Thursday, January 13, 2011

Brazil, Australia hit by deadly floods

Floods and mudslides in Brazil have killed nearly 500 people, WSJ reported Thursday.

Two weeks ago, Brazil became the first country in the Western hemisphere to host a Palestinian embassy. The same weekend, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas attended the inauguration of Brazil's new President, Dilma Rousseff. At the inauguration, Abbas met with other South American leaders to discuss their support of a Palestinian state.

Abbas, Lula and Brazilian FM meeting in Brasilia on Friday

Meanwhile, across the globe, the city of Brisbane, Australia, has nearly gone underwater. The floods have killed 19, and 61 are missing. Large parts of the city have become muddy lakes, and torerents have flooded 12,000 homes in the city of 2 million. Queensland Premier Anna Bligh told reporters that the city "looks more like a war zone in some places." Aerial views of the city reveal a sea of brown water.

Israel's best friends in the world have arguably been the US, Canada and Australia. While the Obama administration is sliding from that historical commitment, current Australian PM, Julia Gillard, is known as "one of Israel's closest friends."

Yet former Australian PM and current Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, who hails from the flooded state of Queensland, left behind a rocky relationship with Israel, and as foreign minister has shown no signs of reversing the damage he began. In February, Australia expelled the Mossad chief in Canberra, Australia's capital, reversing the last government's decision to station senior intelligence people in each others' countries, and pausing Canberra-Jerusalem intelligence cooperation. to station over the Dubai passports affair. In response to the Marmara aid ship debacle, Rudd criticized Israeli policy: "When it comes to a blockade against Gaza, preventing the supply of humanitarian aid, such a blockade should be removed."

In the current Gillard government, Rudd was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs, in what was criticized by many as a move to appease internal political divisions. A month ago, during a visit in Israel, Rudd called for Israel to allow international inspectors into its nuclear facility, and to halt construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

"...We do not support new settlement construction and the reason is that it undermines the prospects of the successful prosecution of peace negotiations."
..."There is a second reality also, which is what security challenges Israel would face if the peace process entirely collapses..."
"All of us, if we are any students of the history of the last decade or so, have a grasp of what can go wrong, and what can go wrong big time if the Palestinian people don't have a stake in a negotiated outcome..."
Australian Christian Pastor Danny Nalliah blogged last Friday night about the connection between the floods and Rudd's recent comments, citing journalist and Christian author Bill Koenig. Koenig, author of Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel, has previously made connections between events such as Hurricane Rita and US pressure on Israel not to interfere with Hamas' election in Gaza, a position that brought about the current reality in Gaza, where rockets fall weekly if not daily on Jewish communities in the southern part of the country.

Keep watch of how countries align on the question of Jerusalem.

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