Carr/Frydenberg discuss the abstention vote

November 29, 2012 by  
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Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Liberal MP Josh Frydenberg discuss on ABC’s PM program the Federal Government’s decision to abstain in the UN vote to award observer status to Palestine .MARK COLVIN: The Federal Opposition says it’s disappointed at the Government’s decision to abstain from voting on the resolution on Palestinian observer status at the United Nations.
But some in the Coalition go further, and call the decision ’embarrassing’ and undermining bipartisan support for Israel.

The Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, says it’s not unusual for the two major parties to differ on Middle Eastern matters. But he says that fundamentally the two sides agree on the need for a two-state solution.

From Canberra, Alexandra Kirk reports.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: When Australia abstains from voting on the floor of the UN to give the Palestinian Authority observer status, it won’t have the Coalition’s support.

Liberal frontbencher Andrew Robb, whose seat of Goldstein in Melbourne has a significant Jewish community, says the Government’s decision seriously undermines bipartisan support for Israel.

ANDREW ROBB: It matters crucially that the two sides of politics in Australia remain true to their longstanding convictions in terms of their support for Israel.

This non-vote by the Government will be clearly interpreted right across the Middle East as the effective endorsement of the Hamas campaign that we’ve seen over the last few months of terror and effectively seeking to kill Israeli citizens.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: It’s a view shared by fellow Liberal Josh Frydenberg from the nearby seat of Kooyong.

Josh Frydenberg

JOSH FRYDENBERG: I think this is a regrettable decision by the Gillard Government.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Many in the Government who’ve been strong supporters of Israel now back the Palestinian resolution, adamant it doesn’t undermine support for a two-state solution, and warning that to vote ‘no’ would be not to help the cause of peace. But Mr Frydenberg disagrees:

JOSH FRYDENBERG: I’m not saying that the Labor Party and the Labor Government is not a friend of Israel. What I’m saying is that they’ve made a decision which I think is injurious to Australia’s national interest and it doesn’t advance the peace prospects in the Middle East.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: He says there’s been a history of bipartisan support on Australian votes in the UN.

JOSH FRYDENBERG: There has been, and I think that’s a good thing. But, you know, we don’t want to see bad policy, and as I said Alex, this is bad policy and it’s a direct undermining of the Prime Minister’s authority particularly by her Foreign Minister Bob Carr.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Senator Carr says agreement with the Coalition wasn’t possible this time and doesn’t think it unusual to be going to the UN without a bipartisan position.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr

BOB CARR: The Howard government took a distinct turn on Middle Eastern policy from 2002 by opting always, whatever the circumstances, to record a vote for Israel.

We, since, 2007, 2008, have changed voting on now nine of those regular motions that come up affecting the Middle East in the United Nations, but fundamentally, the two sides of Australian federal politics are agreed: 1) a two-state solution, and; 2) a two-state solution that sees a Palestinian state committed to the safety and the security of Israel, so that Israel’s comfortable about living side by side, next door to a Palestinian state.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Wouldn’t it have been better, or ideal, to go to the UN on such a symbolically significant resolution with a bipartisan position?

BOB CARR: No, Governments make policy and that’s happening all over the world now, as governments look at this and make a decision and before the vote expected in a little over 24 hours.

I’ve just got news that France is going to vote ‘yes’, Austria is going to ‘vote’ yes, Luxembourg has decided that, the UK – according to reports – is choosing between an abstention, which is where Australia will be, or a ‘yes’ vote.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: What do you say to the Jewish community in Australia who are disappointed by the Government’s decision?

BOB CARR: I’d say they’re talking to Australia, which under Labor or Coalition governments, has been a notable friend of Israel. That hasn’t changed.

For goodness sake, last week the Prime Minister and I could not have been more explicit in underlining that Israel, facing missile attacks, had an absolute right to protect itself while at the same time, calling for proportionality and the minimisation of civilian casualties as a result of any Israeli response.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: But this week you were in fierce disagreement. Julia Gillard had to back down because she was in the minority on this issue. If it had come down to a vote in caucus, you and a bunch of other ministers – most of cabinet, along with many backbenchers – would have voted against her position. That would have been a fatal blow to her leadership wouldn’t it?

BOB CARR: Alex, that’s re-litigating and presenting a caricature of what I said yesterday in ABC interviews was wide-ranging discussion and consultation within the Labor party.

I said yesterday that the way the Prime Minister consulted her colleagues was a model of consultative decision-making. The way she intelligently reached a summary conclusion and took that public was again a model of how a good leader should behave.

MARK COLVIN: Foreign Minister Bob Carr speaking to Alexandra Kirk.


6 Responses to “Carr/Frydenberg discuss the abstention vote”
  1. Anne says:

    And ben E, above, is busy parroting the Muslim narrative. Why should it be so unthinkable for Jews, who formerly lived at the caprice of their Muslim overlords in perpetually imperilled dhimmi communities within dar al Islam, periodically attacked, killed, force-converted, robbed, abused, spat upon and cursed and shoved into the gutter, to inhabit a portion of their ancestral Traditional Lands and to control their own Sacred Sites and dreaming places; as free and sovereign people, rather than as cringing dhimmis? Why does it stick in Ben E’s craw that in just one tiny corner of planet earth, snatched back from the claws of the Empire of Islam, Jews live as free people; armed, and ready and able to defend themselves (something that was denied to dhimmis; a dhimmi was not allowed to strike a Muslim even in order to save himself from murderous assault)? Arab Muslims, and Muslims of other ethnicities, occupy and rule a vast swathe of planet earth, nearly all of which they seized by violent conquest…and in all of it, non-Muslims are treated atrociously. Yet Muslims, like Smaug the dragon in ‘the Hobbit’ screaming with rage when one little cup out of his hoard of stolen goods is removed (and taken back to its rightful owners), have been in fits of hysterics for sixty plus years because the Jews regained sovereignty over part of the land of Israel. Further: everyone who wants the Arab Muslims to have total control of Mount Zion, the Mount of Olives, Hebron, and the rest of the hill country of Judea and Samaria, so recently renamed ‘the West Bank’ by Arab Muslims, is essentially demanding that the Muslims should be given the military high ground…from which at will, when they deem themselves strong enough, they may proceed to their ultimate goal, the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel, the killing or driving out or dhimmification of all its Jews, and its resorption into the dar al Islam, the Empire of Islam.

  2. Anne says:

    Carr has swallowed “Palestinian” Arab Muslim nonsense and lies, and the nonsense and lies of the likes of Hanan Ashrawi, Islamochristian janissary of Jihad. It’s as simple as that. His enthusiasm, not so many years ago, for the slimy taqiyya master Imam Faisal Rauf, of ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ notoriety, and now his gushing praise for that compleat Muslim Brotherhood operative, Mohammed Morsi in Egypt, are not just embarrassing – which they are, excruciatingly so – but deadly dangerous.

  3. Otto Waldmann says:

    The audacity Bob Carr has in insisting that he would be considered as a friend of the Jewish community, of Israel is simply astounding. Carr lives in a world of delusion and aparent illiteracy. He should be taking notice of the strong rejection by the Jewish community of his stances on all matters concerning Israel. Bob Carr is NOT our friend, as simple as that !!!

  4. Ben Eleijah says:

    Two state solution has become shorthand for endorsing colonisation, displacment and terror by settlers, the Israeli army and para militaries. Sheer hypocricy when they can see that Israel is destroying the very basis of such a solution by expamding settlements, exclusive highways and checkpoints and building the barrier inside the West Bank. Nor does Carr mention the fact that the ten year old Arab League resolution has been spurned by Israel. The coalition is worse.

  5. greg says:


    It seems that Bob Carr has decided that the PLO push at the United Nations is top priority.

    Perhaps he feels that Israel should go back to the pre- 1967 lines and just let Hamas and the PLO do whatever they want.

    If the PLO does control the West Bank then they will never stop sending rockets to central residential arears of Israel. Their policy is to kill all jews. Statehood will just make it easier.

  6. Lynne Newington says:

    Can’t stand the man I’m sorry.
    With his best mate designated as the Ambassador to the Holy See, and Bishop Pat Power [ret.]on the road again, the church and politicians all know where their allegiance’s lie, unless there’s a public uproar and their forced to act.
    As a QC, his said active involvement in church affairs for decades, [decades mind you] leaves us wondering why it’s taken so long to bring it to account on other issues on the home front.
    SMH April 29 2012.

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