Pressure is mounting on the Albanese government to recognise Palestine as a state. Following a resolution moved by Penny Wong, this became ALP party policy in 2021, and it will almost certainly be reaffirmed at this year’s party conference in August. Former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans has written a powerful defence of the policy, which has been assailed, predictably, by the Israel lobby.
Support for Israel comes from the peak bodies of the Australian Jewish community, in particular the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, perhaps the most successful lobby group for a foreign country in our history. It is very active in organising tours of Israel for politicians and journalists, and in winning support from influential non-Jews on both sides of politics. Recently, an explicitly right-wing organisation, the Australian Jewish Association, has emerged with close links to prominent local conservatives. Sadly, these groups have greater influence than such progressive Jewish organisations as Plus61J and the Australian Jewish Democratic Society.