Palestine in Australian politics 2015 (July-December)

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

 

1 December 2015, Senate, Senator Lee Rhiannon (Greens, NSW) – spoke in support of International Year of Solidarity for Palestinian People
“Today, 138 nations recognise Palestine as a state with the rights and responsibility accorded to all other states. It is time that Australia added its name to this important list. It is time for this Senate, I believe, to call on the Turnbull government to recognise Palestine as a state”.

Senator Sam Dastyari Official Portrait

30 November 2015, Senate Estimates: Senator Abetz MP (Lib, Tas) & Senator Dastyari (ALP, NSW) – discussing reporting from ABC Middle East Correspondent
Mr Scott: fundamentally I think Ms McNeill is doing a good job in a difficult story under extraordinary scrutiny. This reporter is, based on my experience at the ABC, under more scrutiny than any other foreign correspondent reporting from any part of the world has ever been. I think she deserves a fair go and I think she deserves to be judged on the quality of her reporting.

VAMVAKINOU-Maria

 

 

 

30 November 2015, House of Representatives: Maria Vamvakinou MP (ALP, VIC) – moved a Motion calling on the Government to include Palestinian refugees from Syria in any  future intake of refugees from Syria.
“It is therefore necessary for the Australian government to respond accordingly, by including PRS in any future intakes of refugees from Syria to Australia, and by waiving the condition of a UNHCR certificate or referral for PRS as a prerequisite for application to Australia as candidates for humanitarian protection. It is the fair and right thing to do for a people who could be rendered stateless.”

Melissa-Parke

30 November 2015, House of Representatives: Melissa Parke MP (ALP, WA) – seconded the Motion moved by Maria Vamvakinou MP.
“As the motion notes, as refugees registered with UNRWA and not UNHCR, the Palestine refugees are not being considered as part of Australia’s intake of 12,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict. …Australia has an important role to play, financially and diplomatically in supporting UNRWA’s work and global efforts to achieve political settlements, in both the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Syrian conflict. We can also assist some of the most vulnerable people affected by these conflicts by taking them in as refugees.”

HAYES-Chris-ALP-NSW30 November 2015, House of Representatives: Chris Hayes MP (ALP, NSW) – spoke in support of the Motion moved by Maria Vamvakinous MP.
I call on the government to work with the UNHCR to process registrations of Palestinians fleeing Syria, so that they can at least be entitled to apply to the Australian government for the possibility of being resettled as part of the additional 12,000 refugee places being earmarked for Syrian refugees.

30 November 2015, House of Representatives: Jill Hall MP (ALP, NSW)– spoke in support of the Motion moved by Maria Vamvakinous MP.
“These applications from Palestinians are not being rejected because they are not refugees. It is not because these people have not been subjected to the same horrendous violence as other refugees who have been assessed by UNHCR. It is not that; it is purely a technicality”.

WILKIE-Andrew-IND-TAS26 November 2015, House of Representatives: Andrew Wilkie MP (Ind., TAS) – spoke about “rethinking our approach” to Palestine after tabling a public petition concerning the Australian aid budget.
“Palestine is another area where we need to rethink our approach, because the situation for the Palestinian people is inarguably dire as Israel continues to illegally development settlements in Palestinian territory. Former Foreign Minister Bob Carr has acknowledged that these settlements are not legal, but the current government will not even do that. What Australia must do is recognise the need for a Palestinian state and condemn Israel’s illegal acts of settlement and violence. It is alarming that too many of our political leaders appear to be beholden to Israeli interests at the expense of the Palestinian people.”

Senator Dean Smith26 November 2015, Senate: Senator Dean Smith (Lib., WA) – while speaking to a Motion concerning Syria and Iraq, commented on the situation in Israel and Palestine.
“What has been occurring recently, with the campaign of incitement to violence and the murder of Israeli citizens at the hands of terrorists, offends every value that decent Australians hold dear. …To those Australians who think that what is happening in Israel or Paris is a long way away and does not affect them, I simply point out that the values for which Israel and France both stand—personal freedoms and democracy above all else—are also the values for which Australia stands and which Australians have fought and died to protect for generations.”

Bob Day - Family First Party

Bob Day

25 November 2015, Senate: Motion calling on Australian Government to initiate a FREE TRADE AGREEMENT WITH ISRAEL
Senator Bob Day (FF, SA) – moves the Motion for an FTA with Israel.
Senator Scott Ryan (Lib., VIC) – speaks in favour of the Motion
> See also questions/discussion around the Motion, with Senator Arthur Sinodinos (Lib., NSW) speaking in favour and Senator Penny Wong (ALP, SA) interjecting.

23 November 2015, House of Representatives: Tabling of a public petition calling for recognition of the State of Palestine, signed by 10 citizens.

9 November 2015, House of Representatives: Anthony Albanese MP (ALP, NSW) – speech on the retirement of former Treasurer, Joe Hockey MP (Lib., NSW), noting Hockey’s family heritage in Bethlehem, Palestine.

9 November 2015, House of Representatives: Tabling of a public petition calling for recognition of the State of Palestine, signed by 1009 citizens.

PYNE-Christopher-LIB-SA9 November 2015, House of Representatives: Christopher Pyne MP (Lib., SA) – hints at Australia learning to become an “agile and nimble economy” similar to Israel.
“The Assistant Minister for Innovation has just returned from Israel , where he met with people to see how they have become an agile and nimble economy. That is what we intend to bring about in this country over the coming years—an agile and nimble, optimistic and forward-looking economy, not the bleak view of the opposition and not the negativity, bleakness and the dark cloud of the opposition over the Australian economy. We are future looking. We are new politics; Labor is old politics.”

DANBY-Michael-ALP-VIC22 October 2015, House of Representatives: Michael Danby MP (ALP, VIC) – statement regarding the upsurge of violence in Palestine and Israel.
“In the last few weeks, young Palestinian jihadis have engaged in apparently lone wolf stabbing attacks against mainly Israeli civilians. …But I, and many people around Australia, have been particularly upset by comments from the member for Fremantle, who has stood up in this parliament and blamed the victim. In what kind of moral universe is it legitimate, understandable or okay to knife and stab innocent civilians, run them over with cars or shoot them in bus stations?”
[Note: Reference is to Melissa Parke MP (ALP, WA), the Member for Fremantle.]

DREYFUS-Mark-ALP-VIC22 October 2015, House of Representatives: Mark Dreyfus MP (ALP, VIC) – statement regarding the upsurge of violence in Palestine and Israel.
“…whatever the grievances of the Palestinians, indiscriminate murder will never be a legitimate form of political protest. …This latest violence reinforces that we must continue to support a lasting resolution of the conflict, based on the right of Israel to live in peace within secure borders internationally recognised and agreed by the parties and on the realisation of the right of the Palestinian people to also live in peace and security within their own state of Palestine, a state based on the 1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps. There is no other course.”

SUKKAR-Michael-LIB-VIC19 October 2015, House of Representatives: Michael Sukkar MP (Lib., VIC) – statement addressing the upsurge of violence in Palestine and Israel, in particular reported extreme statements by a Palestinian cleric in Gaza and by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
“In times of trauma and crisis such as this, it is imperative that opinion makers, be they journalists or politicians, speak the truth and demonstrate moral clarity. Those who seek to justify the deaths of innocent Israelis by blaming them on settlements or events in «Gaza» should be utterly ashamed of themselves.”

BANDT-Adam-GR-VIC19 October 2015, House of Representatives: Adam Bandt MP (Greens, VIC) – statement commending John Salisbury‘s 10-day, 300km walk from Sydney to Canberra to deliver a petition calling on Australia to recognise the State of Palestine at the UN.
“Today I support the call for Australia to formally recognise Palestinian statehood. …Australia is falling behind the rest of the world in our refusal to seek a pathway to peace through the recognition of a Palestinian state.”

Salisbury_Recognise_Palestine_walk_2015

Melissa Parke MP and Maria Vamvakinou MP receive John Salisbury’s ‘Recognise Palestine’ petition at Parliament House, Canberra. [Photo: J.Salisbury]

15 October 2015, House of Representatives: Maria Vamvakinou MP (ALP, VIC) – statement commending John Salisbury‘s 10-day, 300km walk from Sydney to Canberra to deliver a petition calling on Australia to recognise the State of Palestine at the UN.

15 October 2015, House of Representatives: Melissa Parke MP (ALP, WA) – statement noting John Salisbury‘s 10-day, 300km walk from Sydney to Canberra to deliver a petition calling on Australia to recognise the State of Palestine at the UN.
“[It is in Australia’s interest] that the brutal decades-long Israeli military occupation be brought to an end and that Palestinians have their own state at long last.”

RHIANNON-Lee-GR-NSW14 October 2015, Senate: Senator Lee Rhiannon (Greens, NSW) – speech commending John Salisbury‘s 10-day, 300km walk from Sydney to Canberra to deliver a petition calling on Australia to recognise the State of Palestine at the UN.
“The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network in conjunction with Roy Morgan research found 57 per cent of Australian respondents thought that Australia should vote ‘yes’ in the UN to recognising Palestine . Just eight per cent thought that Australia should vote against. …There is no military solution to the security needs of Israelis and Palestinians. An end to this conflict requires a diplomatic solution.”

FERGUSON-Laurie-ALP-NSW15 September 2015, House of Representatives: Laurie Ferguson MP (ALP, NSW) – statement referring to the Gaza Strip, treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention and the uprooting of olive trees.
“I put on the record continuing concern at the treatment of the Palestinian people. It is of course internationally leading to a wider criticism of the methods being utilised on an international scale, and I commend these issues to the House.”


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