TRANSCRIPT OF THE MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
THE HON MALCOLM TURNBULL MP
INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS UHLMANN
ABC AM PROGRAM, 31 July 2014
On another and very pressing issue. You have a large Jewish constituency in your electorate, how do you feel about the war in Gaza? Does Israel risk doing irreparable damage to its international standing?
Well Israel risks extinction. Israel faces an existential threat every day. Israel can barely afford to lose a battle let alone a war. Now, listening to Mark Regev earlier on this program, he really set out well what the problem is. I mean, the problems between Palestinians and Israel are immense and complex, but right here and now the fundamental issue that Israel faces is its fights to defend the safety of its people. As long as Hamas is firing rockets into Israel the Israeli defence force has to defend its own population. I mean that’s what we’d expect the Australian Army to do for us.
Are you comfortable with the disproportionate nature of what we’re seeing?
Nobody is comfortable with it – nobody. And can I say to you, least of all Jews in Australia. Jews in Australia and in my electorate are anguished by this because they see the terrible bind that Israel is in, the terrible bind that the civilians of Gaza are in. I mean people talk about Gaza as a prison. Let me tell you the real jailors of Gaza are Hamas. They are the people that are firing missiles from heavily built up areas filled with civilians, filled with children and the Israelis have to try to work out how to eliminate the source of the missiles in a surgical way. That is almost impossible to do without civilian casualties.
Malcolm Turnbull, we’ll have to leave it there. Thank you.