Tuesday 17 October, 2023

The Hon. V.A. TARZIA (Hartley) (11:55): I, too:
• unequivocally condemn the attacks on Israel by Hamas, which are the heinous acts of
terrorists, and have encompassed the targeting and murder of civilians, including women
and children, the taking of hostages and indiscriminate rocket fire;

• stand with Israel and recognise its inherent right to defend itself;
• condemn antisemitism and recognise that generations of Jewish people have been
subjected to this hateful prejudice;
• call for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages;
• recognise that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people, nor their legitimate
needs and aspirations;
• acknowledge the devastating loss of Israeli and Palestinian life and that innocent civilians
on all sides are suffering as a result of the attacks by Hamas and the subsequent conflict;
• support justice and freedom for Israelis and Palestinians alike;
• support international efforts to establish and maintain humanitarian access into Gaza,
including safe passage for civilians;
• reiterate Australia's consistent position in all contexts is to call for the protection of civilian
lives and the observance of international law;
• acknowledge what has unfolded is deeply distressing for many in the SA community,
close to the heart of many, and it is important that we maintain respect for each other
here at home as people express their views;
• condemn all forms of hate speech and violent extremist activity, including antisemitism
and Islamophobia;
• recognise an attack on any religion is an attack on all religions and that we share a
responsibility to unite, condemn and defeat such an attack on our common values and
way of life; and
• affirm in the strongest possible terms that hateful prejudice has no place in South

I also stand for the preservation and the protection of civilian lives. I call on the civilised world not to
turn its back on humanity here. I call out the absolutely unnecessary loss of life that is occurring here
in this devastating, tragic set of circumstances.

I was supposed to be in the Middle East, visiting the Holy Land, only a couple of weeks ago.
For various reasons, having a young family and a change of schedule, it did not work out. The point
is that there are so many people who are stranded in the Middle East who are innocent, who are
civilians, who are tourists, young families, who are there trying to get out at the moment. This tragic
set of circumstances has led to thousands of innocent people being killed. It is just so devastating,
and it is important that we as a house send a very strong message that we condemn the attacks that
occurred about a week ago.

Like many of us in this chamber, I have good, peace-loving friends who are Israeli and
Palestinian. I have been in touch with them, ensuring that hopefully their friends and family are safe
as well. In one circumstance, I know a young couple here who are expecting their second child. The
gentleman is Israeli. He only recently became an Australian citizen, a matter of months ago, and it is
only by pure chance that he has not been called up again for military service, with a baby here and
another child on the way. Unfortunately, we know that there are people who are in the conflict. It is
their home. They cannot escape. Our hearts go out to these people who are affected by this tragic
set of circumstances that we have seen.

Much has been said about antisemitism. I was only recently looking at a post by an Italian
politician. Sometimes what you see on the 6 o'clock news, for example, might only be a snippet of
what is actually occurring in the world, so I do like to watch overseas news channels. To quote Matteo

October 16, 80 years ago, breaking in the Rome ghetto, 1,259 people dragged into camps, many of them
women. Almost everyone died, only 16 made a return.

That was 80 years ago nearly to the day and, unfortunately, still we see people out there who want
to spread antisemitic hate, Islamophobic hate, hate against other religions. It is important that we call
these things out and that they cannot go on any further.

To see young women, children, families, babies and innocent young people at a music
festival literally barbarically killed in the way that they were was absolutely brutish. It is shocking and
the civilised world has to call this stuff out and make sure that we get behind the powers that be to
ensure that more citizens, more civilians, are not killed in this devastating situation at the moment.
There are also many peace-loving Palestinians and peace-loving Israelis who are now
paying a terrible price. They are paying a terrible price for what is continuing to unfold in the Middle
East. It is important to also understand that Hamas is the enemy of peace. Hamas are not conducting
themselves in a way that will further the cause of peace-loving Palestinian people.

I certainly hope that there can also be safe passage for innocent civilians. I hope that there
will be a negotiated two-state solution, with internationally recognised borders, so that peace-loving
Palestinian people and peace-loving Israeli people can move forward. Unfortunately, we know that
that is still a long time away. We cannot even imagine the trauma that people are going through in
the Middle East at the moment, but genuinely and sincerely I hope that the fighting ends soon and
that peace does prevail soon.

I also want to take this opportunity to pass on my sincere regards to those in South Australia
who are from the Israeli community and also the Palestinian community—as I have said, people I
have come to know who are good, law-abiding and peace-loving people. Many of you may be aware
that I had, for example, the great nephew of Andrew Steiner as a very good staff member of mine in
government. At the same time, I have also come to know many in my local community who have
Palestinian origins as well.

As has been alluded to today, we have not seen any of the scenes that we saw,
unfortunately, around parts of the East Coast of Australia and around other parts of the world, where
people have been allowed to spread these messages of hate that have also deteriorated into
violence. This is absolutely shocking stuff. We all have a responsibility here as members of a free
and democratic society to hold onto this concept dearly and to make sure we do what we can to
stamp out any situation of hatred that is spread.

I want to wind up by saying that I really do hope that this conflict ends soon. I pray for the
families and the friends of those who are impacted by this devastation, and I hope that the situation
reaches an amicable agreement in the not too distant future.