of fellow Moslems displaced by massacres in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, the oil rich Gulf States prefer to reach for the stars. Obviously there are not enough problems on earth so they intend to export some more to outer space.

A deliberate refusal to grasp reality and deal with an increasingly potent threat means that those countries and international bodies preferring ignorance and appeasement will soon see their policies boomerang back on them with fatal results.

What a contrast to current Singapore and Australian leadership and common sense.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.

Australia and Singapore: a breath of fresh air