26 July 2015

Disappointment in the (ALP) National Conference resolution on Israel

From Zionist Council of NSW, 26 July 2015, by Dr Ron Weiser AM, Hon Life President:

The Zionist Council of NSW views with disappointment the resolution passed at the Australian Labor Party (ALP) National Conference on the 26th of July (coincidentally Tisha B’Av) on the Israel Palestinian issue.

This resolution dents the bipartisan approach that has existed in Australia in order to reach a Two State for Two People solution by not understanding what these words mean.

The Two State for Two People solution is the position that the Jewish people and the State of Israel have supported and aimed towards from even before her establishment.
This key point was neither recognised by the ALP resolution nor understood by the movers of the motion.
The Palestinians have sought to avoid direct negotiations with Israel precisely to avoid having to recognise Israel as a Jewish State and have literally conned some members of the international community into allowing the Palestinians to bypass direct negotiations and gain unilateral recognition.
Sadly the Australian Labor Party has fallen into this trap.
Despite Labor’s welcome words of commitment to the Two State for Two People solution, Labor does not actually require the Palestinians to agree to Israel as a Jewish State.
It is a deviation from the principled stand by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard when she emphasised on the 25th of November 2011 that “A just and secure Israel as a homeland for the Jewish People is an indispensable part of a just and secure world”.
Until the ALP recognises that under a Two State for Two People resolution a requirement is not merely recognition of the State of Israel per se, but recognition of the State of Israel as the vehicle for Jewish self determination, the ALP is not really pushing for the aforementioned solution.
Rather this new ALP resolution merely requires a Two State Solution where Labor recognises the “special circumstances of the Palestinian people”, but does not mention the rights of the Jewish people, or the Jewish right to self determination, or the existence of Israel as a Jewish State.
There is no mention of any special circumstances around the situation of the Jewish people, only of the Palestinians.
The resolution allows the Palestinians to avoid coming to the negotiating table, as if negotiations will not proceed the ALP will apparently blame Israel and will consider unilateral steps to recognise a Palestinian State.
Therefore as per Labor’s resolution, the Palestinians have further encouragement to avoid sitting down with Israel to actually negotiate a Two State for Two People solution.
By the Palestinians simply doing nothing and agreeing to nothing, Labor will consider rewarding them by supporting unilateral moves towards a Palestinian State.
It should be noted that the Labor resolution ignores years of positive statements and actions by Prime Minister Netanyahu in support of the establishment of a Palestinian State and highlights some unscripted throwaway lines made in the heat of an election campaign. Comments later retracted by Prime Minister Netanyahu.
This is all the more disingenuous and astounding when one considers that not a single statement by Palestinian leaders about how they will never agree to Israel as the Jewish State, nor the general incitement that occurs in the Palestinian media and education system against the Jewish State, were worthy of mention in the new ALP policy stance.
It should also be noted that the Labor Party resolution falsely makes a pre determination that the “settlements are illegal under international law”.