Greens senators have staged a mass walkout from Parliament to stand in solidarity with Palestine – describing the two major parties as ‘morally bankrupt’ and ‘gutless cowards’ on the issue.
Some 1,400 Israelis and 9,770 Palestinians are believed to have died in the catastrophic violence.
On Monday, Senator Mehreen Faruqi slammed Labor’s response to the crisis, saying: ‘Weasel words are not going to stop war crimes.’
‘The Coalition is morally bankrupt when it comes to Palestine, and Labor has shown itself to be heartless, gutless cowards.
‘You are watching the massacre of thousands of Palestinians by Israel, you are not condemning Israel, you refuse to call for an immediate ceasefire.
‘We are not going to watch you pat yourselves on the back for doing nothing. Today we bring the people’s protest into parliament.’
She raised her fist and shouted ‘free, free Palestine’, before leading a walkout.
Her colleague, outgoing Senator Janet Rice, raised a printed picture of the Palestinian flag as she walked away.
Speaking after the walkout, Senator Faruqi said Greens politicians, like ‘millions of Australians’ have been ‘shocked, horrified and angered by the massacre of innocent people in Gaza’.
In the Senate, the Labor government requires the Greens’ support to pass bills which do not have bipartisan support.
The party has been steadfast in its support of Palestine, sparking outrage days after the initial Hamas attack by refusing to back a motion supporting Israel‘s right to defend itself in the House of Representatives.
Greens leader Adam Bandt was pictured alongside MPs Stephen Bates, Max Chandler-Mather and Elizabeth Watson-Brown, as every other MP in the House of Representatives voted in favour of the motion.
Mr Bandt tried to add an amendment to accuse Israel of war crimes and declare the barrage of air strikes and imminent invasion of Gaza ‘not just a humanitarian catastrophe, but a war crime’.
Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie and Sydney Teal MPs, Kylea Tink and Sophie Scamps supported this amendment.