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Voted down - Greens motion against Australia's support for illegal Israeli settlements

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Lee Rhiannon 9 Dec 2013

On Nov 25 Australia withdrew support for a UN order to stop ''all Israeli settlement activities in all of the occupied territories''.  The Abbott government has also indicated it no longer believes Israel, as an ''occupying power'', should be forced to comply with the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

While 158 countries supported the UN in calling for an end to Israeli settlements, which the International Court of Justice has found the settlements to be illegal under international law, Australia joined eight other countries, including South Sudan and Papua New Guinea, in abstaining from voting on it. 

The previous Labor government condemned the settlements.

While Mr Abbott's U-turn on Israeli settlements in occupied territories is shameful, it is not unexpected. However for Labor to not support the Greens' motion  to 'ensure Australia in future supports United Nations resolutions that identify illegal Israeli settlements as a major roadblock to peace in the Middle East' is highly troubling.


The Greens will continue to campaign for justice for the people of Palestine. 


Last week Lee highlighted the
 ongoing crimes of the Israeli government, urging Australia not to be complicit in them. She said the first step to pressuring the Israeli government to comply with international law is for our government to cease military cooperation and military trade with Israel.

Christine Milne
NOTICE OF MOTION
I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that the Senate -

1) Notes that:
a. Australia voted against United Nations resolution L18, which reaffirms ‘that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development...'.
b. Previously Australia had voted for this resolution for 15 out of the last 20 years, including under the former Liberal National Party government.
c. Australia abstained in the vote on the United Nations resolution L17, regarding the applicability of the Geneva conventions to the West Bank.
d. Australia has voted for similar resolutions at the United Nations in 16 of the last 20 years, and abstained in only four other years.
e. A Roy Morgan poll of November 2011 showed that 64 per cent of Australians polled opposed the building of settlements on Occupied Palestinian Territories.

2) Calls on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to ensure Australia in future supports United Nations resolutions that identify illegal Israeli settlements as a major roadblock to peace in the Middle East.

3) Reaffirms commitment to a two state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

 

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