The Australian Greens believe that the state of Israel is guilty of practising the crime of apartheid. In this belief, we are supported by reports from very many human rights organisations and legal organisations which have come together year after year to state this reality to the world.
Senator STEELE-JOHN (Western Australia) (20:01): The State of Israel continues to deny the Palestinian people their right to self-determination. It continues to dispossess them of their land. We in the Australian Greens are proud to be in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to commit ourselves to working with them to rectify this injustice and, indeed, to work with progressive Jews, progressive Palestinians and all people of faith and goodwill globally to achieve these goals, to achieve a justice that will allow both Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace, security and equality, exercising self-determination, as described by the UN charter. In committing ourselves to this work, we do so in a context, a context which the Australian Greens are willing to grapple with and to recognise.
That context is this: 700,000 Israelis are living in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. This is an occupation which the United Nations special raconteur has found ‘not merely to be belligerent, but settler colonial in nature in pursuit of a de-Palestinisation of the occupied territory.’ Despite the West Bank and the Gaza Strip remaining under Israeli military occupation, roughly five million Palestinians who live in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, cannot participate in Israeli elections. Despite the Israeli government controlling large areas of life in the occupied territories, including borders and the freedom of movement, Palestinians are subject to special requirements and visa passes that are Israeli issued, which control their travel between and beyond the occupied territories and their ability to exit abroad. Israelis operate a complex system of state laws to expropriate land, a state managed system which sees massive transfers of Palestinian lands from the Palestinians to the Israeli settler systems.
There is a name for such policies. There is a name for such practices. When one group seeks to dominate another based upon race, when one group seeks to perpetuate and entrench and dispossess systemically, there is a word for it, and that word is apartheid. And it is a crime against humanity. The Australian Greens believe that the state of Israel is guilty of practising the crime of apartheid. In this belief, we are supported by reports from very many human rights organisations and legal organisations which have come together year after year to state this reality to the world. Israeli organisations such as Yesh Din and B’Tselem, Palestinian organisations such as al-Haq and, indeed, some of the world’s most-renowned human rights organisations—Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International among them—all agree this crime is being committed. This crime must be confronted.
The administrators of this system of apartheid are currently some of the most right-wing members of an Israeli government ever to be elected. Ministers Smotrich and Gvir embody a racist hate which should be left to found no favour in the world. Tonight, the Australian Greens call on the Australian government to place targeted sanctions and boycotts upon both ministers. When you have members of a government calling for the extermination of peoples and villages, this must be condemned.