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An open letter to Scott Morrison

Mr Scott Morrison
The Honourable Prime Minister of Australia
PO Box 1306
Cronulla, NSW, 2230

Dear Mr Morrison,

I hope this letter finds you well, my name is Elliot Dolan-Evans and I am a voter in Footscray, Melbourne. I am currently completing a PhD at Monash University in political economy and feminist studies, I am a registered medical practitioner, and a law graduate awaiting admittance to the Supreme Court of Victoria.

I write this open letter to politely request the reasons of Australia’s voting choices at the recent United Nations Human Rights Council (40th session).

Australia was the only country to vote ‘NO’ in all the following resolutions (Denmark and the United Kingdom voted ‘NO’ in four of these), discussed in the HRC meeting on 21 February 2019:

  • L.4 – Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan;
  • L.25 – Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;
  • L.26 – Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination;
  • L.27 – Human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem; and
  • L.28 – Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.

As an Australian citizen and tax-payer, I want to know the reasons as to why Australia has opposed these resolutions in my name, and in the names of every Australian. With these votes, Australia has systematically opposed the will of the international community and international law, including in:

   The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (12 August 1949);

2     Charter of the United Nations;

a. in particular the provisions of Articles 1 and 55 thereof, which affirm the right of peoples to self-determination

 

3     The Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

   The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

   The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

a. In particular the provisions of Article 1, which affirm that all peoples have the right to self-determination.

6     The Convention on the Rights of the Child;

7     The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women;

8     The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;

   The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;

10    The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted on 25 June 1993 by the World Conference on Human Rights;

a. in particular Part I, paragraphs 2 and 3, relating to the right of self-determination of all peoples and especially those subject to foreign occupation;

11    The statement of 15 July 1999 and the declarations adopted on 5 December 2001 and 17 December 2014 at the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

a. at which the High Contracting Parties reaffirmed, inter alia, their commitment to uphold their obligation to ensure respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

12    UNHRC resolutions S-9/1 of 12 January 2009, 19/17 of 22 March 2012, S-21/1 of 23 July 2014 and S-28/1 of 18 May 2018;

13    UN Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 and 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002;

14    UN General Assembly Resolutions 73/23 of 30 November 2018 and 73/100 of 7
December 2018;

a. In which the Assembly declared that Israel had failed to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981) and demanded that it withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan.

15    UN General Assembly Resolutions 181 A and B (II) of 29 November 1947, 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004, ES10/17 of 15 December 2006, 67/19 of 29 November 2012, 72/86 of 7 December 2017 and 73/98 of 7 December 2018;

16    The advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

17    Recent reports of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (A/73/447 and A/HRC/40/73); and,

18    The results of the 2018 independent international commission of inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

I look forward to your comprehensive reply,

Kind Regards,
Elliot Dolan-Evans
MBBS, LLB (Hons), BAppSci (Hons)

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27 comments

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  1. Wat Tyler

    You send that to Scummo and you’ll get a visit from the AFP…

  2. Paul Davis

    It would be interesting to ask Mr Shorten leader of the Australian Centre Right Party and likely our next Prime Minister what his government’s policy is in these matters. I bet Australia will continue to either vote pro Israel or abstain, not matter the faux anguish and hand wringing of some MPs regarding 70 years of Israeli jackboots stomping on the faces of Palestinian children.

  3. jaq Lane

    I wish you luck. Many Australians are behind your sentiments.

  4. totaram

    You have listed 18 points. Are you aware that most of these people’s eyes glaze over once you exceed 3 points? That is why they concentrated on 3-word slogans like “ditch the bitch” and “axe the tax”. Anything more complicated is just useless for them and also for their hangers-on, of which there seem to be enough to give them a 38% primary vote. So I’m sure that your article is very well thought out and carefully researched and annotated with all the right citations, but aside from readers on this blog, anyone else would find all this too tedious, boring, and mentally overwhelming. That is the sad state of our planet and our civilisation. If you are looking for a “comprehensive reply”, you might need to avoid holding your breath. We all live in hope.

  5. Frances

    Australia has no independent foreign policy; it takes instructions from elsewhere. Why do you think each PM travels to the US after being appointed. Then, these instructions are passed on to the Foreign Minister and Defence Minister.

  6. Wat Tyler

    Re Frances.

    It really annoys me. I’m waiting for Scummo to find some compelling reason to join in a new American war against Venezuela.
    I was interested to see – on Youtube – an interview with a veteran journo who specialised in South and Central American issues. His comments were enlightening. In his view, the US antagonism stems from the Koch Brothers who want Venezuela’s oil and usually get what they want. But rather than the corruption we are told is endemic in Maduro’s government, it is – so he says – steadfastly resisting the bribes that the US usually offers, and is the least corrupt government in the Americas. Jimmy Carter, who is an authority on elections, observed the Venezuelan elections and averred them to have been utterly above board. So who are we to believe? The US, when Boulton said it’s just about oil, nothing else?
    And Germany has just refused to acknowledge the ambassador sent by the ‘true president’ of Venezuela.
    Trump, we hear, has told Russia to ‘get out’. That would obviously scare the bejasus out of Putin. Russia has been involved in Venezuela for 20 or more years. Putin has the tangerine twat’s measure.
    But the Pentagon needs a war to justify its demand for huge increases in military expenditure..,

  7. Matters Not

    Elliot Dolan-Evans MBBS, LLB (Hons), BAppSci (Hons) Re your opening claim to petition validity:

    As an Australian citizen and tax-payer

    While I can understand your claim to legitimacy as an Australian citizen, (re petitioning the Australian Prime Minister as to the reasons as why Australia has opposed these resolutions in my name, and in the names of every Australian), can I then also respectfully ask as to why you added the tax-payer descriptor – given that tax paying is completely irrelevant to citizenship? I assume you know that? If not – then are you aware that tax-paying to citizenship is about as relevant as pigeon-fancying is to citizenship?

    Are you also aware, for example, that the largest tax-payers in Australia are not citizen but corporations and therefore not entitled to vote? Of course, they have responsibilities – like paying taxes – but that doesn’t come with the right to vote.

    Again I ask – why the taxpayer descriptor? Seems to me that your very impressive academic credentials might have missed an analysis of the citizenship concept. But never mind, because most citizens lack an appreciation of the rights, powers and responsibilities attached to citizenship.

  8. Phil

    Elliot Dolan-Evans MBBS, LLB (Hons), BAppSci (Hons)

    I presume your optimism for a reply is, based on the expectation you are going to live a very long time. You are also optimistic, if you think Morrison would have the slightest clue of what you’re on about.,

  9. Michael Taylor

    Phil, it is a copy of a letter sent to Morrison. It will be answered. Not by Morrison, perhaps, but possibly the relevant minister or a public servant at the least.

  10. Phil

    Michael Taylor.

    A chance possibly with the writers credentials. If it was I or people I know not much chance of a reply. Sill a reply from a public servant would have some chance of being some what credible. I have sent e mails to Shortens office the message was on topic, respectful and cogent. I wouldn’t have complained if he or his minders sent me a reply even it was just to tell me to drop dead. I will keep a watch out for a reply if it is posted. Cheers for that.

  11. Alcibiades

    Michael, Phil,
    Repeated correspondence from The Australian Federation of Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) Ex-Servicemen & Women to then Prime Minister Tony Abbott, was routinely answered by a staffer, who simply copied random text from the DVA website & attached Abbotts signature block.

    After Turnbull knifed Abbott 15 Sept 2015, there was no response to repeated correspondence whatsoever from Turnbull, until more than seven months later …

    Consisting of a brief terse letter advising no response could be provided as the government had now entered the caretaker period prior to the 2016 Federal election … written & signed off on behalf of Turnbull by an intern.

    Good Luck.

    My favourite is UN Security Council resolution 497 adopted unanimously on 17 December 1981. Which declared that the Israeli Golan Heights Law, which effectively annexed the Golan Heights, is “null and void and without international legal effect” and further calls on Israel to rescind its action. https://undocs.org/S/RES/497(1981)

    Ha!

    However in the ‘Rules-based’ order of the ‘International Community’ we participate in as a non sovereign vassal State, the Godfather, the Don, may do as he wishes.

    World Emperor Trump has unilaterally gifted Israel sovereignty of the Syrian Golan Heights & Lebanese Shebaa Farms because he can. It’s also a personal boost to Bibi Netanyahus’ imminent re-election chances, as for the Jerusalem Embassy. Election meddling, of the very overt direct kind ?

    Should Bibi be re-elected despite four different cases of corruption being prosecuted against him he will be dependent yet again upon extreme minority parties, who collect less than ~15% of the vote, which will then likely force his hand to annex the West Bank.

    The Don will then probably subsequently address the question of ‘Peace’ in the Middle East with a Twitter decree, resolving the ‘Palestine’ question by granting Israel sovereignty again.

    A ‘Peace in our times‘ redux comin’ up ?

    PS We voted as we did, as directed by our masters, as we have always done. Non-sovereign vassals do not have independent Foreign Policies …

  12. Keitha Granville

    Best wishes, I do hope you get a response of some kind from someone.

    As a fellow Australian, they do not vote in my name either.

  13. whatever

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/cocaine-escorts-and-unpaid-workers-parliament-s-security-embarrassment-20190325-p517h0.html

    A firm given the $14 million job of upgrading critical security at Parliament House in Canberra is in disarray with allegations of cocaine use, a sideline in an Uber-style app for escorts, debts to Russian friends and the intervention of a Morrison government minister.

    Almost a year after the $75 million state-of-the art upgrade to protect MPs from acts of terrorism was due to be completed, the marble entrances of Parliament remain shrouded in scaffolding and 400 businesses across Australia are owed $21 million.

  14. Dr Tim Jones

    A great letter. Exceptionally well written. Precise, detailed and to the point. Unfortunately, western politicians do not care about any of the conventions, declarations or any of the other UN resolutions enacted since its inception after the war. Oh these resolutions and conventions sound good (that’s their purpose), but the UN has been shown to be a toothless tiger. Consider Mr. Bush’s utter contempt for the UN leading up to his invasion of Iraq in May of ’03. It is unfortunate that the United Nations is the international equivalent of a British policeman of previous years: stop! Stop or I’ll say stop again (ie, no way to enforce their demands).

    In addition, Mr. Morrison and Mr. Trump (‘s administration) are acting in the name of religion, particularly regarding the Middle East. They do not care about ‘Palestinian rights’. They have a religious and political agenda to achieve, so all your well thought out ‘declarations’ and ‘conventions’ are meaningless to them. Muh religion – screw you.

    I write this not as a critique of this great piece, but rather as a scathing indictment of those western politicians and how international law is meaningless. It means what the powerful countries want it to mean, and they interpret it to suit themselves.

  15. Alcibiades

    Well said.

    Same for the invasion of Afghanistan, the exquisite disarming of Libya & subsequent invasion, yet another now failed State. Hell, the bombing of Yugoslavia by Clinton, and on & on. None of it is new nor particularly revelatory. And little ‘honest’ Johny Howard was in it up to his eyeballs, joined to Bush the youngers hip, re 2003.

    It means what the powerful countries want it to mean, and they interpret it to suit themselves. Indeed.

    Yet taking the long view, they that rise, inevitably fall. Hubris, may one introduce Nemesis. Not likely in my remaining years though.

    Morrison is commonly referred to & self references as a ‘Christian'(Generic). False (IMV).

    He is a Pentecostalist, yet another pseudo-cult created by the US in the 1920’s(IIRC) …

    He fervently believes all are either Good or Bad, the Bad being servants of Satan (Absolute Binary groupings). That an actual eternal war is being fought by the devout against a real & manifest Satan & minions, as we approach ‘the Endtimes’. And the ‘War’ & coming ‘Endtimes’ justifies the means. Hence how he has blithely conducted himself throughout the last decade with a knowing imperviously confident conceited smirk.

  16. Wat Tyler

    Tony Benn said, a long time ago, that no government has ever claimed to not have enough money to bomb its ‘enemies’, but happily claims to be unable to afford welfare for its own people.
    If the US calls, re Venezuela perhaps, Australia will leap to the fray. In fact, as Menzies, draft dodger extraordinaire proved, Australia does not always wait for the call; like a little poodle, it jumps up and down and says ‘Take me! Take me! I want to come!’
    Morrison is that kind of warrior. As is Abbott. As was Howard.
    Australia has NO foreign policy: it is USA that has Australia’s foreign policy.

  17. wam

    sorry I am a bit thick are you saying the lnp acted alone and voted without the US support?

    Did the septic or the poms vote yes to any of those resolutions????

    ps dr jones ‘interpret to suit themselves’ sounds like judaism, christianity and islam man laws for men.
    Freedom of religion should not be freedom to keep your beliefs secret. Time for christians muslims and jews to be asked questions on how their beliefs affect their political decisions.

  18. RomeoCharlie29

    I totally agree with the sentiments in this letter but, like others, urge you not to hold your breath for anything other than a routine acknowledgment of receipt. I am hoping that the election of a Labor Government will see a change of policy regarding Palestine, and a greater adherence to votes of the UN, given the role the former Labor Leader ‘Doc’ Evatt played in its establishment, or that of its forerunner, the League of Nations. I am also hoping that we have nothing to do with the Trump/US interference in Venezuela.Oh for a US leader with the will to rein in the warmongers.

  19. Alcibiades

    wam
    The LNP voted as directed, IMHO. US is not on nor even any longer officially recognises the legitimacy of the UN Human Rights Council or its resolutions. Just as it does not recognise the International Criminal Court (ICC), its jurisdiction nor its rulings, and so on ….

    In fact the Judges, staff and support of the ICC have been openly threatened with personal direct retaliation & action if the ICC dares open a War Crimes investigation into US & Allies conduct in the ongoing 20 year war in Afghanistan.

    Ah, the USA unilateral right to arbitrary ‘Extra-ordinary Rendition'(Kidnapping) anywhere on Terra, in contravention of Sovereignty, Treaties, International Law, UN et al, everything, etc. Whoever is the Don in the US at any particular time may do as they wish to ‘others’, ICC Judges or not.

    PS UN Resolution 497 (1981) was adopted unanimously, all then fifteen UNSC members votes YES, no abstentions.
    Permanent members: China, France, UK, US, USSR. Non-permanent members(1981): East Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Niger, Panama, Philippines, Spain, Tunisia, Uganda.

    The United States threatened to arrest and sanction ICC judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes. 10 Sep 2018

    US Threatens International Criminal Court – Visa Bans on ICC Staff. 15 Mar 2019

  20. Paul Davis

    RomeoCharlie29
    “I am hoping that the election of a Labor Government will see a change of policy regarding Palestine, and a greater adherence to votes of the UN, given the role the former Labor Leader ‘Doc’ Evatt played in its establishment”

    I think we will be disappointed. There has been a very strong right wing faction supported vigorously by Michael Tanbey and others who have kept Shorten and the centerists in place re middle east policy. Tanbey faction replacement candidate Josh Burns will ensure the status quo is maintained.

    On another note or two …. OK i accept that Shorten’s crew are the opposition and not government but it would be nice to hear some fairdinkum foreign policy comments occasionally, eg, Brunei will now stone to death gay fornicators and Australia apparently have not given any aid to the suffering hundreds of thousands in Mozambique. We know McShouty smirks about dog punishing these unbelievers and so his government couldn’t give a toss about non happyclappers in agony.

  21. Kaye Lee

    Shorten’s captain’s pick for the Senate, Kimberley Kitching, is VERY pro-Israel.

    An audience of nearly 100 people heard excellent presentations on Israel and the PR campaigns being fought against Israel by Michael Sukkar MP, Michael Danby MP, ECAJ’s Alex Ryvchin and the Col Richard Kemp.

    It was wonderful to see bipartisan support from Canberra, with the additional attendance at the event by Tim Wilson MP, Sen James Paterson and Sen Kimberley Kitching.

    http://www.jwire.com.au/alex-ryvchins-anti-israel-agenda-launched-in-melbourne/

  22. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    The electoral vandalism for which Ms Kitching’s husband Mr Landeryou was convicted and fined was carried out in Melbourne Ports to support the 2016 re-election bid of frequent rorter Michael Danby.
    As a sidenote, Kimberley and her hubby are party guests of Andrew Bolt (https://www.crikey.com.au/2016/12/20/bolt-entertains-aussie-conservatives/ paywalled), and the climate-denying neo-con rabble rouser has penned a few puff pieces espousing Ms Kitching’s staunch defense of ‘Judeo-Christian values’ (https://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/kitching-and-the-rise-of-conservative-labor/news-story/f358762146fd0008efecee62c2149d83 WARNING: MURDOCH LINK!)
    Added to these dubious associations and deeds, the ‘ power couple, have, shall we say, a very ‘colourful’ past.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/why-alp-backbencher-kimberley-kitching-may-become-a-household-name-20180301-p4z29q.html
    Why W Shorten has chosen to elevate this dodgy character is disturbingly mystifying.

    PS, I love how, in this promo-photo, Bill’s newly appointed senator has thrust herself forward to the head of the pack to obsure both Tanya Pliebersek and Penny Wong https://www.instagram.com/p/BuuUacAnwVy/?utm_source=ig_embed

  23. Lambert Simnel

    What’s this!!!

    Questioning Israel?

    Oh dear (virtue signal Kimberley) isn’t that, “anti-semitic”?

    Shorten’s lack of balls is probably the reason NSW wouldn’t back the NSW Right in last week, despite the weakness of the LNP there. A few have wondered why the public has come to despise labor and here is a good example of why.

    Craven.

    So gutless, Shorten Labor.

  24. Wat Tyler

    I have voted for the Labor party at every federal election since – and including – 1972. But I would vote for another, new, party that genuinely put the Australian people ahead of corporates and the diktat of the United States.

  25. corvus boreus

    Wat Tyler,
    It really does pay to examine not only the party policies but the demonstrated pedigrees of the candidates they offer.
    In last weekend’s election, the number 2 on the NSW Labor upper house ticket was a socially progressive lady living in a same-sex relationship, whilst number 3 was homophobic religious zealot from the SDA.

  26. Neil Hodgson

    Well said, though I suspect skullduggery in the government and some of the public service

  27. New England Cocky

    People … don’t get mad and frustrated, GET POLITICALLY ACTIVE!!!

    Join a political party or support the political campaign of the candidate of your choice by handing out at pre-poll stations or polling booths on election day.

    VOTE ANYONE BUT NAT$ & BUILD BETTER GOVERNMENT

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