The Premier and the Parliamentary Friends of Israel

August 17, 2011 by J-Wire Staff
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Premier Barry O’Farrell has responded to MLC Walt Secord’s claim that the State Government has politicised the revival of the NSW Parliament’s Friends of Israel group  by being its “sole convenor”.

Premier Barry O'Farrell

In a statement to J-Wire, Premier O’Farrell said: “I am surprised at your report about the Parliamentary Friends of Israel.


As someone who was present at the group’s foundation meeting during Bob Carr’s premiership, it has always been the practice that a Government MP is chair and an Opposition MP is Deputy Chair.


It was an arrangement that the NSW LIberals & Nationals Opposition at the time accepted and supported as a sign of the bipartisan support within the Parliament for Israel..


While I appreciate Mr Secord is a new MLC, he should be aware of the procedures established by the Labor government he served.


As a known supporter of the State of Israel – and as someone who has always publicly acknowledged the support that Labor figures like Bob Carr have given to Israel – I am disappointed that, for the first time since the group was founded, Labor has attempted to politicise the NSW Parliament’s Friends of Israel.


I know that being in Opposition can be a difficult and lonely, but that doesn’t justify Mr Secord’s attempt to score political points with a group that has, to date, always enjoyed strong bipartisan support across the NSW Parliament.”

J-Wire sought a reaction from Walt Secord. He said: ” I am disappointed by the premier’s deeply personal attack, but I recognise he can impose his own chair on the friendship group if he wishes.

That said I hope that he will allow me to have role even a minor one. I think it is so important to support Israel at a time when she is under attack from all sides.

For the record, the Parliamentary friends of Palestine has two co-chairs and it is within parliamentary guidelines – so does Parliamentary friends of mental health and parliamentary friends for reconciliation.”


One Response to “The Premier and the Parliamentary Friends of Israel”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    Good, well that’s settled then, get on with it.

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