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Monday, 22 March 2004
Page: 21509

Senator STEPHENS (New South Wales) (3.38 p.m.)—I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the long history of anti-Semitism and its capacity to influence people to express hatred and carry out violence against Jewish people, and

(ii) the alarming rise in the incidence of violent anti-Semitic acts in many countries, resulting in injury and death of both Jewish and non-Jewish people, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and memorials, and targeted assaults on individual members of the Jewish community; and

(b) in recognition of these developments:

(i) expresses its unequivocal condem-nation of anti-Semitism, of violence directed against Jews and Jewish religious and cultural institutions, and all forms of racial and ethnic hatred, persecution and discrimination on ethnic or religious grounds, whenever and wherever it occurs,

(ii) resolves to condemn all manifestations of anti-Semitism in Australia as a threat to the freedoms that all citizens should enjoy equally in a democratic society and commits the Parliament to take all possible concrete actions at a national level to combat this threat to our peaceful and diverse nation, and

(iii) further resolves to encourage Australian ambassadors and other officials engaged in bilateral contacts with other countries to use their influence to oppose and counter anti-Semitic expressions and to promote all possible efforts at fostering tolerance and community harmony.

Question agreed to.