Gareth W R Smith, Palestine Liberation Centre
Five members of Byron Friends of Palestine visited Justine Elliot to discuss whether the ALP would endorse public condemnation of Israel’s brutal settler colonialism, support an end to defence cooperation and impose economic sanctions.
Justine’s response to every issue was to emphasise the two state solution. This is effectively dead given the massive settlement building, the systematic ethnic cleansing now taking place in Sheik Jarrah and Silwan and the avowed objective of Naftali Bennett, Israel’s new prime minister, to annex large parts of Palestinian territory. Under his watch there will be no Palestinian state, which he refers to as ‘suicide’ for Israel.
About the only policy difference on Palestine between the coalition and the ALP is the ALP’s annual conference resolution calling on a future ALP government to recognise the state of Palestine. This is hardly revolutionary as 138 out of 193 member states of the UN have already done so!
In stark contrast to the coalition and the ALP stands the Greens Senator, Janet Rice, who states, ‘The Greens oppose any violence, whether that be airstrikes or rockets, especially that which impacts innocent civilians. But we cannot ignore the asymmetry of power or that this cycle of violence will not end until the root causes of injustice are addressed. It will not stop until the occupation ends – we must end the evictions, the illegal settlements, the demolitions and the oppression’.
On receiving the Jerusalem Prize from the Zionist Federation of Australia Mr Morrison said that Israel was in his heart. In what part of your anatomy, Prime Minister, does Palestine reside?