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British Parliament recognizes Palestine
#1
A historic moment, but also a very curious one. The Labour Party "whipped" its MP's to vote in favour of recognition. Israel won't be happy, I think.

Quote:Palestine vote: MPs take historic decision to recognise Palestinian state

[Image: 1-Palestine-Reuters.jpg]

Voting by 274 to 12, a majority of 262, MPs on all sides urged the Government to 'recognise the state of Palestine'

OLIVER WRIGHT [Image: plus.png]

Monday 13 October 2014

Parliament took the historic step tonight of voting unilaterally to back the recognition of Palestinian statehood.

[B][B]Voting by 274 to 12, a majority of 262, MPs on all sides urged the Government to "recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel" as part of a "contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution".[/B][/B]
[B][B]Support for the motion, while symbolic, marks a significant change in the political landscape, following the failure of successive peace negotiations and the bitter conflict in Gaza over the summer.[/B][/B]
[B][B]Significantly Labour whipped its MPs to vote in favour of the resolution, raising the prospect that the party would defy Israel's wishes and recognise Palestine as a state should it come to power at the next election.[/B][/B]
[B][B]In pictures: Israel-Gaza protest in London[/B][/B]
[B][B] But even previously staunch supporters of Israel within the Conservative Party chose not to oppose the motion which was brought by the backbench Labour MP Grahame Morris.
Richard Ottaway, chairman of the powerful Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said he no longer felt he could vote to deny the Palestinians the right of recognition because of recent Israeli actions.
"I have been a friend of Israel long before I became a Tory," he told the House of Commons. "I have stood by Israel through thick and thin. But I realise now that Israel has been slowly drifting away from world international public opinion.
"The annexation of the 950 acres of the West Bank just a few months ago has outraged me more than anything else in my political life. Under normal circumstances I would oppose this motion. But such is my anger over the behaviour of Israel that I will not be opposing it. I have to say to the government of Israel if it is losing people like me it is going to be losing a lot people."
Alan Duncan, the former international development minister, said he would be supporting the motion. "Refusing Palestinian recognition is tantamount to giving Israel the right of veto," he said.
[Image: 6-Palestine-AFP.jpg]Palestinians are confronted by Israeli security forces in Jerusalem on Monday (AFP)
"Recognising Palestine is not about recognising a government. It is states that are recognised not governments. It is the recognition of the right to exist as a state it is not about endorsing a state that has to be in perfect working order. It is the principle of that recognition that this House should pass today."
But the former Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind disagreed and suggested such a move should not be adopted because it would be purely symbolic.
"For me the most important question is what practical benefit would passing this resolution make?" he asked. "It might make us feel good. But recognising a state should only happen when the territory in question has the basic requirements of a state. And through no fault of the Palestinians that is not true at the moment and it seems to me that the resolution before us is premature as we do not have a Palestinian government."
But Mr Morris, who secured the debate, said that Britain had "a unique historical connection and a moral responsibility to the people of both Israel and Palestine". He said: "In 1920 we undertook a sacred trust to guide Palestine to statehood and to independence. That was nearly a century ago and the Palestinian people are still yet to have their rights recognised.
[Image: 6-Rifkind-AFP.jpg]Former Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind said the move would be purely symbolic (AFP)
"This sacred trust is something we have neglected for far too long. But now we have a historic opportunity to atone for that neglect. We can take this small but historically important step." But the debate caused significant divisions within Labour. Several Shadow Cabinet members were unhappy at a decision by the shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander to impose a whip on the vote.
While MPs and members of the front bench were told that they could "stay away" from the Commons and abstain, they were instructed they could not vote against the motion as it represented party policy.
This is disputed by a number of senior pro-Israel Labour MPs who argue that the party could only back recognition as part of a negotiated settlement in the Middle East.
[/B][/B]


The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#2
About bloody time. But let's see what they do next. Words are cheap. And as far as I know it is non binding. But symbolically a huge step and, no, Israel will not be happy. Wonder what all those 'Friends of Israel' MPs of all parties will be doing now?
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#3
They'll still be scrabbling to get their "ex gratia" pay cheques... ::laughingdog::
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#4
Quote:Israel losing support in UK because of settlement building and Gaza offensive, ambassador warns

[Image: pg-1-israel-1-getty.jpg]

Former Tory minister also describes Israel's actions as akin to 'apartheid'

ALISTAIR DAWBER [Image: plus.png]

FOREIGN EDITOR

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Britain's ambassador to Israel has warned that the Jewish state is losing support in the UK, blaming the summer offensive in Gaza and increased settlement construction in the Occupied West Bank. His remarks came as a former Conservative minister described the situation in one Palestinian city as "apartheid".

[B][B]The ambassador, Matthew Gould, issued the warning hours after MPs backed a motion to recognise the state of Palestine, albeit in a non-binding vote. Speaking to Israel Radio, the ambassador said the vote in the Commons showed that public sentiment was moving away from Israel.[/B][/B]
[B][B]"Separate from the narrow question of recognition, I am concerned in the long run about the shift in public opinion in the UK and beyond towards Israel," he said. "Israel lost support after this summer's conflict, and after the series of announcements on settlements. This parliamentary vote is a sign of the way the wind is blowing, and will continue to blow without any progress towards peace."[/B][/B]
[B][B]A number of MPs who spoke in the House of Commons debate ahead of the vote on Monday evening explained that their position on the Israeli-Palestinian question had shifted, before voting in favour of the motion.[/B][/B]
[B][B]In pictures: Israel-Gaza conflict[/B][/B]
[B][B]1 of 18
  • [*=center][Image: web-gaza-4-getty.jpg]
    [*=center]
    [*=center]
    [*=center][B][B][B]Sir Alan Duncan, a former minister in the Department for International Development, used a speech to the Royal United Services Institute in London yesterday to attack the world's unwillingness to "rock the boat" by criticising Israel. He also said the situation in the West Bank city of Hebron, long a scene of violent and bitter confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians, could now be considered to be under a form of apartheid. "It is a poor reflection on the international community, and on the United States in particular, that Israel persists with the building of settlements largely because it believes that it can get away with doing so," he said.[/B][/B]
[/B][/B][/B]
[B][B]"Whatever their other arguments, whatever their deliberate attempts to divert attention from the issue, the continuing gradual annexation by Israel of its neighbour's land is an ever-deepening stain on the face of the globe.
"Occupation, annexation, illegality, negligence, complicity: this is a wicked cocktail which brings shame to the government of Israel. It would appear that on the West Bank the rule of international law has been shelved. One should not use the word apartheid' lightly, but as a description of Hebron it is both accurate and undeniable."
[Image: pg-1-israel-2-getty.jpg]A taxi drives by as Pro-Palestinian supporters position a giant banner calling for a recognised Palestinian State, in Parliament Square, London (Getty)
The government of Benjamin Netanyahu has increased settlement construction this year in the face of international condemnation. In September, Israel announced the construction of its biggest settlement in 30 years, drawing Palestinian condemnation and even a rebuke from the US. Almost 1,000 acres of land in the Etzion Jewish settlement bloc near Bethlehem were declared "state land, on the instructions of the political echelon" by the military-run Civil Administration.
Israel Radio said at the time that the step was taken in response to the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teenagers in the area in June.
If British MPs had hopes their vote on Monday would force a change of policy in the Holy Land, they were quickly dashed. In a statement issued soon after the vote, the Israeli embassy in London said that the result 274 in favour and 12 against was "troubling".
"Premature international recognition sends a troubling message to the Palestinian leadership that they can evade the tough choices that both sides have to make, and actually undermines the chances to reach a real peace. Recognition of a Palestinian state should be the result of a successful conclusion of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority."
Critics of the Israeli government's position would point out that several aborted peace process have failed to reach such a negotiated agreement. This view was echoed by a number of MPs on Monday evening.
[Image: pg-1-israel-3-getty.jpg]Palestinian men clear debris of homes destroyed during the 50-day conflict between Hamas militants and Israel, in Shejaiya neighbourhood, Gaza city (Getty)
Sir Edward Leigh, a Conservative and long-time supporter of Israel, said: "I know we will be accused of making a gesture today… Virtually everybody who has spoken not just lefties waving placards in Trafalgar square, but virtually every Conservative MP has said that now is the time to recognise the justice of the Palestinians' case."
The leader of the Israeli Labour Party, Isaac Herzog, said that the Commons vote represented "another resounding failure by Netanyahu", who has failed "to realise that the huge political storm is approaching".
Those on the far right of the Israeli political spectrum dismissed the Commons vote out of hand. Dani Dayan, a former chairman of the Yesha Council the body that represents Jewish settlers took to Twitter to attack the vote. "274 MPs go to bed with their politically correct conscience cleansed. 364 MPs stayed in bed refusing to play this silly game."
[/B][/B]
.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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