28 August 2017

WA Labor votes to back Palestinian state

From The Australian, 29 August 2017, by Troy Bramston:

Federal Labor’s current position reiterates support for a ‘two-state solution’ for Israel and Palestine.
West Australian Labor has ­become the fifth branch of the party to support recognition of a Palestinian state without con­ditions, caveats or qualifications.
This all but ensures the next ­national conference will urge a Labor government to recognise such a state. The motion, adopted by the state conference on Sunday, “supported the recognition and right of Israel and Palestine to exist within secure and recognised borders” but added unequivocally that it “urges the next Labor government to recognise Palestine”.
The resolution, initially moved by senator Sue Lines but amended by state MP Stephen Price, mirrored that adopted by the NSW Labor conference last month.
It represents a different position to Labor leader Bill Shorten, and his Victorian Labor right faction, who are likely to have to ­accept a significant change in Labor’s position in support of a Palestinian state without stating that recognition should be part of a two-state peace process.
Federal Labor’s current position reiterates support for a “two-state solution” and states that a future government is ­required only to consult with “like-minded” nations before taking the step of formally recognising a Palestinian state. That position will be ­challenged at next year’s national conference.
Former Queensland Labor vice-president Wendy Turner told The Australian that the West Australian conference was another “strong signal” to federal Labor, following the NSW, Queensland and ACT conferences last month, and Tasmania earlier this year. “It now means that we are hopeful of getting a new resolution nat­ionally that recognises Palestine and will be acted upon by a Shorten government,” she said.
...Steve Lieblich of the Jewish Community Council of Western Australia said support for a non-viable state was effectively rewarding terrorism.
“The whole concept of recognising Palestine is part of a global campaign trying to destroy Israel,” he said. “It will only prolong the conflict. I don’t believe Labor is ­really thinking this through.”...