Australian Labor party passes resolution to recognize ‘Palestine’

Australia’s opposition Labor party has called for the recognition of “Palestine,” saying the issue is “an important priority.” 

By World Israel News Staff

Australia’s Labor party, headed by Bill Shorten, has passed a resolution urging the government to “recognize Palestine as a state,” the website reported Tuesday.

This follows Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recognition of “west Jerusalem” as the capital of Israel, which he announced on Saturday.

Australia stopped short of moving its embassy to the capital of Jerusalem, although earlier this year, the prime minister said he was open to the idea.

Canberra “will recognize east Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital only after a settlement has been reached on a two-state solution,” Morrison stated on Saturday.

The response from Jerusalem to Morrison’s statement was lukewarm. Israel’s foreign ministry described Canberra’s recognition as “a step in the right direction.” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, however, said it was “surprising,” adding that “a united Jerusalem, not just a part of it, is our eternal capital.”

Meanwhile, Australia’s opposition party has taken it a step further, calling for recognition of the state of “Palestine” notwithstanding the lack of a peace settlement.

According to the report, “an amendment moved by [Shadow] Foreign Minister Penny Wong, and promptly passed, urged Labor to deal with the issue as ‘an important priority’ if it wins government next year.”

“Labor is a friend of the Israelis. I’m a friend of the Israelis. Labor is a friend of the Palestinians. I’m a friend of the Palestinians,” said Wong, current Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

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“We recognize that a just two-state solution will require recognizing the right of both the Palestinian and Israeli people to live peacefully,” she said.

The final decision on the matter will be taken by Cabinet, the report said.