Labor ‘urged’ to recognise Palestine
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Labor ‘urged’ to recognise Palestine

A PROPOSED motion urging the next Federal Labor government to recognise Palestine will be put forward at this month’s NSW Labor State Conference.

Federal Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek.
Federal Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek.

A PROPOSED motion urging the next Federal Labor government to recognise Palestine will be put forward at this month’s NSW Labor State Conference.

Community leaders have hit out at the proposal claiming it is one-sided and a dramatic shift in ALP policy.

“If the largest branch of the Australian Labor Party, the branch which sends the greatest number of delegates to national conference, can shift a position it has held for four decades, that sends a dangerous message and all fair-minded people will be concerned,” NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff said.

“Labor is backing away from a historic position of support for the only rule-of-law democracy in the Middle East.”

Alhadeff said  this should not be an “either or” position and that Labor can support both Palestine and support Israel.

Acting Federal Labor leader Tanya Plibersek said the motion is in “discussions at a state level” while Labor’s Federal Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said the motion is “not determinative of the position of the federal parliamentary Labor party”.

The motion is one of 27 that will be put forward by local branches in relation to Israel and Palestine. One motion refers to the present Israeli government as “the most conservative and chauvinist in the country’s history” and another states that “it is clear that the Israeli government does not believe in a negotiated settlement given its military might”.

The Auburn Lidcombe branch, together with The Entrance and Greenacre branches, said in a motion that “the Australia-Israel Leadership Dialogue (AILD) are lobbyists for the Israeli arms company Elbit” and proposed “no ALP member be permitted to accept trips” offered by the AILD.

That motion, and another which proposed to ban any ALP member from going to Israel, had been rejected prior to the conference.

JOSHUA LEVI

Full story in this week’s AJN

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