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Wednesday, 6 May 2015
T BRAMSTON - Luke Foley’s MPs must meet Palestinians
NSW Labor opposition leader Luke Foley has been seen as a moderate in the party on Middle East policy.Source: News Corp Australia
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley has directed all state Labor MPs travelling to Israel with the benefit of financial or in-kind assistance to spend equal time meeting with Palestinians in Gaza or on the West Bank.
Mr Foley’s unprecedented intervention — widely seen within Labor as an attempt to ensure MPs are not overly influenced by the Israel lobby — comes as the party navigates a fractious debate on Middle East policy at the national conference in July.
Mr Foley has been seen as a moderate in the party on Middle East policy and says his new travel requirement for Labor MPs is to ensure they gain a balanced perspective on issues that divide the region. “I support a two-state solution,” he toldThe Australian. “I am a member of the Parliamentary Friends of Israel and the Parliamentary Friends of Palestine, and will continue to be so.
“Arabic community leaders put this argument to me about trips to Israel and their desire that parliamentarians get a first-hand view of the life of Palestinians when they are in the region.
“In the spirit of a two-state solution, I thought that was a perfectly reasonable argument.”
The new rules will require MPs who are assisted in any way with travel to Israel to spend an equivalent amount of time meeting Palestinians outside of Israel on the same visit.
Mr Foley’s intervention comes as Labor faces a huge push from in its ranks to strengthen its support for Palestinians in response to what many perceive as an increasingly belligerent stand by Israel, accentuated by the re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu’s centre-right government last month.
Many want stronger pressure applied to Israel to agree on a peace process to work towards a two-state solution.
Local Labor branches, particularly in NSW, have passed resolutions condemning Israel and expressing strong support for the Palestinian people.
A motion passed by the NSW Labor state conference in July last year said that if moves towards a two-state solution remained stalled then a Labor government should consider providing recognition to a Palestinian state regardless of Israel’s view.
This is stridently opposed by some in the Victorian Labor Right faction.
Mr Foley said he understood the concerns many inside the party had over the spread of Israeli settlements, the bellicose statements of some Israeli politicians and the lack of progress towards peace.
“Many social democratic friends of Israel are disappointed with numerous decisions of the Netanyahu government,” he said.
“Netanyahu’s actions in the final days of the recent election campaign have dismayed many people.”
Mr Foley also urged NSW Premier Mike Baird to introduce the same travel requirements for Coalition MPs. It was essential MPs were exposed to different views on this issue.
“I am perfectly relaxed about Labor MPs going to Israel, but I think Palestinians make a good case that they would like to show those MPs the experiences their people are going through at the same time,” he said.
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Let us hope that Foley's MPs give as much time to the NSW electors as they di to their overseas trips. And let us hope that the also spend as much time with the Israelis as the Palestinians both overseas and in NSW
Its time for "Team Australia" to come down on Foley, the trade unions and his like - we used to have "Traitor" laws in Australia! Mainstream Australia is tired of the socialist politics and tired of the divisive, hysterical and veiled threats that the demographic we "cant" talk about has brought with it. Australia needs to reset and fix our immigration policy because we are losing our way, particularly when just a couple of seats that are over subscribed by middle eastern muslims can influence our politics like this. Its absurd and needs to be fixed or we have lost control of our country. Whats the plan from those like Foley that support this ? Another annex for the PLO in Australia ?
Has the ALP forgotten that Palestinians live not only in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but also in a number of Arab countries, especially Syria, Jordan and Lebanon? Does it only care about the "plight" of Palestinians who are affected by Israeli security policies, while ignoring what is happening to Palestinians in neighboring Arab countries?
What about the daily killings of Palestinians in Syria and the fact that Palestinians living in Lebanon and other Arab countries are subjected to Apartheid and discriminatory laws?
More than 2800 Palestinians have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the civil war there four years ago. More than 27,000 Palestinians have fled Syria to different European countries in the past four years. The Yarmouk camp in Syria has been without electricity for more than 730 days and without water for 229 days.
83 Palestinians died of torture in Syrian prison during March this year. Three of the victims were women, including 22-year-old Nadin Abu Salah, who was pregnant when she died.
What does Luke Foley want from his Ministers? Does he want them to actually see that Hamas has not done as much for it's people as Israel has or achieved anything at all except war for it's people with Israel. I don't think that the Palestinian people want to be seen as victims Luke Foley. International politics is not the domain of State politics.
So for what purpose do Opposition MPs need to go to the Middle East? Carpet shopping, or perhaps trying to resolve world peace?
Foley is a fool. Slow news day? He should be focussing on trying to get back into power. Dabbling in Israel will not get him any votes. Try working on improving workplace relations or the price of bread!!
NSW labor politicians travelling to overseas countries on taxpayers money. Why should this be allowed by the voting public ? State politics should be just about NSW , and not be part of a global question of Israel v Muslims . Let the Federal Govt. work this one out. Labor is certainly a huge can of worms ....focus on working people and make sure they have jobs that they , the workers ...white and blue collar , can work in. I would apply this to the Coalition parties as well . It is a gross waste of state taxpayers monies to be used this way.
sounds more like Foley buckling under the likes of Milne and Rhiannon etc, Labor didn't get the Green vote it thought it would so now they are buttering them up, then of course Foley is trying to influence the LNP govt to -follow the -leader- huh, like that's gonna happen, I also wonder if when these -govt funded visits go to Palestine will they hear of the facts PALISTINIANS ARE THE ONLY THIRD GENERATION REFUGEES ON EARTH, and then there the question of who funds these generations of refugees, well , it is noted that 1/3 OF ALL WORLD AID MONEYS GOES TO PLALISTINE GENERATIOAL REFUGEES, the lies and innuendos that go on over the ME is disgusting, the on eyed UN directives against Israel is disgusting, if only people would place themselves in the place of Israelis public under fire from missiles from Hamas or Fatah and then think again of what they thought of these, currently there are dozens of wars going on around Israel, ALL INSTIGATED BY MUSLIMS. AND THEY ALL -BLAME ISRAEL, if that is not proof of the nonsense of the western lefty anti-Semitic media and political ideologues, WHAT IS.
A representative of a political party founded by toilers who made things and grew stuff visiting Israel seems eminently sensible: after all, Israel has by all accounts made the desert bloom and is in the top league for manufacturing and innovation. But why would anyone be required to visit Palestine - especially a State government representative - unless there were other more sinister considerations.
Thankful for small mercies. This no hoper could well have been the premier if the NSW voters hadn't rejected the chaos and incompetence they are having to endure in QLD and VIC. You people in those states prepare for another downgrade of your credit rating, terrorist organizations abroad should be the last of your concerns.
Will the Labor party be placing the same requirements on MPs traveling to any other country where there is a conflict? This to me appears to be an unabashed attempt to gain Muslim votes whilst at the same time being inherently ainti-semetic
Ah once again we see the ALP version of democracy in action, lets not have any free thinkers or any one with a conscience in the ALP just do as you are told and follow the edict of the mighty leader. Sounds a bit like a one party state mentality to me.
Besides the fact that any trip to the ME by state politicians is a questionable use of taxpayers money - unless it was the shadow Ag Miinister investigating Israeli use of saline water for irrigation (very successful) or some like reason, I would hope the directive is equally balanced in the opposite - that is all Labor politicians who are travelling to palestine must spend equal time in Israel.
Why are state politicians travelling courtesy of the taxpayer to that part of the Middle East? If they are pushing pork products on behalf of their regional constituents I can tell them right now that it won't fly. What a joke this state gov't is. Run the State properly and don't waste the money of your tax-xpaying charges.
@Terence Yes, why are state opposition politicians travelling overseas? And why Is the Labor government instructing them to meet with a known terrorist supported political party? What do they expect to learn?
Someone please come up with a relatively polite term stronger than looney to describe this left of left nonesense. Regardless of the merit of state pollies travelling to the area, if one could be sure they would ask searching questions of the terrorist sponsored regime, some good might come from it - pigs might fly!
So here is labor promoting the interests of 2% of the electorate at the expense of the other 98%. Because their minority populations are significant in electoral terms for specific parliamentary seats. This is the long term divide and conquer political segmentation play that emanates from multiculturalism coming to fruition. This is how people lose control of their parliaments, then their identity and then their countries.
I had just started my comments when I saw that Rebecca had already put down what I had in mind. I can only add that Foley probably made this statement to please the Muslim community. Any state Labor MP should stay in NSW and do their deeds there.
why would state MP's be travelling to either place? Their business is state politics and has nothing to do with international relations, policies and diplomacy. They have got no business on such junkets and definitely operating outside of their job description.
If Labour is doing this it just indicates how many of the illegal arrivals that have now been settled in the community are Muslim and therefore must be wooed to vote for them - the precedent set by Keating with the Lebanese community in his electorate. I see this as more divisive than constructive. You never hear of Jewish leaders in Australia extolling our political parties to see their point of view on Israeli affairs.Yes, go and have a chat with Hamas - see how that goes with a two state solution. I am sure this little bunch can persuade them to change their annihilation of Israel policies!
I'm sorry but at what point in time since Federation where the individual states placed in a position to dictate foreign policy? Has the Labor Party gone completely mad or are we, as is more likely the case, finally seeing exactly how dysfunctional the Labor Party has become with a complete lack of leadership? This also posits the question of whether or not this kind of Labor Party policy is being funded when the requirement is being imposed only on taxpayer funded 'junkets' and, if so, is that not a breach of taxpayer funds being used to directly fund political party activities?
Hopefully Luke Foley will insist that all MP's will be required to spend equal amounts of time with Climate Science sceptics as they currently spent with Anthropogenic Global Warming Scientists in the spirit of MP's being exposed to different views.
Absolutely unreal. Labor promoting a terrorist Muslim Govt in Palestine. Which begs the question that if Labor get back in federally - what hope for Australia not being drawn into supporting Labor's terrorist mates? Any Australian political party that would openly - and proudly - stand with a terrorist Govt gets my lifelong distrust and loathing.
Hamas is the governing political party for Gaza and its charter states: "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." It's unsurprising the ALP wants to snuggle up to Hamas.
@Gabrielle Yep. All about votes in western Sydney. Labor has become an absolute disgrace. We would be in real trouble if they and their Green mates were again elected to office. Probably find Sydney being named as a twin city to Gaza or some such rubbish. Hollow people with no values.
This is so blatantly left wing and lame that it is cringeworthy to say the least.
Besides spending time with Palastinians to "equalise" relations, of what possible benefit will there be to the NSW state government ? Surely the purpose of these overseas visits are to enhance and build trade and gather new and innovative ideas for the purpose of building our states and country.
This is purely a political move designed to suck up for votes, and has no real value. This appears to be the way lnp wants to lead us into the future. What a disgrace.
@Frankie I hope you're not as confused as you appear to be. Luke Foley is the leader of the NSW opposition, not the Premier. Your final sentence castigates the "lnp" for leading us into a future you describe as a disgrace. Surely you meant to say ALP. Apart from that I agree with the sentiments of your letter.
When was the last time any Muslim Arab attempted to make peace? There's no country besides Israel in the Middle East that even vaguely attempts to live in peace, there's constant sectarian violence, political, clan or tribal violence, violence out of envy, spite, you name it.
Foley's desperately trying to curry favour with inner west lefties that would otherwise vote green, and shore up Islamic support which must be somewhat tenuous given Labor's pro gay marriage stance.
As a staunch Israel supporter, I do feel I should point out that the Arab League actually put forward a rather good plan some years ago which would have required all its member countries to recognise Israel. It was rejected on basis of its proposal regarding the right of return for Palestinians which is absolutely off the list for Israel, however it would have made a good starting point.