Labour refuses to recognise Palestine – even after 104 years


PSNA supporters are livid Labour is refusing to recognise the state of Palestine a full 104 years after the first Palestinian calls for an independent state.

“It’s a disgraceful decision, both unprincipled and cowardly” says PSNA National Chair John Minto.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson confirmed this decision today answering questions here.

Q – ??? about the Palestinian Representative in Australia to present his credentials here. That was announced formally

Grant Robertson – There is a formal Foreign Policy part of the manifesto. We’re sticking with the long standing Bi-Partisan approach to a 2 state solution in the Middle East and what we are doing is working with the Palestinian representative on closer discussions but that doesn’t make a change to a formal recognition. It just means that we open that dialogue up.

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Q – So no formal recognition?

GR – Not until there is a state to recognise. But we have long stood for a 2 state solution and what we have said is that we want to have more open and regular dialogue with Palestinian Representatives.

Yesterday Labour implied in their manifesto release that they would recognise the state of Palestine although the wording was unclear and ambiguous. What is clear now is that the slippery wording was deliberately meant to mean all things to all people.

The disingenuous wording in the Labour manifesto says:

Labour is committed to an enduring and just two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the right of Israel to live in peace within secure borders internationally recognised and agreed by the parties, and reflecting the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to also live in peace and security within their own state.

A re-elected Labour government will:

    • Invite the Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to present their credentials as anAmbassador to New Zealand.

138 other countries have recognised Palestine as a state and haven’t had the “problem” of recognition that Grant Robertson has manufactured for Labour.

“It seems Labour has once more buckled to pressure from a tiny pro-Israel lobby group within the party. They are allowing these anti-Palestinian racists to veto any meaningful steps to support the Palestinian struggle for human rights.”

“It’s an indelible stain on Labour’s integrity”

Background to the 104 years:

After 1918 when the Ottoman Empire collapsed at the end of the First World War, each of the countries of that empire gained independence – except Palestine. The first Palestine National Congress was held in 1919 and called for independence from Britain which held the League of Nations mandate for Palestine. Britain however refused independence and in the 104 years since, western countries, including New Zealand, have colluded with Britain, then Israel and the US, to deny a Palestinian state or even equal rights for Palestinians who are citizens of Israel. Western countries turned a blind eye to Israel’s ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1947 – 49 and look the other way today as Palestinians continue to be driven out of their homes and off their land by Israeli settlers, backed up by the Israeli military.


  1. My reading of history is that a state of Palestine has never existed. The territory identified as Palestine passed from the Ottoman Empire to the British under the Palestinian Mandate, then after Israel came into existence those parts of Palestine not seized by Israel were taken by Jordan (the West Bank) and Egypt (Gaza).
    The call for a ‘two-state solution’ had validity before the 1967 war. It is absurd now. Israel is the effective ruler of all the West Bank, and suzerain of Gaza, an enclosed ghetto.
    New Zealand must recognise that the Palestinian Authority is a paper tiger, denounce Israel as an apartheid state, and demand the establishment of a unitary Israel-Palestine state with equal rights for all its inhabitants.

    • Interesting comments John and I agree with your last para everyone with half a brain knows that the PA are useless and beat up their own people.

      One State with a vote for every adult regardless of race. The Labour party just one more nail in their coffin.

      I am interested that you say when reading history that the State of Palestine has never existed. When researching my family tree I found lots of bits about ancestors fighting in Palestine. This is from historical documents.

      • I’m not disputing the existence of Palestine, of course.
        However, I think pretending that a ‘state’ of Palestine exists now (and wanting the New Zealand Government to recognise it), then talking about a ‘two-state solution’, is absurd and plays into the hands of the militant Zionist state of Israel, which has total control over the West Bank, and will happily ‘negotiate’ a two-state solution with a paper-tiger PA for the next century while moving ever more Zionist settlers on to ever more bits of West Bank land. You get the picture?
        Stop the pretence, recognise the facts on the ground, and demand the end of apartheid and the foundation of one unified Israel-Palestine where all have equal rights.

    • John Trezise, “My reading of history is that a state of Palestine has never existed.” Geez I wonder why the Crusaders from europe mentioned Palestine in the 9th century or the Romans before them, or the Egyptians before them written in their hieroglyphs???? It may have not been a state as we know today but this region goes beyond biblical times.

      • Of course Palestine exists. I confine myself to the period since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and argue that a Palestinian ‘state’ has never existed, and that to pretend it does is to pretend that there is some hope of a two-state solution. There isn’t.

        • Agreed. Historically the name Palestine was used to describe a region. There is not, not has there ever been a nation-state of any kind called Palestine. The situation is analogous to Asia. Asia is a region, not a state, but has states within it.
          I also agree with your view that pretending there was/is one is a road to nowhere. Accusing Israel of occupying Palestinian territory goes nowhere because there is no such thing as Palestinian territory because there is no such state called Palestine. Israel plays this card with vigour. A new approach is needed.

  2. Exactly how do you ‘recognise’ a non-existent geo-political entity? The usual inconvenient truths ignored, of course: the Palestinians refuse to recognise Israel’s right to exist, they have rejected their own state 8 times, the PA pays terrorists to murder Jews. Also, witness Mahmoud Abbas’s latest rant to Fatah leaders early September, which has been globally condemned for its vile antisemitism.

    • Mahmoud Abbas’s, is a puppet for apartheid Israel where the fuck do you get your BS narrative? When he stands and makes speeches publicly he has an army of bodyguards surrounding his traitorous fat arse because his people hate his guts and rightfully so.

  3. Labour and National are both sides of the same arse cheeks when speaking about Israel/Palestine. And the 2 state solutions is a myth perpetrated by the West and the only supposed democracy in the M.E. The Zionist are never going to give back the lands they stole from the indigenous palestinians.

    Free Palestine

  4. The worse things get in NZ the less people care about off shore issues that don’t directly affect them.
    You can add that to Labours failings.

  5. Hi John. Thanks for the article. I would like to add that Labour does not support West Papuan independence, which is arguably under an even more brutal occupation by Indonesia.

    • Yes I have seen John at the flag raising in Otautahi in December for the West Papuans, he is well aware of the issue. I don’t think we should be talking about which is an even more brutal occupation, they are both appalling and our government should speak out about both and do something.

    • GR. Do you recognise Kosovo? Arrrh, kinda.


      GR. Well we kinda have to because the EU, NATO and the US want us too.

      So why not recognise Palestine?

      GR. Good question. I’ll take that to cabinet if we get re-elected.

  6. A “defacto ambassador” – head of a delegation to Oz, us and the Pacific gets invited to arrive here.

    He’s based in Oz who have not recognised Palestine as a state.

    It appears to be bi-partisan policy on both sides of the Tasman to play along with the two state outcome as agreed in the UN back in 1947. One side wanted it all and lost and the side prepared to share occupied the other. Then agreed to the Oslo Accord, and offered the PA most of the West Bank as a state with East Jerusalem as a capital and got rejected. Then faced intifada. So Israel applied disengagement. Followed by rockets out of Gaza. Abbas allowed Hamas (does not accept the Oslo Accord setting up the PA) to compete in the elections and then Fatah got beaten and there have not been elections there since.

    If you want my advice Mr Minto – get Hamas to agree to UN occupation of Gaza for civil society nation building. Only via return to the disengagement period pre rocket fire is this going to resolve. And along with that have UN supervised PA elections.

  7. Meh, NZ doesn’t recognise Crimea as being the democratically elected (not evcen disputed) now part of Russia either…. because it doesn’t align with the interests of our US puppet masters.

  8. Once upon a time we served Britain, now we serve the USA, thus depending on how important a given issue is to our US master, we will serve their interests…and it does not matter which party is in office. Cowardly, is one of the kinder labels one can heap on our nation, granted most of us, thanks to the mainstream media, are none the wiser as far as this tragic situation is concerned.

  9. The possibility of a 2-State solution died decades ago. Israel is a ONE STATE REALITY.
    The current regime is the most rightwing, openly violent, ever. They are openly attacking Palestinians: including Israel-Palestinians (Israel prefers to say Israeli-Arabs) ..including children going to school, including Muslims at prayer in the 3rd most holy Mosque in the Muslim world, including farmers, fishermen, including shopkeepers in Hebron..while the outside world looks the other way.
    The apartheid, Zionist Israeli regime should be shunned, openly condemned , pressured to reform.
    ie non-violent pressure: Boycott Divest Sanction
    Only outside pressure will cause the ONE STATE REALITY named ISRAEL, to reform.

    I am aware of 2 very brave Israeli journalists:Gideon Levy and Amira Hass who write for Haaretz They’ve both been here in NZ, in the past.,,so has the Israeli human rights activist Jeff Halper who openly calls for a one democratic state with equal rights for all..the only hope for Israel.

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