21 March 2016

Senator James Paterson’s maiden moment

From The Australian, 17 March 2016, by Rosie Lewis:

James Paterson has urged Australia to ‘do more’ to show its solidarity with Israel. Picture: Kym Smith

The Liberal Party’s youngest-ever senator, James Paterson, wants to scrap the “unbalanced and skewed” national curriculum, move Australia’s Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and reintroduce the commonwealth debt ceiling to crack down on intergenerational debt.

The 28-year-old, sworn into parliament on Tuesday after being selected by the Liberal Party to fill the vacancy left by retiring Victorian senator Michael Ronaldson, made several controversial declarations in his maiden speech last night as he championed the need for free speech.

Senator Paterson urged Australia to “do more” to show its solidarity with Israel, which he said was “not just a beacon of liberal democracy in a seat of despotism in its own region” but a “prosperous, tolerant, harmonious and creative country in the toughest of circumstances”.

“The Israeli government have demonstrated time and time again they are the best custodians for the religious and historical sites that are of significance to people of many faiths,” he said.

“It would be a symbolic, but important, step for Australia to formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and to move our embassy there.”...