Senate debates

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Motions

Israel

4:39 pm

Photo of Scott LudlamScott Ludlam (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I ask that general business notice of motion No. 1061, standing in my name and in the name of Senator Rhiannon for today concerning Israel and the visit of the Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, be taken as a formal motion.

Photo of Stephen ParryStephen Parry (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Is there any objection to this motion being taken as formal?

Photo of Stephen ParryStephen Parry (President) Share this | | Hansard source

There is an objection.

Photo of Scott LudlamScott Ludlam (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to make a brief statement.

Photo of Stephen ParryStephen Parry (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Leave is granted for one minute.

Photo of Scott LudlamScott Ludlam (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank Senator Ryan for giving notice that he was going to do that. This, I guess, comes as a long line of—

Photo of Zed SeseljaZed Seselja (ACT, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Anti-Semitic, anti-Israel rubbish.

Government senators interjecting

Photo of Scott LudlamScott Ludlam (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

instances in which the government refuses formality. These people have sparked up without even knowing what I am going to say. It is amazing. They are denying formality on a fairly simple statement that the retired commander-in-chief of the Israeli army, Lieutenant Colonel Benny Gantz, is in Australia this week. This is the individual who was in charge of the Israel Defense Forces at the time of Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development late last year identified that Gaza would be uninhabitable by 2020 as a result of the serial assaults by the Israel Defense Forces on the people of Gaza City. The very least that the Australian government could do would be to make some comments, or allow a vote in this chamber, on the visit of this individual to Australia, should they have seen fit to issue him with a visa. It is very disappointing that the Australian government would not— (Time expired)

4:41 pm

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (Victoria, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Photo of Stephen ParryStephen Parry (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Leave is granted for one minute.

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (Victoria, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Serious and complex foreign policy matters should not be dealt with through a Senate motion. The ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is of deep concern to the Australian government. We called on all parties to respect international humanitarian law during the 2014 Gaza conflict. Australia supports the full and thorough investigation of any alleged violations of international humanitarian law. The 2014 Gaza conflict and more recent violence underline the importance of a return to negotiations toward a two-state solution. The government is committed to a future where the Israeli and Palestinian peoples live in peace and security within internationally recognised borders.

I will leave my comments there lest I say too much.

Photo of Stephen ParryStephen Parry (President) Share this | | Hansard source

That concludes the discovery of formal business.