The Australian Labor Party (ALP) passed a resolution calling for the federal Australian government to recognize Palestine during a state event on Sunday.
The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) expressed its deep disappointment in the Victorian Labor state conference’s resolution on Palestine.
ZFA president Jeremy Leibler said in response in an official statement, “It is a truism that if you reward bad behavior, you’ll get more of it. From its support for terrorism, its rejection of negotiations and its promotion of vicious antisemitism, the Palestinian leadership actively undermines peace. By calling on the federal government to reward this behavior with diplomatic recognition, the Victorian Labor resolution implicitly celebrates this.”
Leibler continued, “The resolution is entirely inconsistent with the stated position of the Foreign Minister Penny Wong who has repeatedly rejected any unilateral actions on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.”
Are Labor conference resolutions in Australia meaningless?
Australia has six states and two territories. The federal government has constitutional control over foreign policy. The ALP has state conferences and a federal conference, where resolutions and party platforms are passed. The Victorian state conference took place this weekend. The resolutions are usually meaningless, such as the current resolution calling on the federal government to recognize Palestine.
Sources within the Jewish community said on Sunday that the focus now is on August when the national conference will be held. The pro-Palestine crowd in ALP has the numbers, but the foreign minister and prime minister don’t want to recognize Palestine yet. For example, the last national conference called on a Labor government to make considering recognizing Palestine a priority, but didn’t mandate the government to do so.