APAN hosts joint delegation in Canberra

Harold Zwier, Rev Gregor Henderson, The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Micha Kurz

Politicians were presented with the breadth of concern about Palestine when APAN joined with the Australian Jewish Democratic Society in August to host two guests from Israel in Parliament House in Canberra. Speaking from the diversity of our experiences and perspectives, all expressed their deep concern about current Israeli

Robert Newton, Larry Stillman, The Hon Mike Kelly, Wendy Turner, Micha Kurz

policies and the urgent need for a shift in Australian policy to support the human rights of Palestinians.

Larry Stillman, Sahar Vardi, Minister Lundy, Wendy Turner, Robert Newton

Our two international guests were: Sahar Vardi, the Israeli Program Director of American Friends Service Committee; and Micha Kurz the co-Director of Grassroots Jerusalem.

Over three days we held 30 individual meetings with politicians (and advisors), and co-sponsored an event with Parliamentary Friends of Palestine with approximately 50 attendees.

A key focus of the week was the acceleration of displacement of Palestinian communities, and the

Jessica Morrison, Senator Christine Milne, Micha Kurz, Rev Jim Barr

proposal by Israeli politicians to annex 60% of the West Bank (or more).  Of particular concern to Australia is the risk that this places our aid projects, including an Ausaid funded medical clinic in Susiya which the Israeli government has placed a demolition order upon (read more).

The second focus was the human rights of Palestinians living in Jerusalem.  East Jerusalem was illegally annexed by Israel in 1967 and since that time most Palestinians live without citizenship rights (including the right to vote), and are severely lacking in basic infrastructure, including a classrooms.

Sussan Ley MP speaking at the Parliamentary Friends event. Also with Maria Vamvakinou MP, Laurie Ferguson MP and Russell Broadbent MP

APAN praises the Australian Government for raising the plight of Palestinian children in detention in Israel and affirms our support for Australia’s increased development assistance effort in Palestine.

APAN particularly welcomes the support of Palestine in Parliament in: a speech by Senator Nick Xenophon in Parliament following our visit; a speech by Melissa Parke MP regarding the work of UNWRA; the Minister of Foreign Affairs in his response to vexatious questions asked about Australian aid projects in the region and Senator Rhiannon’s question on notice regarding Australian aid projects in Palestine.

Sahar Vardi, Jessica Morrison, Rev Jim Barr, Senator Nick Xenophon, Micha Kurz, Harold Zwier

We also note speeches by Graham Perrett MP and Deborah O’Neill MP about their recent Parliamentary trip to Palestine and their time in the Aida refugee camp.

See more photos