Following the NSW Labor Conference over the weekend, Zionist Federation of Australia President Dr. Danny Lamm thanked the Party for their resolution relating to Israel and the Palestinians. Dr Lamm said, “We commend the NSW Labor Party for encouraging members to further their understanding of both Israelis and Palestinians.”
In the lead-up to the conference, 39 motions critical of Israel were received by the NSW Labor Party, compared with 17 on all other countries and foreign policy topics. One of those was a motion to ban Labor MPs, officials and Young Labor members from accepting subsidised trips to Israel.
When questioned on the issue, Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said, “I support my MPs exercising their own common sense and views. I trust Labor representatives, I don’t see the need to start giving them travel instructions”. Federal Deputy Leader of the Opposition Tanya Plibersek also weighed in on the debate stating, “I support people travelling to inform themselves and I think on most of these trips most people spend a significant amount of time both in Israel and particularly visiting Ramallah”.
Dr. Lamm gave credit to Shorten and Plibersek for their remarks, and also thanked the rational-minded people within the party for their part in the resolution such as AILD NSW Convenor Greg Holland, who called the proposed motion to impose travel bans on Party members wanting to visit Israel a “totalitarian move by those in the Party who are anti-Israel.”
“The final draft of the resolution shows that common sense has prevailed and is a repudiation of the hardline anti-Israel sentiment,” Dr Lamm concluded.
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