The Xenophon team

June 30, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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With the Nick Xenophon Team likely to gain a number of Senate seats, and possibly a couple of lower house seats, at the looming election, and thus possibly holding or sharing the balance of power in one or both Houses, the Australia/Israel Review (AIR) examined the Senator’s record on Israel, and found much that concerns it.

Nick Xenophon   Photo: Wikipedia

Nick Xenophon Photo: Wikipedia

For example, the article, in the July edition of the AIR, noted, “In April 2014, Senator Xenophon travelled as a guest of the Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA) to the Middle East, meeting mainly Palestinian representatives and very left wing NGOs harshly critical of Israel. He was quoted in the May 10, 2014 edition of The Australian as saying, ‘There is some hope through Israeli groups like Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem who show the views of the Israeli government do not necessarily represent the views of all Israelis.’

“In fact, his Statement of Registrable Interests submitted in December 2014 reveals he donated to AFOPA, which supported the BDS campaign against Israel on its website. In 2010, he was the keynote speaker at the organisation’s annual dinner.”

The AIR article also pointed out, “On June 3 2015, Senator Xenophon asked, at a Senate committee, ‘What are the implications of Israel being recognised as a Jewish state given the Australian government’s policy that there ought to be a two-state solution? Would that go against that two-state solution?’

“The Senator is apparently unconcerned, however, that many other Middle Eastern countries are recognised as Islamic states, the Palestinian constitution says that Islam is the official religion of Palestine and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has often said the Palestinian state will have no Jews.”

Senator Xenophon was also found to have made various parliamentary speeches about Israel, all of which were critical. These included demands that Israel end the blockade of Gaza, with no mention of “the Hamas conduct that necessitates the blockade and delays reconstruction,” an incorrect claim that UN Security Council Resolution 242 requires Israel to withdraw from the entire West Bank and east Jerusalem subject to “only minor and mutual territorial adjustments,” criticism of a statement that calling the West Bank and east Jerusalem “occupied” was not useful, claiming that “the creation of new settlements and the expansion of existing settlements is preventing any possibility of working towards a solution,” misrepresenting Israel’s West Bank security barrier as “a concrete barrier all around the West Bank which in some places is twice as high as the Berlin Wall,” praising various delegations he had met from hardline pro-Palestinian groups and claiming that, in 2008, the Palestinians offered Israel a peace deal, and Israel turned it down. This was, as the article noted, “a direct inversion of what actually happened, as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has since confirmed.”

The Senator devoted part of his speech on the condolence motion for Malcolm Fraser to praising Fraser for signing the Canberra Declaration on Gaza which, the article explained, was a “notoriously one-sided declaration” to which Senator Xenophon was also an early signatory.

Other activities of Senator Xenophon revealed by the article included that “he, together with then Greens leader Senator Christine Milne, had attempted to move a motion that Australia recognise the ‘United Nations accepted term “occupied Palestinian territories,”’” and that he “co-hosted a forum to ‘mark the tenth anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) finding that Israel’s settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are illegal,’ together with the Federal Parliamentary Friends of Palestine co-chairs.”

Even while supporting a motion condemning the attempt by Marrickville Council to boycott Israel, he attempted to add a paragraph noting “the detrimental effect of the Israeli and Egyptian blockade in Gaza on the Palestinian people living in Gaza,” and said he would support a stand alone Greens motion about Israel going back to the 1967 borders.


2 Responses to “The Xenophon team”
  1. Leon Poddebsky says:

    Is it just coincidence that shortly after the European parliament’s standing ovation for the Arab who accused Jews of poisoning water wells, and shortly after Mr Xenophon’s and the Greens’ half-baked views were published, that there has been an intensification of Arab terrorism against Jews?

  2. Leon Poddebsky says:

    The person who wrote this article apparently is unaware that there has never been such a thing as “the 1967 borders.”
    The lines on the map that demarcated Israel from the surrounding territory were actually the 1949 armistice lines. They were meant to be temporary lines pending negotiations between Israel on the one hand, and the defeated aggressor Arab states that had invaded Israel in 1948.
    The peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan definitively established international borders, but to this day there is no international border between Israel on the one hand, and Judea / Samaria [ “the so-called ‘west bank’] on the other.
    There are two reasons for this: Judea and Samaria are part of the Jewish National Home, as defined by the 1922 Mandate for Palestine, so Israel has valid legal claims there. The Arabs who call themselves ‘Palestinians’ have repeatedly rejected Israeli offers of statehood because they want the whole of Israel, not a so-called “two-state solution.”
    Mr Xenophon probably knows all the above facts, but is unmoved by them.

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