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Greens welcome peace award to Dr Ashrawi.



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Sen Kerry Nettle

Press Release

29.10.03

Greens welcome peace award to Dr Ashrawi

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle, today expressed The Greens support of the Sydney Peace Foundation's decision to award this years Sydney Peace Prize to Palestinian peace activist Dr Hanan Ashrawi.

In a speech to parliament today Senator Nettle outlined the significance of the decision and announced the new Greens policy on Israel/Palestine

"Dr Ashrawi has made a major contribution to the cause of peace in Israel and Palestine, as such she is a worthy recipient of this prize," Senator Nettle said.

"I congratulate the Peace Prize committee on lending an Australian voice to the call for a just peace in the region."

From today's speech;

"The decision represents a positive move within the Australian community to recognise those seeking a genuine peace in Israel and Palestine, and has raised the profile of this issue beyond its usual audience on a note of optimism and hope. The Greens welcome this move."

"Those who would criticise the Sydney Peace Foundation for their decision to award the prize to a former Minister in the Palestinian Authority who they deem by association to be complicit in soft peddling opposition to suicide bombings miss the point. Peace prizes are not awarded to individuals of unassailable purity, or saints or angels. Peace prizes are awarded to those who consistently rise above the failings of human character and, in difficult and complex circumstances, move the objectives of peace forward, sowing seeds of

hope in fields of despair. This has been the distinction of Dr Ashwari and as such she is a worthy recipient of this prize."

"The Greens policy focuses on the legitimate rights of Palestinians and Israelis to live in their own respective independent sovereign states - in peace and security. It also recognises the ongoing injustice that has been done to the

Palestinian people and opposes the continued occupation of Palestinian territories, and the illegal establishment of settlements on this land."

"[The Australian Government should] add to its condemnation of suicide bombers, a strident and determined criticism of the actions of the Israeli leadership for their aggressive actions in the Palestinian territories and the region at large. They should also be adding our voice to the call for a UN brokered peace in the region, thereby doing something positive to end the violence and return the rule of law."

Full copies of the speech available on request

Contact - Jon Edwards - 0428 213 146