NSW Senator Doug Cameron speaking on ABC radio about the calls for Australian intervention in Middle East conflict
Below is a transcript of this interview:
DOUG CAMERON: My concern is that it’s okay talking about a two-state solution but you have to do more than talk about it and Australia is now a member of the Security Council, Australia has got an obligation to play a strong role in this, and I’m just very concerned that we have left the solution to the two parties and it is a very unequal discussion, a very unequal bargain between Israel and Palestine.
EMILY BOURKE: In what sense?
DOUG CAMERON: In the sense that Israel is hugely influential. Israel is hugely strong militarily and we have in Palestine a state that has been isolated, a state that has got very little resources available to it. It is a state that is in poverty. They are subject to blockades by the Israelis.
EMILY BOURKE: How do you and indeed can you overcome this power imbalance that you refer to where Israel has the upper hand?
DOUG CAMERON: Well, you can only do that through strong international involvement and that’s what I’m calling for this morning. You have to have strong international involvement to get a pathway to peace and we can’t only look at peace. We have to have some prosperity in Palestine and if through the action of Israel and the blockade then they don’t have an opportunity to have a decent life then this is one of the reasons that we have the problems that we have.
EMILY BOURKE: There doesn’t seem to be an actual plan, a roadmap if you like, to overcome this intractable dispute.
DOUG CAMERON: Well, I can understand why Tony Blair would be wringing his hands because in the last situation like this we had Israel in a launch Operation Cast Lead which was a systematic destruction of many of the facilities in the Gaza Strip, huge loss of life, horrible actions by Israel against Palestine and it was a response that was far, far greater than the threat that they have from Palestine. So you can’t respond to terrorism by acts of terrorism yourself.
EMILY BOURKE: Are you suggesting that Israel is acting as a terrorist?
DOUG CAMERON: I’m saying that the actions of Israel during Operation Cast Lead terrorised the community in Palestine, innocent people were killed, facilities that international action had built over many years were destroyed and they created terror in Palestine.
EMILY BOURKE: Is Israel untouchable internationally?
DOUG CAMERON: No, Israel is not and should not be untouchable. They have to be accountable for any human rights violations, any war crimes that they undertake. Israel as part of the international community are supported by the international community, I support their right to live in peace and prosperity but we cannot turn a blind eye to actions that are creating huge problems for Palestine and actions that result in innocent civilians being killed.