Labor’s factions force another about-face on Israel
One week out from its National Conference, it’s clear Labor’s factions have forced the Albanese Government into another about-face in relation to Australia’s policies on Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Labor’s back-room decisions on Israel and the Palestinian territories have everything to do with managing factional differences ahead of the Labor National Conference and nothing to do with advancing a lasting two-state outcome.
It’s clear the Albanese Government is undertaking more consultation with factional bosses than with those impacted by these changes, including the Israeli Government.
Foreign Affairs Minister Wong has previously criticised unilateral decisions that undermine a two-state solution, yet now appears committed to Labor making its own unilateral decisions without any genuine consultation.
These decisions prompt many questions, such as whether a determination of certain territories to be “occupied Palestinian territories” is accompanied by determinations on the precise boundaries of such territories? Without that, what exactly is the determination referring to?
Equally, will a declaration of settlements as being illegal result in a change to Australia’s position on key motions at the United Nations, including votes within the last year where Australian officials said that such motions “will not help bring the parties together”?
These latest acts of the Albanese Government come on top of the disgraceful handling by Labor of the changes to Australia’s recognition of the Israeli capital, which was marked by disrespect for a Holy Day and a gross lack of consultation.
The Coalition remains committed to supporting a lasting two-state solution, in which Israel and Palestine co-exist. It is extremely regrettable that Labor’s internal differences are undermining the consistency of Australia’s position on these matters.