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Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Page: 316


Ms MacTIERNAN (Perth) (12:30): I just want to acknowledge that whilst certainly Mr Sharon has been over his career a very controversial character, there is no doubt that his actions as Prime Minister in withdrawing from Gaza, and from entering into a genuine dialogue with the PLO, were indeed acts of great strength and insight. He recognised that for Israel to continue to prosper, and to experience the peace that the Jewish people have striven for, for millennia, there did need to be a resolution of the conflict between the communities in the area. No doubt it was his record in the military arena as a defender of Israel that gave him the political capital and the capacity to make what was a fiercely contested decision in Israel at the time. In that political role I think he has been a great role model for Israeli leaders. I would just hope that more people will draw inspiration from the attitude and the stance that he adopted.