Stewart Mills (NSW) writes to Minsiter for Small Business Dr Craig Emerson re his response to speech by Julia Irwin in Parliament 16Jun10 June 20, 2010

Dear Minister,

I was disappointed in your speech on 16 June 2010 (8pm) in response to Julia Irwin’s closing speech/adjournment.

Julia Irwin has spoken from the heart as evident to all and not the Government.  It is morally appalling that our Government has done nothing of substance to bring about peace for Palestinians and Israelis.

How is closing Gaza off to the world going to foster good relations?  How does prohibiting Gazans the right to export benefit peace?  Surely as Minister of Small Business you should see that export is vital not only to an individual’s livelihood but a broader community’s survival.

And yet you idly sit by and say nothing to Israel imposing such a prohibition on 1.5 million Gazans.  Minister, Israel’s premise for the closure is to stop the supply of weapons for Hamas.  If so Minister then why is chocolate prohibited from entering Gaza?  Why was it that only last week jam and note books for the first time in three years was allowed in.   Why was the importation of toys banned?  Why is cement banned?  And please Minister don’t buy the pop and bull story about cement used to make missiles or to make bunkers for Hamas.  The security premise is a ruse.  As demonstrated by the banning of the benign substances like chocolate, jam, note books and toys.

Minister please look on the Israeli NGO website GISHA.ORG that monitors the banned products.  If you don’t already know it is pure lunacy what is banned.

Please Minister, can Australia stand up to Israel and say enough is enough.  There needs to be two states.  International law needs to be followed.  Settlement expansion and land grabs in the West Bank and East Jerusalem must stop.  And Israel must face consequences for continual delay tactics.

Minister, I thank Ms Julia Irwin for her courageous action.

I am saddened and embarrassed by our Government which fails to ensure the dignity and human rights of all in this region; but favours the economically and militarily stronger power.

Such a stance sends a bad message to the rest of the world that Australia is not an honest broker and that the Australian Government does not care about the fate of the Palestinian people.  Occupation since 1967 seems to be quite fine for the elite in the Australian Government.  What an awful situation this is.

Disappointed and disheartened

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