austgovt_gazastmtsThe 50 day military assault on Gaza in July and August had humanitarian effects. The explosives fired over Gaza have been the equivalent of six nuclear bombs.  Over 2,000 Gazans were killed,10,000 wounded and 600,000 were displaced by the 50 day assault.  Damage was sustained to 40,000 homes, more than two-thirds of schools, 17 hospitals and clinics, and 197 Mosques.

Fact Pages (Regularly Updated)

Join an APAN study tour  #apanpalestinetour
Tours available in November and January. Read more

Of course East Jerusalem is occupied!

On June 5, the Australian Government announced that it would no longer use the recognised title of “Occupied East Jerusalem”.  The statement was so shocking that it made international news.  The PA have asked Arab countries to reconsider its relationships with Australia, and locally the Council of Arab Ambassadors and the Australian Arab Business Network sought a meeting with the Foreign Minister.   APAN recommends Internal Law Professor Ben Saul’s clear opinion piece as a background on this issue.   APAN was interviewed on this matter by ABC’s Lateline and SBS news.  APAN has also written to the Attorney General.

APAN undertook a grassroots campaign where members of the Australian public wrote to their local members of Parliament.

APAN protests diplomatic meeting in East Jerusalem.
The Australian Ambassador to Israel met with the Israeli Housing Minister in his office in East Jerusalem, on 14 May 2014.  This was promoted by the Housing Minister’s office and lauded by the Israeli conservative press as a change in Australian policy. (Read Haaretz article. Read Fairfax article).  Until now, Australia has strictly avoided any acts that could be seen as recognition of Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem – as Israel illegally annexed this land in 1967.   Ambassadors and visiting Ministers have avoided any meetings in East Jerusalem.

APAN has written to the Foreign Minister asking her to clarify this meeting.

APAN commentary on peace process
An APAN Op Ed piece published in The Australian in April critiques how the “peace process” has become a euphemism for normalising the violent dispossession of the Palestinian people.  Read article.

Confusion on ALP position on settlements – now clarified
The Leader of the opposition made a speech at a Zionist Community of Australia event which appeared to contradict the recent ALP approach to Israeli settlements. APAN demanded clarification.  Ms Plibersek, Shadow Foreign Minister has now clarified this position – indicating that “Labor’s position remains the same”. She also added “Clear Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advice to Labor in government was that the settlements are not in line with international law.” Read clarification (in SMH).  Read DFAT advice being referred to (link will download document). See story about APAN’s response in The Guardian.

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 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

Why don’t you hold an event in your State to honour the UN International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People?  APAN would be happy to help

APAN responds to documentary “STONE COLD JUSTICE”
Four Corners and The Australian collaborated on producing this documentary, aired on ABC on 10th February 2014. The documentary revealed horrendous treatment of Palestinian children by the Israeli military.  APAN released a statement congratulating the producers.   APAN also wrote to Cabinet members calling on them to publicly express their opposition.   The documentary can be watched online.

APAN responds to Foreign Minister’s disturbing comments on settlements.
Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was interviewed by the Times of Israel, who published an article based on her comments on the 15th January.  In the interview she departed radically from previous Australian policy by refusing to concede that the Jewish settlements in the Occupied Palestinian territories were illegal under international law.

APAN’s President Bishop George Browning had an Opinion Piece published  in both the Age and Canberra Times.

APAN has also written to the Foreign Minister expressing our deep concerns about her actions.    The Australian Jewish Democratic society have also published their letter of concern to Julie Bishop.

Read more APAN highlights