I think Krudd's right: Tony Abbott is grossly deficient in 'ticker'. His shying away from a debate though is the least of it.
For example, it was evident at a Jewish community function in Sydney's Central Synagogue last year that he was speaking straight from the heart when he said:
"[Israel is] a country so much like Australia, a liberal, pluralist democracy. A beacon of freedom and hope in a part of the world which has so little freedom and hope." He went on to say that, in effect, Israel was fighting for its "very life" in places like the West Bank and Lebanon, and that, as far as he was concerned, "Australians are Israelis. We are all Israelis in those circumstances." (Abbott: We are all Israeli, The Australian Jewish News, 16/3/12)
But where was this real, Israeli Tony when he spoke at a Muslim community function in Sydney on Monday night? To be sure, he again trotted out the same old 'beacon' metaphor, but I'm afraid that this was about as good as it got:
"Australia in so many things, but particularly in this multiculturalism, is a beacon of hope to a troubled and divided world." (Address to the Auburn City Council Iftar, Lidcombe, tonyabbott.com.au, 6/8/13)
Why, I'd like to know, didn't he tell the Muslims what he told the Jews last year?
Why didn't he tell them that just because they had the misfortune to have been born without freedom or hope in such anti-Semitic cesspits of terror as the West Bank or Lebanon (to name but a few), that was no excuse for them not to pull their fingers out, recognise Israel as the beacon of freedom and hope that it is, and celebrate the fact that, as Australian citizens, they too are really Israelis?
I mean, if he can't tell a few bloody Muslims what he really thinks, if all he can do on such an occasion is waffle on about "unity in diversity," building a "stronger economy," and "proper infrastructure for Western Sydney," has he really got it in him to be Australia's next PM?