Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 13 August 2003
Page: 18468

Mr DANBY (7:54 PM) —Over the last week, prior to the commencement of this parliamentary session, in my electorate at the Classic Cinema, some young people have been showing a film called Relentless. This is a film about incitement in the Middle East conflict and how that incitement is an issue that has to be addressed.

I want to congratulate the two people who organised the showings at the Classic Cinema. I particularly want to congratulate Malki Rose and Yoram Symons on doing that, and the film maker, Wayne Kopping. The 400-person cinema was full for 10 sessions, and the film was commercially released. What it showed to me is that there is a genuine fear, at least amongst a segment of Australian society in my electorate, of this continuing incitement. People feel greatly aggrieved that mainstream media networks, like the ABC and SBS, have not been showing this as one of the causes of the current conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. I believe that is an issue that has to be addressed. As Dennis Ross, who was President Clinton's chief Middle East negotiator, explained to me, it is all very well for intellectuals and the elite to be discussing this in coffee houses around the world but, if there is no public education program that underlies peace between the two people, these things will not come to pass.

We have had three years of terrible violence in that area, but we are at a slightly better stage at the moment. But I believe this issue of incitement is of great concern not just to people in my electorate but it is something that is becoming of wider concern to the Australian community. Let me bring this House's attention particularly to the remarks of Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty after the bombing in Jakarta. Mr Keelty made the point that the issue of terrorism now creeping ever closer to Australia is something that is not to be viewed just incident by incident; we should look at the causes, the recruitment areas, where these people are incited from and how they are incited to do these dreadful kinds of attacks. As has been said, what kind of cause is served by killing ordinary Indonesians, ordinary Muslims, humble taxi drivers and hotel workers? No-one's cause is served by it. I think Commissioner Keelty is right to identify the small group of people who are trying to incite this around the world.

We have to remember that the issue of suicide bombing has moved from the Middle East to our part of the world. It is regrettable to say that both the Bali and the Jakarta incidents were, it has now been agreed, undertaken by suicide bombers. These are very serious issues affecting the security of the Australian people. The issue that was highlighted in the film Relentless, shown in my electorate over this last week, is not something that simply concerns people in my electorate. As I said, slightly more hopeful progress is taking place in the Middle East at the moment.

Mr Speaker, I was pleased to see that you and other people were entertaining the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council. I am sure that elections will be taking place amongst the Palestinian people as soon as possible, where they can have free and fair elections. I am sure Australia could play a role in that, as we do in other places.

The cartoon in the Sydney Morning Herald by Moir yesterday has really shocked people in my electorate and all around Australia. It is not simply that it compares the victims of the paradigm of evil of the Nazis with the current Israeli-Palestinian situation; it is a lapse of taste as much as judgment. One does not help solve the current situation over there by making such propagandistic, inciting cartoons. It does not aid the cause of peace, it does not aid the cause of reconciliation, and I think it is extremely regrettable that a major Australian publication would compare the situation in Warsaw with the situation in the West Bank at the moment. Let us hope that reconciliation and the cause of peace between the two people can be advanced by the current road map and that we can advance down that track. (Time expired)

The SPEAKER —Order! It being 8 p.m., the debate is interrupted.