Israel-Palestine Conflict

30 November, 2022

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (16:52): I rise on behalf of the Liberal Party to speak on the motion moved by the Hon. Irene Pnevmatikos regarding the Israel and Palestine conflict.

The unresolved Israel-Palestine conflict continues to be a major concern and is very upsetting for those who are directly or indirectly affected.

It is important to, firstly, acknowledge that all Honourable Members in this place will respectfully express our support to advocate for the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in equality, peace and security within internationally recognised borders.

After much consideration and discussion with my parliamentary colleagues, I wish to indicate that the Liberal Party will be supporting the amended motion moved by the Hon. Sarah Game MLC.

We believe the amendments by the Honourable Member should be considered in good faith, in the spirit of goodwill and respect to the many diverse communities in South Australia who are deeply impacted in different ways by the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine.

The longstanding position of the Federal Government has been to support a two-state solution to the conflict and to strongly call on both sides to cease any hostilities and violence and to resume direct negotiations in good faith.

The South Australian Liberal Party firmly believes that all parties must focus on direct and genuine peace negotiations, with a view to defining a mutually workable, just, durable and resilient peace agreement.

It is important to remind honourable members that despite the recent change of federal government, the Albanese Labor Government remains committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist in peace and security within internationally recognised borders.

Over the years, I have spoken to many constituents and community leaders from diverse multicultural groups about this complex issue. I believe the most important thing that we can do as South Australian parliamentarians is to continue to understand the concerns and continue to work with local community members, as well as the international community, to support programs that will encourage peace in the region.

With this in mind, on this side of the chamber we commend the Hon. Sarah Game for including the final clause in her amendment to support members of the South Australian Palestinian community.

We would like to confirm our support of members of the South Australian Palestinian community, to recognise the pain, frustration and grief that they feel as a result of the ongoing conflict.

We want to acknowledge that the Palestinian community has been an important part of our rich cultural and religious tapestry for at least 70 years, and we also acknowledge their significant contribution to our society in all aspects of our diverse society.

We extend our sympathies to all those families and loved ones who are traumatised and affected by the conflict and acknowledge their grave concerns about the frequent reports of violence and human rights abuses in the region.

I wish to acknowledge and thank all the community leaders and organisations who persistently advocate for peace, respect and dignity for the Palestinian people, and I want to assure the community of the goodwill expressed by all Honourable Members in the Chamber today.