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Thursday, 10 May 2018
Page: 3703

Mr HART (Bass) (13:53): Today I'd like to bring to the attention of the House the importance of 15 May, a significant day to many Palestinians. In April 2017 I travelled to Israel and Palestine to commemorate the charge at Beersheba. A vivid and poignant memory of my visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, burned into my memory, is the sight of the Nakba key. The key is a symbol of dispossession, loss and hope for return, a symbol of perseverance. It represents pride. It is everywhere in the Palestinian territories. The Nakba key is a large ornate key such as you would see with an ancient door or gate. You see this key hanging in markets and on the front doors of houses. This key is there. Once the context is explained, you realise the extent of the loss faced by the Palestinian people in what they describe as the catastrophe. It represents the houses to which they one day wish to return. The key represents and underscores the loss, the ferocity and the suddenness of the dispossession faced by the Palestinian people in 1948 on the establishment of the State of Israel. As a mark of the plight of the Palestinians, it is enduring and it is powerful. We must, as longstanding friends of Israel, continue to urge for the peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Again, it's not about condemnation of the State of Israel; it's about calling for the two-state resolution of the conflict to be delivered.