The ECAJ welcomes the following statement from seven organisations and Dr Yadu Singh on behalf of the Indian community in Australia concerning NSW Labor’s planned motion to recognise Palestine at its conference later this month.
Statement re NSW Labor motion on Palestine
14 July, 2017
We welcome, and are delighted to see, the deep friendship that has now developed between Israel and India, which has been highlighted by the recent visit to Israel of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the first such visit by a serving Indian Prime Minister. The two countries are now strategic allies which co-operate in the fields of cyber-security, defence, anti-terrorism, high tech development, agriculture and water management. Australia too enjoys excellent relations with both India and Israel.
We believe that the push from some quarters in Australia for recognition of a Palestinian State other than in the context of a comprehensive peace agreement with Israel, may for the most part be well-intended but is fundamentally misconceived. This development threatens to introduce the hatreds and bitterness of foreign conflicts into Australia and damage the peaceful and tolerant fabric of Australian society.
Pressuring only one side to make unilateral concessions, without reciprocal initiatives from the other party will only serve to discourage both peoples against making the hard compromises that will be essential for a just and durable outcome.
Given what has thus far been an irreconcilable philosophical and political division between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which each control different parts of the territory claimed by the Palestinians, there is currently no Palestinian entity which meets the essential legal and diplomatic criteria of a State.
Recognition of a State of Palestine other than as an outcome of a comprehensive peace agreement with Israel would do nothing to resolve the core issues of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, in particular Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements, security and water. The complex arrangements required to address these core issues will require co-operation between the parties via detailed agreements, not grandiloquent, symbolic statements of recognition by outside parties.
Recognition of a State of Palestine at the present time, and in the absence of any peace agreement with Israel, would therefore not only undermine the international rule of law but would also lay the foundations for opening a new phase of the Palestinians’ conflict with Israel, rather than for resolving the conflict. This would be contrary to the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians.
In view of this we support a call to initiate and foster peace initiatives based on mutual acceptance and respect for both Palestine and Israel, else humankind would not have learned anything from history.
Council of Indian Australians
Friends of India
Hindu Council of Australia
The India Foundation
United Indian Associations
& Dr Yadu Singh