Gaza Conflict - Motion
I also signal my disappointment at the wording of the motion before us today, because how we conduct ourselves and what we say in this place matters; it has real-life consequences. But we continue to see members use this extremely complex and sensitive situation to weaponise people's grief, suffering and despair for their own political advantage and public profile. What happened to the people of Israel on 7 October was horrific. I was as sick to the stomach as anyone else at the indiscriminate slaughtering of so many innocent people.
What has also made me sick to the stomach is the grandstanding, virtue signalling, and ignorant and irresponsible statements made in this place that conveniently ignore the human rights abuses that have occurred for decades in Gaza and the West Bank; that conveniently ignore the news overnight of the bombing of a hospital in the centre of Gaza city that has killed potentially more than 1,000 people, with many still trapped beneath the rubble; that conveniently ignore the fact that there are more than two million people—one million of them, at least, are children—trapped in Gaza. They are trapped in an unimaginable nightmare they cannot escape from, with bombs dropping indiscriminately, rubble all around them, hospitals full, with no food, no shelter, no electricity, no communication with the outside world and bodies all around them.
Imagine being Palestinian in Australia right now and seeing how some members in this place are responding by bringing motions like this with the purpose of fuelling division and turning people in this State against each other; turning people against those who are coming together in shock and grief to legitimately protest what is happening to their families and their homeland. We do not condemn Israeli Australians coming together to grieve over the attacks of Hamas on Israel. We grieve with them. Our responsibility as politicians should be to work for peace and de-escalation in the region that includes an end to the illegal occupation of Gaza. Yes, we condemn terrorism. Yes, we condemn antisemitism. We also must condemn Islamophobia in the same breath. We need to stop bringing these divisive motions to this Parliament, because what is happening here is fuelling division and actions outside this place. That is why The Greens do not support this motion as it stands.
TEXT OF THE MOTION
The Hon. CHRIS RATH:
(1)That this House condemns antisemitism in all of its forms, including rhetorical or physical incitements of violence.
(2)That this House reaffirms its commitment to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.
(3)That this House condemns the "from the river to the sea" chant displayed at the pro-Palestine rally on Sunday 15 October 2023, which actively rejects the two-state solution and calls for the erasure of the State of Israel.