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Wednesday, 15 October 2003
Page: 21560

Mr ORGAN (9:46 AM) —The Australian Greens, at their national conference on the weekend, adopted a detailed policy on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The policy supports the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Palestinian and Israeli people to live in peace and security in their own independent, sovereign states. Peaceful co-existence is something I am sure we all support and, of course, we all understand the significance of independence and sovereignty. The Greens policy contains a number of principles, goals and short-term targets. It calls, for example, for an end to all acts of violence against civilian populations. It is obvious that justice is an essential prerequisite for peace, and the Greens recognise the ongoing injustice that has been done to the Palestinian people. We urgently need to find a way that will allow Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace. The Greens oppose Israel's ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories, and the expropriation of Palestinian land and resources for its settlements.

The protection of human rights is obviously a priority. We reject violence and its promotion, particularly against civilians, including state-targeted assassinations and suicide bombings, and we oppose all forms of racism, religious or cultural intolerance and discrimination. The Greens call on all parties to comply with UN resolutions, international law, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva convention. Specific goals within the policy include:

(1) the removal of Israeli settlers and Israeli security and military forces from the Palestinian Territories;

(2) the termination of the occupation of the Palestinian Territories and the establishment of a secure and viable state of Palestine alongside Israel, based on 4th June 1967 boundaries, with both states sharing Jerusalem as their capital;

(3) a just and practical negotiated settlement of the claims of the Palestinian refugees which provides compensation for those who are unable to return to their country of origin, Israel or Palestine;

(4) the right of each state to independently manage its own affairs, including foreign relations and economic development, without the dominance of one state over the other;

(5) the equitable allocation of shared resources, including water;

(6) the promotion of a culture of dialogue, harmony, peace and reconciliation between the peoples of Palestine and Israel, both in the Middle East and in Australia, fostered through educational, cultural and other institutions; and

(7) full equality before the laws of each jurisdiction for every citizen of that jurisdiction, irrespective of ethnic origin, religion or belief, race or gender.

In the short term we would like to see peace negotiations facilitated by an international commission under the auspices of the United Nations and assisted by the deployment of an international peacekeeping force. Such a force would keep the peace and assist the Palestinian Authority to re-establish its infrastructure. The world community must work hard to achieve a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. The immediate dismantling of the separation wall would be one very positive and significant step down the road to peace.