Thursday, November 23, 2006

Only we can ...

The Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, at the dedication of Ohel Devorah (a new synagogue), in Melbourne on the 9th of November.

As a speaker, he's no Tony Blair, but what he says is worth listening to.

Sometimes they have to be defeated them in the battlefield. But in the end we, as what I might broadly describe as a Western society, can decide whether we will defeat these people or whether we won’t. We can make that decision...

Only we can allow them to make progress, gain ground by sending a message to them that we can be defeated by showing a lack of will, by showing a lack of determination.
He has a concrete example.
I find and I’ve been doing this today as we cast our votes in the United Nations against some of what I call the extreme Palestinian resolutions. I mention this today because at Melbourne airport I was signing off on how we would vote on a number of these resolutions that are coming up over the next couple days.

These resolutions are deeply anti-Israeli, deeply anti-Israeli, and big majorities always carry them. And we are always being told, the best thing for diplomacy is to: all right minister, you don’t like the resolution, but in the interests of diplomacy why don’t you abstain? And I say, let’s vote against it because it is wrong.

And the more we and other countries stand up to this sort of behaviour, the more we stand a chance of success… the more we try to appease, the more we will encourage. And it is enormously important to remember that.

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