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Monday, 2 March 2015
Page: 1559

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)

Dear Dr Jensen

Thank you for your letter relating to a petition presented by the Member for Fremantle on 27 October 2014 on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

The Australian Government strongly disagrees with boycott movements that seek to ban exchanges with Israel, impede legitimate trade between states, and unfairly target Australian businesses.

At this critical juncture, the international community should be focused on encouraging all parties to return to negotiations towards a two-state solution, with Israel and a Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security, within internationally recognised borders. The BDS campaign against Israel, in addition to harming the Palestinian people economically, undermines these efforts.

In August 2014, the Australian Government announced $15 million in urgent humanitarian assistance to Gaza. This funding is in addition to our existing commitment of $56.5 million in development assistance to the Palestinian Territories in 2014-15.

I trust that this information is of assistance.

from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, MsJulie Bishop