Tony Zappia MP – spoke out against the ongoing Israeli oppression of the Palestinians and Trump’s proposal of resolving the conflict

photo of Tony Zappia MP
March 5, 2020

Now, after decades of conflict and oppression, the Trump proposals would further restrict Palestinians to a series of enclaves totally surrounded by Israeli land with no borders with the outside world or control over its air space or water. No reasonable person would accept such a proposition and nor do the Palestinian people.

Full speech

Mr ZAPPIA (Makin) (10:00): Today I raise two human rights matters. The first relates to the ongoing persecution of people of the Baha’i faith in Iran, where an estimated 300,000 Baha’i followers form the largest of the minority religions. Amongst other restrictions, Baha’is continue to be dispossessed of their property and possessions, and face barriers in accessing education and employment. Recently the Iranian government changed its process so that applicants of the Iranian national smart ID card are now required to identify with only one of four religions. Baha’i is not one of the recognised religions, which effectively denies Baha’i followers the ID card. Without the ID card, daily activities such as gaining a work permit, obtaining a driver’s licence and making a banking transaction are practically impossible. I ask the foreign minister to raise this matter with Iran and urge Iran to reverse the ID smart cart application process so that Iranians of Baha’i faith are not discriminated against and excluded from their own society.

The second matter relates to over a century of persecution, suppression, discrimination and brutality of Palestinian people. The Palestinian people have battled unfairness since 1917 when the British imposed the one-sided Balfour Declaration upon them. Attempts even now are being made to prevent Palestinians from taking any actions against Israel in the International Court of Justice. The recent intervention by US President Trump jointly with the Israeli government to redraw the Palestinian and Jewish settlement lands without any input or consultation with the Palestinian people highlights the arrogance of the current US-Israeli leadership, their dismissive attitude towards the Palestinians and disregard for international law. This follows President Trump’s recognition of the whole of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and ending Palestinian refugee funding programs. Now, after decades of conflict and oppression, the Trump proposals would further restrict Palestinians to a series of enclaves totally surrounded by Israeli land with no borders with the outside world or control over its air space or water. No reasonable person would accept such a proposition and nor do the Palestinian people.

I call on the Australian government to uphold international law and universal human rights and urge the adoption of a fair and just two-state solution that is respectful of both the Palestinian and the Jewish people. The Palestinian people have suffered enough. They have no country of their own, no independence, no control over their future, no freedoms, no rights and a shrinking land area with no light at the end of the tunnel, whilst most of the rest of the world looks the other way.

Link to parliamentary Hansard

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