Parliamentary “debate” in Australia over Palestine is anemic and racist

There are barely any Australian politicians who speak honestly about Israel and Palestine. Instead, indulged and brain-washed by the Zionist lobby, they spout pro-Israel propaganda. They hear no evil and they see no evil. All the while Israel continues to illegally colonise Palestine, making their stated aim of a two-state solution an utter impossibility. History will record this accordingly.

Take this recent exchange, on 31 May, at the Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee:

CHAIR (Labor Senator Anne McEwen): Senator Ronaldson, I think we will take that as a conclusion to the… debate. Are there any further areas of examination in program 1.3?

Liberal Senator Michael RONALDSON: I do have something. The minister will be acutely aware of the BDS… issue.

Labor Senator and Foreign Minister Bob Carr: Sorry—what issue?

Senator RONALDSON: The long-running BDS campaign that has been run against Israel.… Have there been some concerns raised about AusAID’s partnerships with NGOs that are… partnering organisations in the Palestinian territories that actually support the BDS against… the state of Israel? For example, Union Aid Abroad—APHEDA and CARE Australia fund… the Ma’an Development Centre, which is an organisation that actively advocates for and… provides the materials in support of the BDS. World Vision provides funding to the UAWC,… which supports the BDS. Indeed, the UAWC contributed to the campaign for a British retailer… cooperative group to boycott Israeli companies. I am just asking you: is it appropriate for… AusAID to be providing funding to NGOs that partner with organisations that promote the… boycott, divestment and sanctions program?

Senator Bob Carr: I am opposed to the program. AusAID funds humanitarian development… work in the Palestinian territories, and we do so in ways that get aid to people who are poor… and hungry. We do not fund anything that remotely suggests any sort of advocacy.

Senator RONALDSON: Do you provide cash to any of these organisations that would enable… them to fund such programs through their resources?

Senator Bob Carr: No.

Senator RONALDSON: There is no cash provided to these organisations at all? Mr Baxter?

Senator Bob Carr: No. There is no Australian funding for political activity or political… advocacy along the lines you have suggested.

Senator RONALDSON: The more surprising news would be if you told me that you were… providing funding for political advocacy, but I am asking you whether indeed there are funds… being directed into organisations that are providing support for the BDS program, and how… that can possibly be appropriate funding.

Director Genearal AusAid Mr Peter Baxter: We provide funding through APHEDA for development activities and for nothing… else. Those development activities are agreed in advance, and they are reported against with… our normal financial procedures to ensure that every dollar that is spent is accounted for… against the project activities that we have agreed.

Senator RONALDSON: But do you acknowledge that the Ma’an Development Centre and… APHEDA are organisations that are providing support to the BDS campaign?

Mr Baxter: If we found that any of the funding was being used for activities outside of the… scope of works that we had agreed, we would cease funding.

Senator RONALDSON: But surely you are not telling the committee that just because you… cannot say that your funding has not gone towards that campaign that it is still okay to fund… an organisation whose resources are being used for the BDS campaign? That is nonsensical,… surely.

Mr Baxter: We are funding an organisation that produces development outcomes in line… with AusAID’s responsibilities.

Senator RONALDSON: No, you are funding an organisation that is part of the BDS campaign;… that is what you are doing, are you not?

Mr Baxter: We are not funding the BDS campaign.

Senator RONALDSON: You are funding an organisation that is funding the BDS campaign.… Will you at least acknowledge that?

CHAIR: Senator Ronaldson, we have traversed these issues many times before.

Senator RONALDSON: Well, I am trying to get an answer.

CHAIR: I think Mr Baxter has given an answer.

Senator RONALDSON: He has not given an answer. Can I have an answer, please, Mr Baxter?… Or, Minister, can I have an answer from you?

Mr Baxter: Our funding for Palestinian NGOs is only for development activities.

Senator RONALDSON: So you are comfortable providing funding to organisations who fund… the BDS campaign—yes or no?

Mr Baxter: I have given you my answer, Senator.

Senator RONALDSON: No you have not. Minister, what is your answer?

Senator Bob Carr: I stand by my previous answer, Madam Chair.

Senator RONALDSON: What was your previous answer, just remind me?

Senator Bob Carr: It is on the record.

Senator RONALDSON: I will ask you again.

Senator Bob Carr: It is on the record.

Senator RONALDSON: Minister, you are comfortable providing funding to organisations… which in turn fund their BDS campaign. Is that the Australian government’s position?

Senator Bob Carr: Madam Chair, my answer is on the record.

Senator RONALDSON: Is it the Australian government’s position that you are comfortable… doing that, Minister? I did not think I would get a response, my friend. I did not think I would… get—

CHAIR: Senator Ronaldson, you have made your point. You got answers.

Senator RONALDSON: I wish.

CHAIR: If you do not like them that is what you have to put up with. Are we moving on from… BDS? We have Senator Kroger on Afghanistan.

Rest assured, this attempted putsch against BDS is pushed by the Zionist lobby, including talking points and questions from the lobby itself. You don’t think the politicians actually know anything about the issue?

Here’s the real story, ignored by the vast bulk of the media establishment and politicians alike. This Senate Committee chooses not to investigate or seek recompense for the thousands of taxpayer dollars lost when an Israeli missile strikes the Australian Government-funded APHEDA aid project site in Gaza, or worse, when that Israeli missile kills the Palestinian mother successfully participating in the APHEDA project. No, on this type of issue, the deafening silence from the Australian Government is telling.

As ever, Australian NGO APHEDA should be applauded for consistently supporting Palestinian rights in an environment where doing so is seen as threatening Zionist supremacy.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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