Abetz wants Shorten to voice his position on Palestinian recognition

October 31, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Senator Eric Abetz has expressed his concerns that Labor keeps its position “under wraps”.

Senator Eric Abetz

In a media release the Tasmanian senator commented that now more than 24 hours after Mr Shorten’s self-described ‘landmark’ foreign policy speech, he has failed to articulate what his position is in relation to the unilateral recognition of Palestine.

While his speech touched on the usual platitudes about Israel and aspirations for a two-state solution, he has continued to remain silent on moves within the Labor Party to unilaterally recognise ‘Palestine’.

“It’s time for Mr Shorten to come clean with the Australian people over the internal division within the Labor Party over the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state and completely rule out any consideration of such a move by a future Labor Government,” Senator Abetz said.

“The fact that the Labor Party is divided on this matter is of great concern but worse still the fact they are keeping it under wraps is deeply troubling.”

“Mr Shorten must come clean about whether Labor will adopt the view being pushed at the Labor Party’s National Convention to unilaterally recognise Palestine outside of a two-state solution and whether that means backing the undemocratic Palestinian Authority or the Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.”

“Further, instead of hiding behind arguments on process around the Government’s announcement he must clearly state whether he supports or opposes the recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. His attempts to hide behind Indonesia – a majority Muslim nation that struggles to recognise Israel from time to time and earlier this year banned Israeli passport holders from visiting – show either a wilful or deliberate misunderstanding of the dynamics at play.”

“It’s not good enough for the alternate Prime Minister to say that he backs Israel while hiding Labor’s own divisions and what an alternate Labor Government would actually do.”

“If Mr Shorten refuses to clearly state a position, we can only surmise that the push from extreme union bosses to recognise Palestine is on the cards,” Senator Abetz concluded.

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