Sean O’Connor, Liberal candidate for Sydney

Party positions on the Question of Palestine
September 2013 Federal Election, Sydney electorate, New South Wales

Thank you for your email regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The Coalition is firmly committed to a two-state solution, which addresses the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people as well as ensuring the security of Israel and the right of its people to live free from the fear of violence.

The Coalition is disappointed that the Government abstained from voting at the United Nations on the matter of the Palestinian territories.

The Coalition’s concern was that the drive for greater recognition at the United Nations was an attempt by Palestinian leaders to enable them to bring action against Israel through the international courts.

We believed that an upgrade in status through the UN would not have improved the prospects of resolving the conflict. The path to peace is for the Palestinian leadership to officially recognise Israel’s right to exist, and for both sides to return to the negotiating table and to renounce all forms of violence including missile, mortar and other attacks.

The Coalition will continue to support Australia’s Palestinian aid program. Australia has invested $148.9 million for development assistance in the Palestinian Territories over the last three years. Foreign aid to Palestine is directed to the basic needs of Palestinian refugees, supporting civil society programs to improve livelihoods for rural communities, and improving the governance capacity of the Palestinian Authority.

Thank you for writing to me on this important issue.

Sean O’Connor.