Jewish legislator slams Australia’s U.N. Security Council bid

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – A Jewish legislator in Australia slammed the Labor government’s hypocrisy on Iran in Canberra’s attempt to win a U.N. Security Council seat this week.

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In an opinion article in the Herald Sun on Monday, the Liberal Party’s Joshua Frydenberg cited the government’s decision to send two representatives to the Non-Aligned Movement’s summit in Tehran in August despite the fact that Australia is not a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and “our friends” America and Canada had boycotted it.

“Our high-level delegation was present just at the time Australia is enforcing numerous financial, export and travel sanctions against the Iranian regime,” Frydenberg wrote. “The hypocrisy of the government’s vote-winning strategy was laid bare.”  

The United Nations’ 193 members will vote in a secret ballot Thursday for 10 temporary seats at the Security Council. Australia is competing against Finland and Luxembourg for two seats for the 2013-2014 term.

Frydenberg also argued Australia’s foreign aid priorities had been skewered and “key relationships put on ice” as the government orchestrated a “crude attempt to win votes.”
Although he said Iran’s president “frequently rails against the U.S. and the West,” Frydenberg didn’t refer to Israel specifically. He later told JTA that the government’s decision to change its voting pattern at the U.N. on Israel-related resolutions was “regrettable and a blatant attempt to boost its Security Council campaign.”

Israel’s ambassador said its representative would back Canberra’s bid.

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