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Zionist Council of Victoria President Sam Tatarka’s Statement on the ALP Resolution on Israel & Palestine

“The compromises that are self-evident in the Israel/Palestine motion passed at the Australian Labor Party (ALP) National Conference this past weekend are indicative of the negative influence that the persistent and wilful falsehoods spread by Bob Carr, Gareth Evans and other one-eyed misanthropes within the party are having on the rank and file membership”, President of the Zionist Council of Victoria, Sam Tatarka said.

The preamble to the resolution contains language that is to be welcomed as it calls for the same direct negotiations between the parties for a two-state solution that Israel has been seeking for the more than 20 years since the Oslo accords were signed and the so called “peace process” begun. It also unequivocally rejects the hateful BDS campaign against Israel and calls for the cessation of rocket attacks by Hamas on Israel. Of particular note, the resolution reaffirms Labor’s support for the “right of Israel to live in peace within secure borders internationally recognised and agreed by the parties…”

Nevertheless, there are several aspects of the resolution that are deeply disturbing in that they perpetuate the Evans/Carr myth that it is Israel alone that must change its behaviour in order to achieve a lasting peace with its neighbours. Without in any way dealing with Palestinian intransigence, or the dysfunctional relationship between the terrorist government of Hamas in Gaza and the illegitimate and undemocratic rule of Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, the resolution identifies settlement building as the roadblock to peace and calls on Israel to cease all “settlement expansion” as well as the “occupation” of Jerusalem and fails to mention the circumstances of the Jewish people and their desire for respect and recognition in their homeland as an independent people.

The threat that a future ALP government will “announce conditions and timelines for the Australian recognition of a Palestinian state” if there is no progress in peace negotiations “puts the onus on Israel alone and effectively endorses and encourages Palestinian unilateralism whilst simultaneously disincentivising any move from the Palestinians to reconsider their intransigence on the crucial roadblocks that they have placed on the path to independence and statehood, such as the nonsensical claim to a “right of return,” Mr Tatarka said.

Ironically and contrary to the intention of those who would trumpet this resolution as a triumph for the Palestinian camp, it is to be hoped that the resolution’s call to a future Labor government to “discuss” joining those countries who have already jumped onto the pro-Palestinian band wagon will instead lead to a far more balanced and nuanced approach to the complexities involved in resolving the issues between Israel and the Palestinians, rather than the simplistic and unrealistic call for unilateralism as a means of resolution.