The Hon. SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE (22:19): In my final adjournment speech, I take great pride in speaking on justice for the Palestinian people. I am honoured that I have been in a small way a part of NSW Labor and national Labor conferences that have over the years called on Labor in government to recognise the State of Palestine. The most recent unanimous reaffirmation of Labor's support was at the 2021 national conference, which enshrined it in the party's policy platform. The motion called for a Federal Labor Government to recognise Palestine as a State and to support United Nations Security Council Resolution 1397, which was adopted in 2002.

I look forward to a further reaffirmation of that position passing at our upcoming NSW Labor conference next month and to the Albanese Labor Government to make good on Labor's promise to the Arab Australian community sooner rather than later. Since the partition of Palestine in 1948, many in Labor have supported the recognition of Palestine established on the principle of a permanent two-State solution based on the 1967 borders as the realisation of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people. Australia's 1948 historic position was put by then foreign Minister Dr H. V. Evatt, as chairman of the UN Special Committee on Palestine, who authorised the partition of Palestine into two States. Upon the basis of that decision, the State of Israel was created.

Whitlam's 1972 policy on Palestine was even‑handed. It built upon Dr Evatt's 1948 two-State solution. This was followed by the Hawke Government's 1983 acknowledgement of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. Soon after was the Keating Government's continued support for the basic principle of a two-State solution, a position re-endorsed by the Rudd and Gillard Labor governments. However, it was with the Rudd and Gillard governments that Labor in government began to take that extra step in balancing Labor's positive position vis-a-vis Palestine, specifically under the Carr foreign ministry. In the campaign for recognition for Palestine, Prime Minister Rudd told the ABC RadioPM program:

… the time has come for Australia to join countries like Sweden and the Holy See in formally recognising the Palestinian State. It is time for Australia to draw a line in the sand on this matter, as 137 States already have.

The late former Prime Minister Bob Hawke also joined Kevin Rudd, Gareth Evans and Bob Carr in calling on Australia to recognise Palestine as a State. In a 2017Financial Review opinion piece, Hawke called on the Australian Government to recognise the State of Palestine:

Australia was there at the very beginning. The least we can do now, in these most challenging of times, is to do what 137 other nations have already done—grant diplomatic recognition to the State of Palestine.

This significant call to recognise Palestine was echoed in a landmark speech by the Hon. Bob Carr on 30 July 2017 at the NSW Labor State conference, by driving home the point that it is time to recognise Palestine. Australia must act now, before Israel gobbles up the remaining Palestinian territories. It may be too late, given the rate of settlements taking place on Palestinian land.

I am proud to be a member of a party that supports peace and justice for the Palestinian people. The recognition of a Palestinian State is also a rebuke to those who continue to cover up Israel's apartheid practices, its human rights abuses, its ongoing illegal occupation of Palestinian land, its ongoing hostilities and the subjugation of the Palestinian people, the illegal settlements as well as the blockade of the Gaza Strip, the collective punishment, the ever-deepening humanitarian crises and the daily suffering of the Palestinian people. I am proud to have been part of this journey in support of justice for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, an indigenous people who have never ceded rights to their land. No matter the oppression, no matter the subjugation, no matter the occupation, no matter the dehumanisation or the attempted eradication of Palestinian culture and rights, justice will prevail and Palestine will be once again.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT (The Hon. Wes Fang): The question is that this House do now adjourn.

Motion agreed to.

The House adjourned at 22:23 until Tuesday 11 October 2022 at 14:30.



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