Thursday, 20 March 2014
I rise to make some brief remarks about comments I made in the chamber yesterday. As Hansard records, I quoted Mr Alon Liel, former director-general of the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs in relation to peace talks between Israel and Palestine. I take this opportunity to reaffirm that I think anti-Semitism is abhorrent. I condemn it without qualification. If anyone tries to indicate that I was in any way anti-Semitic in my speech yesterday, I would call on them to read my speech and clearly understand that I was quoting the former director-general of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I would also point out that Labor will oppose any efforts by the government to repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which has protected the Australian community from racially motivated hate speech for 20 years. I will continue to advocate on behalf of the Palestinian community, who have suffered terrible hardship over many years. I support the two-state solution and will continue to raise these issues in parliament.