Carr standing next to a painting

Pro-Israel Labor MPs, unions lash Bob Carr over Palestine push

A campaign by former NSW premier Bob Carr for the ALP to break with four decades of unqualified support for Israel is encountering a pushback from Labor MPs, union officials and Jewish community leaders ­opposed to “reckless” demands for recognising Palestine.

The pro-Israel coalition is working behind the scenes ­to ­stymie a Carr-backed resolution advocating unconditional support for Palestine at Labor’s NSW conference later this month.

The tough resolution — with no specific reference to secure borders for Israel or Hamas renouncing violence — is billed as the forerunner to forcing Bill Shorten and the federal ALP into the same policy position before the next election.

The Australian has learned Labor’s federal leader was among those surprised at a dramatic change of tack after he was told while meeting party figures and Jewish community leaders in Sydney last month that plans to only mildly update the NSW ALP’s ­existing position were “on track”.

When a conference book with proposed resolutions was released the next day, a mild resolution agreeing to “progress” Palestinian recognition was dumped.

NSW party general-secretary Kaila Murnain ordered a replacement that unequivocally “urges the next Labor government to recognise Palestine”.

Ms Murnain told Mr Carr at the time she imposed the replacement on the NSW ALP’s foreign affairs committee that it was the “final wording”. Her personal intervention has been interpreted widely inside Labor as evidence of Mr Carr’s influence after giving speeches to party branches, and lobbying of ALP and union figures.

Read the full article by Brad Norington at The Australian (subscription only).