Senator Larissa Waters – sought to move a motion acknowledging the Nakba and condemning Israel’s plan of unilaterally annexing territory in the West Bank

photo of Senator Larissa Waters
May 14, 2020

Netanyahu is intending to unilaterally implement parts of Trump’s so-called peace plan and annex large swathes of the West Bank. It’s time for Australia to speak up. We must oppose any illegal annexation and make it clear that there will be serious diplomatic consequences should it occur, just as there have been for other illegal annexations of territory.

Full motion

The Leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate (Senator Waters) to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges that last month people around the world celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut, the creation of the State of Israel, however this week Palestinians and their friends commemorate the Nakba, where, in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced and lost their homes, and many were killed;

(b) notes with deep concern that Palestinian dispossession continues to this day;

(c) further notes with deep concern that:

   (i) US President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu are actively undermining the prospects of a two-state solution that could deliver peace and security to the Israeli and Palestinian peoples,

   (ii) Prime Minister Netanyahu is intending to unilaterally implement parts of President Trump’s so-called Peace Plan, even though it has been rejected by Palestine and has almost no support within the international community, and

   (iii) Netanyahu’s plans include the annexation of large swathes of the West Bank and constitute a serious violation of international law;

(d) expresses disappointment that the Australian Government has not vocally opposed the new Israeli Government’s plans; and

(e) calls on the Federal Government to:

   (i) make it clear that there will be serious diplomatic consequences for Israel if Netanyahu’s new Coalition Government goes ahead with its threat to annex Palestinian territory, just as there have been for other illegal annexations of territory, and

   (ii) recognise the State of Palestine.

Full speech

Senator WATERS (QueenslandLeader of the Australian Greens in the Senate) (12:41): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 586, standing in my name for today, relating to Palestine, be taken as a formal motion.

The PRESIDENT: Is there any objection to this motion being taken as formal?

An honourable senator: Yes.

The PRESIDENT: There is an objection, so formality is denied.

Senator WATERS: In lieu of suspending standing orders, I seek leave to make a very short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator WATERS: It’s disappointing that once again the government have denied leave on this important motion, especially after bringing their own foreign policy motion on. Tomorrow, 15 May, is the day that Palestinians and their friends commemorate the Nakba, and now is a particularly critical time for Israel and Palestine and Palestinian human rights. Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu are undermining a two-state solution that could deliver peace and security to the Israelis and Palestinians. Netanyahu is intending to unilaterally implement parts of Trump’s so-called peace plan and annex large swathes of the West Bank. It’s time for Australia to speak up. We must oppose any illegal annexation and make it clear that there will be serious diplomatic consequences should it occur, just as there have been for other illegal annexations of territory.

Link to parliamentary Hansard (motion, speech)

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