AIJAC statement on Senate motion on Yitzhak Rabin
Dec 4, 2020 | AIJAC staff
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) thanks the 24 Australian senators from across the political spectrum who acknowledged and paid tribute to former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, 25 years after his assassination.
The memorial, moved in the Senate by Liberal Senator Eric Abetz, recognised Rabin’s commitment to the Oslo peace process, which sought to create a safe and sovereign Jewish state alongside a safe and sovereign Palestinian state.
“Twenty-four Australian senators from across the party spectrum and across the country acknowledged the contribution of Nobel Peace Prize winner Yitzhak Rabin,” Dr Colin Rubenstein, AIJAC executive director said.
“The Senate’s solemn motion to honour a man of peace, and to reaffirm Australia’s bipartisan commitment to a two-state outcome in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, is a credit to Australia’s Parliament.”
“Unfortunately, the occasion was soured by the insistence, once again, by the Greens to criticise Israel at every opportunity. While the Greens’ policy platform states the party supports a two-state outcome for Israel and the Palestinians, Victorian Senator Janet Rice’s inappropriate contribution certainly cast doubt on this policy position.”
“Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Labor Foreign Spokesperson Penny Wong correctly and immediately pointed out the Greens’ hypocrisy in the Senate chamber.”
Full text of motion
Senator ABETZ (Tasmania) (12:00): Before moving general business notice of motion No. 898 can I recognise the presence of Mr Gerstenfeld from the Embassy of Israel in the gallery. I, and also on behalf of Senators Kitching, Molan, Wong, Rennick, McLachlan, Keneally, Askew, O’Sullivan, Ryan, Antic, Carr, McGrath, Sheldon, Dean Smith, Van, Hughes, Henderson, Ciccone, Fawcett, O’Neill, Griff, Roberts and Hanson, move:
That the Senate— (a) notes that:
(i) 4 November 2020 marked 25 years since Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated at an anti-violence rally in support of the Oslo peace process,
(ii) a motion of condolence was considered on 13 November 1995, moved by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, Gareth Evans, expressing deep regret at the death of Yitzhak Rabin,
(iii) Yitzhak Rabin served as Israel’s Prime Minister on two separate occasions, from 1974-1977, and then again from 1992 until his death in 1995, in addition to being a decorated general who led Israel’s armed forces during the 1967 Six Day War, and served as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, and
(iv) Yitzhak Rabin promoted peace and co-existence in a turbulent time and region, concluding the Oslo Peace Accords with the Palestinians in 1993, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty in 1994; and
(b) affirms Australia’s ongoing commitment to Yitzhak Rabin’s vision of a peaceful and enduring two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, mutually negotiated and agreed by the Israelis and the Palestinians.