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Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Page: 2302


Senator BOB BROWN (TasmaniaLeader of the Australian Greens) (16:00): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator BOB BROWN: I draw the Senate back to the terrific circumstances which have led to this debate both in Marrickville in the New South Wales elections and now in this great parliament—that is, the unhealed sore of the disputes, the violence, the continuing death toll and the harrowing circumstances of people living in Palestine and in Israel and, indeed, in other parts of the Middle East.

It is our job to think about it and to debate it. We should not merely find ourselves fighting over it. We should also find some way of actually helping more than the world has helped in the past to ensure the security of the people of Israel and their right to live in peace into the future as well as the right of the people of Palestine to have their own country with equal security to chart their own future in the same way as the rest of the world does. It is incredibly important that we try to limit in the future the violence that we have seen in the past from both sides and to give a peace dividend to the whole region by having those two peoples living in peace with each other. Maybe we should set aside a full and open debate at some stage in this chamber to talk about just that. They deserve it, and we deserve to do it in a constructive way that would end in a peace which would in turn make all of us on this planet a bit more secure and happy.