APAN releases statement on Violence in Occupied Palestine
Violence in the early days of October have soared in the West Bank and Jerusalem.  The UN Secretary General has expressed his alarm at recent deadly incidents and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society called a state of emergency following 14 attacks on their ambulances by Israeli forces and settlers. Since Friday, four Israelis have been killed. Four Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, including a 13 year old boy, and 500 injured.  Israeli settlers have been attacking Palestinian property in the West Bank, and over the weekend hundreds of right-wing Israelis were marching through Jerusalem harassing Palestinians.

In our statement, APAN notes with dismay that the current crisis was not unexpected but an inevitable consequence of years of neglect by the international community and a series of unilateral initiatives by the Israeli government and militant settler organisations. Read full statement

Fayyad_WP_NPC (853x1280)Dr Salam Fayyad visit to Australia
In September, the former Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr Salam Fayyad visited Australia to deliver the Edward Said Memorial Lecture.  While he was in Australia he also met with political leaders, and addressed the National Press Club(link to listen).  Dr Fayyad stated that every round of ‘peace talks’ have brought a deterioration in the terms of reference, and the international community must ensure that Palestinian rights are the key starting point, not what Israel may be willing to agree to. See more about Dr Fayyad’s visit, including more photos.

Join campaign asking for Julie Bishop to join calls to save Susiya
The strong Palestinian community of Susiya are in the fight of their lives to save their homes from demolition. Watch it here.  Susiya is a village in the Occupied Palestinian territories which has faced severe restrictions imposed by Israeli authorities for years.  And now the people of Susiya could soon see their village demolished by the same Israeli authorities. Everything could go: homes, livelihoods, land. APAN has joined with Action Aid Australia to call on the Foreign Minister to join her international counterparts, including the USA, to ask Israel not to demolish Susiya.
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New report highlights situation of Palestinian Refugees from Syria
ASPIRE, a Melbourne- based organisation, has released a report focusing on the situation of Palestinian refugees who have been living in Syria. The report includes calls on action from Australia and UN bodies to take practical steps to protect and support these refugees. Read more.

APAN welcomes change in ALP policy on Palestine.
The resolution passed at the ALP National Conference in July was a positive step forward towards a balanced foreign policy position.  APAN would have hoped it could have been stronger and called for immediate recognition of Palestine. Read our press release.
Watch Tony Burke’s speech in delivering motion;
watch Wendy Turner’s speech in seconding motion.

APAN calls for action for people in Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria
APAN joins other NGO’s and UN bodies calling for urgent action to respond to the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Yarmouk refugee camp where Palestinian refugees are besieged by violence and unable to gain aid or even water.
Read full statement.

APAN’s analysis of Israeli elections
Titled Netanyahu is consistent in his deception, Bishop Browning’s piece details why Netanyahu’s pre-election promises of more settlements and no Palestinian State should not be a surprise. Read article.

Honoring Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser’s support for Palestine
Sonja Karkar from Australians for Palestine, writes a moving piece detailing the former Prime Minister’s strong support for Palestine over a number of years.  They include a quote from his 2011 article “There is an Israeli lobby that governments are not prepared to offend” and that if Israel and the US persist in dividing the Palestinians into hostile camps between Fatah and Hamas, “Israel will lose more and more friends and will place its own future in danger.”  Read article.

Australian Parliamentarians speak up for Palestine
In the March 2015 sitting of federal Parliament, two parliamentarians spoke up for Palestine.  Senator Nick Xenophon called for urgent assistance for Gaza, including the end to the Israeli blockade.  Melissa Parke MP highlighted the election of Netanyahu who promised no Palestinian State and called on Australia to recognise Palestine.  In their condolence speeches to the Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser, both Senator Xenophon and Ms Parke MP recognised his commitment to Palestine.

This comes on the heals of strong statements in parliament in December by Parliamentary Friends of Palestine co-convenor  Maria Vamvakinou MP(Labor)
who called for an immediate Australian recognition of a Palestinian State, and by Craig Laundy MP(Liberal)  who stated that he is frustrated that parliamentarians appear to be hiding behind rhetoric of a two state solution.  Further speeches in support were given by Jill Hall MP(Labor) and Melissa Parke MP(Labor) and Russell Broadbent MP(Liberal). Following this Senator Urquhart(Labor) also made a speech calling on Australia to recognise Palestine, and Senator Milne(Greens) tabled a Senate motion indicating that the Greens support full and immediate recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Next APAN study tour dates announced!wall_picture
APAN’s study tours have been described as “intense, extraordinary and a life-changing experience”.
The tours traverse Lebanon, West Bank, Israel and Gaza.  Next tours:
22 August – 5 September 2015
23 January – 6 February 2016
See photos of the January 2014 tour
More information and to register

Australian Government Vote Against Ending the Occupation of Palestine
In its last action as a member of the UN Security Council, Australia voted against a UN Security Council resolution to end the occupation of Palestine. The US was the only other country to vote against the resolution which was supported by eight other members including Russia, China, France, Argentina, Chile, Luxemburg, Chad and Jordan. Five other countries abstained including the UK, Rwanda, Nigeria, Lithuania, and South Korea. In defending its position the Australian government stated that the resolution “.. lacks balance and seeks to impose a solution put forward by one party alone.” Obviously, the Australian Government is happy with Israel’s imposed solution via the blockade of Gaza and the colonization of the West Bank.

The latest opinion poll initiated by APAN and conducted by Ray Morgan have clearly shown that 57% of Australians want the government to vote for the recognition of Palestinian State. One wonder whose interest and agenda this government represent.

Vote Yes_Dec_14This map shows the majority of the world already recognises Palestine(all countries in green do). But even though the majority of Australians support immediate recognition of Palestine Australia doesn’t yet!

In December with the support of APAN hundreds of Australians wrote to their local representatives asking them to support a YES vote in the UN Security Council.

Australian parliamentarians have begun calling for immediate recognition of Palestine! Lets get behind them and call on the rest of parliament to join them!

Read more in our Opinion Piece published in The Australian.

A Morgan Opinion poll undertaken in early November 2014 showed that the majority of Australians support immediate recognition of Palestine. In comparison to Opinion Polls of previous years, people reported having increased knowledge about the situation, and an increasing sympathy for Palestinians.  Nearly a third of people polled indicated they believe that the Government favors Israel rather than holding a balanced position. Read more.

On August 31, 2014, Israel announced the confiscation of a thousand acres of Palestinian land for the expansion of its West Bank settlements.  The international response was swift and strong, yet there was no response from either the Australian Government and a very week response from the Opposition. Only the Australian Greens had called on Israel to reverse the decision.  APAN launched a campaign where Australians wrote to their local members, and within a week there was a condemnation issued by both the Government and Opposition. Read more.

APAN Dinner: Honouring the UN International Year of Solidarity
On August 29, 2014, APAN was pleased to host a dinner to honour the UN Year of Solidarity for the Palestinian people.A_BurkeShadow Minister for Finance, Mr Tony Burke MP stated in his speech “if you are serious about a two state solution, the settlement activity must cease. If you are serious about justice, then we need to acknowledge and acknowledge the truth, that all Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal. If we’re serious about speaking the truth then we must unequivocally be able to say that East Jerusalem in occupied”. Download full speech.  Both Senator Rhiannon and Craig Laundy MP (in a message read in his absence) congratulated APAN for their strong and effective work in the Australian parliament.
Read more.

Bishop Browning invites parliamentarians to “catch up” to the Australian public support International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian Peopleof Palestine

APAN was honoured to be part of an event at Parliament House in March 2014 for the launching of the UN International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The room was full of people wanting to honour this year – including 24 parliamentarians across the political spectrum, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the UN, business and community leaders, academics and community representatives. The event was co-hosted by Parliamentary Friends of Palestine and the Parliamentary UN Friendship group. In a passionate speech, Bishop George Browning asked the politicians to “catch up” with the Australian people who have had enough of not only Israeli policy victimising the Palestinians and the in-difference shown by the international community who won’t stand up against the injustices and inflected suffering. Read more and see photos of the event

Read more APAN highlights