Labor setting the stage to recognise Palestinian state

July 3, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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The NSW branch of the Labor Party is expected to pass a resolution recognising a Palestinian state at its conference later this month.

This news breaks only a few days since Labor member Tony Piccolo’s resolution in the South Australia parliament calling for federal recognition of Palestine.

Walt Secord

These moves will bring pressure on Labor leader Bill Shorten to see it become a reality if he were to win the next election on the basis that the pundits believe it will be certainly passed at next year’s annual Labor conference.

The Labor Israel Action Committee (LIAC) met on Sunday July 2 and resolved to oppose the proposed Israel-Palestine motions.

The LIAC met to discuss how they are going to approach responding to them within the forthcoming NSW ALP stressing that the motions came from individual local branches and was not the final NSW ALP conference position.

NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel deputy chair and Labor Israel Action Committee patron and executive member Walt Secord confirmed LIAC had decided to oppose the proposed motions on Israel and Palestine.

Secord said: “While I would prefer a party conference dominated by issues like penalty rates, education and health, but if there are going to be foreign affairs motions, then they should be balanced. We see the motion as one-sided and does not promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict resulting in a two-State solution.”

We support a two-State solution with a Palestinian State, but the proposed motions need to be amended to explicitly include a recognition of Israel.”

He added: “I stress the proposed motion in the official conference book is not final and there are still several weeks of negotiations and discussions before the actual conference.”

“I also note that there are many other motions including the plight of the Egyptian Coptic Christians; the Muslim minority in Burma; LGBTI, Assyrian, Chaldean and Yezidi minority rights under ISIS; concerns about North Korea; Kurdish autonomy; modern human slavery; Turnbull government cuts to overseas aid; East Timor maritime boundary dispute; and attacks on the union movement in the Palestinian Territories.

There is also a condolence motion in support of the late-Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres.

As part of the formal conference agenda, the Labor Israel Action Committee moved a comprehensive motion calling for a two-State solution and rejecting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).”

Acting leader of the Labor Opposition acting leader Tanya Plibesek said: “My position is the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party position which is if there is no progress in coming years towards a two state solution, that we will work with other likeminded countries on the timetable and preconditions for the recognition of a Palestinian state, so that we can contribute to security and peace in the Middle East. I will be supporting the Federal Labor Parliamentary party position on the recognition of a two state solution, the importance of a two state solution.”




Sky News interviewed Vic Alhadeff, the CEO of The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies who said that if the largest branch of the Australian Labor party can substantially shift its poistion it has held for over four decades, it send a very dangerous message and fair-minded people will be concerned.”

The executive director of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Peter Wertheim added: “There is no plausible way to play down the significance of this motion .  Symbolism matters.  Regardless of the technicalities of whether or not the resolution will be binding on a future ALP government, the message being sent out by such a resolution is a counter-productive one, namely that Labor is weakening its historic support for the only rule of law democracy in the Middle East in favour of what is likely to be another failed State.”

Dr Colin Rubenstein, executive director of The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, added: “The proposed NSW ALP  State Conference resolution is very disappointing, ill-conceived and detrimental to the cause of the  two state peace it purports to advance.

It requires Australia to convey premature unilateral recognition on ‘Palestine’, a political entity which clearly does not currently meet the required criteria for recognition under international law, with key proponents arguing that this is justified as a way to punish Israel over settlements.

Yet settlements are hardly the  only obstacle to a two-state resolution – much more important is an unwillingness or inability on the part of the Palestinian leadership to say yes to repeated, far reaching  Israeli offers which would have given them statehood and most of what they claim to be seeking, or even to just  negotiate in good faith.  Premature recognition reinforces and rewards Palestinian incitement,rejectionism and intransigence rather than encouraging the genuine negotiations and compromises necessary for a two-state outcome  – and in the name of supposedly helping the Palestinians, actually punishes both peoples by making  reconciliation  and  peace  even more distant.”


5 Responses to “Labor setting the stage to recognise Palestinian state”
  1. sidney bloch says:

    Why not a resolution along the following lines? The Labor Party supports the only realistic option of a 2 state solution and will do its utmost to bring this to fruition in a way that does justice to the interests and needs of both the Israelis and the Palestinians.
    This enables Labour to play a constructive role rather than a gestural unbalanced one.

  2. Maurice May says:

    All fair minded delegates will support the resolution. Live with the reality. The knee jerk reaction of the usual “spokesman ” is only to be expected

  3. David Adler says:

    “Two states for two people” is fanciful nonsense.
    The reality is such a proposal would create something like a giant Gaza controlled by Hamas, Islamic jihad or even ISIS. It is in no one’s interest including the Arabs. Fortunately there are more practical innovative solutions, an example of which is proposed by the Jordanian opposition coalition which provides for Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria but with Arabs living there given Jordanian citizenship and some encouragement to relocate.

  4. Adrian Jackson says:

    Both Israel and Palestine should be recognized as separate states as multiculturalism does not work in the Middle East.

    Draw a border from Jerusalem to the sea with the Israelis to the north and the Palestinians to the south.

    Jerusalem should be a open city, administered by the UN, just like the Vatican is separate from Italy.

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