Saturday, October 15, 2011

Does Bob Brown Believe in the Tooth Fairy?

Greens leader, Senator Bob Brown placed the following questions, re the labelling of goods from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, on notice on 8/9/11:

"(1) Is the Minister aware of any products imported into Australia that have originated in full or in part from Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories or in Israeli industrial zones in the Occupied Territories?

"(2)(a) Is the government satisfied that all goods originating from Israel or the Occupied Territories are truthfully labelled with their place or places of origin? and (b) Does the government require this differentiation on labels or import documentation? If not, why not?

"(3) Is the Minister aware of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) or any other government agency taking action against companies that label goods 'Made in Israel' when they are actually made partly or in full in the Occupied Territories? If so, what was that action and was there any remedy?

"(4) Is the Minister or Austrade officials, who cover Israel and Palestine, aware of any contracts and/or agreements between Australian and Israeli companies to conduct research or business in the Occupied Territories, including in Israeli industrial zones in the Occupied Territories? If so, can details be provided of these arrangements?

"We await the Minister for trade's answers."

While welcoming any move by The Greens on the subject of Palestine, Senator Brown's questions seem to be based on a false premise: that boycotting goods made in Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) is warranted, but boycotting goods from Israel proper isn't.

With this in mind, I therefore wish to place the following Questions on Notice for Senator Brown:

(1) Does the senator believe that Israeli settlements have materialised out of thin air? If not, why not?

(2) Does he believe that the current and former Israeli governments have been and are wholly innocent bystanders in the proliferation of Israeli settlements in the OPTs?

(3) Does he believe in the Tooth Fairy?

I await the Senator's answers.

Recommended reading: Boycott the state, not just the settlements, Yousef Munayyer,, 23/7/11.

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