APAN backs Greens call for expulsion of Israeli ambassador

May 10, 2024

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) thanks the Australian Greens and supports their call for the Australian Government to expel the Israeli ambassador and take other measures to demonstrate there are consequences for the rogue state’s ongoing genocide in Gaza.

These measures must include an end to the export of military components where Israel is the end-user, sanctions against Prime Minister Netanyahu and other official figures who have incited, ordered and committed atrocities against the Palestinian people, and an Australian vote in support of full UN membership for Palestine.

There exists precedent for diplomatic expulsions from Australia, most notably of Russian (2018), Syrian (2012) and Israeli (2010) diplomats. More recently, Anthony Albanese and Penny Wong issued a joint statement while in Opposition in 2022 calling on the Morrison Government to expel Russian diplomats from Australia in response to Russian atrocities in Ukraine.

During the past week, Israel has brazenly defied calls by the international community not to attack Rafah, the last so-called “safe zone” in Gaza, where more than 1.5 million Palestinians have taken shelter as Israel’s Occupying Forces have razed the besieged territory. Israel’s Occupying Forces have seized control of the Rafah crossing, preventing people and aid from moving through.

Israel has now killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, injured almost 79,000 people – many in life-altering ways – and has destroyed civilian infrastructure including homes, hospitals, schools, universities, mosques, churches and UN facilities. 

Israel has also deliberately blocked, stalled, targeted and attacked humanitarian aid convoys and workers, and has manufactured what the UN Food Programme warns is already a “full-blown famine” in northern Gaza, which is steadily “moving its way south.”

The Israeli Government has ignored the orders of the highest court in the world, the International Court of Justice, which declared there was a plausible case of genocide in Gaza and that Israel should take tangible steps to prevent genocide. 

In its unwillingness to take action and show there were consequences for Israel’s continued atrocities in Gaza, the Australian Government has for eight months now offered the rogue state impunity from international law.

It is past time for the Australian Government to play its role in preventing genocide, compelling Israel to allow the unfettered flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza and to accept the ceasefire agreement.

And the Australian Government must commit itself to playing a constructive part in ensuring Palestinians realise self-determination and justice, by, as a first step, voting in support of Palestine’s full membership of the UN.

Quotes attributed to APAN President Nasser Mashni:

“We are indebted to the Australian Greens for decrying Israel’s genocide and standing up for Palestinian lives, rights and justice at every opportunity, and we wholeheartedly back their call for strong, decisive diplomatic action.

“The Australian Government’s unwillingness to do anything more than repeatedly and feebly call for Israel to ‘show restraint’ in Gaza not only demonstrates devastating and racist double standards when it comes to the application of international law, but a callous disregard for Palestinian lives.

“Without action to back them up, Australia’s words have rung hollow – both to the ears of Israel and also to the Australian community, which has been crying out for our government to take practical measures to uphold international law.

“Israel’s genocide must not continue for another day. Australia must accept its legal and moral responsibility to use all diplomatic and economic tools at its disposal to put an end to Israel’s war crimes and ensure this genocidal state is held to account.”