The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) expresses regret at the circumstances that led the Hon. Melissa Parke to withdrawal her candidature in the seat of Curtin, WA. It appears that bullying tactics and smear have won over genuine debate and concern for human rights.
The Hon. Melissa Parke’s views on the issue of Palestine are well known and have been consistent throughout her public life. She has spent two years working in the Gaza Strip with the UN and has visited Palestine on many occasions. As one of the few Australian politicians well qualified to speak on Palestine and Israel, Ms Parke’s concerns for the plights of the Palestinians are genuine, commendable and reflect the realities on the ground for millions of Palestinian families, refugees and communities.
Professor Bassam Dally, Vice President of APAN said: “The smear tactics by the Zionist lobby will not hide the ugly truth about Israel’s apartheid practices in Palestine. The Hon. Melissa Parke was highlighting exactly what she witnessed herself in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank: a violent, brutal and vicious campaign of the Israeli army against a besieged Palestinian population that are dying to live.”
APAN stands by Ms Parke, thanks her for the unwavering commitment to human rights and a fair go for the Palestinian people, and condemns any attempts to silence principled politicians through smear and harassment. Democracy suffers when pitiful ad hominem attacks replace a mature, civilised debate on core issues of international concern to the Australian Government.