Astrid O’Neill, Greens candidate for McMahon

Party positions on the Question of Palestine
September 2013 Federal Election, McMahon electorate, New South Wales

Thank you for contacting me about this important issue. I am a proud supporter of the rights of the Palestinian people.

I have replied specifically next to your questions, and then below that, more generally. As part of my answer, please see the Australian Greens’ position on the Israel Palestinian conflict.

Your questions:

Did your party support Palestine’s bid for United Nations membership in November 2012?

Does your party support a peace settlement based upon the 1967 borders?

  • Yes, see our position at the above link.

What is your party’s position on the Jewish settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories?

  • We oppose the expansions of settlements. See our position at the above link.

What is your party’s position on Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip?

  • We oppose the blockade. See our position at the above link.

What is your party’s position regarding aid to Palestine?

  • We support Australian aid projects in Palestine.

If you are elected, will you advocate for an Australia Foreign Policy that supports the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom and independence?

  • Yes

The Australian Greens support a two-state solution that ensures the legitimate rights and aspirations of both Palestinians and the Israeli people to live in peace and security in their own independent, sovereign state. We believe these aspirations can never be realised through the use of force, and as a result we condemn strategies of violence and aggression deployed by either side.

The Australian Greens welcomed the recent decision of the United Nations General Assembly to grant Palestine non-member observer status and genuinely hope that this new legal standing enables the preconditions for a lasting peaceful negotiation for Palestinian statehood. The Greens will also continue to advocate that Australia works to implement the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission into the 2009 Gaza conflict and encourage greater respect for human rights and international law.

When recently debating motions on the Arab-Palestinian conflict in the Senate, one of the concerns Greens Leader Senator Milne raised is the lack of acknowledgement of the rights and aspirations of both Palestinian and Israeli peoples. This failure to instil a perception of the different sides to the conflict in our national Parliament is particularly troubling now that Australia is a member of the UN Security Council.

We have seen both the Government and the Opposition vote against the Greens’ insistence that Palestinian people have rights – not just aspirations, alongside the people of Israel. We have seen them refuse to acknowledge the devastating harm from Israel’s continued bombing, blockades and settlement encroachments while they only acknowledge the terrible carnage of Palestinian rocket attacks on the citizens of Israel.

Thanks again for getting in touch,

Regards,

Astrid O’Neill.