…….A triumphant Mr Abbott declared Australia “under new management and open for business” in his victory speech on Saturday night, pledging to create a competent, trustworthy government.
Tony Abbott was gracious in victory. The man who was labelled a few years ago as ‘unelectable’ was elected.
I wish I could say the same about ‘dear Kev’. He rambled on and on. Was it only me who saw the looks on the face of his wife, which clearly were saying “Shut up! Be quiet! Enough already”?
Egotistical to the end! He sounded as if he’d won, even though it was worst ALP vote since Federation.
The ALP looks set to be reduced to one seat only in two states, something that has never happened before in even one, and looks likely to narrowly avoid the same in a third state.
The important thing to us, as well of course as what happens on the ‘home front’, is Tony Abbott’s and the Liberal Party’s stand on Israel. He is well and truly on record as being a firm supporter.
Here are a few highlights to questions posed to Tony Abbott by AIJAC – Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Council, in regards to Israel prior to the election . Please visit the site to read it in its entirety. I have posted only three of ten questions.
“In keeping with a long-standing pre-election tradition at the AIR, we sent a series of ten policy questions to the campaigns of both Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to help inform our readers as they go to the polls on Sept. 7.
The questions – designed to focus on political issues of special concern to the Australian Jewish community – deal with issues including Israel and the peace process, communal education, counter-terrorism and communal security, the Iranian nuclear crisis, multiculturalism, racial hatred laws and the vexed question of asylum seeker policy.
The answers from both campaigns are presented here in full“
Australia’s relationship with Israel is important. The Coalition’s traditionally strong support for Australia’s Jewish community has been matched by firm commitment to Israel’s security. That reflects our two countries’ shared democratic values and the Coalition’s recognition that Israel is under existential threat in a way that almost no other country in the world is. The Coalition also believes there is scope for closer trade and investment ties with Israel.
The Coalition would not, as has Labor, nominate an anti-Israel campaigner for election to the International Court of Justice. And it would ensure that Australian taxpayers’ money doesn’t find its way to Gaza Strip terrorist organisations, as emerged last year.
Israel has no stauncher friend than the Liberal-National Coalition and as Greg Sheridan has written, it is “crystal clear” that the Coalition has a deeper level of support for the Israel relationship than Labor (Greg Sheridan, “Badly misjudged action will have a political cost”, The Australian, 25 May 2010).
The Coalition is firmly committed to restoring the Australia-Israel friendship to the strength it enjoyed under the Howard Government.
What part should Australia play in the quest for peace between Israel and its neighbours? And what principles should underlie Australia’s decisions with regard to voting on Israeli-Palestinian issues at the United Nations?
Israel’s long-term security requires efforts to achieve a two-state peace settlement involving accommodation of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and their unconditional and unambiguous acceptance of Israel’s right to exist behind secure borders. A Coalition government would be glad to assist if it could play a useful role in advancing that prospect.
The Coalition believes the Australian Government should have made support of Palestinian observer status at the UN conditional on the Palestinians’ unconditional and unambiguous acceptance of Israel’s right to exist behind secure borders.
In deciding not to support Israel, the United States and Canada at the United Nations over Palestinian observer status, Labor decided that Australia would turn its back on a long-standing friend.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel continues to be active in Australia, where Jewish businesses have been targeted for their claimed support of Israel. How should the Australian Government respond to BDS? Should organisations that engage in BDS receive government funding?
The Coalition is deeply concerned by the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions campaign against Israel. This campaign has been backed by the Greens and is designed to destroy any business that has a connection with Israel.
It was disappointing that Labor joined with the Greens in not supporting Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos’s September 2012 Senate motion condemning the BDS campaign.
The Coalition will institute a policy across Government that ensures no grants of taxpayers’ funds are provided to individuals or organisations which actively support the BDS campaign.
At the time of proposing the motion Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos was the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott.
Mr President I give notice that on the next day of sitting, I shall move—That the Senate-
(a) Notes that:
(i) Senator Lee Rhiannon has acknowledged that some votes shifted away from the Greens in Marrickville, in the NSW local government elections, because of the boycott of Israel issue;
(ii) Marrickville Greens councillor Ms Marika Kontellis last year voted to retain Council’s BDS (Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions) policy and last month attended the Byron Bay BDS conference;
(iii) the NSW Greens chose Karel Solomon, a BDS advocate who has branded Israel an apartheid state, as a candidate for Marrickville Council;
(iv) Irene Doutney, the Greens’ candidate for Sydney Lord Mayor, has supported BDS actions and said she personally favours a full boycott of Israel;
(b) Calls on the NSW Greens to explicitly reject the BDS policy; and
(c) Condemns the BDS campaign.
If we want to engage nation states, to promote cooperation and peace on issues like the Middle East, the best approach is to work with them rather than isolate them and make them appear the villains that they are not.
Labor’s capitulation to the Greens on this important issue is indeed troubling.
No amount of justification after the event by Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr can expunge what Labor has put on the record.