Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (Liberal Party) on Thursday hinted that Australia would have opposed the anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution, thus breaking with the US and New Zealand on Israeli settlements in the 1967 liberated territories, The Australian reported.
Bishop spoke in response to former FM Bob Carr (Labor Party) statement that Donald Trump might allow Israel to annex Judea and Samaria. The Australian Labor party, which has been out of government since 2013, has been debating its position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Bishop said the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (Liberal) is “firmly committed to a two-state solution,” but, nevertheless, had Australia been a member of the Security Council, it would not have supported last Friday’s resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements.”
“In voting at the UN, the Coalition government has consistently not supported one-sided resolutions targeting Israel,” Bishop said.
New Zealand co-sponsored the resolution, and the US could have killed it with a nay vote.
Former FM Carr, a senior Labor Party politician, said Trump’s election was likely to “unleash Netanyahu to approve a rash of new settlements and even annex the West Bank […] that would destroy a two-state solution.” He added: “If that happened, nobody would be getting up at a [Labor] conference to shield a Trump-Netanyahu axis from the strongest criticism.”
Bill Shorten, the leader of the Australian Labor Party and the current leader of the opposition in Parliament, last week visited Israel, and met with PM Netanyahu, later tweeting that he is “a good friend of Australia.” His party members have criticized him for spending only a few hours in meetings with PA officials.
Labor is committed to a two-state solution, and its official policy states that “settlement building by Israel in the occupied territories that may undermine a two-state solution is a roadblock to peace.”
An email circulating among party members, sent by the Queensland Labor Friends of Palestine, called on Labor members “to entrench the recognition of Palestine as federal Labor policy before the next federal election,” according to The Australian. But it appears that in the Trump era, Labor leader Shorten realizes this attitude would keep his party in the opposition for many years to come – much like this other Labor party we know…