Senator Payman’s principled stance reflects community sentiment and international obligations

Jul 1, 2024

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) stands firmly with Senator Fatima Payman, who has been suspended from the Labor Party caucus by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for actually voting for ALP policy and taking a moral stance against Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

The suspension of Senator Payman came after she last week crossed the floor to vote in support of the recognition of Palestine, alongside the Greens and Independent Senators Lidia Thorpe and David Pocock. 

Yesterday she stated she would cross the floor again if a similar motion were moved.

Senator Payman’s courageous and principled stance is in strong alignment not only with community sentiment, the views of Labor rank and file members and union supporters, but also with her party’s own policy statement that recognising Palestine is “an important priority for the Labor Government.”

Senator Payman’s public recognition that Israel’s actions in Gaza constitute genocide also reflects the position of the International Court of Justice, international legal experts, genocide and Holocaust scholars and human rights organisations.

In fact, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese said in a March 2024 report that “the threshold indicating the commission of the crime of genocide… has been met.”

APAN is disturbed by the suggestion that towing the Labor Party’s line is more important than standing up for the rights and lives of Palestinians as they are slaughtered in Gaza.

Senator Payman’s decisive action will long resonate with Australians who have, for nine months, urged their elected representatives to uphold humanitarian values and the rule of international law, over political expediency.

APAN urges all elected representatives to follow Senator Payman’s courageous example and align their actions with both their conscience and Australia’s legally binding obligations under the Genocide Convention. 

Under the Convention, Australia is legally bound to take immediate and decisive steps to prevent genocide, including via the imposition of arms embargoes, sanctions, the suspension of trading relations with Israel, and supporting and joining international legal proceedings to see Israel held to account.