The New South Wales Labor conference has urged the next federal Labor government to recognise Palestine in a development likely to flow through to the party’s national conference next July.
The motion carried by delegates in Sydney on Sunday night affirmed the two-state solution, and it recognised Israel and Palestine’s right to exist “within secure and recognised borders” before urging the next Labor government to recognise Palestine.
The references to the two-state solution and the right to exist secure state borders were added during backroom negotiations in the lead-up to the vote.
Separate pro-Palestine motions also passed Labor conferences in Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory over the weekend.
The former NSW premier and federal foreign affairs minister, Bob Carr, has been spearheading the internal effort to push Labor towards the diplomatic recognition of Palestine.
Carr told the conference if Gough Whitlam was still alive, and on the floor on Sunday, he would be urging delegates to recognise Palestine. He told delegates to go back to their branches and report the passage of the motion with “pride”.
The proposal passed with only a couple of voices heard in opposition.
Carr later told Guardian Australia the only way to save the two-state solution was for countries to give diplomatic recognition to Palestine.
He said the positions adopted at the state conferences would influence the outcome at the party’s national conference and likely lead to further strengthening of the national policy position.
“I think you can say these conferences point to a consensus between the left and the NSW right factions,” Car said.
While every increment of change in Labor’s stance on Israel triggers a flurry of lobbying, and an internal battle – Labor has been moving in the direction of adopting a more pro-Palestinian stance since 2012.
The last ALP national conference in July 2015 passed the strongest resolution yet seen at the national…