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Tuesday, 12 September 1972
Page: 672


Senator MURPHY (New South WalesLeader of the Opposition) - I support the motion which has been moved by the Acting Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Drake-Brockman). It was a frightful act which was committed at the Olympic Games. It was especially frightful because throughout the long history of man this has been one of the occasions when men have agreed not to commit acts of war against one ' another and to hold those Games from ancient times in a spirit of peace and to suspend their hostilities during the period of the Games to permit persons to come and go freely and to participate in them. It was an act which brought discredit upon those who were associated with it. It will go down in history as one of the great atrocities committed by human beings one against the other because those against whom the acts were committed - those who died - were innocent. There was no excuse whatever for that atrocity being committed against those persons and especially in those circumstances.

The State of Israel is recognised by the United Nations. One of our great Australians, Dr Evatt, played a signal part in the recognition of the State of Israel. It is regrettable that the State of Israel has not been accepted by other nations. It is mandatory if we are to have peace that the existence of the State of Israel be accepted. The decisions of the United Nations ought to be accepted by all if we are to have peace and justice. That was a dreadful atrocity. But what I saw on television last night and read in this mornings newspapers is no answer to that atrocity. The slaughter by the State of Israel of innocent women and children as well as others is no answer to the kind of atrocity that was committed against the State of Israel. I think that it is important for us all to state this. I know that there are people who say that nothing must be said. They say that because this atrocity was committed at Munich - it was a terrible atrocity - nothing must be said and that by silence we must allow it to be thought that we accept that the State of Israel is entitled to go out and commit the kind of atrocity which was committed against women and children. I read that children who were picnicking by the side of a river were machine gunned by aircraft sent by the Government of Israel. I do not accept that conduct as the proper kind of conduct in retaliation for a dreadful atrocity. I would like that fact to be understood. I do not agree that one atrocity has to be answered by another atrocity. The sooner nations such as Australia say to all nations involved that they should begin to treat each other like human beings, that they should accept international arbitration, that they should accept the decisions of the United Nations and that they should endeavour to live in peace with each other, the sooner we will get some sense there.

It is important that Israel learn that it needs not only peace but also friendship with its neighbours. It is important for the Arab states to learn that if they are to get anywhere they have to come to terms with Israel and start to build together there. They need each other. If they -cease these dreadful atrocities against' each other we may get peace, justice, decency and a chance for life for the people- there who are suffering while the persons responsible allow the atrocities to. continue. I accept that on this occasion we should express in the strongest terms - the motion is in the strongest terms - our horror and shock at that violence which was perpetrated at Munich and which will go down in history as infamy.







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