Parliamentary Friends of Israel Study Tour - Debate
Parts of a speech delivered by David Shoebridge in Australia's New South Wales Legislative Council on 14 march 2013.
Mr DAVID SHOEBRIDGE:
The human rights of the Palestinians ...were airbrushed out of the itinerary of the study tour that travelled to Israel and some very small parts of the West Bank...
How could members not go to see the way the Palestinians live under the illegal blockade or not speak to ... the the paramedics about how they respond to the impacts of aerial bombardments by the Israeli military?
If they had visited Gaza they would have been able to see the X-rays that the Gaza doctors show of children’s kidneys riddled with kidney stones because of the saline water they are required to drink.
The Israeli wells on the edge of Gaza are stripping out the fresh water from the arterial basin and the arterial basin is filling up with saline water from the sea. That saline water fills the wells.
"Most of the water treatment plants have been destroyed by Israeli bombardments and almost every child in Gaza has kidneys riddled with kidney stones and ongoing health problems...
Talk to the farmers whose olive groves have been cut off by the illegal apartheid wall, who cannot get to the fields that generations of their family had previously tended because of an illegal apartheid wall built by Israel through the middle of their homes, villages and farms.
Surely members could also have met with Israeli peace activists, such as Jeff Halper from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and spoken to Palestinians who have been illegally evicted from their homes and land to make way for internationally condemned settlements being built by the Israelis...
How could members not have travelled to Hebron and done the Breaking the Silence tour, where former Israeli soldiers would have told them about what goes on in the occupied territories, about the violence and the discrimination perpetrated by the Israeli military and the settler movement against the native Palestinian population?
...How could members not visit those Palestinian refugee camps in neighbouring countries such as Lebanon, where Palestinian refugees from 1948, 1967 and beyond live in sub-standard Third World conditions and are denied their human right to return to their homes?
Arab and Jewish population in Israel-Palestine 1914-1946. israelipalestinian.procon.org
Members did not speak to them, see their title deeds and see the keys they still hold for the homes that were taken from them in the illegal occupations and evictions that have been taking place for decades in that part of the world?
Palestine became Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
It is extraordinary to note that Labor members, one of whom is notionally from the Left, visited Israel and small parts of the West Bank but did not travel to Nablus and meet with any of the Palestinian trade unions.
How could members have travelled over there and not spoken to the firefighters in the Nablus fire station who were locked into their compound by Israeli tanks and snipers and prevented from doing their job as firefighters?
They were prevented from saving the lives and homes of their families and friends for days and days as homes burned; children and other people died while the Israeli military shelled and burned their city around them...
There is no 'homeland' for the Christians or the Buddhists.
So why should there be a homeland for people of the Jewish religion?
The Palestinians are most likely the original Jews of the tiny Kingdom of David.
Most of the current Israelis are Khazars who converted to the Jewish religion.
Palestinians flee from the Jewish terrorist who invaded their land.
The 'crypto-Jew' Osama bin Laden came from Yemen which was at one time a Jewish state.