Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

‘Selling out Australia’: Dutton’s broadside after Albanese dodges ICC Israel questions

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun7,2024
Opposition leader Peter Dutton has accused Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of “selling out Australia” over his decision to remain tight-lipped on the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) push to secure an arrest warrant against Israel’s leader.
It emerged on Monday that the ICC prosecutor against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his defence minister Yoav Gallant, and three senior Hamas leaders.

Khan said in a statement the warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant stemmed from alleged war crimes, including “starvation”, “wilful killing”, and “extermination and/or murder”, committed against Palestinians in Gaza.

United States President Joe Biden criticised the move against Netanyahu and Gallant, saying it was “outrageous”.
“Whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas,” Biden said in a statement.
Asked about the ICC’s move to secure arrest warrants on Tuesday, Albanese deflected, telling reporters: “I don’t comment on court processes in Australia, let alone court processes globally to which Australia is not a party.”
When asked if he agreed with Biden’s comments, he repeated that he would not comment on court proceedings, and reiterated that the federal government condemned the 7 October attack led by Hamas — — on southern Israel.
“We have called for the release of (Hamas-held) hostages; we’ve called for a humanitarian ceasefire; we’re calling for increased humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza,” Albanese said.

He continued: “And we’ve called for progress towards an (Israeli-Palestinian) two-state solution. That is where we are concentrating, playing a role where we can in promoting the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in security, in peace, and with prosperity.”

Dutton said on Tuesday that Albanese had “squibbed it” by not weighing in, as he backed Biden’s remarks.
“My view is that Australia should stand shoulder to shoulder with President Biden,” Dutton said. “And he’s shown the strength of leadership to stand up against this equivalence, which is completely and utterly repugnant, to compare the Israeli prime minister to a terrorist organisation leader.”
Dutton said Khan’s move against the Israeli government figures was “antisemitic”, and accused Albanese of “selling out Australia”.
“The prime minister is not showing leadership … in relation to antisemitism, and he’s tarnishing and damaging our international relationships with like-minded nations when he’s not strong enough to stand up alongside President Biden,” Dutton said.
“I very strongly support the comments of Joe Biden today … this action is antisemitic,” he said.
Energy Minister Chris Bowen called Dutton’s comments “highly irresponsible” and accused him of dragging the situation “through a domestic political debate”.
“I respect the International Criminal Court and I respect the work they do. International law must be respected and, of course, [it] was not respected by Hamas. Israel must respect international law,” Bowen told Sky News.

“International law must always be observed and nobody gets a free pass for that.”

A bald man in a blue suit speaks into a microphone

International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan. Source: AAP / Mauricio Duenas Castaneda/EPA

Khan also alleged that two Hamas political leaders, Yahya Sinwar and Ismail Haniyeh — plus Mohammed Deif, who heads Hamas’ armed wing — were “criminally responsible for the killing of hundreds of Israeli civilians” during the attacks of 7 October 2023.

It was then that Hamas-led gunmen killed around 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostages, according to the Israeli government.
Israel’s subsequent bombardment of Gaza has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s health ministry, and plunged the occupied Palestinian territory into a deep humanitarian crisis.
“We submit that the crimes against humanity charged were part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population of Israel by Hamas and other armed groups pursuant to organisational policies,” Khan’s statement said.
A panel of three judges will decide whether to issue the arrest warrants and allow a case to proceed. The judges typically take two months to make such decisions.
Hamas said it “strongly condemns” the ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against its leaders — but said it supported the ICC’s move against Netanyahu and Gallant.
Netanyahu called the prosecutor’s accusations against him a “disgrace,” and an attack on the Israeli military and all of Israel. He vowed to press ahead with Israel’s war against Hamas.
South Africa, which to brand Israel’s assault on Gaza a genocide — a charge Israel strongly rejected — welcomed the arrest warrant requests and said the law must “be applied equally to all”.
Germany said the application for the arrest warrants at the same time gave a “false impression of equivalence” between Hamas and Israel, an argument echoed by Jewish groups and the Opposition in Australia.
Former ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo rejected such an assertion.
“The prosecutor is not saying they’re equal, they’re saying both are suspects,” he told ABC Radio on Tuesday.
The simultaneous charging was also part of a prosecutor’s job to show impartiality, he said.
The application for the warrants was welcomed by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils and the Australian Muslim Advocacy Network, which also called for sanctions.
Australian Jewish Association CEO Robert Gregory called for sanctions against the prosecutor and those who assisted him.

With the Australian Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “‘Selling out Australia’: Dutton’s broadside after Albanese dodges ICC Israel questions”
  1. It’s disappointing to see the Opposition leader avoid taking a stance on such an important international issue. We look to our leaders for moral clarity and decisive action, not dodging and deflection. This is a moment where silence speaks volumes. Australia deserves leadership that stands for justice and accountability.

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