The motion passed this weekend goes further than ever before to bind Labor closer to Palestine. It is a significant defeat for Bill Shorten, his belligerent Victorian right faction and the aggressive Israel lobby, who applied immense pressure on Labor MPs and party officials in recent weeks.
There is no mention of a “two-state solution” as a precondition to supporting Palestinian statehood or any reference to “consulting” with “like-minded” nations before granting recognition — the current federal policy — which gives Labor wriggle room.
It is now clear that Labor’s next national conference, due next year, will support unconditional recognition of Palestinian statehood in defiance of the party leader.
On Saturday, the Queensland and ACT Labor conferences called for a future Labor government to “immediately recognise the state of Palestine”. South Australian and Tasmanian Labor have already adopted the policy of recognising Palestine without qualification.
Labor’s rank-and-file membership, state and federal MPs, and unions aligned with left and right factions, are now unequivocally pro-Palestine. However, the state Labor motions appropriately support the right of both Israel and Palestine “to exist within secure and recognised borders”.
Read the full article by Troy Bramston at The Australian (subscription only).