Di Natale under fire for Peres criticism – October 2016

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Foreign Affairs,

The leader of the Australian Greens has been criticised by fellow parliamentarians and Jewish groups for attacking the late Shimon Peres in a speech in the Senate.

Speaking on October 13, two weeks after the former Israeli president died at 93, Senator Richard Di Natale said: “It is important to put on the record that Shimon Peres has been described as an architect of Israel’s nuclear weapons program, which to this day remains outside the scrutiny of the International Atomic Energy Agency; that he was the father of the settler movement, which involves the confiscation of large swaths of Palestinian land; and that in 1996, he oversaw Operation Grapes of Wrath, which involved the death of 154 civilians in Lebanon and involved the shelling of a United Nations compound, which killed 106 sheltering civilians,” Senator Di Natale said.

“While he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, members of that committee have expressed regret that the prize could not be recalled on the basis of the actions that followed,” he said.

Senator Di Natale was referring to reports in 2002 that after Israel launched a massive anti-terror operation in the West Bank, while Mr Peres was foreign minister, individual members of the Norwegian prize committee said they regretted giving him the honour for having helped broker the Israeli-Palestinian accords.

Labor MP Michael Danby said Senator Di Natale, “to his shame, denigrated” Peres and “again showed his total insensitivity and his hatred of a Jewish state.”

“It was unprecedented for the head of a political party to attack a recently-deceased head of state who was known for values of peace and reconciliation with which the fake Green party ostensibly identifies.”

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