On 22 May 2015, The Australian Jewish News reported as follows:
...Asked whether Abbas should recognise Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, Di Natale replied:
“Of course. How can you have a two-state solution when you refuse to acknowledge the right of one state to exist? It’s patently nonsense.”In a NewMatilda report on 28 May 2015, Di Natale's office issued the following retraction:
...“He had no intention for his comments to be interpreted as support for establishment of a “Jewish state”. It’s not a phrase that he used,” a spokesperson said.According to his office, Di Natale simply agreed to a question put to him by journalist Gareth Narunsky, apparently missing the distinction being made....
In a letter to the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, dated 2 June 2015, Di Natale writes:
Consistent with Greens policy, I have always supported a peaceful, two-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict that upholds the legitimate rights and aspirations of both the Palestinian and Israeli people to live in peace and security in their own independent, sovereign states. My comments in the AJN piece were intended to reflect that view and that view alone.
I have never believed that the establishment of a ‘Jewish state’ (as opposed to an ‘Israeli state’) is conducive to this outcome and I absolutely do not support that goal.
I also have grave concerns regarding Israel’s illegal settlement activities in occupied territories, and the impacts this has on Palestinian people. We know that, as noted by numerous human rights organisations, many Palestinians face systemic discrimination that includes deprivation of water and other infrastructure and opportunities. I will continue to stand as a strong advocate against these injustices....