Angelo Tsirekas, ALP candidate, Reid

I am proud to belong to a party that is committed to the cause of the aspirations of the Palestinian people, and works in both Government and Opposition to give meaningful support to these aspirations.

I strongly support Labor’s position regarding Palestine, as seen in the most recent resolution of the Australian Labor Party Conference which affirmed our 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.

In Government, Labor demonstrated a commitment to the 2 state solution, and

a. did not block enhanced Palestinian status in the General Assembly;

b. restated the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is occupied territory;

c. opposed Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land, recognising that a just, peaceful and enduring resolution will involve a territorial settlement based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps;

d. held that the settlements are illegal under international law.

Importantly, any lasting peace will require a future State of Palestine to recognise the right of Israel to exist and the State of Israel to recognise the right of Palestine to exist.

I believe this requires mutual understanding and respect, from the people of Israel, Palestine and other nations. As such I believe that official visitors to Israel and Palestine should seek to understand the situation from a number of perspectives and that is best done by experiencing the situation from both sides, and listening to a multitude of voices within the debate.

A future Labor Government will co-operate with the international community in working towards these goals. I note that the recent National Conference also noted that if there is no progress in the next round of the peace process, a future Labor government would discuss joining like minded nations who have already recognised Palestine and announcing the conditions and timelines for the Australian recognition of a Palestinian state, with the objective of contributing to peace and security in the Middle East.

Thank you for contacting me on this most important matter.

Yours sincerely

Angelo Tsirekas

Labor candidate for Reid

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