Senator David Leyonhjelm – spoke in response to Anning’s motion to strengthen oversight on Australian aid to Palestine

photo of Senator David Leyonhjelm
June 28, 2018

…. let’s assume that I am not a senator—and I am advocating, on behalf of Israel, that Australia’s aid should no longer fund Hamas in the Palestinian Territories, and that I am advocating that Australia should cease that kind of funding.

Full speech

Senator LEYONHJELM (New South Wales) (11:06): Perhaps it would be easier if I elaborated on it by means of an example. Assume, for the moment, that I am not exempt from this legislation. I’m not sure, actually; I may be confused between the two, being a senator. But, anyway, let’s assume I am not subject to this legislation—or even let’s assume that I am not a senator—and I am advocating, on behalf of Israel, that Australia’s aid should no longer fund Hamas in the Palestinian Territories, and that I am advocating that Australia should cease that kind of funding. So I’m seeking to influence a political process. I’m working in collaboration with a representative of the Israeli government, because they have a common interest in that issue. I may be coordinating with them to ensure that I don’t say anything which conflicts with what they’re doing. I may be coordinating with them to ensure that the timing of my activities is complementary to anything they might do. And I may be communicating with the representatives of the Israeli government via means of WhatsApp, or telegram, or some other, encrypted, mechanism—which I would’ve thought would come within the definition of ‘covert’. It would seem to me that all of that would add up to meeting the elements of the offence under section 92.2, for which there is, potentially, a 20-year jail sentence. Perhaps you’d like to address that example.

Link to parliamentary Hansard

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