Sada-e-Watan Sydney ™

Arabic Friends of Labor hosted a Grand Dinner in the Honour of Opposition Leader Honourable Bill Shorten

Speech transcript of the host Hon.Shaoquett Moselmane MLC

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land and pay my respects to their elders past and present
And I acknowledge My federal and State Colleagues, Mayors, Councillors, Community Leaders and Ethnic Media and thank each and every one of you for supporting us tonight.

It is a great honour for meas the convenor of the Arabic Friends of Labor to be speaking before so many of our community, gathered here in the presence of our future Prime Minister Mr Bill Shorten.

It was during last year’s leadership debate with Anthony Albanese that I met Bill for the first time. Coming from Victoria into NSW Labor territory can be a nerve wrecking experience.

In NSW,Bill was relatively unknown, but with the support of people like Jamie Clements our General Secretary and his assistant Kaila Murnain, and the NSW Labor team, he was in good hands, so much so that it guaranteed him victory in the Federal leadership ballot.

Once again,he is amongst us and I hope NSW will once again send him to victory at the Next federal elections.
Friends, our Country is at a cross roads.

Conservative Liberal Governments across the country are hell bent on destroying the social fabric of our nation as we know it.With a nasty Budget handed down in Canberra and the arrival of Mike Baired, the NSW Privatisation Premier, there are now stark policy and ideological differences between our two major political parties.

Your choice is clear; you either have a socially conscious Shorten Labor government or a cold, economic rationalist, Coalition governments driven by ideological zealots.

Liberals inNSW are now driven by a policy agenda of Privatisation. This week’s Coalition party room unanimously endorsed an electricity Privatisation agenda.

Electricity privatisation, hospital privatisation, the Privation of our public infrastructure, including our States Ports, our power generators, the Privatisation of our desalination plant and the list goes on.

While NSW sells our public assets and cuts billions of dollars from health and billions more from education their federal Colleagues go on a rampage trashing Medicare and deregulating our university education.
This first Abbott Budget, in a mean spirited and twisted way, has unashamedly hit the young and the old, the sick, the chronically ill, the unemployed and the poor.

Labor Policy on the other hand stands in complete contrast.

Labor will always put people first ahead of the budget ‘bottom line’.

Labor is the compassionate party.

It’s a party that seeks to tackle inequality and open up new opportunities for all.

Everyone should have access to affordable housing, health care and education no matter their background. This is what makes our party and our country the best in the world.

We believe in the universality of health care and the universality of education for all.

Good Health and good Education are the backbone of our future generations.
It is incumbent on us to fight these conservatives every step of the way.

With no shame, they plan to rip away the fabric of our multicultural Australia by stripping people of the protections provided under S18C of the RDA and paving the way for open bigotry.

They havetarnished our international reputation with their inhumane treatment of refugees.
And now they mangle our foreign policy position on Palestine.

Given that it is a current issue I would like to focus a little on the Palestine Question and I’d like to do so because The Abbott Govt Position is not only unjust and disgraceful but it is also an offence to all people of the Middle East and certainly important to most Australians and in particular the Australian Arab community.
The Abbott government Policy shifts on the illegal settlements will further distort the Middle East peace process.
Mangling the internationally accepted meaning of occupation is extraordinarily reckless, absurd and embarrassing.

We in the Australian Arabic community and the Australian Labor Party condemn such policy Shifts.
They are extremely unhelpful and dangerous; placing a possible two state solution at a grave risk.
Ladies and gentlemen, I can assure you that we in the Labor party will not mince or mangle words.
Settlements are Illegal and occupation is illegal and they are illegal under international law and illegal under all relevant UN resolutions.

Even the US, Israel’s staunchest ally, sees this kind of policy shift as dangerous and a further obstacle to peace.

Israel must stop gobbling up Palestinian land, and they must come to the table with clean hands if a two state solution is to happen.

So we in the LABOR PARTY condemn the Abbott Govt Policy shift and support an:
• enhanced Palestinian status at the General Assembly;
• we oppose Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian and other occupied Arab land;
• We join the vast majority of nations in branding such settlements illegal under international law; and
• Recognise the right of Palestinians to a state of their own.

• Bill, on behalf of the Australian Arabic community and all decent Australians I trust and urge you, in opposition and hopefully soon in government, to continue the legacy of the Carr - Gareth Labor foreign policy stance and ensure that we remain true to a viable and just solution to the Palestinian people

• and that we should now join the 134 nations in recognising the State of Palestine.

Federal Opposition Leader Honourable Bill Shorten and Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC

I thank you all once again for your support and trust that you will enjoy the night.

Finally, I would like to thank you all and in particular acknowledge the support of Mayor Khal Asfour, Mayor, John faker, Mayor Hicham Zreika, Clr Kebbe, Clr Jeanette Wang and most importantly Louay Moustapha and Kenrick Chea for their tremendous support.

 General Secretary of NSW Labor Party Jamie Clements

Mayor of Bankstown Khal Asfour


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