Photo: PIC
Australian members of Parliament call on their government to recognize Palestine as a state.(Photo: PIC)

Sydney, 10 Shafar 1436/3 December 2014 (MINA) – Australian Labor and Liberal lawmakers have called on their government to recognize Palestine as a state.

The Australian parliamentary Friends of Palestine group as saying that the international recognition is the only way to end a stalemate in the peace process and bring peace to the Middle East, The Palestinian Information Center (PIC) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

Labor MP Maria Vamvakinou tabled a proposal in parliament on Monday calling on the government to recognize and back Palestine, in response to the UN international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people, which fell on Saturday.

“On this day, we need to acknowledge and understand that the prospects for a two-state solution are increasingly dissipating and we are left with very few options,” Vamvakinou said as she was tabling her motion.

“We are, potentially, embarking on a road map that leads to nowhere. Such a prospect will have horrendous implications not only for the Palestinians and the Israelis, but for the international community. Essentially, there will be no peace for any of us.”

Vamvakinou, who co-chairs the Australian parliamentary Friends of Palestine group, said international recognition was the only way to end the deadlock.

“Australia and indeed this parliament must now recognize the state of Palestine, and Australia must vote yes at the UN for Palestinian statehood,” Vamvakinou said.

For his part, Liberal MP Craig Laundy, co-convener of Friends of Palestine, spoke for the motion.

“The people of Palestine, for the last almost 60 years, have not had a fair go. Imagine if you will, coming home this afternoon to your home, going to put your key in the door and it did not fit,” he said.

“You knock on the door. Someone you do not know opens the door and they are in your home. That is what happened here, that is what happened all those years ago. And a people have been displaced and fighting for an identity ever since.”

He also accused lobbyists of hijacking the debate in parliament. “The things we discuss in this chamber should not be influenced by the lobby. They should be influenced by what is right.”

On November 18, Spanish lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a non-binding resolution calling on their government to recognize a Palestinian state. Britain and Ireland also passed similar non-binding motions.

On October 30, the Swedish government went a step further and officially recognized Palestine as a state.

On November 29, 2012, the 193-member UN General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to a non-member observer state.(T/P008/P3)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)