Flat White

Just whose Palestine would Labor recognise?

8 January 2019

3:09 PM

8 January 2019

3:09 PM

How can some leading Australian politicians be so misguided and so wrong-headed as to call for the recognition of a Palestine state, as Senator Penny Wong did at the recent ALP National Conference?

“Fatah and Hamas have reached a new level of mutual loathing. At times, it even seems as if Fatah and Hamas hate each other more than they hate Israel,” Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute, has written this week.

He has continued: “Who is Israel supposed to make peace with? With the discredited 83-year-old Mahmoud Abbas, who will never be able to win the backing of a majority of his people for any peace agreement with Israel? Or with Hamas, which forever informs the world that it will never make peace with Israel because it cannot accept the presence of non-Muslims on what it perceives to be Muslim-owned land?”


The immature and undercooked notion that Australia recognising Palestine as a state will serve the purposes of peace and the well being of the poor Palestinians – who are more abused by their leaders than by any outside entity – is a shallow soup of fake compassion, simmering with political opportunism. Recognising reality is the first thing Wong mentions as the motivation for the motion, and the last thing it actually does.

Toameh points out that “Mahmoud Abbas, the Hamas leaders correctly argue, is not a rightful or legitimate president. If Abbas were to sign a deal with Israel, people could come along later and say that he lacked the legal authority to do so; they would be right.”

So whose Palestine would a Labor government recognise? To which leader would the formal letter of recognition be addressed?

“In order for any peace process to move forward, the Palestinians first need to stop attacking each other. Then, they need to come up with new leaders who actually give a damn about their people,” Toameh adds. Damn right. Australia would be better advised to recognise this reality and live with it.

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