Melissa Parke MP – statement in response to media misrepresentations and misrepresentations by Senator Glenn Sterle of her support for the BDS campaign

photo of Melissa Parke MP
November 24, 2014

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.

Full speech

Ms PARKE (Fremantle) (15:32): Mr Deputy Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. BC Scott ): Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Ms PARKE: Yes.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please proceed.

Ms PARKE: Firstly, in an article in TheJerusalem Post on 11 November, it was stated that I support a boycott of Jewish businesses such as Westfield. That is not true. I have never expressed support for any campaign against Jewish businesses and I have never made any public comment about Westfield. What I have said is that a boycott of businesses or government agencies directly involved in actions that are illegal under international law, such as the creation of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, is a legitimate form of peaceful protest.

Second, in an opinion piece that appeared in The Canberra Times and other Fairfax publications, and in TheJerusalem Post, it was claimed that, while I had focused on the plight of Palestinians, I had ignored the voiceless victims of egregious crimes elsewhere. That is incorrect. Any examination of my public and parliamentary record will find that I have repeatedly and consistently spoken out for people facing disadvantage, persecution and human rights abuses both within Australia and in many countries the world over. The same opinion piece claims that I linked militant Islam with the actions of Israel. This is incorrect. In my parliamentary speech of 27 October, I said the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians is a powerful recruitment tool for extremist groups.

Third, in the other place on 30 October, Senator Sterle claimed that I have demanded Israeli women be subject to the rule of Hamas and that I have put forward propaganda that ‘comes directly from organisations and groups that are devoted to genocidal ideologies’. I have done neither of those things and it is ridiculous that Senator Sterle would say so. 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.

Link to parliamentary Hansard

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