Senator Nick Xenophon – in response to Abetz’s motion denouncing BDS, moved to amend this motion to make reference to the Israeli blockade on Gaza

photo of Senator Nick Xenophon
May 11, 2011

I foreshadow that I will seek to amend this motion to make reference to the detrimental effect of the Israeli blockade in Gaza on the Palestinian people living in Gaza, and also to note that Australia is a good friend of the Palestinian territories and its people.

Full speech

Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (15:48): I seek leave to make a short statement, and also to move an amendment to the motion.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator XENOPHON: I foreshadow that I will seek to amend this motion to make reference to the detrimental effect of the Israeli blockade in Gaza on the Palestinian people living in Gaza, and also to note that Australia is a good friend of the Palestinian territories and its people. I did previously circulate a motion which simply referred to the Israeli blockade on the Palestinian people. That is not correct in the sense that the blockade is confined, if you want to use that word, to Gaza. But if we are going to move this motion, it is important to also state as a matter of fact the impact on the Palestinians in Gaza in terms of the blockade. I did give notice earlier to my colleagues, as soon as I could, but I do seek to move from the floor an amendment to the motion to put at the end of Senator Abetz’s motion. I move:

After paragraph (e), insert:

(ea)   notes:

      (i)   the detrimental effect of the Israeli blockade in Gaza on the Palestinian people living in Gaza, and

      (ii)   that Australia is a good friend of the Palestinian territories and its people; and

Senator Abetz: Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order for your consideration in relation to the amendment that Senator Xenophon has moved. This is a motion relating solely to the BDS situation—that is, the boycotts, divestment and sanctions policy against Israel. Senator Xenophon is now trying to introduce other extraneous matters not directly relevant to the motion and, interestingly enough, on a technical point, it is interesting that Senator Xenophon sees the need to note the detrimental effect of the Israeli blockade on the people of Gaza, but allegedly the Egyptian blockade on the people of Gaza can be completely ignored and that is the evil of the BDS policy because what it seeks to do—

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order! Senator Abetz, I think you are—

Senator Abetz: I am now debating rather than raising a point of order.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: If you want to seek leave to make a statement, you can.

Senator Abetz: I will ask you to rule on the point of order first.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I will rule on the point of order first. An amendment only has to be relevant to a notice of motion and we were always given a fairly wide brief in relation to amending notices of motion before the chair, so I must allow the amendment to continue.

Senator Abetz: I accept your ruling, Mr Deputy President, and I now seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

Link to parliamentary Hansard

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