AUSTRALIAN SENATE MOTION: London declaration on combating antiSemitism 21Jun13 June 20, 2013


Hansard transcripts re Senate motion 18 June 2013

Senator KROGER (Victoria—Chief Opposition Whip in the Senate) (15:44): I, and on behalf of Senators Abetz, Birmingham, Payne, Ronaldson and Smith, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that although nearly 70 years have passed since the end of World War II and the Holocaust, antisemitism still exists,

(ii) the vital work of the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism in drawing the attention of the democratic world to the resurgence of antisemitism in international affairs, politics and society, and

(iii) that more than 125 parliamentarians in over 40 countries have signed the Declaration;

(b) recognises the vast contributions made by the Jewish people to Australian society;

(c) expresses its solidarity with the Jewish people;

(d) affirms that antisemitic prejudice, rhetoric and hate campaigns, such as the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions campaign, utterly contradict the democratic values Australian society and the Parliament hold dear; and

(e) encourages all senators, regardless of party or politics, to sign the Declaration and so assist to combat antisemitism across the globe.

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

Senator KROGER: The London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism, a declaration that asserts the need for international cooperation to fight anti-Semitism, is regrettably necessary today, just as it was 70 years ago. It is deeply disturbing that, whilst decades have past since World War II, when the world witnessed the holocaust, we are witnessing a resurgence in anti-Semitism across the globe that is manifesting itself in all sorts of ways. Only last week, I attended an event hosted by the Victorian state government to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Israel’s Independence Day. Walking into that venue, I saw some 100 police inside and outside the doors. They were concerned about trouble that they had been advised was possible, and they were there to secure all—an extraordinary situation in Melbourne, a site where we have seen the BDS movement boycotting the Max Brenner chocolate business. I challenge all to expose those who engage in this racist behaviour and commend all coalition members and senators for supporting this.

Hansard transcripts re Senate motion 18 June 2013

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia—Australian Greens Whip) (15:46): by leave—I indicate the Greens will not be supporting this motion, but we will not be calling a division. The Australian Greens defend the right of all persons to be able to live in an environment without discrimination and violence. We do not tolerate or endorse anti-Semitism and we condemn all forms of discrimination on the basis of race, culture, ethnicity, religion or nationality. The Greens have championed antivilification legislation around Australia. It is an important mechanism in encouraging a tolerant community.

We oppose the motion and will not be signing the London declaration, which equates anti-Semitism with criticisms of the State of Israel. It is legitimate to criticise Israel for its actions against the Palestinian people, including blockades and expanding settlements. While the Australian Greens do not and have not supported the BDS campaign, we also do not believe the motion accurately reflects the campaign. The Australian Greens policy supports the legitimate rights and aspirations of both the Israeli and the Palestinian people to live in peace and security in their own independent sovereign states. It is the Greens view that the only way to achieve this is through a comprehensive, negotiated settlement of the conflict leading to a two-state solution with Israel and a Palestinian state living side by side within secure and internationally recognised borders. (Time expired)

Question agreed to.

If you liked this article, please consider making a donation to Australians for Palestine by clicking on the PayPal link
Thank You.
Bookmark and Share

Add a Comment

required, use real name
required, will not be published
optional, your blog address