The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) strongly agrees with the principle of negotiations aimed at achieving a peaceful, secure future for Israelis and Palestinians, and on that basis is concerned at parts of the resolution adopted by the Australian Labor Party’s National Conference.
The resolution, which is not binding on the parliamentary party, is a hindrance and not a help to Israelis and Palestinians who genuinely seek a positive coexistence.
The ALP Platform, which was not amended at the conference, highlights the importance of negotiations. The resolution, however, contains elements which undermine the concept of a negotiated peace based on mutual recognition, which in turn is essential to long-term peaceful coexistence.
AIJAC supports moves which will help bring a two-state solution closer. AIJAC believes responsible actors should support moves to encourage conciliation and confidence-building, not unilateralism.
There has never been a “State of Palestine” and there is no existing entity which could logically be “recognised”. The only realistic prospect for such a state to emerge is through the process of negotiation with Israel.
As Shadow Foreign Minister Senator Penny Wong noted in her December 15 media release regarding the Morrison Government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, “a final status issue … should be resolved as part of any peace negotiations and two-state solution.”
Recognition of a Palestinian state is the quintessential final status issue.
Urging a future Australian government to unilaterally recognise a putative State of Palestine, in defiance of the position of Israel and almost all of our Western allies, rewards Palestinian intransigence and would negatively impact the potential for success of future negotiations. As such, it can only further delay an Israeli-Palestinian peace outcome based on two states for two peoples living side-by-side in secure and recognised boundaries.
AIJAC notes that Senator Wong, in her remarks accompanying the resolution, promised that Labor “will continue to ensure that any [future] decision we take contributes to peaceful resolution of the conflict and to progress towards a two-state solution.”
Unilateral “recognition” of a non-existent State of Palestine is simply out of keeping with this noble commitment.