For Immediate Release
The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) believes that unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state is counterproductive to bringing about a two state solution and peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Therefore, the adopted resolution at the Australian Labor Party’s National Conference to seek unilateral recognition of a Palestinian State was disappointing. However, we are pleased that the adopted resolution is not binding on a future Labor Government and defers the decision to recognise a Palestinian state to a future Labor Cabinet.
We acknowledge comments made by Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong, which reinforced the ALP’s long-term commitment to a two state solution and supports Israel’s right to exist within secure and recognised borders.
The ZFA also notes with appreciation the efforts made by senior Opposition MPs and the Australia Israel Labor Dialogue in the lead up to the conference.
Jeremy Leibler, ZFA President said:
“The adopted resolution, which ultimately defeated attempts to bind a future Labor Government, is a firm rejection of efforts by Bob Carr and others to undermine over 70 years of bipartisan support for Israel in Australia. We are confident that under Bill Shorten’s leadership, the Labor party will remain a friend of Israel and the Jewish community”.
“The reality is that the basic criteria of statehood have not been met by the Palestinians. Therefore, unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state outside of a negotiated peace agreement would constitute a tacit endorsement of the terrorist organisation Hamas and would be a retrograde step in the peace process.”
“The only path to peace is for the Palestinian leadership to resume negotiations with the Israeli Government in good faith. Failing to impose any preconditions to recognition of a Palestinian state imposes pressure only on Israel and discourages both parties from making any compromises.” Mr Leibler concluded.