International diplomacy is all about carefully selected words.
Words that are supposed to convey a nations feelings without,
necessarily, upsetting too deeply another nations feelings.
Unless that other nation is not your ally in which case, its
Heres what Julie Bishop had to say last week as the death toll
in Gaza of unarmed protestors sniped by Israeli soldiers from
across the border topped 100 (in total, more than 130 Gazans were
killed in six weeks of protests, and thousands more injured).
We recognise that Israel has legitimate security
concerns and needs to protect its population, and we call on Israel
to be proportionate in its response and refrain from excessive use
of force. Australia urges Palestinian protesters to refrain from
violence and attempting to enter into Israeli territory during the
March of Return.
Presumably, that legitimate security concern included gunning
down an unarmed protestor running away from the Israeli border with
For the record, the violence directed by Gazans resulted in zero
injuries to Israelis.
Now heres Bishops remarkably similar statement in 2014, during
Israels assault on Gaza, called, without a hint of irony, Operation
The retaliatory acts from both sides that have
led to civilian deaths and injuries are deeply regrettable, and I
call on all parties to exercise restraint and do everything
necessary to avoid a further escalation of violence.
For the record, Israel lost 67 soldiers, and six civilians in
that outbreak of violence. By contrast, 2,300 Gazans we killed,
more than 500 of them children, and over 10,000 injured, with about
100,000 homes destroyed.
Now heres Julie Bishops response when Russia was accused earlier
this year (without any real evidence, save for claims from
countries which brought you the 2004 invasion of Iraq based on
their weapons of mass destruction intel) of a chemical attack on
two former Russian citizens in Britain.
Together with many nations, including our
closest allies, Australia stands with the United Kingdom as we
condemn the outrageous use of a banned Russian nerve agent on
British soil, in the first chemical weapons attack in Europe since
World War II. The Russian Government must explain how a
military-grade nerve agent developed by Russia was used in the UK,
endangering the lives of hundreds of people.
So an attack on two British citizens which claimed zero lives,
and was allegedly perpetrated by a nation not allied with
Australia, requires condemnation. But a series of attacks by a
nation that is allied with Australia, which resulte...