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Motion: Israel-Palestine Conflict

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. I. Pnevmatikos:

That this council—

1. Notes:

(a) the Israel-Palestine conflict continues to be unresolved;

(b) Israel's occupation of Palestine has lasted over 50 years;

(c) Israel continues to build settlements on occupied territory, which undermines a two-state solution;

(d) the ongoing conflict continues to result in the loss of life and human rights violations and abuses;

(e) the recognition of Palestine by the Vatican and 138 nation states; and

(f) Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations adopts the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.

2. Supports the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in equality, peace and security within internationally recognised borders.

3. Endorses the principles (1-8) stated in the Sydney Statement on Anti-Palestinianism.

4. Calls on the Australian government to:

(a) acknowledge the right of Palestinians to self-determination as provided for by international law;

(b) acknowledge the Palestinians' right to statehood; and

(c) actively promote measures to end the conflict between Israel and Palestine on the basis of relevant UN resolutions and international law.

 

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (16:32): I am speaking today on behalf of the Greens in support for the motion for the Australian government to address the unresolved Israel-Palestine conflict. The Palestinian war, which culminated in the establishment of the state of Israel, saw the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs and the destruction of most of their urban areas. These displaced Palestinians and now their descendants are estimated to number over four million.

Palestinian people, for decades, have been some of the most oppressed people in the world. Justice for the people of Palestine is critical to achieving just and equitable peace in the region for Palestinians and Israelis. This includes ending the over 50-year Israeli military occupation of Palestine. The ongoing escalation in violence in this region is nothing less than horrific. Defending the rights of Palestinians is not antisemitic: this is a discussion of human rights abuses, and attempts to silence this discussion seek to continue the injustices of settler colonialism.

The Greens have long worked, inside and outside the parliament, to oppose Israel's illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories and recognise the historic and ongoing injustice suffered by Palestinians. There is no doubt that this is a longstanding human rights violation. In 2021, a report by the US-based Human Rights Watch found:

…in most aspects of life, Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians. Laws, policies and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power and land has long guided government policy. In pursuit of this goal, authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity.

Additionally, in February this year Amnesty International released a comprehensive report titled 'Israel's apartheid against Palestinians: a cruel system of domination and a crime against humanity'. This report detailed Israel's cruel policy of segregation, dispossession and exclusion across all territories under its control, which amounts to apartheid under international law.

Amnesty calls on the international community's obligation to act. Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, I believe, are to be heeded in this debate. To facilitate this end to the conflict, the Greens believe all sides must respect and abide by United Nations resolutions and step up to its obligations and act in line with international law and historic commitments, including the two-state solution for peace based on the pre-1967 borders and the relevant United Nations resolutions, as well as the Madrid Principles and the Arab Peace initiative.

There is no peace without justice, and there is no two-state solution without the recognition of those two states. With that, I conclude my remarks and commend the mover for bringing the motion to this place, and indicate I will not be supporting the amendment that is anticipated.

espoused in the company's values statement.

One Nation believes that everyone who moves to Australia has the right to exist in peace, cohesively and with shared values of democracy and equality. My amendment seeks to remove divisiveness and insert relevance for our South Australian Palestinian community, without wading into the confronting, contentious and complex issues in the Middle East.

Israel is not a perfect democracy. It is, however, one that is vibrant, innovative, prosperous and operates under the rule of law. I echo the beliefs of Senator McLachlan when he said in this place over five years ago:

…for Israel to have security, it needs a viable Palestinian state—a Palestinian state that recognises Israel and rejects violence against the Jewish people, where trust exists between the two peoples.

I share his dream of seeing a Palestinian state that is cooperative and collaborative with its neighbour Israel—a state that has democratically elected leaders, respects the rule of law, rejects terrorism and promotes religious tolerance.

It is for the commonwealth government to dictate foreign policy and there has been a longstanding agreement, both within and outside of Australia, that the two-state solution ought to be pursued. My wish, as it is, for all members here is for the peaceful coexistence of Israel and Palestine in the Middle East. I support the imperative to remove the daily toll of grief and despair arising from witnessing these events from afar. As a community, we must do everything in our power to create the conditions for a just resolution and ultimately replace that suffering with hope.

With those words, I ask that you consider favourably my amendment, which I believe can be supported in this chamber.

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