This July the Australian Labor Party (ALP) will hold their triennial conference and decide on key policies. Palestine is on the agenda – can you help us convert this to action?
There are signs that change is happening in Labor. Four Labor members have spoken up in the parliament this week about Israel’s attacks on Gaza, and senior Labor figure Anthony Albanese declared that “The people with guns have a responsibility”. But Labor members have also talked about ‘descalation on both sides’ – as if there are two equal sides!
Much has been achieved within the ALP in the last six years. In 2012 advocates couldn’t raise Palestine onto the ALP conference agenda. Then in 2015, thanks to some great lobbying inside and outside the ALP, not only was Palestine on the agenda, but real policy change happened. I am told by ALP party insiders that 2015 represented a seismic shift in the culture of the ALP on Palestine, built largely on the fact that ALP members had become far more informed about injustices inflicted upon Palestinians and their escalating loss of human rights.
Last year 9 Federal parliamentarians travelled to Palestine with APAN. They have all committed to talk to the National Conference about what they saw and heard and why real action is needed.
We must continue to build momentum for change.
Our message for this year’s ALP conference is clear – Its time: Recognise Palestine.
A future Australian Government recognition of Palestine would mean:
- Honouring our commitment to the Palestinians. In 1947 Australia voted to divide Palestine, then recognised the state of Israel in 1948, but as yet has failed to recognise Palestine;
- Affording Palestine diplomatic equality. Palestine would have full diplomatic representation and would be recognised as equal with other countries around the world;
- Acting on our support of Palestinian rights. It would be an unequivocal message that we will act to support the rights of the Palestinians to have self-determination through our deeds, not just our words;
- Censuring Israel for disregarding international law. It would show there are consequences for Israel continually illegally expanding Jewish only settlements on occupied Palestinian land, in flagrant contravention of international law, impacting on and impeding a peaceful workable solution
That the ALP is even considering this policy has pro-Israel advocates nervous – they have done push-polling undermining the fact that Australians want a just policy for Palestine.
In 2017, the UK Labour Party went to the polls with a clear policy of immediate recognition of Palestine. The ALP must adopt the same policy!
Recognising Palestine isn’t a magic bullet, and it doesn’t assume what comes next. What it would do is to break with the tired old political mantras which haven’t got Palestinians anywhere in 25 years. Read more about why we must Recognise Palestine.
We need people to get active all around the country. We need to lobby all the delegates to conference – unions, parliamentarians and the rank and file.
In the last 3 years APAN has met with countless ALP politicians – there are many in the ALP who know that Israeli policies are entrenching the Occupation and real action is needed now to stop the ongoing Oppression. But we need a boost to get this policy change locked in.
Supporting Palestinian Recognition is not counter to Israel’s right to exist within secure borders. It is an investment in the rights for both Israel and Palestine to live with justice within internationally recognised and secure borders.
Together I think we can win this!