AJC honors Aussies’ ex-foreign minister


Australia’s former foreign minister was honored by the American Jewish Committee.

Alexander Downer, who served 11 years as foreign minister in the Liberal government of John Howard, was presented with the Ramer Award for Diplomatic Excellence at a ceremony last week in Washington

On receiving the award, Downer said that Israel has suffered a “constant stream of criticism,” particularly from Europe and elements of the United Nations.

“These criticisms have been particularly vehement in much of the western media,” he said. “That has had an effect on public opinion, which has become increasingly hostile to Israel. But Israel is a democracy. No Israeli leader can turn his or her back on the struggle against those who wish to destroy Israel. The world needs to respect that.”

AJC Executive Director David Harris said of Downer, “As foreign minister he demonstrated outstanding friendship toward the U.S. and Israel, and unwavering support for American foreign policy, and especially the ongoing war against terrorism and Islamic extremism.”

Previous recipients of the Ramer Award include former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, former Spanish foreign minister Ana Palacio and former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Negroponte.


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