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AIJAC “profoundly disagrees” with FM Penny Wong’s comments on recognising Palestinian statehood

Apr 10, 2024 | AIJAC

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In the wake of Foreign Minister Senator Penny Wong’s comments in her speech at the Australian National University on the evening of April 9 suggesting recognition of Palestinian statehood could be a “way of building momentum towards a two-state solution,” the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council has issued the following statement:

 

“We profoundly disagree with Senator Wong’s implications in her speech that recognition of Palestinian statehood in the near future could be a ‘way of building momentum towards a two-state solution’ and would also not be a reward for the terrorist massacre of Hamas on October 7. Despite Senator Wong’s words about Hamas having no future role in Gaza, there is no doubt that many Palestinians would see any such recognition in the near future as a major national achievement made possible by Hamas’ wave of barbaric mass violence. In addition, talking about such recognition now is also a huge disincentive for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to undertake the root and branch reforms Senator Wong acknowledges it needs before it could also take over Gaza’s governance, or become the nucleus of a Palestinian state.

“The preconditions for a two-state peace are simply not currently in place, and extending such recognition before they are only makes it less likely these preconditions can ever be developed.

“It’s worth remembering a few things in this context:

    1. Hamas is more popular than the PA in the West Bank.
    2. Official PA media and government pronouncements are saturated with violent incitement and antisemitism, the PA incentivises terrorist violence against Israel through its “pay-for-slay” stipends to prisoners and families of terrorist “martyrs”, and the PA has never condemned the October 7 mass pogrom against Israeli civilians.
    3. The PA is currently so dysfunctional and corrupt that it is not even able to maintain control over all the Palestinian cities of the West Bank.
    4. The PA has refused repeated Israeli offers of a two-state resolution incorporating Palestinian statehood over the past 25 years, and for the last decade has refused to even negotiate on a final peace agreement at all. Such bilateral negotiations are of course absolutely indispensable for any peace hopes.

“Without changing all of the realities above, and putting in place the pre-conditions for peace, prematurely recognising Palestinian statehood would not strengthen the forces for peace, and undermine extremism, as Senator Wong claimed, but do the exact opposite. If ‘Australia’s diplomacy and decisions are focused on helping advance… lasting peace’ as Senator Wong said in her speech, then prematurely recognising Palestinian statehood would be among the most counter-productive moves her government could make.”

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