Carr drives NSW Labor away from Israel

SHADOW foreign affairs spokesperson Tanya Plibersek has confirmed that federal Labor’s position on Palestinian statehood remains unchanged after the party’s NSW branch passed a motion to “consult like-minded nations towards recognition of the Palestinian state” should there not be progress towards a two-state ­solution.

The motion, which was moved by former foreign minister Bob Carr at Labor’s NSW state conference last weekend, also applauded the former federal Labor government for abstaining in the United Nations vote to recognise Palestine as a non-member state, for defining East Jerusalem as occupied territory and for branding settlements illegal.

“NSW Labor recognises a Middle East peace will only be won with the establishment of a Palestinian state. The state of Palestine should be based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps and with security guarantees for itself and Israel,” it states.

“If, however, there is no progress to a two-state solution, and Israel continues to build and expand settlements, a future Labor government will consult like-minded nations towards recognition of the Palestinian state,” the motion says.

Despite the state party’s adoption of the motion, which The AJN understands did not pass unanimously, Plibersek told The AJN that the status quo remains at federal level.

“Federal Labor’s position hasn’t changed,” she said.

“We are committed to supporting an enduring and just two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

“Of course, that means we support the right of Israel to live in peace within secure borders internationally recognised and agreed by the parties, and the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to also live in peace and security within their own state.”

She added: “Labor’s position has long been that settlements on the West Bank are not in line with international law.”

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies president Yair Miller said: “While Bob Carr’s motion was very disappointing, we are pleased that Tanya Plibersek has made it clear that the resolution has not changed federal Labor policy.”