THERE is a direct link between security in the Middle East and Australia’s security situation, according to Defence Minister Dr Brendan Nelson.
He described the situation in Israel as vital to Australia.
“No longer can we accept the fact that this has nothing to do with us, it has everything to do with us,” Dr Nelson told the State Zionist Council of Victoria’s Annual Assembly last week.
Dr Nelson, the member for Bradfield – an electorate in Sydney’s north with a 4500-strong Jewish population – and a strong supporter of Israel, told the assembly that despite being located so far from Israel, the tiny Jewish country is vital to Australia’s security interests.
He told the audience that Israel’s survival and growth was important and that it would be “a bulwark against the kind of madness that is being promoted by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the ambitions of the Iranians”. He also said he hoped the upcoming peace talks between Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would be fruitful.
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