Will you be voting in a marginal seat in the 2016 Federal Election?
AFOPA encourages you, especially if you will be voting in a marginal seat, to contact your local candidates to express your views on Palestine.
Marginal seats decide elections – click here to view the most marginal seats in Australia [pdf] this election.
You can check your electorate here >>
The Australian Labor Party
The 2015 ALP National Conference passed the following resolution:
AFFIRMED Labor’s support for an enduring and just two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the right of Israel to live in peace within secure borders internationally recognised and agreed by the parties, and reflecting the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to also live in peace and security within their own state.
DEPLORES the tragic conflict in Gaza and supports an end to rocket attacks by Hamas and the exercise of the maximum possible restraint by Israel in response to these attacks.
SUPPORTS a negotiated settlement between the parties to the conflict, based on international frameworks, laws and norms.
The Australian Greens
The Australian Greens National Conference 2015 passed the following:
The Australian Greens in line with majority world opinion formally recognises the state of Palestine.
The Australian Greens will work for:
- The removal of Israeli settlers and Israeli security and military forces from the Palestinian territories
- The termination of the occupation of the Palestinian territories and the establishment of a secure and viable state of Palestine alongside Israel, based on 4 June 1967 boundaries with both states sharing Jerusalem as their capital
- A just and practical negotiated settlement of the claims of the Palestinian refugees that provides compensation for those who are unable to return to their country of origin, Israel or Palestine
- The right of each state to independently manage its own affairs, including foreign relations and economic development, without the dominance of one state over the other
- The equitable allocation of shared resources, including water, the promotion of a culture of dialogue, harmony, peace and reconciliation between the peoples of Palestine and Israel, both in the Middle East and in Australia, fostered through educational, cultural and other institutions
- Full equality before the laws of each jurisdiction, for every citizen of that jurisdiction, irrespective of ethnic origin, religion or belief, race or gender.
The Liberal Party of Australia
There is no publicly available written Liberal Party policy on Palestine; thus their policy can only be inferred by its statements.
In her address to 25th Anniversary Chabad North Shore, 11 June 2015, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop stated:
We (Israel and Australia) share a commitment to democracy, and a mutual interest in maintaining a rules-based international system. …
We believe that Israel, no matter what the political stripe of the elected government, must remain committed to, indeed, actively pursue, a two-state peace settlement. Australia remains committed to a two-state solution – and we recognise the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for statehood.
Bilateral engagement and negotiation is the only realistic path to peace. Statehood cannot be achieved by unilateral decree, which is why Australia voted against the recent UN Security Council resolution on Palestinian statehood.
This resolution lacked any balance, and sought to impose a solution put forward by one party alone. That is not the way to create lasting peace and security.
Just as the Palestinian Authority’s accession to range of multilateral treaties, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, is not helpful for the peace process.
Senator Brandis, the Australian Attorney General, stated during the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee on 5 June 2014:
I have had a conversation with the foreign minister and I want to make a short statement to the committee with her authority.
Australia supports a peaceful solution to the dispute between Israel and the Palestinian people which recognises the right of Israel to exist peacefully within secure borders and also recognises the aspiration to statehood of the Palestinian people. The description of areas which are the subject of negotiations in the course of the peace process by reference to historical events is unhelpful. The description of East Jerusalem as ‘occupied’ East Jerusalem is a term freighted with pejorative implications, which is neither appropriate nor useful. It should not and will not be the practice of the Australian government to describe areas of negotiation in such judgemental language.
Put Palestine and human rights on your candidates’ agenda.
* Thank you to AFOPA member, Jackie Antoun, for the research involved in this post.