Nicky Cohen, Nick Xenophon Team, Senate Candidate for Tasmania

As someone who has travelled to the Middle East on many occasions, and who has strong ties to this region, I can assure you that it is my fervent wish that a peaceful solution be found to this problem. I fully support the idea of a separate, autonomous Palestinian state, although I still cannot fathom just how this would work (on so many different levels), or what it would comprise. For example, do we include both Gaza and the West Bank and, if so, what do we do about the fact that these two territories are separated by nothing less than the State of Israel? But that is just one issue among a plethora of others that would need to be resolved.

I would also argue that it is not sufficient to “support the equal rights of Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace within internationally recognised and secure borders”, mainly because I don’t think that will ever be achievable as long as groups like Hamas refuse to even recognise Israel’s right to exist as a nation. Why should Israel care what the international community thinks, or recognises, if it’s most proximate neighbour is calling for its destruction?

The Palestinian issue is immensely complex. That isn’t a “fob-off”; it’s a fact. Personally, I am not a fan of Israel’s Likud party, or its leadership. Far from it.  But I am even less of a fan of Hamas, and its leaders. I am attaching an article which I found very interesting that appeared in the Times of Israel in July 2014. If nothing else, it demonstrated quite clearly why this issue, in my opinion, is so much more complex than a binary response, such as that which is called for by your pledge, can address.

In short, as much as I would dearly love to see an end to occupation, and for peace to come to this exhausted region, I would not be prepared to take your pledge, as it’s currently drafted.

Kind regards,

Nicky

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