Danby responds to Vamvakinou’s motion on Palestinian childrer

December 1, 2016 by Michael Danby
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A couple of foolish speeches in this House paid little attention to reality—that is, reality in the Palestinian territories…writes Michael Danby.

Maria Vamvakinou moved motion that the parliament acknowledges that:

(a) 500 to 700 Palestinian children are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system each year;

(b) Human Rights Watch reported in April that arrests of Palestinian children by Israeli forces had doubled in the preceding six months;

(c) Defence for Children International research, based on 429 affidavits from Palestinian children, indicates that 97 per cent of children had no parent or legal counsel available during interrogation and 75 per cent endured some form of physical violence following arrest;

(d) the United States State Department’s 2014 human rights report on Israel states that military courts have more than a 99 per cent conviction rate for Palestinian defendants;

(e) UNICEF has reported that ill-treatment in the Israeli military detention system remains widespread, systematic, and institutionalised throughout the process; and

(f) Australia raised concerns with Israel about the treatment of Palestinian minors in 2011 and 2014, however there has been little improvement concerning the treatment of Palestinian children by Israeli forces; and

(2) calls on the Australian Government to raise concerns with the Israeli Government about the treatment of Palestinian children.

Michael Danby

Michael Danby

First of all, let me give the context. The statistics just in from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights are that in Syria over the last four years 15,000 children under 18 have been killed. There was no mention of them this morning.

A second point is that we have just introduced control orders in this House for 14- 18-year-olds, supported by nearly all of the political parties in this place, because of evidence of young people, even here in Australia—a 15-year-old at Parramatta in Sydney and a 17-year-old in Endeavour Hills in Melbourne—who were involved in attempts to stab or injure people. Yet, this morning, the massive upsurge in similar events in Israel and in the territories was not mentioned at all. The ‘stabbing intifada’, it has been called. Hundreds of people have been run down. Younger people have attempted to stab innocent Israeli civilians. This was not mentioned at all. What was mentioned was the fact that there are people who are arrested for these deeds. Similarly, here in Australia, if people threw stones through the front windows of trucks driving along our highways, whatever age they were, they would be arrested by the relevant authorities and prevented from doing so. It happening in another country should not be a reason for us disassociating ourselves or condemning people who are trying to assist the security of their own civilians.

Minors should not be involved in armed conflict or violence. Unfortunately, Palestinian leadership have encouraged young people to carry out acts of terrorism—including throwing rocks through the windows of cars and trucks, causing death and injury—through their media, involved in violent incitement. Anyone in this parliament who has been to the many sessions of Palestinian Media Watch that have taken place here over the last 15 years has seen some of the appalling material on television in that area. Honestly, if one is to support a two-state solution and a peace process, one of the things we have to address in the future is this incitement of young people by the Palestinian Authority. It is not good enough for the authority to receive Australian taxpayers’ support, American taxpayers’ support and European taxpayers’ support and yet encourage people via sporting events, young people at soccer matches, and in their media et cetera. For this person X, who was a terrorist who murdered 25 people, you have a soccer stadium or an educational institution named after them. That is the exact opposite of what any society that is trying to construct itself for the greater good should do.

Let me give you some examples of the kinds of things we are talking about. A 16-year-old stabbed to death an Israeli sleeping on a bus the other day. Five members of the Fogel family, including a four-year-old and an 11-year-old, were stabbed to death by a 17-year-old who lived in a nearby village. These kinds of things are completely unacceptable. It is much better to do what organisations like Save a Child’s Heart are doing—even with the daughter of Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the violent Hamas terrorist organisation in Gaza—to accept large numbers of Palestinian children from Gaza and the West Bank into hospitals.

I note that the Hadassah Organisation does a lot—including by using Australian taxpayers money—to look after Palestinian children who come and who have their travel approved from Gaza and the West Bank into Israel for very serious conditions.

There are many countries in the world that have problems with young people being involved in terrorist incidents. It is a very serious thing. All of us have to address these issues. All of us should continue to support peace, but we cannot say there should be one set of circumstances in one country and a different set of circumstances in our own.

Michael Danby is the federal Labor Member of Parliament for Melbourne Ports.


5 Responses to “Danby responds to Vamvakinou’s motion on Palestinian childrer”
  1. Michael Burd says:

    As the Muslim community in Australia explodes getting close to 600,000 compared to approximatly 100-120,000 Jews and the Western Sydney becomes an important hub for Islam our politicans of course lead by the Greens, Labour left , some in the Liberal party and a few Independents will be grovelling and pandering to them. Of course this includes bashing Israel as well as pandering to their religious and culutral needs.
    With the Syrian Asylum seeker arrivals things will only get much worse, we had better get used to it .

  2. Rita L. says:

    If you tell a lie often enough, it becomes “Palestine”.

    The default position of the Left, especially the ‘socialist’ Left is: promote the beatification of muslim terrorists and defame the Jews. Yea yea yea I know, some with a minimum of Schamgefühl left in them will protest “I dont hate Jews, but …..”, adding insult to injury on insulting our intelligence which they assume to be as low as theirs: A recent survey has found that 1 in 3 Jew Haters is just as stupid as the other two.

    Kudos to Michael Danby MP, for – despite being of the Left – tirelessly fighting for the Truth about Israel and those who want to destroy it to come out.

  3. john nemesh says:

    Does Vamvakinou have a problem with jewish people?

    She pontificates over not having parents present but completely ignores the wholesale

    murder by bombs, gassing and canons of hundreds of thousands of children next door i Syria.

    Why? We know the answer…..

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