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Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Page: 2298


Senator ABETZ (TasmaniaLeader of the Opposition in the Senate) (15:47): I move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes:

      (i)   its decision on 23 March 2011 to acknowledge that Israel is a legitimate and democratic state and a good friend of Australia and to denounce the Israeli boycott by Marrickville Council and condemn any expansion of it,

      (ii)   the response by the Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, to this decision of the Senate, which was to ask that the Australian Greens' opposition to this motion be recorded,

      (iii)   subsequent statements by Senator Brown that it was a mistake for the New South Wales Greens to advocate this policy and that it was neither the Federal Greens, nor his policy to boycott Israel, and

      (iv)   Marrickville Council's decision on 19 April 2011 to rescind its Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) policy against Israel;

   (b)   rejects the policy of the New South Wales Greens which calls on all Australians and the Australian Government to boycott Israeli goods, trading and military arrangements, and sporting, cultural and academic events;

   (c)   notes with concern:

      (i)   the resolution carried at the 2010 Regional Conference of the Queensland Branch of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) to support the BDS campaign against Israel,

      (ii)   initial support for the support for the BDS campaign against Israel by four Labor councillors on Marrickville Council,

      (iii)   the decision by the New South Wales ALP to preference Greens candidate and Marrickville Mayor, Fiona Byrne, in the seat of Marrickville at the New South Wales state election, and

      (iv)   reports that Mr David Forde, Convenor of Labor 4A Just Palestine, who supports the BDS campaign, is a frontrunner for ALP preselection for the Queensland state seat of Stretton;

   (d)   denounces support lent to the BDS campaign against Israel by the: Victorian Trades Hall Council; Geelong Trades Hall Council; Newcastle Trades Hall Council; South Coast Labour Council; Queensland Council of Unions; UnionsACT and branches of the Australian Services Union; Teachers' Union; Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union; Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union; Maritime Union of Australia; Australian Manufacturing Workers Union; Communications, Electrical, Plumbing Union; Electrical Trades Union; Finance Sector Union; Health and Community Services Union; and Rail, Tram and Bus Union;

   (e)   calls on the Australian Council of Trade Unions to oppose this campaign; and

   (f)   in light of events and information available to the Senate since 23 March 2011, reaffirms its decision that Israel is a legitimate and democratic state and a good friend of Australia.