Palestinian rights barely exist for Australian politicians

It takes a certain kind of chutzpah for corporatised leaders to continue praising “democratic” Israel.

Today in the Australian parliament the following was put on the record.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Liberal Senator Eric Abetz): To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) its decision on 23 March 2011 to acknowledge that Israel is a legitimate and democratic state and a good friend of Australia and to denounce the Israeli boycott by Marrickville Council and condemn any expansion of it,

(ii) the response by the Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, to this decision of the Senate, which
was to ask that the Australian Greens’ opposition to this motion be recorded,

(iii) subsequent statements by Senator Brown that it was a mistake for the New South Wales Greens to advocate this policy and that it was neither the Federal Greens, nor his policy to boycott Israel, and

(iv) Marrickville Council’s decision on 19 April 2011 to rescind its Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
policy against Israel;

(b) rejects the policy of the New South Wales Greens which calls on all Australians and the Australian Government to boycott Israeli goods, trading and military arrangements, and sporting, cultural and academic events;

(c) notes with concern:

(i) the resolution carried at the 2010 Regional Conference of the Queensland Branch of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) to support the BDS campaign against Israel,

(ii) initial support for the support for the BDS campaign against Israel by four Labor councillors on Marrickville

(iii) the decision by the New South Wales ALP to preference Greens candidate and Marrickville Mayor, Fiona
Byrne, in the seat of Marrickville at the New South Wales state election, and

(iv) reports that Mr David Forde, Convenor of Labor 4A Just Palestine, who supports the BDS campaign, is a
frontrunner for ALP preselection for the Queensland state seat of Stretton;

(d) denounces support lent to the BDS campaign against Israel by the: Victorian Trades Hall Council; Geelong
Trades Hall Council; Newcastle Trades Hall Council; South Coast Labour Council; Queensland Council of Unions; UnionsACT and branches of the Australian Services Union; Teachers’ Union; Liquor, Hospitality and
Miscellaneous Workers Union; Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union; Maritime Union of Australia;
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union; Communications, Electrical, Plumbing Union; Electrical Trades Union; Finance Sector Union; Health and Community Services Union; and Rail, Tram and Bus Union;

(e) calls on the Australian Council of Trade Unions to oppose this campaign; and

(f) in light of events and information available to the Senate since 23 March 2011, reaffirms its decision that Israel is a legitimate and democratic state and a good friend of Australia.



Notices for Wednesday, 11 May 2011

*1 MS Julie. BISHOP [Liberal MP]: To move—That this House:

(1) restates its support for the motion moved by the then Prime Minister and passed by this House on the sixtieth anniversary of the State of Israel, and in particular:

(a) acknowledges the unique relationship which exists between Australia and Israel, a bond highlighted by the commitment of both societies to the rights and liberty of our citizens and to cultural diversity;

(b) commends the State of Israel’s commitment to democracy, the rule of law and pluralism; and

(c) reiterates Australia’s commitment to Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and our continued support for a peaceful two-state resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue; and

(2) notes with concern the fraying of the traditionally bipartisan support amongst Australia’s political parties for the State of Israel, and in particular the:

(a) resolution by Greens councillors on Marrickville Council for a boycott of Israel, supported by Labor councillors;

(b) policy adopted by the NSW Greens for an Israel boycott;

(c) decision by the NSW Labor Party to preference the Greens candidate for Marrickville ahead of other candidates who did not support an Israel boycott; and

(d) decision by Labor and Greens councillors on Moreland City Council, Melbourne, to allow the anti-semitic group Hizb ut-Tahrir to use Council premises in August 2010 despite

Hizb ut-Tahrir publicly calling for the slaughter of Jewish people, and its enthusiasm for Osama bin Laden. (Notice given 10 May 2011.)

Only craven politicians feel the need to continually praise a nation that occupies another people. What does it say that there are no mainstream politicians (apart from a few Greens) who oppose this slavishness?

Apartheid Israel continues on its merry way.

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