Bill Shorten MP – short statement on the death of former Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon

photo of Bill Shorten MP
February 11, 2014

Ariel Sharon will loom large in the memories of his people and his country. He will be remembered as a great friend in the history of Australia. The nation of Israel and the Israeli people will deeply feel his loss.

Full speech

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:07): On behalf of the federal opposition, I join with the Prime Minister in acknowledging the passing of Ariel Sharon. As a general and as a prime minister, Mr Sharon dedicated his life to fighting for his beliefs and the state of Israel. His deeds on the battlefield won him fame as one of Israel’s most brilliant and courageous commanders. The same bravery and tactical acumen served him throughout his rise to the prime ministership.

Undoubtedly Ariel Sharon was a fearless leader and, at times, a controversial figure. But in his final years as Prime Minister he made strides in the Israel-Palestine peace process, representing a courageous shift in his politics in favour of a two-state solution. All of those involved in the peace process should follow the example of courage that has historically been required to move the process forward. We should all rededicate ourselves to supporting this goal.

Ill health robbed Mr Sharon of a chance to complete his change of position and, indeed, to remake his legacy. We will never know how history would have judged him had he seen this through. Regardless of this, Ariel Sharon will loom large in the memories of his people and his country. He will be remembered as a great friend in the history of Australia. The nation of Israel and the Israeli people will deeply feel his loss. Our sympathies are with his family and with all those who mourn his passing.

Link to parliamentary Hansard

Sign up to receive emails from APAN

Available Mailing Lists

Keep up to date with what is happening in Palestine advocacy in Australia - all the latest events, campaigns and actions. Emails are irregular based on events, but on average are fortnightly.
Weekly email featuring three top news items - bite size way to keep up to date with Palestinian concerns.
Team who respond to stories about Palestine in the Australian media - predominantly letter writing.