The New South Wales (NSW) branch of Australia’s Labor party voted to recognize the state of “Palestine” amid a larger push for Palestinian statehood recognition on the federal level.
The Palestinian statehood motion was affirmed Sunday by NSW Labor party leaders, led by former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, who called the move a “historic shift” and urged the broader Australian Labor party to adopt the position.
“It would have been hard to imagine this happening three years ago, but it’s driven by the growth of settlements and the resistance of most of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s cabinet to the very concept of a Palestinian state,” Carr said, Australia’s Fairfax Media reported.
Following the NSW Labor vote, Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten, head of the Labor party, reiterated his support for the party’s long-held support for a two-state solution.
“There’s two issues, one is the legitimate aspirations, and I stress legitimate aspirations of Palestinians to have their own state and I do support that, but also the legitimate aspirations of the people of Israel to live in secure borders,” he said, Australia’s ABC News reported.
“If you support a two-state solution, ultimately that includes recognition of Palestine,” Shorten added.
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry condemned NSW Labor’s move, saying in a statement, “If acted upon, this would open the door to a grave weakening of Australia’s traditional bipartisan consensus in favor of, and the [Australian Labor party’s] commitment to, a just and peaceful resolution of the conflict.”