Australia and the Arabs: A Long History

22 May, 2012

Newly published by the ACRPS, written by Ali al-Qizq

Published by the ACRPS in Beirut in February 2012, Ali al-Qizq's 336-page Australia and the Arabs presents an entirely fresh, novel subject to readers. Indeed, a large part of the book's novelty is based not only on the geographic distance between the Australian mainland and Arab countries, but also the seeming lack of common interests and matters of concern.

Readers quickly learn, however, of the deep connection between the two regions: Australia, having been a party to the imperialist wars against the Arab states, has been very much an active member of the region. Australia was also partially involved in the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, and continues to this day its policy of pro-Israeli bias, not to mention the large trade relationship between the two states. Australian policies with regards to Zionism and the formation of the Israeli state on
Palestinian land is, then, one of the book's main pillars.

The book is divided into four chapters, and takes a historical approach, beginning with the discovery of the Australian territory, its rich natural, and its Aboriginal population, not to mention its value to natural science. The author then goes on to describe the development of the country's economic and political relations with the outside world, before focusing in close detail on Australian-Arab and Australian-Israeli relations. What comes in for particular mention is Australia's ability to maintain both close trade relations with the Arab states whilst simultaneously holding strong military ties to Israel. Towards the closing chapters, al-Qizq devoted an entire chapter to the Jewish community and the influential Israeli lobby in Australia. The author goes on to narrate in a different chapter, the story of both Arab and Islamic communities, racism against Arabs, and Palestinian diplomatic activity in the continent, as well as the initial waves of Palestinian migration to the country.


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