Australian PM who backed Israel is ousted by Labor-led coalition

Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese supports Palestinian statehood.

By David Hellerman, United With Israel

Australia’s center-left opposition Labor party toppled the conservative government after almost a decade in power and support for Israel.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded to Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese, whose party supports Palestinian statehood.

During the campaign leading up to Saturday’s vote, Albanese told the Australian Jewish News that a resolution in the party’s 2018 platform calling for an international conference to recognize Palestinian statehood still stands.

Albanese stressed to the AJN he supports the two-state solution and opposes the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

In response to an AJN question why Labor leaders didn’t condemned the boycott of the Sydney Festival in February, Albanese said, “When a campaign’s sole purpose is to seek attention, sometimes the smartest thing to do is not to give it the attention it’s asking for.”

“Whenever asked about BDS I have been totally consistent in my opposition to it,” he added.

During Morrison’s term, Australia blacklisted Hezbollah in its entirety as a terror organization and is in the process of blacklisting Hamas.

Also during Morrison’s term, Australia adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism and  recognized western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Australian embassy however, remains in Tel Aviv.

Issues on the minds of Australian Jewish voters included rising antisemitism, BDS, improving Holocaust education, and boosting security funding for Jewish institutions, according to the AJN.

Labor has promised more financial assistance and a robust social safety net as Australia grapples with the highest inflation since 2001 and soaring housing prices.

The party also plans to increase minimum wages, and on the foreign policy front, it proposed to establish a Pacific defense school to train neighboring armies in response to China’s potential military presence on the Solomon Islands on Australia’s doorstep.

It also wants to tackle climate change with a more ambitious 43 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.

Associated Press contributed to this report.