Labor calls for a Palestine state…eventually

December 18, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Senator Penny Wong has moved a resolution at the ALP conference in Adelaide calling the recognition of a Palestinian state as “an important priority for the next Labor government” providing Israel and Palestine recognise that they will live in peace and security.

Senator Penny Wong addresses the conference

At the same time, Senator Wong declared Labor’s support for Israel.

Federal Labor MP Michael Danby commented: ““Labor’s National Conference has passed, with a minimum of controversy, a resolution based on an acceptable earlier motion in NSW. The motion, which itself is not binding, says that a future Shorten Labor Government has the flexibility to act independently on Middle East policy.

Michael Danby, the Federal Member for Melbourne Ports, said that this was an acceptable position and he paid tribute to Leader of the Labor Party, Bill Shorten,  Shadow Minister for Defence,  Richard Marles and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong for seeing that the rhetoric of this issue did not get out of hand and that they preserved their independence to act according to circumstances in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Mr Danby said, “Mr Shorten was correct in pointing to the Government’s announcement on Jerusalem as being confused.” He noted that Israeli minister Tzachi Hanegbi had said that the Australian Government’s announcement on Jerusalem was illogical.

Many Israeli newspapers and much Israeli commentary had said it would have been better not to have made any announcement at all, rather than conceding without final settlement discussions, that the Palestinians were to be granted East Jerusalem as their capital.”

The full resolution moved by Senator Wong:

  1. Notes previous resolutions on Israel/Palestine carried at the 2015 ALP National Conference and the 2016 NSW Labor Annual Conference;
  2. Supports the recognition and right of Israel and Palestine to exist as two states within secure and recognised borders;
  3. Calls on the next Labor Government to recognise Palestine as a state; and
  4. Expects that this issue will be an important priority for the next Labor Government.

In her speech, Senator Penny Wong said: “I want to acknowledge that the conflict between Israel and Palestine is an issue of great importance to many in our Party.
It is of great importance because Labor is a friend of Israel. I am a friend of Israel.

It is of great importance because Labor is a friend of the Palestinians. I am a friend of the Palestinians.

It is of great importance because we, in Labor, not only deal with the world as it is, we seek to change it for the better.

And so all who have come to this debate do so in the hope of contributing to peace and to a just and lasting resolution of the conflict between these two peoples.

I thank everyone for the manner in which they have engaged to propose this resolution – which I am confident reflects the collective view of this conference.

This resolution makes clear the view of this conference is to continue to support the recognition and right of Israel and Palestine to exist as two states within secure and recognised borders.

And it recognises the desire of this conference to recognise Palestine as a state.

Labor has long supported, and continues to support, a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We support Israel’s right to exist within secure and recognised boundaries and the creation of a Palestinian state.

We recognise that a just two-state resolution will require recognising the right of both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples to live in peace and security.

The hallmark of Labor’s approach has been our even-handedness, and our acceptance of the legitimate claims by both parties.

Labor has been consistent in its approach to working towards the resolution of conflict between Palestine and Israel.

We have been consistent in our criticism of actions that undermine progress.

The resort to violence or the use of disproportionate response.

The construction of new settlements in areas that will become part of a future Palestinian State and the retrospective legalisation of settlements.

Labor will continue to call on both sides of the conflict to refrain from any actions that hamper peaceful outcomes for both the Israeli and Palestinian people.

And we will continue to ensure that any decision we take contributes to peaceful resolution of the conflict and to progress towards a two-state solution.

It is an approach, which until recently, had been largely bipartisan.

But, in a shameful act five days before the Wentworth by-election, Scott Morrison put his own domestic political interest before the national interest.

He made a decision to junk longstanding bipartisan foreign policy in a cynical attempt to win votes.

It was a desperate political tactic.

It was a decision made against the longstanding advice of agencies, without Cabinet consideration, and without properly consulting Australia’s partners and allies.

Astonishingly, it was a decision made without consulting either the Israelis or the Palestinians themselves, whose agreement must be the foundation of any lasting peace.

The result of the chaos and confusion has been clear.

Mr Morrison has caused offence to some of our nearest neighbours, harmed Australia’s international reputation, and our nation’s interests.

Ever since, the Prime Minister has been trying to escape the problem of his own creation.

It is a clear example of what happens when domestic politics is put before national interest.

Unlike Scott Morrison and his Government, Labor in Government will take a responsible approach to our foreign policy.

We will seek and consider the advice of our agencies.

We will work with our partners and allies.

We will always put the national interest first.

This motion makes clear Labor’s commitment to progressing lasting peace and a two-state solution.

It makes clear that it will be an important priority for the next Labor Government.

As Labor’s Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, I commend the resolution to the conference.

The resolution was passed by vocal assent. No vote was called for with one attendee teling J-Wire that it appears to have been unanimous.


6 Responses to “Labor calls for a Palestine state…eventually”
  1. Eleonora Mostert says:

    Labor Party cannot recognize “Palestine” as a state as it does not comply with International Law.

  2. Eleonora Mostert says:

    Senator Penny Wong like all other Left wing Parties should not interfere with other countries rights to rule. There is no such people as “Palestinians” never has been and never will be, they are Arabs and most hold Jordanian n Passports. UN and Eu should all butt out and let Israel deal with the problem… Perhaps it would suit these interfering politicians if All the Arabs, Muslims, “Palestinians” take up residence next door to them.

  3. Adrian Jackson says:

    Better get used to it as Labor will most likely be the Commonwealth Government in a few months time and Sen Wong the likely Foreign Minister.

  4. Lynne Newinghton says:

    Again, a topic covered by The Conversation a great source of “differential” opinions.

  5. Leon Poddebsky says:

    Ever since the early 1970’s it has been clear that the ALP is an entity that is hostile to Israel.
    The ALP has become “Europeanised” in this regard, as it has on other issues too.

  6. Dr. Rodney Gouttman says:

    This is a slippery slope. It’s what happens after a potential ALP victory in next year’s federal elections that counts, and the signs for greater emphasis on a Palestinian state to the detriment of Israel is well on the cards.

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