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Beazley must discipline Irwin on Israel


Media Release

“On Tuesday night (September 13th 2005) in the House of Representatives, Julia Irwin, the Member for Fowler, crossed the line in a repulsive uncontrolled axe attack on the state of Israel and it’s government,” Mr Pyne said.

“Describing the Gaza strip as “a walled ghetto, a giant penal colony, a concentration camp,” Ms Irwin evoked imagery that is deeply offensive to the Jewish people and those who cannot forget the horrors of the Holocaust.

“Twice in her speech Ms Irwin referred to the policies of the Government of Israel as “ethnic cleansing”. Such phraseology cannot be allowed to remain on the record unchallenged.

“Ethnic cleansing” evokes the ghastly slaughter of ethnic Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovars in Kosovo in the Balkan conflict, as well as the scandal that was the Rwandan civil war in the 1990’s. Her speech is totally unacceptable.

“Kim Beazley should immediately discipline Ms Irwin. He must insist that she apologise for her remarks. She must be required to withdraw them in the House.

“If Mr Beazley does not take immediate action against his wayward MP it will be a failure of his leadership. What it will show us is Labor’s genuine lack of support for Israel and their desire to attempt to walk both sides of the street on this issue.” Mr Pyne said.

Media contact: Adam Howard 0400 414 833


MEDIA RELEASE

Irwin’s comments on Israel despicable

Labor Member Julia Irwin’s latest attack on Israel in Parliament this week marks a new low point in her dive to the gutter to denigrate Israel and Jewish people.

In evoking the language of the holocaust by accusing Israel of creating a concentration camp in the Gaza Strip, Irwin must have known that she could say nothing more offensive to a nation and a people that endured history’s darkest hour.

Mr Beazley must publicly denounce Ms Irwin and condemn the rubbish that she speaks, if he is to convince anyone that his support for Israel is more than hot air.

His self-indulgent and blustering refusal to do so in Question Time today illustrates that his so-called support for Israel is hollow.

If Mr Beazley isn’t strong enough to disassociate himself from the disgusting comments of a ranting backbencher with Israel -bashing form, it’s clear he is not capable of very much at all.

15 September, 2005
(02) 6277 4284


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