ECAJ slams Labor MP’s signing petition against Israel

July 9, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has slammed Labor MP Melissa Parke for signing an anti-Israel petition.

Melissa Parke

Melissa Parke

The petition called on the United Nations to demand that Israel “end its crippling blockade of Gaza or face sanctions”.

Among Parke’s fellow signatories are former British MP George Galloway, Israeli academic Ilan Pappe and Dr Richard Falk.

Executive Director Peter Wertheim told J-Wire: “It is disgraceful to see an ALP member of the Federal parliament join in with the likes of former UK MP George Galloway and Greta Berlin to call on the UN Security Council to impose political and economic sanctions on Israel.  Not even the most notoriously anti-Israel MP’s in the Greens, like Lee Rhiannon, have gone that far.

Galloway has called for the city of Bradford to be a “Zionist-free zone”, making it clear that that would exclude the vast majority of the Jewish community.  Greta Berlin gained infamy for her grossly offensive and patently antisemitic remarks about the Holocaust, which were condemned even by BDS leader, Ali Abuminah.

It speaks volumes that Parke and her fellow petitioners would indulge their private obsessions about Israel while turning a blind eye to the ongoing butchery in Syria and Iraq and the gross abuses of human rights in Iran, Libya, North Korea, Yemen and any number of other countries .  One can only hope that Parke’s latest act of hate against Israel is not a portent of what we can expect to see and hear at the upcoming ALP national conference.  The sensible voices in the ALP leadership need to pull her into line before her recklessness damages the whole party.”


We, the Undersigned, call on the United Nations to demand that the State of Israel end its crippling blockade of Gaza or face sanctions.

Smaller than Dublin, Ireland, Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on earth. 80% of its nearly 2 million residents are refugees from other parts of Israel-Palestine who were expelled from their homes in 1948 and 1967, making it the world’s largest refugee camp.

The eight-year siege has sealed Gaza off from the world by land, air and sea, forbidding entry of desperately needed medical supplies, reconstruction materials, and such other goods as toys, crayons, books, candles, matches, fishing rods, baby formula, chocolate, pasta, coffee, shampoo, sheets, donkeys and cows. 90% of the water is undrinkable and water is expected to run out entirely by 2020 (B’Tselem 2014UNCT oPT 2012,  PWA fact sheet, Mar. 2014 )

This siege, which Israel does not formally acknowledge, is illegal. [1] It devastates the Gazan economy, impedes reconstruction from past bombings, separates families, prevents students from studying abroad, and hurts fishermen and farmers, who cannot pursue their livelihoods near the Buffer Zone without risk of being shot. [2] (FAO fact sheet, 25 May 2010 ) It denies the people of Gaza legal right to live in peace, freedom and dignity, to resist military occupation, and to flee when attacked, as many of them once did to arrive in Gaza.

For these and many other reasons, we call on the President of the UN Security Council to pass a resolution urging all members to impose economic and political sanctions on Israel until it lifts the siege and gives the people of Gaza the chance to live a normal life.

[1] It violates Article 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention against collective punishment against a civilian population (See also A/HRC/12/37, para. 30).
[2] In January alone, Israel fired on farmers and fisherman on eight separate occasions, in direct violation of the August 26, 2014 Ceasefire. (See Attacks on Gaza, Jan-Mar 2015 )


Signatories include

Dr. Mads Gilbert, Norwegian physician, humanitarian, and activist involved with solidarity work concerning Palestinians. Through the Norwegian Aid Committee he supported the humanitarian effort at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza during both Operation Cast Lead (2008, 2009) and Operation Protective Edge (2014)

Dr. Basem Naim, Gaza, Head of Council on International Relations,

Jafar Ramini, UK, Political Writer/Analyst, Commentator

Zaina Masri, of the well known political Palestinian Al-Masri family of Nablus

Iyad Burnat, Bil’ln, Palestine, Founding member of the Bil’in Popular Non Violent Resistance Committee. For the past 10 years he has organized weekly non-violent demonstrations against the confiscation of their land, destruction of their olive trees, and Israel’s illegal Separation Wall and settlements.

George Galloway
, British politician, broadcaster, and writer. He instigated the Viva Palestina aid convoy to the Gaza Strip in January 2009

Ilan Pappé, PhD, Israeli historian and socialist activist.The author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

Eran Efrati, former Israeli combat soldier turned anti-occupation activist and investigative researcher. 

Dr. Richard Falk, USA, Professor of International Law, Emeritus, Princeton University, former UN Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine (2008-2014)

Melissa Parke MP, Australia, Former Minister for International Development (AusAID), Federal Labor Member for Fremantle and former United Nations Lawyer.

Professor Nurit Peled-Elhanan,
 Israel, Sakharov Prize laureate for human rights and Co-initiator of the Russel Tribunal on Palestine

Miko Peled, Israeli peace activist and author of The General’s Son

Ronnie Barkan, Founder, Boycott From Within

Denny Cormier, Cairo, Egypt, International Human Rights Activist, PAN

Tarek Sarad, Switzerland, Activist, Editor-in-Chief, Falastin News

Pamela Olson, Journalist and author of Fast Times in Palestine, named a “Top 10 Travel Book of 2013” by Publishers Weekly

Dr. Peter Cohen, Anthropologist, Founder, Humanity for Palestine

Eileen Carr, Dublin, Ireland, Independent Human Rights Activist, Gaza Toy Drive

Hedy Epstein, USA, Human Rights Activist, Jewish Voice for Peace, Holocaust Survivor

Greta Berlin, France, Co-founder, Free Gaza movement; Passenger on 1st Free Gaza and 11th US Boat to Gaza voyages

Mary Hughes Thompson, Canada, Co-founder, Free Gaza movement;
Passenger on 1st Free Gaza and 11th Canadian Tahrir voyages

Paul Larudee, USA, Co-founder, Free Gaza and Free Palestine movements, Passenger on 1st Free Gaza and 10th Freedom Flotilla I voyages

Bill Dienst, MD, USA, medical doctor on board 1st Free Gaza voyage 2

Kathleen Wang, USA, Women in Black Los Angeles, passenger on 1st Free Gaza voyage

Gene St. Onge, USA, Free Palestine movement representative, Greek boat, Sfendonhi, 10th Freedom Flotilla 1 voyage

Lawrence Tawil, USA, passenger on 1st Free Gaza voyage.

Baroness Jenny Tonge, UK parliamentarian. Passenger on 3rd free Gaza voyage

Darlene Wallach, USA, Free Gaza movement and Justice for Palestinians, Passenger on 1st Free Gaza voyage

Janet Kobren, USA, passenger, 10th Freedom Flotilla I voyage

Nordine Saidi, Belgium / Mouvement Citoyen Palestine / Belgium

Ernesto Paramo, UK, Pro-Palestinian Activist and Community Organizer

David Schermerhorn, USA, crew on 1st, 4th, 8th, and 11th voyages

Mary Ellen Bennett, USA, Human Rights Activist



10 Responses to “ECAJ slams Labor MP’s signing petition against Israel”
  1. Fathieh Douer says:

    I forgot to write down who made the problem in the Meddle East USA and Israel they want to ruin the Meddle East to make Israel controlled it from Nile river to Forat river. But the Arab will take it back when they will wake up to themselves.

  2. Fathieh Douer says:

    Congratulation Melissa you are the brave one. No one has the carriage to sign any petition because they are slaves to the oppressor. keep going we all with you. God bless you.

  3. Peter Hindrup says:

    Most, if not all of the commentators are repeating the long discredited comments that lost their sting 10 years ago.

    Israel is the creator of its own fall in the opinion of the international community. Blaming others for ones own failings is counterproductive.

  4. Martha E Morrison says:

    Congratulations to Melissa Parke for signing this petition. She is an MP who not only has compassion and knowledge of the actual situation in Palestine, but who is brave enough to endure the condemnation of some of her colleagues. I admire and praise her.

  5. Geoff Seidner says:


    • Erica Edelman says:

      That is so true, Geoff. Luckily we have some Australian Labour MP’s who know right from wrong – fiction from fact and historical accuracy from historical hysteria. They surely understand the mechanics of Hamas and Fatah and how it’s imperative for Israel to keep doing what its doing. It absolutely flaws me that commentators on these pages blame Israel for defending her shores. I quite wish at times that Hamas and Fatah could jump these ignorant writer’s back fences and show them a bit of what its like for innocent Israelis. Now wouldn’t that change their collective minds in a hurry? Maybe not, maybe they would continue to blame Israel because they are just plain antisemitic and nothing will ever change their minds – they just have it in for the Jewish people no matter what.

  6. harry rich says:

    Why are Palestinians living in Gaza,often in very basic circumstances , why is Hamas able to extend its evil powers over the whole area and beyond ? Because Israel, in its vainglorious attempt to trade land for peace, relinquished the territory. Let’s be truthful! Swapping territory for peace did not work.

    It would be good if Melissa Park were to acknowledge that fact and take a good hard look at the so- called “blockade” of Gaza where about 700 trucks per day, carrying food and other supplies for that area, pass through the “blockade” which is similar to the situation with Egypt.But the United Nation does not often mention Egypt because the latter gives not much impetus to sensationalism. Check out the the maritime ” blockade” where the last ship,stacked with TV and newspaper commentators, carried two boxes of stuff which nobody really needed, just for the purpose of further screaming “blockade” to the media and the United Nations.

    Manfred Gerstenfeld in his latest book ” The war of a million Cuts”
    discusses the pandemic of antisemitism. As a most important way to counteract this phenomenon he advocates the establishment of an agency by the Israeli Government which is well funded and staffed by experts to counteract the world-wide propaganda by people such as Melissa Park and her cohorts. It will be a long struggle , by TV, the printed media and the internet, but hopefully an ultimately successful one.

  7. Erica Edelman says:

    Oh, No, David…that would have been altogether too sensible and way too balanced. But let’s look more closely at what this motley lot above, along with Ms Parke of Fremantle has up its collective nostril.

    Ms Parke has been speaking this “speak” for years and years (her electorate is not far from mine) – and clearly she is in bad company judging by the list above.. She is playing Russian Roulette with her career in politics, in fact, by associating with some of them.

    I’m sure She has NEVER been invited to Israel by some of her learned, LISTED colleagues.. Nor, to my knowledge, has she EVER taken the time to speak to her Labour or Liberal counterparts in Australia who HAVE been to Israel to learn the REAL lie of the land.

    Reading between her lines she seems to detest:

    1. Large refugee camps – yes, the world should be rid of them. Calling Gaza a refugee camp is not only offensive to Palestinian peoples, but would surely upset Hamas and Fatah. They are doing their level best to spend ALL their local and International financial aid building a democratic territory with all the best intent on repairing infrastructure to a level that they could create a peaceful “home”. Isn’t that what you would expect them to be doing, Ms Parke? Yes, I thought so.

    And, Ms Parke, are you going to blame Israel for Hamas’ and Fatah’s lack of ability to run a small country properly? Why don’t you go there and share some of your legal and diplomatic prowess with them? I’m sure they will gladly take notes. Or are they just too busy wishing and BLAMING ISRAEL into the sea? Perhaps you can join in with them?

    2. WHAT INDEED devastates the Gazan economy, impedes reconstruction from past bombings, separates families, prevents students from studying abroad, and hurts fishermen and farmers, who cannot pursue their livelihoods near the Buffer Zone without risk of being shot IS HAMAS AND FATAH, NOT ISRAEL.[2] (FAO fact sheet, 25 May 2010 )

    WHAT INDEED denies the people of Gaza legal right to live in peace, freedom and dignity, to resist military occupation, and to flee when attacked, as many of them once did to arrive in Gaza IS INDEED THEIR OWN INABILITY TO DEMAND MORE from HAMAS AND FATAH, as you know fully well, Ms Parke! Or have you been living under a rock in Fremantle? Do you not read RELIABLE AND ACADEMIC reports of the situation? Do you truly understand what Obama’s position is? And Egypt’s for that matter? Do you truly understand what is going on there? I think not! Why don’t you create a little junket for yourself – or better still, find out which one of our Labour or Liberal MP’s is going again – soon – and join them too!

    One last word. There is no shame in caring about the underdog of this world. (That, at this point in time, would include ANYBODY who is in the way of ISIS!) In fact, we Jewish people make it our business to care about others – as you know from the media, Ms Parke. If you are so concerned about the plight of the Palestinians, Ms Parke, may I suggest you do some homework, REAL HOMEWORK, and put your considerable talent to SOME REAL GOOD USE by spending time in that part of the world trying to convince HAMAS AND FATAH to lead the same peaceful life you have been able to lead in your precious Fremantle, Ms Parke.

    EVERYBODY deserves to live in peace – ESPECIALLY THE ISRAELIS! (Now go and do some historical research of the region – especially find out what REALLY happened in 1948 and 1967 – and tell some of your cronies on that list above. They need all the help they can get!)

  8. Leon Poddebsky says:

    The point is, David, that the signatories are not interested in balance because they want to see Israel extinguished.
    It’s well known that Israel allows into Gaza by land transport all legitimate goods, but forbids the introduction into Gaza of materials that could contribute to hamas aggression.
    Just the other day Israeli inspectors discovered war materials secreted inside ostensibly “building materials” that Hamas tried to import.

    Israel’s defensive maritime blockade is the sort of normal, legal procedure that many countries have used, but, of course, there are different “rules” for us.
    Who would have imagined that in this land of freedom, of democracy and enlightened values there would be people who support a regime and culture that aim to repeat what the nazis did?
    Oh, that’s right, Germany in the `1930’s was also an enlightened, democratic state (The Weimar Republic) until the nazis took control.

  9. David Itzkowic says:

    wouldn’t it have been a more balanced partition if it also called for Hamas, the dictators of Gaza,
    to renounce their genocidal intent of the Jews, the destruction of israel and the firing of rockets at Israeli civilians ?

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