Writes Mr Carr, inter alia, on his blog (which contains the photo at left):
'This morning I had the pleasure of speaking at the Eid al-Adha celebration at Lakemba Mosque.
I said that this celebration is a reminder of the important role of Islam in the lives of many Australians.
Australia is home to nearly half a million Muslims and Islam is our country’s third largest religion (behind Christianity and Buddhism).
Australian Muslims contribute strongly to Australian society.
The Australian Government funds a multitude of inter-faith, cultural overlap and community development activities overseas ....
It is important to emphasise that Australia has long-standing links with the Arab world, especially in trade and education ....
Our formal links with regional organisations are growing:
• I participated in the second Australia- Gulf Cooperation Council dialogue in New York last month;
• we have a formal dialogue with the Arab League;
• we have a framework of cooperation with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation;
• we have senior officials talks with the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, and Iraq; and
• we have agreed to hold these talks with Libya, Oman, Algeria and Morocco.
We are also supporting the democratic transition of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Iraq.
It is these links that we must remind ourselves of in the face of the efforts of extremist minorities to incite violence or create gaps between cultures.'Nothing about Israel and the Palestinian Arabs there, as far as I can see. But, to quote SBS (hat tip: reader Rita:
'Bob Carr told the crowd he's proud of the Labor Government's support in the United Nations for lifting the status of the Palestinians in the UN.
Senator Carr says all Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal under international law and should cease.
"I am very, very proud that Australia's hand did not go up against increased Palestinian status in the general assembly of the United Nations.
That's something you ought to think about. I've been to Ramallah, I've spoken to the Palestinian leadership and we support their aspirations to have a Palestinian state in the context of a Middle Eastern peace and that means respect for the right of Israel to exist."'As for Mr Hockey, a Christian of Palestinian and Armenian parentage, he
'told the crowd all Australians should be proud of their heritage.
He says he's proud that his father was born in Palestine and came to Australia as a migrant in 1948 and said if the Coalition wins government his Arabic heritage will earn him a unique place in Australian history.
"We believe in the future of Australia. If there is a change of government on the seventh of September it will be the very first time in Australian history that someone of Arab heritage has taken a leadership position in Australia," Mr Hockey says.
"And that is a significant event, significant event for Australia and it is a significant event for the Arab community and that will only come about with a change of government on the seventh of September."'See here for acerbic commentary by a well-known Aussie Jewish voice,as well as here.