Editor-In-Chief: Charbel Baini

The Annual Celebration of the Palestinian National Day



By Marcelle Mansour
 A Genuine Warm Cheers for the Celebration on the Palestinian National Day annual function, organised as usual by Mr Albert Jubian, President of the Council of Australian Palestinians, held at the Parliament of NSW, Jubilee Room on Wednesday, 11 November 2015.  In the Presence of the Senator the Hon Bob Carr, former Premier of New South Wales and former Australian foreign minister (Labor NSW), H. E. Mr Izzat Abdul Hadi-Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, the Hon John Ajaka MLC MP - Representing Mr Mike Bird, MP, the Premier of New South Wales, the Mr Luke Foley MP-the Leader of the Labour Party in NSW, Mr Jihad DIB MP-Member of the Lgislative Assembly/ Member of Lakemba, Ms Julia Finn MP- Member of the Legislative assembly/ Member for Granville, Prominent political, diplomatic and academic, Media Journalists, various community leaders and public officials as well as a crowd of the Palestinian community members.
The ceremony started by playing the two national anthems of Australia and Palestine. The Hon. Peter Thomas Primrose introduced all the speakers.   
The Hon John Ajaka MP spoke a word on behalf of the Premier Mike Bird MP and said that multicultural Australia has 220 ethnic origins who speak 225 languages. Around 1 in 5 Australians were either born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas. Communities are embracing our diversity and differences to be able to unite, to live in harmony and to build a mutual respect to be able to develop communities of shared values. The Minister Akaka mentioned that he himself is of Lebanese descent and he strongly support the common goal of achieving an independent free Palestine and encourage the two-state solution.  
The Hon Luke Foley MP mentioned Edel McKenna, his Irish-born wife whom he married in 2005. As they making trips back and forth to her farming family in County Tyrone, he saw her neighbour raising the Palestinian Flag for several times. He certainly knows how important to be committed to solidarity and supportive to freedom and justice. The MP Foley declared that he issued orders to Labour MPs to visit the occupied Palestinian territories if they need to visit Israel, stressing that the Palestinian people are suffering from injustice at the hands of the Israeli occupation that kills Palestinians including young children. 
Former Australian Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Bob Carr, who has regularly been attending the Palestinian National Day commemoration for decade’s remains very supportive to the Palestinian cause, and concerned by the failure of negotiations and finding solution and recognising the Palestinian rights. Carr stated that Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that has lasted for 48 years and the peace process for more than 22 years. On May 15, during the Nakba, Zionist forces exiled 750,000 Palestinians from their homes, committed 31 slaughters, and destroyed 531 Palestinian towns. Carr has made it clear that he is completely against the Israeli policies of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and illegal settlement. The reality of the situation now is that 500,000 settlers will never depart, rather Israel aims to achieve their goal of greater Israel and Israelis are opposing a Palestinian State solution. Carr, the patron of Plaestine, noted the inevitability of Palestinian resistance. 
The Ambassador Izzat Abdulhadi made an extensive speech in which he thanked the audience in celebrating the Palestinian National Day, and stated that Palestinians mark their National Day on November 15, the anniversary of the Palestinians' unilateral declaration of independence proclaimed by Yasser Arafat in 1988 where he reaffirmed the declaration of independence of the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital, the right of the refugees to return and the right of self-determination. Today marks the 11th anniversary of the passage of the immortal Palestininan leader Yasser Arafat passed away on the 11thof November 2004 and today, the 11th of November 2015 also marks the Remembrance Day National Ceremony of the Australian War Memorial.”  We are paying tribute to the selfless struggle of all. The Ambassador Abdulhadi spoke about the persistent struggle of Palestinian people for freedom and justice despite the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, their ongoing demolishing Palestinian house and expansion of existing illegal settlements, their violent attack on Gaza and Jerusalem and Netanyahu keeps hindering peace process. There are formal agreements between the Australian government and the Palestinian Authority; in particular the Labour Party has issued a decision to recognize a Palestinian state, hoping that Australia will join the 140 nations who have already recognized Palestine as a state whom Palestinians feel grateful to their support. The Ambassador Abdulhadi highlighted the ability of the Palestinian commitment to tirelessly working towards the support of Palestininan statehood during the current difficult times and to be determent and hopeful in the future. 
The distinguished speakers, who always do their best efforts to focus on the Palestininan human rights and freedom, delivered significant speeches.  They shared their views, experiences, analysis and hopes to the Palestininan cause. 
The event ended with gathering for a drink, socializing and networking.

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