MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS Senator the Hon. Bob Carr
ALP BRINGS HOPE TO PALESTINE
December 7, 2012
Foreign Minister Bob Carr again defended the Gillard Government’s decision to not oppose increased status to the Palestinian people at the United Nations (UN).
Senator Carr was speaking to Richard Glover on ABC Radio yesterday when he said Australia’s decision to abstain on the UN vote sent a message to Israel on settlement activity.
Senator Carr said it also sent a message of hope to moderate Palestinians on the West Bank.
“According to the UN, some 39 per cent of the West Bank is now given over to settlements and associated road and security infrastructure for those settlements,” Senator Carr said.
“Settlement numbers in the West Bank are now at half a million.
“There won’t be an end to the ruinous cycle of violence between Palestinians and Israelis without a separate Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel.
“Settlements complicate and may one day render impossible the two-state solution without which you don’t have peace in the Middle East.”
Senator Carr said Tony Abbott’s Coalition has rejected support for Palestine and a two-state solution.
“Tony Abbott’s supporters have criticised the Labor Government’s decision with extremist language,” Senator Carr said.
“The Liberal Party is attempting to stir up hate and strife because Australia under Labor has declared it is not opposing a Palestinian state at the UN.
“It is clear the Liberals are now opposed to a Palestinian state.
“This is a reflection of Tony Abbott’s extremism.
“The Labor party has decided to send a message of peace to both sides of the conflict and a message of hope to Palestinians that the world is listening to their legitimate aspirations for self-determination.”