National Security

Labor's Palestine pivot

April 12, 2024

Friday 12 April 2024
Peter Kohn
Australian Jewish News

Rubenstein said despite Wong's words about Hamas having  no future role in Gaza, "there is no doubt that many Palestinians would  see any such recognition in the near future as a major national achievement  made possible by Hamas's wave of barbaric mass violence." He also  described recognition as "a huge disincentive for the Palestinian  Authority to undertake the root and branch reforms Senator Wong acknowledges  it needs before it could also take over Gaza's governance".
 Noting Australia's recognition would be out of step with allies, the US,  Canada and the UK, Australian Jewish Association CEO Robert Gregory stated,  "It is morally corrupt to react to the largest massacre of Jews since  the Holocaust by rewarding the murderers who carried out the atrocity."  Coalition frontbenchers condemned the government's latest twist. Shadow  Foreign Minister Simon Birmingham said, "It is downright dangerous to  reward such barbaric conduct with a fast track to recognition of statehood.
 To give the greatest chance for a sustainable ceasefire that leads to  prospects of stability and security, Labor should instead be applying maximum  pressure on Hamas to immediately and unconditionally release all hostages and  surrender all terrorist capabilities." Victorian Liberal Senator James  Paterson noted, "The Albanese government is proposing to walk away from  decades of bipartisan policy on Israel by unilaterally recognising a  Palestinian state before any peace process and while Hamas still holds  Israelis hostage and controls parts of Gaza. In their wildest dreams Hamas  could not have imagined their slaughter of Jews on October 7 would be  rewarded this handsomely by a Western democracy." "A win for the  terrorists" is how Shadow Finance Minister Jane Hume, speaking on  Seven's Sunrise yesterday, described it. "Hamas is still harbouring  terrorists, it's still hiding hostages in among civilian infrastructure and  civilians themselves, using them as human shields.
 The idea that we reward this kind of behaviour by prematurely offering them  statehood I think is a significant blow to Jewish Australians." Casting  the Foreign Minister as "a parochial and doctrinaire member of the  Socialist left", former Labor MP for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby said,  "She knows because of teals holding a dozen Liberal seats there will be  no change of government at the next Australian election so her policy  extremism will have no [electoral] effect."

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