South Australia votes for a Palestine state…but only after a two state solution has been reached

August 10, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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A second amending motion was moved by Liberal SA MP Andrew McLachlan proposing that Australia support the establishment of a Palestinian state that arises out of a binding peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israel.

SA Parliamentary Friends of Israel event (L-R) Dr. Colin Rubenstein, John Gardner MLA, Andrew McLachlan MLC, Dr. Eran Lerman, Sam Duluk MLA, Dennis Hood MLC, Norman Schueler

This reflects Israel’s official position.

Andrew McLachlan said in parliament: “My support and admiration for the accomplishments of the Israeli peoples should not be interpreted as my being against the Palestinian peoples. I believe that for Israel to have security, it needs a viable Palestinian state—a Palestinian state that recognises Israel and rejects violence against the Jewish people, where trust exists between the two peoples.”

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today congratulated South Australia’s Legislative Council on passing a “sensible and constructive” resolution on promoting Middle East peace.

The resolution, passed yesterday evening by a vote of 11 to 10, calls for a “two-state solution” between Israel and the Palestinians, “both sides to resume direct negotiations in good faith” and “the commonwealth government to recognise the state of Palestine once the two sides have successfully negotiated a two-state solution, as required by international law as set out in the Oslo Accords.” This stands in contrast to a resolution passed by the South Australian House of Assembly in late June, which mentioned only Israeli settlements as a “major obstacle to peace” and called “on the commonwealth government to recognise the state of Palestine (as we have recognised the state of Israel) and announce the conditions and time lines to achieve such recognition”, implying that such recognition should occur regardless of any progress toward a peace agreement between the sides. The same motion was put to the Legislative Council, but was defeated.

AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein, who was in the South Australian Legislative Council to witness the historic vote. He said:  “Credit goes especially to Andrew McLachlan of the Liberal party – with help from other Liberal members, Corey Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives, and John Darley of the Nick Xenophon Team – for his leadership in steering the passage of this sensible and constructive resolution. A degree of dignity and common sense has now been restored to the South Australian Parliament through the Legislative Council’s rejection of the ahistorical, one-sided and counterproductive resolution passed in the lower house in June, and its replacement by a resolution which actually serves the cause of peace.”

Dr. Rubenstein noted that following the vote, South Australian Parliamentary Friends of Israel met with visiting Israeli strategic analyst Dr. Eran Lerman, who congratulated the members on the vote just taken. Dr. Lerman explained why the vote was so important – arguing the lower house vote does no favours to Palestinians by encouraging them to believe they can advance their goal of a state without ending the conflict, or engaging in negotiations and mutual compromise with Israel.

Executive director of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Peter Wertheim added:

“It is most gratifying that the Upper House of the South Australian parliament has passed a resolution that calls for Australia to recognise the state of Palestine once the two sides have successfully negotiated a two-state solution, as required by international law as set out in the Oslo Accords.

Of equal importance was the fact that the Upper House rejected two alternative motions that wrongly blamed Israel for the impasse in the peace process and called for Australia to recognise a Palestinian state even in the absence of a peace agreement.

This would be a recipe for intensified conflict and further bloodshed, and the Upper House was right to reject it.  The Upper House resolution effectively cancels out a resolution passed by the Lower House some weeks ago which had all the defects of the two motions rejected by the Upper House.

The deciding vote was cast by John Darley MLC of the Nick Xenophon Team.  In the lead up to the vote Darley is understood to have met personally several times with Norman Schueler, President of the Jewish Community Council of South Australia, the only Jewish community leader with whom he met.

Norman Schueler deserves great credit for his tireless advocacy.”

The Jewish Community Council of South Australia is a constituent body of the ECAJ,

Schueler told J-Wire: “We overcame a well-financed lobby group that it is has tried to dominate and influence opinion in SA.

By speaking individually to all Liberal upper house members we were able to show that the violence perpetrated by Hamas was a serious impediment  to peace, coupled with the Palestinians not honouring agreements showed that the promoters of the motion were disingenuous.

Finally our parliament realised not only the futility and of the motion but also that it was not based on fact.”

We strongly applaud those that spoke to negate the original motion, their insightfulness and sense of justice is deeply appreciated by the SA Jewish community.

I am truly grateful to those that assisted me in this major effort.


3 Responses to “South Australia votes for a Palestine state…but only after a two state solution has been reached”
  1. Debbie Scholem says:

    I’m sure all the Israelis are much relieved.

  2. Lynne Newington says:

    A pity it hasn’t arrived as the result of a heart felt conviction with all the facts available for decades……

  3. Gillian Miller says:

    As long as the children are taught to hate and people encouraged and paid to kill Israelis/Jews then we will never have peace. This is part of the Oslo Accord yet no-one has noticed that the Muslims will never stop unless or until they have taken over Israel. So, the Australian government need never worry about acknowledging a Palestinian State, I pray.

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