The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has passed an amendment to its policy platform recognizing Palestine as a state. The decision was taken at the ALP Conference on Tuesday, March 30.
Immediately raising the ire of pro-Israeli organizations and media pundits in Australia and elsewhere, the amendment commits a future Labor government to make the recognition of Palestine “an important priority”.
ALP also committed itself to a two-state solution for Palestine and Israel, as a fundamental component in their foreign policy agenda in coming elections.
Important decision by National ALP Conference today to place in its national platform recognition of Israel and Palestine. It called for a next Labor government to recognise a Palestinian state and states “this issue will be an important priority.” pic.twitter.com/MaqxcUo3W1
— Bob Carr (@bobjcarr) March 30, 2021
To alleviate concerns that ALP is turning against Israel, a Labor MP, Josh Burns, said that Labor will “remain supporters of a two-state solution and … remain strong and unwavering friends of the State of Israel.”
Others disagreed. Michael Danby, who had called for the withdrawal of the amendment, was quoted in the Australian Jewish News website as saying that ALP leaders Anthony Albanese and Richard Marles had not only adopted former British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s pro-Palestinian policies “but also his Stalinist methods by suppressing debate on the foreign policy motions”.
Australia is likely to formally recognise the state of Palestine if Anthony Albanese becomes prime minister, following a change to the ALP’s policy platform to be made at national conference this month. #auspol https://t.co/1c0m4qwuXF
— Greg Brown (@gregbrown_TheOz) March 4, 2021
Palestinians, on the other hand, welcomed the Australian Labor Party’s move. “ALP has taken a right step in the right direction, defying pressures, not only from within the party itself but also from influential pro-Israel organizations, media pundits and politicians across the country,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud said.
“Recognizing the state of Palestine simply means recognizing the fundamental political and human rights aspirations of the Palestinian people,” he added, hoping that others will follow suit, and for Labor “to truly commit to this pledge in the future”.
(The Palestine Chronicle)