International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
Today, the international community celebrated the United Nations Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. 75 years since the UN General Assembly’s formal endorsement of Partition Resolution 181 sanctioned the establishment of two sovereign states, Israel and Palestine, the State of Palestine has been formally recognised by 139 countries, has been upgraded to an observer non-member State at the UN, and has ratified over 50 international treaties, strengthening Palestine’s presence on the international stage. In spite of these developments, the inalienable right to self-determination and statehood of the Palestinian people is still being denied.
Palestine meets all of the legal requirements for statehood under the 1933 Montevideo Convention: a permanent population, defined (pre-1967) borders, an effectively functioning government, and a proven capacity to enter relations with other states. In this context, it should be noted that the binding resolution made by the Australian Labour Party during their National Conference in 2018 and reaffirmed in 2021 has already called on the Labour government to formally recognise the State of Palestine. The Australian public and civil society have expressed clear, widespread support, including in a 2022 survey in which over half of Australians agreed that Palestine should be recognised as an independent state, and only 9% opposing the idea.
For decades, bilateral negotiations between Israel and Palestine have failed to deliver any solid outcomes, during which time Israel’s prolonged occupation has only become further entrenched and the two-state solution has slipped further and further away. To save the two-state solution in the absence of any genuine peace process, a new approach is needed. While the two parties remain starkly unequal in negotiating power, the unjust status quo of occupation will continue indefinitely without any hope for a just peace. For peace talks to be effective and productive, the position of Palestine should be strengthened so that Israel and Palestine are on equal diplomatic footing. Recognition of the State of Palestine is a significant step towards equal negotiations, and is therefore an investment in a just, sustainable peace.
Australia’s reversal of its recognition of West Jerusalem was a warmly welcomed step in the right direction, demonstrating Australia’s commitment to international law and good international citizenship. Delivering on its promise by officially recognising the State of Palestine is the next step. Bilateral negotiations have proven ineffective, and the status quo must not continue to be upheld. It is time for Australia to act, to show leadership, and recognise the State of Palestine without further delay.
For more information, please contact the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific: ph. (02) 6286 9193.