TONY BURKE - MOVING THE 2015 LABOR NATIONAL CONFERENCE RESOLUTION ON PALESTINE - SUNDAY, 26 JULY 2015

MOVING THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY’S NATIONAL CONFERENCE RESOLUTION ON PALESTINE

SUNDAY, 26 JULY 2015 

Thanks very much Mark and delegates.

Wendy Turner from Queensland will be seconding this motion.

This motion and any motion on this area of the world, you’ll never get a set of words that everybody is happy with.

That’s the nature of it.

It’s also the case that some people will ague ‘why should Australia or Labor be spending any time on this issue?’

It is the case that any Australian Government has to in an international forum, arrive at a position on these issues.

It’s important that when Australia takes those positions, it does so in a way that speaks the truth about the situation there.

This resolution will disappoint anybody who believes that negotiations should go on forever.

This will also disappoint anyone who wants unilateral recognition for Palestine tomorrow.

But what this resolution says is the settlement activity, which was described when we were in Government as illegal, is something which cannot continue.

That we have to have a situation where ideally we would want it through a negated outcome, and we continue to call for that.

But we are all aware of the comments that were made by Benjamin Netanyahu during the Israeli election campaign.

We are all aware of the claim that there would never be a Palestinian state under his watch.

And we are aware of the appeals to race during that campaign.

So we have to arrive at a what a Labor Government would do.

This makes clear that Labor’s position would be it is not acceptable for anyone to delay the negotiations forever.

And as the rest of the world starts to move on this issue, Australia would move with them.

The challenges here and the complexity here raises extraordinary levels of passion across this conference floor, as it should.

This Party believes that Israel has a right to exist and exist safely.

This Party also believes that Palestinians have a right to a state where they can exist safely too.

This Party is opposed to violence from Hamas.

This Party believes that Hamas needs to recognise the State of Israel’s right to exist.

And in the same way, all the Governing parties in the Government of Israel need to recognise the right of Palestine to exist.

I respect across this room how emotional and how direct families ties affect people on this issue.

Everybody can point to different points in history to wrongdoing by different people with some atrocious examples.

But Australia under Labor today makes a commitment that it has to be resolved.

We as a nation, unlike our opponents who argue things like East Jerusalem is not occupied, we are a Party that will speak the truth about the situation.