Senate debates

Tuesday, 25 October 2022

Matters of Urgency

State of Israel

4:26 pm

Photo of Mehreen FaruqiMehreen Faruqi (NSW, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

The government's decision to no longer recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a welcome move, but it is only a start. It is a simple reversal of an atrocious Liberal decision to align our country with the far-right Trump administration's position. This was indefensible in 2018 and it remains indefensible. We are back to the status quo. We need now to move forward with an approach that recognises the brutality and horror of the occupation and makes Australia an effective and impassioned supporter of Palestinian rights.

Australia must act to ensure an end to the Israeli occupation and violence. Australia must uphold international law and Palestinian human rights. Australia must acknowledge and call out what has been investigated and now reported by Amnesty International, amongst others—that Israel imposes a system that amounts to apartheid.

Outrage over the importance of consultation and careful consideration with respect to this is quite misleading. The Labor Party clearly opposed the recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel's capital publicly when it was announced in 2018. So, now they are in government, this change in Australia's position should not have been a huge revelation to anyone. Backlash to the decision really has the purpose of sending a signal to the government that any change when it comes to Australia pursuing a policy that is more accommodating of Palestinian rights will not be tolerated. The new Labor government should push back and pursue foreign policy based on the principles of human rights and justice and not be at the whim of those who have come to expect nothing but appeasement and pandering to the brutal and oppressive Israeli regime.


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