Palestinian statehood is key to Middle East peace: Penny Wong

Headshot of Katina Curtis
Katina Curtis
The Nightly
A failure over three decades to make progress on a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine is causing international frustration, she says.
A failure over three decades to make progress on a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine is causing international frustration, she says. Credit: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images

Foreign Minister Penny Wong says Palestinian statehood is the key to ending conflict in the Middle East and stabilising Israel’s relationship with its neighbours in the region.

A failure over three decades to make progress on a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine is causing international frustration, she says.

European leaders, including from France and Spain, and British Foreign Minister David Cameron have suggested their countries could officially recognise Palestine as a state after a ceasefire in the war as a way of building momentum towards a two-state solution.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Lord Cameron said in January doing so would give Palestinians a point where they could see “irreversible progress to a two-state solution” and the UK would consider whether this would also help make the process towards statehood irreversible.

Senator Wong referenced this in a speech to an ANU National Security College conference on Tuesday night.

While she stopped short of committing Australia to recognising a Palestinian state, she said Australia’s diplomacy and decisions would focus on advancing a lasting peace in the Middle East.

“There are always those who claim recognition is rewarding an enemy. This is wrong,” she said.

“The simple truth is that a secure and prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians will only come with a two-state solution.

“Recognising a Palestinian state — one that can only exist side by side with a secure Israel — doesn’t just offer the Palestinian people an opportunity to realise their aspirations. It also strengthens the forces for peace and undermines extremism. It undermines Hamas, Iran and Iran’s other destructive proxies in the region.”

Senator Wong said Israel’s ongoing security depended on a two-state solution because that was the key to it being recognised by the countries of its region, such as Saudi Arabia.

As well, she says there is clearly no role for Hamas in a Palestinian state because it was “a terrorist organisation which has the explicit intent of the destruction of the state of Israel and the Jewish people”.

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he had made Australia’s concern about Israel’s planned ground invasion of Rafah, in the southern end of Gaza, clear to leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We’re very concerned about the humanitarian consequences, as are like-minded countries, including the United States,” Mr Albanese said.

Australia has also appointed former Defence Force chief Mark Binskin to monitor Israel’s investigation into the airstrikes that killed seven aid workers last week including Australian woman Zomi Frankcom.

Comments

Latest Edition

The front page of The Nightly for 24-06-2024

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 24 June 202424 June 2024

What a climate change. Albo takes punt on this once pro-nuclear Liberal to lead his renewable energy battle.