South Australia's Legislative Council passed a sensible and constructive resolution on promoting Middle East peace.
The resolution, passed yesterday evening by a vote of 11 to 10, calls for a "two-state solution" between Israel and the Palestinians, "both sides to resume direct negotiations in good faith" and "the commonwealth government to recognise the state of Palestine once the two sides have successfully negotiated a two-state solution, as required by international law as set out in the Oslo Accords."
This stands in contrast to a resolution passed by the South Australian House of Assembly in late June, which mentioned only Israeli settlements as a "major obstacle to peace" and called "on the commonwealth government to recognise the state of Palestine (as we have recognised the state of Israel) and announce the conditions and time lines to achieve such recognition", implying that such recognition should occur regardless of any progress toward a peace agreement between the sides. The same motion was put to the Legislative Council, but was defeated.
AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein, who was in the South Australian Legislative Council to witness the historic vote, said, "Credit goes especially to Andrew McLachlan of the Liberal party - with help from other Liberal members, Corey Bernardi's Australian Conservatives, and John Darley of the Nick Xenophon Team - for his leadership in steering the passage of this sensible and constructive resolution. A degree of dignity and common sense has now been restored to the South Australian Parliament through the Legislative Council's rejection of the ahistorical, one-sided and counterproductive resolution passed in the lower house in June, and its replacement by a resolution which actually serves the cause of peace."
SA Parliamentary Friends of Israel event (L-R) Dr. Colin Rubenstein, John Gardner MLA, Andrew McLachlan MLC, Dr. Eran Lerman, Sam Duluk MLA, Dennis Hood MLC, Norman Schueler
Dr. Rubenstein noted that following the vote, South Australian Parliamentary Friends of Israel met with visiting Israeli strategic analyst Dr. Eran Lerman, who congratulated the members on the vote just taken. Dr. Lerman explained why the vote was so important - arguing the lower house vote does no favours to Palestinians by encouraging them to believe they can advance their goal of a state without ending the conflict, or engaging in negotiations and mutual compromise with Israel.