Palestine in Australian politics 2014 (July-December)

Collection of statements on Palestine and Israel from the Hansard record of the Australian Federal Parliament.

URQUART-Anne-ALP-TAS3 December 2014, Senate: Senator Anne Urquhart (ALP, TAS) – moved a Motion in the Senate to recognise 2014 as the United Nations International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (IYSPP):
“Today, I reiterate my solidarity with the Palestinian people and recognise the tragedy of the current situation in the region. For too long, Palestinians have been denied their inalienable rights. Never has peace in the Middle East been a more urgent priority.”

DANBY-Michael-ALP-VIC3 December 2014, House of Representatives: Michael Danby MP (ALP, VIC) – statement on 18 November killings in a Jerusalem synagogue.
“When one is trying to organise a two-state solution and peace between parties incitement and this kind of horrific killing, and support for it afterwards by mainstream Palestinian sources, has to be addressed.”

2 December 2014, House of Representatives: Alexander Hawke MP (Lib., NSW) – statement alleging bias of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Israel-Palestine issues.Alexander Hawke MP
“I also want to draw to the attention of the House…a disturbing trend within the ABC to substitute for its own news services that of Al Jazeera when reporting about Middle Eastern affairs—in particular, conflicts between Palestine and Israel.”

1 December 2014, House of Representatives: Motion to recognise 2014 as the United Nations International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (IYSPP):
Maria Vamvakinou MP (ALP, VIC) – moves the Motion in the House – “We need to demand…closure to this issue based on justice and international law.”
Russell Broadbent MP (Lib., VIC) – “…where Australia can play a role is that we can at least be interested.”
Melissa Parke MP (ALP, WA) – “…[it is] about what is right under the rule of law by which all countries should abide.”
Craig Laundy MP (Lib., NSW) – seconds the Motion – “For the last almost 60 years, the people of Palestine have not had a fair go.”
Jill Hall MP (ALP, NSW) – “…to be a member of this parliament and do nothing is wrong.”
Kelly O’Dwyer MP (Lib., VIC) – “…it is my view that this motion does not achieve [a peaceful solution].”

Melissa Parke MP24 November 2014, House of Representatives: Melissa Parke MP (ALP, WA) – statement in response to media misrepresentations, and misrepresentations by Senator Glenn Sterle (ALP, WA), of her support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign.
“Senator Sterle also claimed that my comments in support of boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, are contrary to the Labor policy of supporting a two-state solution. That is incorrect. I have clearly stated my support for a two-state solution, the right of Israel to exist alongside a new state of Palestine . Furthermore, there is nothing in Labor’s platform against BDS.”

Senator Glenn Sterle, ALP30 October 2014, Senate: Senator Glenn Sterle (ALP, WA) – statement in condemnation of BDS and remarks by Melissa Parke (ALP, WA).
“Unfortunately, [Ms Parke] needs to cease her support for divisive campaigns, like the BDS movement, and support a more constructive dialogue on the issues facing both Israelis and Palestinians.”

27 October 2014, House of Representatives: Melissa Parke MP (ALP, WA) – tabled a public petition (signed by 701 citizens) calling on the Government to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israel.  Newcastle University academic, Marcelo Svirsky, walked 300km from Sydney to Canberra to deliver the petition.
“If we are genuinely concerned about national and global security as well as international justice, we, along with other nations, including the US, should be insisting that Israel do its part to lay the groundwork for peace by, among other things, ending its illegal occupation, settlement construction and the Gaza blockade. Until this happens, BDS is a perfectly acceptable form of protest and I congratulate Dr Marcelo Svirsky for his courageous walk and his brave stand.


Marcel Svirsky walked from Sydney to Canberra to deliver a petition on BDS.

Senator Lee Rhiannon23 October 2014, Senate: Senator Lee Rhiannon (Greens, NSW) – questions in Senate Estimates hearing of the Foreign Affairs Commmittee regarding damage to Australian-funded aid programming in the Gaza Strip following the Israeli military offensive ‘Operation Protective Edge’.

26 August 2014, Senate: Senator Lee Rhiannon (Greens, NSW) – statement on the Gaza hostilities under the Israeli military Operation ‘Protective Edge’.
“In the face of state-sponsored killing on an extensive scale and in the absence of effective political leadership, I do believe we all have a responsibility to act.”

Maria Vamvakinou MP16 July 2014, House of Representatives: Maria Vamvakinou MP (ALP, VIC) – statement on 10-year anniversary of International Court of Justice ruling against the construction of Israel’s Separation Wall.
“The court determined that the wall and all Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are illegal, and that the fourth Geneva Convention applies to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in full.”

Anne Ruston14 July 2014, Senate: Senator Anne Ruston (Lib., SA) – statement on effects of Middle East hostilities on children.
“Over 150 people have been killed in Gaza over the last few days of hostilities. I am sure many more would have been killed in Israel had it not been for the fact that they have the luxury of a very sophisticated defence Iron Dome mechanism, which intercepts the rockets that come into Israel.”

9 July 2014, Senate: Senator Lee Rhiannon (Greens, NSW) – statement on Gaza hostilities, wave of arrests of Palestinians in West Bank, abduction of three Israelis in West Bank, killings of Palestinian children, illegal Israeli settlements:
“The silence from Labor and the coalition around the atrocities of the Israeli military towards Palestine» is shameful. … The Abbott government’s decision to break from previously bipartisan recognition of the occupied territories as illegitimate not only undermines the international rule of law and our international obligations but also compromises Australia’s own interests.”

Acronyms of Australian politics:
ALP – Australian Labor Party
Greens – Australian Greens
Lib. – Liberal Party
Nat. – Nationals Party
Ind. – Independent politician not affiliated with a party