90-SECOND STATEMENT ON ISRAEL AND PALESTINE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MONDAY, 24 MAY 2021
*** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY ***
Ido Avigal, 5
Nadine Awad, 16
Ahmad Tanani, 2
9-month-old Mohammad Dayyeh
Hoor al-Zamli, 2
6-month-old Ibrahim al-Rantisi
9-month-old Mohammad al-Attar
Buthaina Obaid, 6
Yamen Hatab, 5
Adam al-Qawlaq, 3
Lana Ishkantna, 5
Mina Sharir, 2
3-month-old Yazan al-Masry
These are just some of the innocent Palestinian and Israeli children killed in recent fighting.
Hamas’s rocket attacks on civilians are ruthless and cruel.
But so too are Israeli attacks on Palestinian homes.
As Nicholas Kristof reminds us, “If you oppose war crimes only by your enemies, it’s not clear that you actually oppose war crimes.”
The expansion of settlements by the Netanyahu government, discriminatory laws against Arab citizens, and the street fighting that Israeli President Reuven Rivlin calls ‘a civil war’ have made the two-state solution harder.
Yes, Israel treats its Arab citizens better than some Middle Eastern countries treat their Arab citizens. But democracies should welcome being held to a higher standard.
As David Ben Gurion once noted, Israel cannot be Jewish, and Democratic, and occupy all the lands of greater Israel.
That is why a two-state solution must be kept alive.
Australia should join US and European Union in putting pressure on the two parties to reach a lasting peace.
If they wait until they have the perfect negotiating partners, they will wait forever.
If not now, when?