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Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Page: 3224

Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (15:46): by leave—I indicate the Greens will not be supporting this motion, but we will not be calling a division. The Australian Greens defend the right of all persons to be able to live in an environment without discrimination and violence. We do not tolerate or endorse anti-Semitism and we condemn all forms of discrimination on the basis of race, culture, ethnicity, religion or nationality. The Greens have championed antivilification legislation around Australia. It is an important mechanism in encouraging a tolerant community.

We oppose the motion and will not be signing the London declaration, which equates anti-Semitism with criticisms of the State of Israel. It is legitimate to criticise Israel for its actions against the Palestinian people, including blockades and expanding settlements. While the Australian Greens do not and have not supported the BDS campaign, we also do not believe the motion accurately reflects the campaign. The Australian Greens policy supports the legitimate rights and aspirations of both the Israeli and the Palestinian people to live in peace and security in their own independent sovereign states. It is the Greens view that the only way to achieve this is through a comprehensive, negotiated settlement of the conflict leading to a two-state solution with Israel and a Palestinian state living side by side within secure and internationally recognised borders. (Time expired)

Question agreed to.