'I don't care': MP slammed for 'disgusting' TV comments

·News Reporter
·4-min read

Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has come under fire for a "disgusting" attitude towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during an appearance on the ABC's Q&A.

Mr Joyce said Australia should not waste its efforts on trying to seek an end to the ongoing violence while stressing he did not want to see the conflict, which has claimed more than 200 lives since it began on May 10, make its way onto these shores.

"I don't want their problems in our streets," the Nationals MP said.

"I don't care. I don't want to see someone else's turd in my toilet and if you come to our country... flush it.

"The only thing I can do as a member of parliament is to say, 'Your problem. You should fix it up but don't ever make it our problem'."

Barnaby Joyce has said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not Australia's problem. Source: ABC
Barnaby Joyce said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not Australia's problem. Source: ABC

Host Hamish Macdonald questioned whether, as a serving member of parliament, his viewpoint was "disrespectful".

However Mr Joyce doubled down on his remarks.

He argued Hamas or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not give a "flying toss" as to what Australia thought or pleaded for. However he did stress he was not endorsing the destruction of civilians' homes or the loss of innocent lives.

Yet the Opposition's spokesman for industrial relations, Tony Burke, hit back, arguing it was vital to stand with other nations in attempts to mediate what he believes historically is one of the most interjected conflicts globally.

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"In terms of the original United Nations vote, in terms of establishing the State of Israel, and the role of the Security Council in 1967 as well, there's a direct international role," he said.

"So I don't agree that Australia should in any way be silent.

"Any country on its own will be unable to assist but to be part of the global voices speaking out is an important role for a country like Australia.

"Something like this is where you show your humanity and solidarity between nations, you don't say, 'not my problem, other side of the world, not going to have much to say'."

Twitter users were quick to lambast Mr Joyce's cold stance, with one describing it as "disgusting".

"Doesn't need empathy training then I guess," another wrote sarcastically.

Another called his viewpoint "ignorant", while saying he lacked an understanding of history.

Israel and Hamas agree on Gaza truce

Late on Thursday (local time), Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease fire across the Gaza Strip border as of 2am on Friday, an official with the Palestinian Islamist faction said.

It could bring a potentially tenuous halt to the fiercest fighting in many years.

Israel's security cabinet said it had voted unanimously in favour of a "mutual and unconditional" Gaza truce proposed by mediator Egypt but added that the hour of implementation had yet to be agreed.

The development came a day after US President Joe Biden urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to seek de-escalation and amid mediation bids by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations.

Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet approved the truce on the basis of what one official reportedly called "quiet in exchange for quiet".

Palestinians inspect buildings damaged during Israeli airstrikes in Jabalia refugee camp, North Gaza strip on May 20, 2021.  (Photo by Sameh Rahmi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Palestinians inspect buildings damaged during Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. Source: Getty

Rocket attacks by Hamas and allied Islamic Jihad had resumed after an eight-hour pause on Thursday as Israel continued shelling that it said aimed to destroy the factions' military capabilities and deter them from future confrontation after the current conflict.

Since the fighting began on May 10, health officials in Gaza say 232 Palestinians, including 65 children and 39 women, have been killed and more than 1900 wounded in aerial bombardments.

Israel says it has killed at least 160 combatants in Gaza.

Authorities put the death toll in Israel at 12, with hundreds of people treated for injuries in rocket attacks that have caused panic and sent people rushing into shelters.

with Reuters

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