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Tuesday, 26 November 1974
Page: 2706

Senator MULVIHILL (NEW SOUTH WALES) -I draw the attention of the Minister for Repatriation and Compensation to a Press statement in the Melbourne 'Sun' in which it is claimed that he referred to Israel as being doomed. Will the Minister elaborate on what he did say?

Senator WHEELDON (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) -I was concerned to see a headline above an article in this morning's Melbourne 'Sun' which reads: 'Israel doomedMinister'. There then follow remarks attributed to me. The text of the article which appears under this headline is not an inaccurate account of what I said at a meeting of Jewish Labor supporters in Melbourne but I did not say that Israel was doomed. The point I made at the meeting- I believe it is the view of the Australian Labor Party as well as being my view- is that Israel is in extremely grave danger owing to the fact that some past supporters of Israel have been placed in the position of being afraid of having their supplies of oil cut off by the blackmail of certain Arab countries. This has placed Israel in a much more difficult position than it has been in hitherto. I did not say that Israel was doomed. What I said was that there should be united action by all democratic countries to see that the sovereignty and integrity of Israel as a State are preserved. The construction that Israel is doomed certainly does not follow from what I said. I do have fears for the future of Israel but at no stage did I make any such statement.

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