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Australian Greens say Israel is ‘practising crime of apartheid’, call for boycotts of far-right figures

Deborah Stone
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Published: 6 June 2023

Last updated: 5 March 2024

The Greens have adopted a new policy position on Palestine and Israel which expresses concern that Israel's "ongoing colonisation of Palestinian land" is eroding the potential for a two-state solution.

The updated resolution — which was backed by Greens MPs and senators and drafted in collaboration with Greens for Palestine and Jewish Greens — was formally adopted at the party's national conference on Sunday.

While the Greens have long called for Australia to recognise Palestinian statehood, the party has hardened its language against Israel and urged the government to boycott meetings with far-right Israeli ministers.

The party's new policy document says: "The state of Israel is practising the crime of apartheid against Palestinians as noted by prominent human rights organisations – including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, as well as Palestinian and Israeli groups including al-Haq, Yesh Din and B'Tselem."

It also states that "Israel's ongoing colonisation of Palestinian land is rendering a two-state solution unachievable" and says the rise in right wing extremism is "contributing to the intensification of repression, violence and a further worsening of the humanitarian situation for Palestinians".

"The state of Israel continues to deny the right of self-determination to Palestinians and continues to dispossess them of their land," the resolution states.

"We aim to rectify this injustice in a way that will allow both Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace, security and equality, exercising self-determination as described by the United Nations Charter."

The Zionist Federation of Australia released a statement condemning the resolution.

ZFA President Jeremy Leibler said, “With the adoption of this extreme position, the Greens have dealt themselves out of any serious engagement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Their portrayal of Israel doesn’t reflect reality and their suggestion that Israel is a colonialist country is a bigoted attempt to reject Jewish indigeneity to the land. This position places the Greens in the company of the most extreme antisemitic groups.”

“The Greens’ statement blames only Israel for the lack of peace. The Greens’ apparent position that Israel is solely to blame for the Israeli-Palestinian impasse is undergraduate, at best, but speaks to a darker agenda. Let’s remember that in January this year, the Greens’ foreign affairs spokesperson, Senator Steele-John, expressed condolences for eight Palestinian terrorists killed by Israel, but was silent when seven Israeli civilians were murdered the following day.”

“The Greens make sweeping statements about antisemitism but don’t actually talk to the community that antisemitism impacts. If you refuse to talk to the representative Jewish communities but insist on making statements about antisemitism, your views on that matter should be disregarded.”


Greens say Israel is 'practising crime of apartheid' and call for boycotts of far-right figures (AAP)

Photo: Greens leader Adam Bandt at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, May 30, 2023. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

About the author

Deborah Stone

Deborah Stone is Editor-in-Chief of TJI. She has more than 30 years experience as a journalist and editor, including as a reporter and feature writer on The Age and The Sunday Age, as Editor of the Australian Jewish News and as Editor of ArtsHub.

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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