Matthew Coote, ALP candidate for Goldstein

As the ALP candidate for Goldstein at the upcoming federal election I support the ALP position on Israel and Palestine.

That is:

“Labor supports 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 addition to the above, there is this on Israel & Palestine from the ALP National Platform confirmed at the 47th National Conference 2015 (I attended as an observer):

“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.

RECOGNISES in government Labor retained its commitment to two states for two peoples in the Middle East and specifically

  • Did not block enhanced Palestinian status in the General Assembly;
  • Restated the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is occupied territory;
  • 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;
  • Held that the settlements are illegal under international law.

RECOGNISES that any resolution will be based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, a timeframe to end Israeli occupation, demilitarization of Palestinian territory, agreement on a solution to Palestinian refugee issues, and resolution of the issue of Jerusalem’s final status.

RECOGNISES that settlement building by Israel in the Occupied Territories that may undermine a two-state solution is a roadblock to peace. Labor calls on Israel to cease all such settlement expansion to support renewed negotiations toward peace.

REJECTS the boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

CONDEMNS the comments of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during the recent elections where he ruled out a Palestinian state and further condemns his appeals to race during the campaign.

RECOGNISES a 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.

RECOGNISES the special circumstances of the Palestinian people, their desire for respect, and the achievement of their legitimate aspiration to live in independence in a state of their own. This is a cause Labor is committed to.

If however there is no progress in the next round of the peace process a future Labor government will 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.”

On personal level, I am proud that ALP support for the State of Israel has been long-standing and constant.

I am also a proud supporter of the Australia-Israel Labor Dialogue and its Mission “to promote and foster dialogue and fraternal links between the Australian and Israeli Labor Parties.”

As a progressive, I note:

  • the role of the Labour movement in both Australia and Israel;
  • the important role of women in Israel which currently makes it the most gender equal country in the Middle East (with more work to do);
  • laws in Israel that protect freedom of speech and the press;
  • the long-standing protection of the LGBTI community in Israel  – a protection currently not found many other countries in Middle East or under ‘Islamic State’; and
  • the role of Israel as a modern technological innovative country.

As a local in Goldstein, I am also proud to have friends from Melbourne’s vibrant and peaceful Jewish community.

I deplore anti-Semitism in all forms.

With all this mind, I do not commit to your ‘pledge’.

Having said that, I hope you consider voting for me as the ALP candidate at the upcoming federal election. I am a local  resident who understands the importance of an accessible and quality education in Australia. I am also an advocate for protecting our environment and meeting the challenge of climate change. I am a strong supporter of arts and culture. I believe in protecting and improving Australia’s health system at every level. I believe in the rights and job security for workers.

I will be working hard to give Goldstein locals a real choice at the upcoming federal election.

All the best,

Matthew Coote

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