I stand by the motion that was carried in this parliament on Monday. The motion that was carried in this parliament on Monday unequivocally condemned the attack on Israel by Hamas. It then went on to say that Israel does have a right to defend itself, and we stand by that.
Mr BANDT (Melbourne—Leader of the Australian Greens) (14:16): My question is to the Prime Minister. This morning the Times of Israel reported the foreign minister of Israel as saying:
At the end of this war … the territory of Gaza will also decrease.
Prime Minister, given that Israel’s bombing siege and invasion of Gaza is not only collectively punishing millions and killing thousands of civilians but also reportedly aims to permanently seize Palestinian territory, will the Labor government now oppose the invasion of Gaza?
Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler—Prime Minister) (14:17): I stand by the motion that was carried in this parliament on Monday. The motion that was carried in this parliament on Monday unequivocally condemned the attack on Israel by Hamas. It then went on to say that Israel does have a right to defend itself, and we stand by that. It condemned antisemitism and recognised that generations of Jewish people have been subjected to hateful prejudice. It went on to say, importantly, that this parliament supports justice and freedom for Israelis and Palestinians alike—alike. It acknowledged as well the devastating loss of Israeli and Palestinian life, and that innocent civilians on all sides were suffering as a result of the attacks by Hamas and the subsequent conflict.
It reiterated Australia’s consistent position, in all contexts, as to call for the protection of civilian lives and the observance of international law. We saw, tragically, the consequences—we saw some of it, of course, not all. We saw the tragic consequences of Hamas’s decision to cross into Israel and to murder young people attending a concert. We know that people were taken hostage and taken back into Gaza. We know, as well, that there have been tragic consequences for Palestinian civilians.
And we mourn every single life that is lost, whether it’s Israeli or Palestinian—the children who have been killed, the families torn apart. There is widespread suffering; there is no question about that. I have long advocated a two-state solution where both Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and security. That remains my position today. It has certainly been the position of my party for a long period of time.
These issues are complex, we know. As well, part of my government’s responsibility we take really seriously is to (extension of time granted)—I thank the Leader of the Opposition. We know and we’ve received briefings on an ongoing basis about the need to remain calm, to be careful about our language, to ensure that communities here that are feeling hurt, are feeling scared, are feeling under siege, both people who have a position in the Jewish community and those in the Islamic community and Palestinian community as well—it’s important we reach out to them, and that is what my government is doing. My government has had ongoing meetings, as appropriate, not just about security advice about the conflict but, in addition, to reach out to the community. I’ve spoken to both Jewish leaders and leaders of the Palestinian community and the Islamic community about how we can maintain community harmony here. I congratulate all those members on all sides who I know are doing the same thing.
We announced, of course, the $50 million I spoke about, but there is more (extension of time granted) that we have determined on as well. We will continue to do that, and I recognise the important role that members here are playing with their respective communities. We need to make sure that Australia remains what I regard as a microcosm for the world—one that shows that people of different faiths, of different backgrounds, can live together enriched by our diversity. There’s no place for hate here. There’s no place for antisemitism as there’s no place for Islamophobia in this country. And my government will continue to work constructively with everyone, not just in this chamber but in those communities as well, to make sure we achieve that outcome.