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Suspended for Supporting Palestinian State

Sen. Fatima Quits Aussie Labor Party with ‘Heavy Heart but a Clear Conscience’

Senator Fatima Payman has resigned from Australia’s Labor Party after being suspended after voting against it to support a motion on Palestinian statehood.

Facing indefinite suspension for her stance, she chose to quit Labour and join the crossbench as an independent senator.

In a press conference at Parliament House, Payman said she was “deeply torn” between the grassroots party members who were calling on her to “hang in there” and the caucus pressure to toe the party line, The Guardian reported.

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Payman described “the ongoing genocide in Gaza” as a tragedy of “unimaginable proportions” that compelled everyone to act with “a sense of urgency and moral clarity”.

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“We have all seen the bloodied images of young children losing limbs, being amputated without anaesthetic, and starving as Israel continues its onslaught, livestreamed across the world,” Payman said.

“With a heavy heart but a clear conscience, I announce my resignation from the Australian Labor party. I have informed the prime minister that, effective immediately, I will sit on the crossbench to represent Western Australia.”

She said it was “the most difficult decision” of her life and she felt she had been put “in a very tough position.”

Payman, Australia’s first hijab-wearing federal politician, emphasized her commitment to justice, saying “This is a matter I cannot compromise on.”

The 29-year-old was elected to the Senate in 2022 for a six-year term representing Western Australia.