August 23, 2006

Blind support of Israel is bad:
Australia has lost respect in the Middle East because of the federal government's unwavering and uncritical support for Israel, a retired ambassador says.

Ross Burns, Canberra's former ambassador to Israel, warned Wednesday that Australia's international interests could suffer because of the government's failure to offer a longer term and more independent view of Middle East affairs.

"I can't say that any Australian interests have been directly affected so far," he told ABC television.

"But ... in the longer term I think the respect for us in the region has fallen.

"People increasingly look at the statements by Australian ministers, see that we're only emphasising a very small range of points - most of which are very much echoing points made by Israeli politicians - and they don't see us as trying to maintain a more balanced attitude to a crisis."

"There should be more to our policy than just simply one of uncritical defence of Israel," he said.


Blog Archive