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Albanese faces a tough call as UN prepares to vote on full Palestine membership

Australia’s government will have to decide where it officially stands on Palestinian statehood. The shape of the final text and the view of allies will be key factors in the decision.
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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will soon have to decide which way Australia votes in a UN resolution on Palestinian statehood (AAP Image/Esther Linder).

Published: 7 May 2024

Last updated: 7 May 2024

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese remains tight-lipped about whether his government will support upgrading Palestine’s status to full UN member state when the general assembly votes this Friday.

It’s not surprising that he would be treading carefully: the last time an Australian government considered Palestine’s UN status, it triggered an almighty cabinet and backbench revolt.

The Palestinian-backed draft resolution says the general assembly “determines that the State of Palestine is, in its judgment, a peace-loving State within the meaning of Article 4 of the Charter, is able and willing to carry out the obligations of the Charter, and should therefore be admitted to membership in the United Nations”.

At present, diplomats representing the Palestinian Authority (the Fatah-dominated rival to Hamas) can participate in all UN proceedings but do not have voting rights.

In Canberra on Monday, Albanese reiterated the government’s overarching position to support a two-state solution that enabled Israel “to continue to exist within secure borders, but the right of Palestinians to have justice as well, to have self-determination and also to be able to live in security, peace and prosperity”.

Australia may have some political cover from US allies such as South Korea, which have made clear that they see voting for UN member status as a gesture to try to kickstart negotiations and is not the same as bilaterally recognising Palestine as a state.

However, the US and Israel will argue that granting UN member status while Hamas remains in a position of power in Gaza is ill-timed and a “reward for terrorism”.


Why Anthony Albanese will face a tough call when the UN votes on full membership for Palestine (Guardian)


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The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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