21 February 2017

Australian Labor divided on support for Israel

From The Australian, 22 Feb 2017, by ROSIE LEWIS, JAMES MADDEN:

...On the morning Mr Netanyahu arrived in Sydney, marking the first time a sitting Israeli prime minister has visited Australia, the former Labor PM [Kevin Rudd] called for his party to change its policy for a two-state solution at its national conference next year.

...The remarks come amid a growing divide within the Labor Party... Mr Rudd, ...with Labor’s former prime minister Bob Hawke and former foreign ministers Bob Carr and Gareth Evans have advocated a change in foreign policy and recognition of a Palestinian state...

Benjamin Netanyahu and wife Sara arrive in Sydney. 
Picture: AAP

...To coincide with the arrival of the Israeli leader, Mr Turnbull today launched a blistering broadside at the United Nations, accusing it of bias against Israel, noting the UN had adopted 20 resolutions critical of Israel between 2014 and 2015 when only one resolution was issued in response to the Syrian war.

“My government will not support one-sided resolutions criticising Israel of the kind recently adopted by the UN Security Council and we deplore the boycott campaigns designed to de-legitimise the Jewish state,” he wrote in an opinion piece published by The Australian today.

Mr Netanyahu will also meet Labor leader Bill Shorten this week. The Opposition Leader yesterday reaffirmed his support for s two-state solution.

Several other Labor luminaries, though, including ex-Prime Minister Bob Hawke, and former foreign ministers Bob Carr and Gareth Evans, have recently called for a change in ALP foreign policy to recognise a state of Palestine.