Palestine in Australian politics 2015 (January-June)

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

SINGH-Lisa-ALP-TAS23 June 2015, Senate: Senator Lisa Singh (ALP, TAS) – speech on situation of water in Palestine and in support of Palestinian statehood.
“The situation of water in Israel and Palestine is a microcosm of the wider conflict. The Israeli and Palestinian people face a shared future on shared land. …Australia has an ongoing role to play to multilaterally bring an end to this conflict through a negotiated and just solution for both parties based on UN resolutions and international law. …As a modern democratic nation, we should be joining the 132 other nations who have conferred diplomatic recognition to the Palestinian National Authority. Australia should be pledging to support the rights of the Palestinian people.”

GRIFFIN-Alan-ALP-VIC22 June 2015, House of Representatives: Alan Griffin MP (ALP, VIC) – statement calling on Australia to recognise Palestine state and for an end to the occupation.
“I am pleased to be part of the Labor Party, which is unequivocal: East Jerusalem, alongside the West Bank and Gaza, is indeed occupied and the settlements are illegal and Israel must withdraw from them. It is clear from comments from a majority of the current Israeli cabinet that there is no commitment to advancing the two-state solution. …Australia must join with other countries to look for new strategies to advance a just solution. Australia can, and should, join with 135 other countries to recognise the state of Palestine. Australia was one of the first countries to recognise Israel , and rightly so. It would be sad if we were one of the last to recognise Palestine. Australia can, and should, support moves in the UN Security Council to call for an end to the occupation of Palestine. Australia can, and should, use its close alliance with Israel to call on it to recognise the right of Palestinians to live in freedom—not in another decade or seven, but now.”

HAYES-Chris-ALP-NSW14 May 2015, House of Representatives: Chris Hayes MP (ALP, NSW) – speech in support of Palestine statehood.
“I have become increasingly concerned about the hostilities in Israel’s occupied territories, as well as the lack of progress in finding a path towards the creation of a Palestinian state, as Palestinians too have a right to exist and enjoy statehood. …Given Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent behaviour, along with that of senior members of his Likud Party, to distance themselves from a two-state solution, I believe it falls to countries like Australia, who believe in the dignity of all peoples of the region, to become more engaged in the peace process and to address the need for tangible progress in the creation of a Palestinian state, while ensuring respect and security for the Jewish homeland.”

ALBANESE-Anthony-ALP-NSW25 March 2015, House of Representatives: Anthony Albanese MP (ALP, NSW) – in a constituency statement on multiculturism, Albanese stated:
“Like many people, I was deeply concerned by television images of Israeli bombs levelling schools on the Gaza Strip last July and August, in the latest manifestation of this conflict. I stated then that that was wrong. I believe that is the case today. I believe there needs to a Palestinian state, but I also believe that Israel has a right to exist in peace and security. A two-state solution is the way forward.”

Melissa Parke MP25 March 2015, House of Representatives: Melissa Parke MP (ALP, WA) – statement on recent Israel national election and Australia’s recognition of Palestine state.
“I would like to record my concern at the victory of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Likud Party in Israel’s recent elections, which appears to be attributable to extreme pre-election rhetoric and racism from Netanyahu, including statements that there will be no Palestinian» state and there will be increased settlements and his warnings to beware ‘Arabs voting in droves’. …A UN Security Council resolution in December last year to set a deadline to end Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestinian territories was opposed only by two countries: Australia and the US. Given the failure of US sponsored peace talks, it is essential that Palestinians now have access to international bodies to assist in ending the occupation, the Gaza blockade and the illegal settlement building. It is now time for the Australian government to show genuine support for the two-state solution and recognise the state of Palestine.”

25 March 2015, House of Representatives: Melissa Parke MP (ALP, WA) – in condolence speech recognises former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser‘s commitment to Palestine.
“Australians for Palestine have this week paid tribute to Malcolm Fraser, in which they note that in 2009 he condemned ‘paying lip service to even-handedness’ and warned that ‘Australia must not be cowed into an uncritical view of Israel’s action’. Following the Israeli bombing of Gaza in 2014, some 80 Australian MPs and former MPs came together to issue the Canberra Declaration on Gaza calling for support for an immediate ceasefire, an end to Israel’s occupation and an end to the Gaza blockade. Malcolm Fraser was one of those signatories…”

XENOPHON-Nick-IND-SA24 March 2015, Senate: Senator Nick Xenophon (Ind., SA) – speech regarding his meeting with APAN and the situation in Gaza following the 2014 hostilities.
Australia must join others in calling for the full lifting of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, for humanitarian purposes. The blockade cannot be accepted as normal; it is clearly collective punishment under international law.”

23 March 2015, Senate: Senator Nick Xenophon (Ind., SA) – in condolence speech recognises former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser‘s commitment to Palestine.
“I would like to also conclude in terms of other matters he has raised, even recently in terms of Palestine. I saw the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network this morning, and they mentioned to me that Malcolm Fraser signed the Canberra declaration on Gaza, talking about an end to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and the blockade of Gaza and that he was a passionate supporter of human rights and many causes around the world.”

9 February 2015, Senate: Senator Christine Milne (Greens, TAS) – put Motion (03/12/2014) to recognise the state of Palestine. Motion did not proceed due to objection by Senator Mitchell Fifield (Lib., VIC).

9 February 2015, Senate: Senator Bridget McKenzie (Nat., VIC) – put Motion (03/12/2014) to the Senate to denounce the BDS campaign. Motion did not proceed due to objection by Senator Claire Moore (ALP, QLD).


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