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Australia and the Middle East

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ΗΟ*ϋ- tress Oailery Drop .........

Text nf address by Sr, Andrew Feaoock to the victorian Jewian

Board of Deputies, Monday December 1? 1975,

. / AUSTRALIA- AMD TH1 alDPLl M f i g/g

m f ts ■

Ψ . .

This is too serious an isaya, and you are too

knosledgesMe art audieixee, far me, OF any other politician

in his sense*, to approach it in merely an elactisnsaring - . · .

spirit. -One cannot'■ ana should not try to reduce a tragic ·

situation to election fodder.

. . I Shall to making points against the wnltlam -everroSHT·

I political deoat» - tot _ · ■ .

__ 77zy/*i

to avoid making exaggerated claims. · ' ' " " '

• ■ ' · So let a» Start- by frankly recognising seise truths ' '

which, if I wars being purely partisan, it might to mors

convenient to iaiiprs* .

(i) The foreign policy of Australia m a t primarily to ' .

concerned not with" toe preservation of Israel or with Israeli

interests. Out with Australia:e own national interest„ It

would to eaeler to assert. the contrary ■ But it would not to

12} The degree to which Australia can influence the 'Middle '

East situation la strictly limited. Hot to put too fin* a

paint Oh it, Or direct influence on the situation is negligible,

But we can, I believe, help'to influence' the iiiteriiational

. olimate of opinion and I believe w@ should do so, . ·

'(3) It would to idle to pretend that Australia can remain " ' ·

entirely indifferent to- the oil power of the Arab countries, ”

We cannot. This factor would weigh leas heavily with us today

if the gavelopent of Australia$s own oil resources had hot .

toon so scandalously neglected in the last three years, if


vigorous exploration ami nevelupesant |jioqrfiB®sa 0^=1 ^eea

implemented = Our independence now would be greater and our

foreign policy options broader. But this did not occur, and

there--is a diplomatic. price.· to pay tor the years which the

Connors have eaten» ·

(4) The Israeli-Arab conflict is an extraordinarily complex

and difficult one, it is not going to be solved by any

formula or gimmick, There is no realistic quick solution

to it,. in thinking stout it there is no escape' from such .

unexciting words as "patience2, *compromise3 and ^moderation3 ,

These are unfortunate facts of life which 1 have, in

all honesty, to put to you, ..But they are not the end of the

story» " - -

What is the position of the Liberal and National

Country Party Coalition on the Middle East? ·

tirst, we support unequivocally and without reservation the

right of Israel-to exist» ■ Israel is a legitimate state, .

founded by tbs United Nations in 1947; it is a democratic .

state, it is a progressive state» Any basis of negotiation

in bargaining and compromising are limited, its margin of



3 *

error smalli and that it would be presumptuous tor a very

large country not living cheek by 3owl with others to suggest

that it take large risks.,. - ■

Secondly, this does-not, mean that we are anti-Arab, We ao not

believe· that Israel is anti-Arab.. What- we are opposed- to ar0·

not the Arabs but ex tram lam, se recognise unat there are

legitimate Arab grievances and that stability will only cose

to the region when these are removed, 7 think particularly

of the Palestinian· refugees in this respect. The basic

conflict In the Middle- East is between the extremists &nd the-

moderates; between those who ate not prepared to search for

the basis fop a just peace, who think only in terms of terror, wary

hatred and fear - and those who genuinely seek to find the around

tor agreement and peace,

However - we do not think that blame is to be evenly ■

v.islriDured: we do not- believe in the laechanloal balance impifed

by eyen-nandeahess”, But w§ do seljove that there are moderate

elernenta within the Arab world and that it . is essential that a

distinction be made between these and the extremist's and

terrorists * Tlu) policy ox all friends of Israel should be

direeted -air-sfcreng$heritmj- aH^-enccLuragingo- these” elsmentsy^for^t-: ■

to Spurn: fue- forces' oh moderntion- Is to encourage^;: th«^-fdrcsfc:-:_ ■ ■

or extremism* ; say this realising that, it Is note mi-easy·· '

thing to distinguish .between-real «(id assumed modaration.,. that-

it is not an easy; thing, to. extend trust bo those who often ’·

lapse into the rhetoric of hatred and enmity. Nevertheless,

unless it is none· there is no way out of t-ha impasse.


Thirdly. arid fallowing treat this, we believe that, given the

legacy of difttruat *nd fear and hatred which exists In the

region, some element of tryst. And mutual conliderte# Can oniy

be by ritititb:;. partial: agretmbhta-' which

do not put-too ranch st-risk, If these work and are seen to

work, the basis will have bann laid for further Steps, To

ask for more, for great leaps in the dark, is to ask for too

much, particularly from o small country which gan not afford

the consequences of misplaced tryst,

fourthly, we believe that oxitside tYse Middle Bast itself; in

the larger international society, Israel·’* rights to exist

and to participate as a full and equal merubwr of that society

ninet be protected as must those of all other countries. It

is unthinkable that a democratic and enlightened country like

Israel Ahnuld be ostracised and treated ae a pariah, We will

have none of it,

· How does our policy differ from that of the Whitlam

Government? The proclaimed policy of the Whitlam Government

was one of n even-handedness % And in a sense it was even­

handed, But -it was even-handed not between -Israel and the

moderate- fixate- but be tween- lar an i and the. p l q . between, t he- :

terrorlsts and a socrfcs V- ?tw:ccTAttlc"'tiatev '

Look at the voting, record, in the· U7R, i

. Australia 'did not approve- the participation of the .

FLO in the General Assembly in 1974 as did most '

Wits tern countries, Tt- abstained. .....

, Australia did not 'approve the attempt to restrict




Israel’a right of reply to its many Arab attackers ■ . .

in the General Assembly, as. did most western countries,

it, . abstained. . -Australia did not support Israel3s attempt to besOTse a

member of UNESCO's European regional group, as did most

western countries, It abstained.

On the question of the FLO having observer stains In

the I,L,Q, and.the World Meteorological Conference, tbs

Mhitlam UPvsrnment ·did not even abstain. It supported


At tee International Viomsn’s Year Conference in Me&ieo,

the Australian delegation voted for a resolution lumping

Zionism together with apartheid, colonialism and

racialism aa things to be eliminated, that is the

whitlam Govhjnvstntis record,- ' '

,> if is true that recently Australia )ma voted against the

infamous resolution identifying Zionism as racialism. But

let ins put it to you that that resolution would never have

been put, let alone passed, had not the PLd and the other

Arab extremists had the sxiodssses they did have - with Australia's

help - last' yea? , - "

• 'i'he U,N, ήαο-πόόη- used to leyi uimrse the P,L,0,, to qivsrr-

rt respectability·, That is one-of the motfe potent uses to.

which the V,N, wag be put. And the Whitlam Government

acquiesced in the process · - indeed it lent its support to it,

Ti you doubt Ρητό, let me remind you that a P.U.Or

Spokesman on Pgaio Damascus, in June of this year, justified

a raid on an Israeli village in which b people were killed


• J V


on the a rounds that "the IL«. General Assembly ha= approved

the right: off tne PalesLimans to pursue'tnerr struggle witi*

all means to feg sin their usurped rights” . -

Mbtvi "with all means;5,. Thai is ths weapon which the

s-D let- me turn to t-iii8 elevkrf:'fr_ Is l jise y<±y «t once that

there are many people in the Labor Party whose views on the

Middle East are sane . afid dseant. This :-i-g- tgu#^:oS==Mr ■ ni-ardon,

It i-s' fetv.eeof-ete-4ig%me,... 3ut ifc is emphaticai ly not true of

others. Oh the Labor Senate ticket .in this State you Will see ·

the name of Mr Bill Hartley. He is a friend and active

apologist, of "tlie p*£*Q*. lie Isllevee, thak Israel is a tool. ·

of imperialism, while the. PtO, <θβ#=8£$»=*ιβ·Î½· i«.-an instrument·..

• of ...progress, " ■ · "■ . . . . ." .. · · · . · ■ ■ . . . . . .

Mow Mr Hartley is not the Labor Party. But neither

,is ha just an isolated individual with unpleasant but .... . . .

idiosyncratic views,, He represents a significant and

powerful faction withlfi the· ■ Labor. Party,' a faction with strong

bargaining powers able to eotert very significant leverage on

policy, -If he did not he would not be on their Senate ticket.

This- faction M 5 _ ^ ^ i c u l a r y r strorigiMeklhg, in the diidystria^.^..

..sifiere.and Its power there 5Sn be traded off against ecmcSssions

-'h; - in 'other sphered'»^".' *' ' · * ’■ - * “

May. not this b e tn« explanation for the Whit lam

Government1 s· voting record in fcft* ϊ),Ν,? if a Whltlam

Government was returned with a Hartley in the Senate,, would

there not be a grave danger in a period of economic trouble




that industrial peace might be .bought at. the expense oi

giving the- pru-PLO Left what it wanted in foreign policy?

I , 3$.k you to. consider.: these questions 3ήά T thank you

for'..fchebop$sjrtun.-ityr; 't-ό,-yoxr-T ■ ^ '

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