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Israel & Christians Today
Biblical understanding about Israel
The Australian government recently announced that it will not refer to East Jerusalem as "occupied territory". This statement comes soon after the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop questioned the generally-repeated assertion that all Israeli settlements are "illegal". The Palestinians and the Arab world have reacted strongly to this by threatening Australia with sanctions.
Australia is to be commended for taking a brave stance on these sensitive issues.
In the last year, Christians for Israel and the European Coalition for Israel (ECI) have been working closely with the Australian government on this issue. International Director Andrew Tucker - who also acts as Legal Counsel to the European Coalition for Israel - and C4I Australia Treasurer Eric Belcher have held several meetings in Canberra. Submissions and proposal have ben made on the issue of Jerusalem, the settlements and Palestinian statehood. This work is ongoing.
It is our firm conviction that international law is being "misused" in order to delegitimise Israel, and to undermine the historical and legal entitlement of the jewish people to live in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
The law on these issues is complex and in some respects unclear. But there can be little doubt that the Jewish people have strong historical and legal entitlements to live in the territories over which Israel gained control in the Six Day War (1967). It is essential that there be an open and transparent debate. Many opponents of the Israeli "occupation" present an over-simplistic and often distorted view of these territories. Governments must not succumb to the pressure to ignore the historical and legal context of Israel's close connection with Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
In March 2014, the European Coalition for Israel submitted an Open Letter to the European Union on these issues.