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Labor Is Blind On Israel

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16 January 2024, Courier-Mail, by Andrew Wallace: Only a short drive from where, over a century ago, Australia’s 4th Light Horse Brigade freed the people of Beersheba, Hamas launched the worst single-day massacre against the Jews since Hitler’s Holocaust.


Peace at any price often leads to an even greater war

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23 December 2023, The Australian, by Dave Sharma: At his Lowy Institute address on Tuesday evening, Albanese asserted Australia had a responsibility to uphold and defend the global framework. But at every test, at every juncture where the international system is being tested, this government goes to ground. Albanese is relegating Australia to the role of bystander in world affairs, a commentator but not an actor.


ALP ‘needs progressive correction’, say former Labor ministers

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22 December 2023, The Australian, by Rhiannon Down: Two former Labor ministers are leading a new push to counter misguided attitudes towards ­Israel “from people who claim to be progressive” – including blaming the nation for collective punishment of Palestinians – and are vowing to support pro-Israel ALP candidates running for ­parliament.


Labor MPs break ranks on Israel

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19 December 2023, Sydney Morning Herald, by Michael McGowan: Dozens of high-profile Labor figures, including members of the Albanese and Minns governments, have signed an open letter declaring the human rights of Palestinians have been ‘‘grossly violated’’ and accusing Israel of policies aimed at ‘‘the domination of one people over another’’.

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‘No Rush to Declare for Palestine’

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Foreign Minister Penny Wong has labelled the recognition of Palestine as a “hypothetical”, ­despite Labor agreeing at national conference doing so would be an “important priority”.

Senator Wong said she was “not going to engage in hypotheticals” about the timing of recognising Palestine as a state and would not explain why the government was not moving on the issue.

However, she said she had been a chief advocate within the party on the wording in the ­national platform that has been criticised by pro-Israel groups.

“One of the reasons I’ve ­argued so strongly inside our party for that wording, and I have been probably the principal advocate of that wording for some years now, is that I do believe that this is something the party is entitled to express a view on, but ultimately, these are sensitive diplomatic decisions,” she told the ABC. “A cabinet should make such decisions when considering all of the diplomatic issues that would necessarily be before it.”

With Labor concerned it would face a push to put a timeline on recognising Palestine at ­national conference, the government changed its policy on the issue and declared the West Bank and Gaza as “Occupied Palestinian Territories” and Israeli settlements as ­“illegal”.

The change prevented a public stoush on the issue at last week’s policy forum in Brisbane although there were two speeches on the floor reflecting different views within the party.

Labor MP Susan Templeman said the issue of recognising Palestine would be an “issue of priority for our government”.

But former ACTU vice-president Michael Easson said viewing the conflict from a one-eyed perspective could not achieve any lasting solutions.

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Article source: The Australian | Greg Brown - Sarah Ison | 21.8.23

2024-02-22 05:36:48.000000

Labor stays the course over Palestine recognition

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Labor is facing calls for the recognition of Palestine to become a priority for the government, with a commitment to statehood already in the party’s policy platform.
No timeline has been attached to implement the policy, with some pro-Palestinian Labor delegates pushing to have it expedited.
But pro-Israel elements of the party threatened to try and strip the policy from the platform if the other side attempted to alter it at the national conference in Brisbane.
No amendments were moved and the same wording remains in the policy platform with no timeline attached.
Labor MP Susan Templeman spoke in favour of recognition at Labor’s national conference on Friday, saying the actions of Israel’s extreme right-wing government were “deeply concerning”.
“The extreme right-wing policies of the Netanyahu government that speed up the expansion of settlements are a serious impediment to the two-state solution that we are all committed to,” she told Labor’s national conference on Friday.
She said she supported “the call our platform makes for the recognition of Palestine as an issue of priority” as Palestinians suffered inequality at the hands of Israeli settlements.
Trade unionist Michael Easson said good people could disagree on the issue and called for a nuanced approach to an age-old conflict.
He told the conference there could be “no justice without truth”.

“The central and tragic truth of the Israel-Palestine conflict is that two people – the Jewish people and the Palestinian – have deep, centuries-long, historical ties to a territory no larger than half of Tasmania,” he said.
“Viewing the conflict from a one-eyed perspective will not achieve peace, any lasting solution cannot be at the expense of Palestinians or Israelis.”
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry welcomed the decision to not change the policy platform or add “further hostile policy pronouncements”.
It said Palestine did not exist as a state and any recognition would impact peace negotiations.

It comes after Foreign Minister Penny Wong strengthened Australia’s objection to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and expressed concerns about what they would mean for peace in the region.
Senator Wong led Labor’s foreign policy debate on Friday but the only contentious push the government faced on the conference floor was around its commitment to nuclear submarines and the AUKUS agreement.
Its position was ultimately reaffirmed by delegates.
The foreign policy session was largely rubber-stamped by rank-and-file members who also voted in favour of the reunification of Ireland and reaffirmed support for Ukraine against Russian aggression.
Resolutions also called out human rights abuses in Iran and China.
Labor will also review whether Australia’s two territories should have more representation in parliament.
The three-day national conference continues until Saturday.
Australian Associated Press

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Article source: Canberra Times

2024-02-22 05:36:48.000000