This Brief deals with the changes that have occurred since the May 2022 federal election as they affect relations with Palestine and Israel. It also deals with recent violent clashes in the West Bank and Gaza which have highlighted the deterioration of the status of the Palestinian people in their own land. For more extensive background notes, see our Watching Brief in December 2020 (website www.quakersaustralia.info/concerns/peace).Australia’s Policy
Over many years Australia has adopted the principle of a two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict, but in recent years the Coalition Government has taken a much firmer pro-Israel position, refusing to condemn moves to expand settlements or to oppose the rejection of Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. The Labor Party took a strong pro-Palestine position in its official policy platform, and after its success at the 2022 federal election moved to implement some changes. As a result, the official approach has become the following:
• To acknowledge at the United Nations that the Israeli policy of settlements is illegal under international law.
• To recognise Palestine as a state, and Palestinian rights to self-determination.
• To increase aid by restoring contributions to UNRWA to $20m a year ad allocating an extra $2.9m bilateral funding to Palestine.
• To support the International Criminal Court’s right to investigate crimes in Palestine, and encourage the International Court of Justice to make a ruling on the illegality of Israel’s Occupation.
• To reverse the Coalition’s decision that Jerusalem is the exclusive ‘property’ of Israel.
To read or download the complete brief, click here: WB23-5 Australia and Palestine