NSW Labor encourages members to visit Israel and Palestine

February 14, 2016 by J-Wire News Service
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In a no strings attached resolution replacing others designed to force NSW Labor party members to spend equal time in Palestine and Israel when visiting Israel, NSW Labor politicians have now been encouraged to extend their knowledge of  the region with no strings attached.

The replacement resolution which was passed with endorsement of Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten at the NSW Labor Party conference in Sydney today appeared on the screens .

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 6.15.58 PM

Planned resolutions to be presented to the weekend NSW Labor Conference in Sydney included stipulations that members should not go on trips to the region planned by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies or the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council.

The Australia Israel Labor Dialogue (AILD) has come out in support of the motion passed by the NSW ALP State Conference today, which encourages Party members “visiting the region for the purpose of understanding the conflict to spend substantial time in both Israel and Palestine”.

Greg Holland

Greg Holland

AILD NSW Convenor, Greg Holland, said that other motions which had proposed imposing travel bans on Party members specifically wanting to visit Israel was a “totalitarian move by those in the Party who are anti-Israel. There is no place for restricting freedom of travel in our Party.

“The motion agreed by Conference is balanced, demonstrates rational policy toward encouraging understanding of the complexity of the region, and seeks not to single out and demonise Israel”, Holland said. “Most importantly, in an election year, Conference has supported the position of the ALP National Leadership on this issue and avoids distractions from the main game – winning Government”, he said.

The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies ‘ president Jeremy Spinak said: “This is a sensible outcome that rejects the anti-Israel bias and discrimination promoted by  a few party members.

“When organising our study missions to the region, we always encourage members to visit both the Palestinian territories and Israel in order to get a thorough understanding of the reality on the ground.

NSWJBD President Jeremy Spinak  Photo: Ben Apfelbaum

NSWJBD President Jeremy Spinak Photo: Ben Apfelbaum

In the lead up to conference the majority of NSW ALP leaders engaged with the Jewish Community and we greatly appreciated the open and wide-ranging discussions. We met with over 40 union officials and NSW MPs, including Luke Foley, and were greatly assisted by the ECAJ and by Greg Holland and the Australia-Israel Labor Dialogue.

The outcome reflects the fact that a majority of ALP members wished for a fair and factual debate, wanted to focus on issues that were of immediate importance to NSW and did not wish to participate in an anti Israel vendetta.”

The Australia IsraeLabor Dialogue runs a number of Study Missions to Israel and Palestine for ALP members, and seeks to build bridges of understanding and friendship between the Australian and Israeli Labor Parties so that people on the Left get to hear what the Left in Israel is trying to do to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, plus the myriad

Dr Colin Rubenstein

Dr Colin Rubenstein

environmental, social, human rights, LGBTI, and industrial relations issues confronting people living in the region.

The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council’s executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein said: “We  are grateful to all those who successfully produced a motion focusing on advancing a two-state peace process and we  look forward to working with  everyone  who genuinely promotes peace and a better future for Israelis and Palestinians. AIJAC is a strong supporter of dialogue, engagement and informed understanding, and  we encourage people to visit both Israel and the Palestinian territories.

We welcome this effective rebuff of bullies and censors by the NSW ALP State Conference.”


24 Responses to “NSW Labor encourages members to visit Israel and Palestine”
  1. Henry Herzog says:

    The future sure looks very, very bleak indeed for us Australian Jews; all these Muslims under our beds and getting worst every day. And the ALP becoming the Muslim Party. All very, very scary and very depressing.

    There appears to be only two ways out: 1. We breed like crazy and move into those electorates were the Muslims dominate, like Liberal Assistant Minister for Multicultural Craig Laundy, who reckons the world’s problems all trace back to the creation of Israel electorate of Reid and Health Minister Susan Ley electorate. 2. All Jews migrate to Israel (we can’t leave any behind for obvious reasons) but there your kids will have to join the army.

    • Henry Herzog says:

      There is a third possibility: we all convert to Islam.

    • Alan Freedman says:

      Yes, there are a a couple of Liberals with form for hostility to Israel to match the likes of Carr and Moselmane, but the renegade Liberals are just that – renegade.

      There is no overwhelming push within the party to change its long standing support for Israel, and everyone knows that the vast majority of Liberals are not likely to be swayed by the Muslim vote.

      Labor, on the other hand ……

      • Henry Herzog says:

        Renegades Alan? They are on Turnbull’s front bench. And don’t tell me he’s put them there to keep them quiet.

        • Alan Freedman says:

          Back or front, it doesn’t matter – the point is that both sides have Israel-haters within their ranks, but unfortunately it is the Labor party that is moving away from support of Israel at a serious rate of knots.

          I wish it wasn’t so.

  2. Alan Freedman says:

    At the risk of being labelled by Henry Herzog as obsessive about the Labor party, I wouldn’t be getting too excited about this result.

    Yes, it is very positive and welcome, but there is a tsunami of anti-Israel hostility on the way from Labor and at some stage, there will be no Bill Shorten (and/or a couple of other staunch friends of Israel) to stem the tide.

    It is patently obvious that Labor sees the emerging Muslim vote as essential to their election strategies, and it won’t take much for a few more swinging voters on Israel within the party to choose electoral power over what is morally right.

  3. Henry Herzog says:

    Yet another beef-up by the conservative Jewish media on how anti-Israel the ALP is. Indeed, there were a number of members in the N S W ALP, like Carr, who have an unhealthy obsession with Israel. But the grass roots supporters of Israel in the ALP soon put an end to that rubbish.

    Unfortunately there are some ultra conservatives in our community who would settle for nothing less than the ALP accepting that the occupied West Bank is part of the greater Israel to show they’re not anti-Semitic; but never mind the Palestinians.

    I believe that Michael Danby had a lot to do with lobbying ALP delegates to reject these absurd resolution by Carr’s cronies.

    • David Schulberg says:

      The NSW Labor delegates to last weekend’s state conference proposed 18 policy agenda items relating to Indigenous affairs and 24 about the environment. But there was a staggering 28 motions regarding Israel, most of them critical, out of the entire 45 foreign policy items up for discussion. How can you call that a beef-up by the conservative Jewish media?

    • david singer says:


      What the Labor Party needed to do was pass a resolution that did not mention the term “Palestine” three times – because there is as at this date no such place for the politicians to visit.

      I repeat what I said in an earlier response to you:

      Why would the Labor Party not simply say “Areas A and B of the West Bank” or “Areas A and B of Judea and Samaria” instead of “Palestine”?

      Is factual accuracy not part of Labor’s policy?

      • Henry Herzog says:

        And what “factual accuracy”, as apposed to factual inaccuracy, David, are you relying on so the rest of the world stops considering the West Bank as Palestinian territory, as Colin Rubenstein does, and starts calling is Judea and Samaria? And don’t say the Torah, because most of the world does recognize that and we would all be better off if there was a distinct difference between state and religion. I recognize the West Bank as part of the ancient land of Israel, but things have changed in the last 2 thousand years or so, as our own tragic history shows.

        You can’t transform what was thousands of years ago to the realities of what is today.

        • david singer says:


          For your edification the “West Bank” was called “Judea and Samaria” until 1950 by everyone including the UN in the 1947 Partition Plan.

          “The boundary of the hill country of Samaria and Judea starts on the Jordan River at the Wadi Malih south-east of Beisan…”

          For your further edification the same UN Plan recommended the partition of western Palestine into one “Jewish” State and one “Arab” State.

          That you “and the rest of the world” have succumbed to is being brainwashed by Arab propaganda into a corner from where you now find it hard to retreat.

          Be man enough to face up to having been scammed.

          • Henry Herzog says:

            The whole world has been conned by the Arabs into believing that Judea and Samaria is the West Bank. So even under Jordanian occupation the whole world still considered the West Bank as Judea and Samaria, unbelievable! And thank you for your edification that the 1947 UN Partition Plan nominated the Western part of Palestine as an Arab state and the rest as the Jewish state. Now I could be wrong, but the Jewish state nominated by the UN consisted of slivers of land where all of Jerusalem was excluded. But that is probably another con job by the Arabs to sway the world into believing that they should have the West Bank, even though their leaders rejected it back then.

            Now all you need to do, David, is convince the world that the West Bank is actually Judea and Samaria and is part of the State of Israel. Good luck with that one, but, by just posting your comments here, I don’t like your chances.

            • Henry Herzog says:

              One other thing, can’t I be a woman about it?

            • david singer says:


              The whole world with the exception of Great Britain and Pakistan regarded Transjordan’s occupation of Judea and Samaria to be illegal and rejected its attempt to annex Judea and Samaria to Transjordan and rename the new country “Jordan” and Judea and Samaria the “West Bank”.

              What the UN plan said – not what it did – is the issue here as you try to squirm out of the bind you find yourself in with this comment:
              “And what “factual accuracy”, as apposed to factual inaccuracy, David, are you relying on so the rest of the world stops considering the West Bank as Palestinian territory, as Colin Rubenstein does, and starts calling is Judea and Samaria? And don’t say the Torah…”

              My response: It was not the Torah – it was the geographical and historical name recognised by the the whole world for thousands of years and even used by the UN in the 1947 Partition Plan

              Henry – Judea and Samaria are not part of the State of Israel nor are they part of any other State. They are presently disputed territory between Arabs and Jews where sovereignty still remains unallocated between them.

              That is the position and no amount of name changing can disguise or cover up the current status of that territory by erasing its longstanding name.

              Succumbing to that name changing has got the world into the sorry position it is in today in seeking a resolution to the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict.

              If you want to continue being scammed and not face up to the fact that this is happening to you – please feel free do so.

  4. Norman Clingman says:

    15-2-2016 As longstanding and staunch members of Labor we were shocked to read about the 28 anti semitic, anti Israel resolutions to be put at the 2016 State Conference. We are very relieved to learn that those resolutions were withdrawn and the Conference voted for fairness and honesty in regard to Israel and encourages members to visit and experience the truth about Israel and the Palestitians in all its human and economic complexity. We only hope that the ugly bullying ant Israel tactics from some Labor member will now come to an end.
    Norman Clingman

    • David Schulberg says:

      Norman, I think the writing is on the wall. Labour Party stalwarts supportive of Israel might have avoided a calamity at the eleventh hour but the future is bleak, given the rampant anti-Israel media bias in Australia and the growing Muslim population.

      • Henry Herzog says:

        So David, according to you, with the Muslim population growing,the future is break anyhow. But other than scaring us, what suggestions do you have?

        • David Schulberg says:

          Henry, the Labour Party is wooing the Muslim vote so it’s only a matter of time before anti-Israel rhetoric becomes more prevalent. We need to be challenging the bias that constantly aims to undermine Israel’s position.

  5. David Singer says:

    Interesting resolution.

    Can anyone tell me where I can find on any map the country called “Palestine” mentioned three times in the resolution?

    Perhaps someone in the Labor Party who drafted the resolution can tell me.

    I note Jeremy Spinak and Colin Rubinstein both used the term “Palestinian Territories”. They might also care to explain what they meant by the use of that term.

    Words count and those who use them should be able to explain their meaning.

    • Henry Herzog says:

      It seems that you haven’t heard that most people, even conservatives like Colin Rubenstein, accept a two state solution to resolve the conflict. That means that the Palestinians will have most of the West Bank and Gaza as their own sovereign state. That would suggest, in order in accepting this resolution, the West Bank has to be considered as Palestinian territory. Is that clear enough for you David?

      • david singer says:


        Thank you for confirming that you cannot identify the boundaries of “Palestine”.

        “Two-state” solution for your edification could also mean an agreement between Israel and Jordan involving the carve up of Judea and Samaria.

        “The West Bank has to be considered as Palestinian territory”? Oops Henry you contradict your earlier statement “the Palestinians will have most of the West Bank and Gaza” Is it “all” or “most of”?

        Does the Labor Party resolution require their politicians to spend time in Gaza as well as the West Bank?

        The Labor Party has jumped the gun before the race has been run.

        No Henry – you have not made it clear – just proved how bad Labor’s loose use of the term “Palestine” three times in their badly worded resolution really is.

        Why would they not simply say “Areas A and B of the West Bank” or “Areas A and B of Judea and Samaria”?

        Is factual accuracy not part of Labor’s policy?

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