Party positions on the Question of Palestine
September 2013 Federal Election, Hasluck electorate, Western Australia
Thanks for writing to me about the issue of Palestine, Israel and the Middle East. As a candidate for the seat of Hasluck, I support the views of the Rudd Labor Government on the issue. I thought I’d send a few points that I think explain those views:
- The Rudd Labor Government strongly supports a negotiated two-state solution that allows a secure Israel to live side by side with an independent future Palestinian state. We welcome the fact that both sides have returned to direct negotiations.
- Leadership from the United States, particularly the Secretary of State John Kerry, has been crucial to bringing the two sides to the negotiating table.
- Prime Minister Netanyahu confirmed his government’s commitment to a peaceful two-state solution.
- President Abbas said the Palestinians were prepared to implement all their commitments and obligations.
- Federal Labor has consistently called on both sides to refrain from action that undermines prospects for negotiations
- Israeli settlement activity, which threatens the realisation of a two-state solution.
- Palestinian leaders also need to prevent rocket attacks from Gaza and to avoid provocative unilateral actions in international forums.
- Federal Labor considers a negotiated two-state solution is the only way to realise a Palestinian state.
- The Labor Government’s decision to abstain on the 2012 Palestinian statehood resolution balanced Australia’s support for a future Palestinian state and our view that the only way to achieve the reality of statehood for the Palestinians is direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
- The Federal Labor Government has repeatedly called on Israel to stop settlement activity, noting that its settlements are illegal under international law, including amounting to a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and that settlement activity undermines the prospects for peace.
- Australia’s aid program will provide $300 million in assistance to the Palestinian people over five years (2011-2016), including $120 million in direct budget support to the Palestinian Authority.
- Australia provides practical assistance to build stronger civil institutions and to prepare for eventual statehood.
I hope that illuminates my position and is broadly responsive to the points you raised. Of course, if I have the honour of representing the people in the Hasluck electorate, I will look forward to continuing to study the issue and discussing with you and other Australians.