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British Parliament to vote on recognition of Palestinian state on Monday

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On Monday the United Kingdom will vote on recognizing the state of Palestine. The House of Commons’ symbolic motion is poised to pass the Parliament despite Britain’s history of refusing to approve previous and similar bids. When the UK government was faced with Palestine’s own plans to seek recognition from the United Nations in 2012, Britain abstained.

The bill’s backers from the Labour party have shored up votes from Liberal Democrats and Conservatives alike, making Monday a likely Palestinian victory. But the vote is coming at a cost.  The Independent is reporting inside of Britian’s Labour party, pro-Israel members of Parliament are “furious.” Still the measure more or less models what former Prime Minister Tony Blair has proposed through the Quartet. And the House of Commons bill is also being pushed by heavyweights from within the government.

The UK’s former consul-general to Jerusalem Vincent Fean has advocated that the UK should advance a two-state plan modeled after the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002—which called for a Palestinian state alongside an Israeli state on the June 1967 lines, and the division of Jerusalem in exchange for normalization of relations between the Arab World and Israel–by voting for statehood in the Parliament. Coincidentally in the West Bank, Fean is most known for causing uproar at Bir Zeit University outside of Ramallah. Two years ago the diplomat was scheduled to speak on campus when scores of students flooded the parking lot, pelting his car with stones. Nineteen school-goers were arrested. The clash was emblematic of the fact that sentiments of Palestinians towards their former colonial rulers are still tense–and no one from the British government has been invited to the university since.

But that background is exactly why Fean believes the UK should take a step on speeding up a Palestinian state.

“We are party to the history of this conflict – originators of the Balfour Declaration and holders of the Mandate for Palestine between 1920 and 1948,” wrote Fean in September when he staged the proposal in the British daily The Telegraph. “Under the Mandate, we took on a ‘sacred trust of civilisation’ to advance the welfare of the Palestinian people and guide them to independence,” he continued.

The UK broached the idea of acknowledging a Palestinian state by vote after Israel declared its largest settlement expansion yet at the close of summer. Just as the war between Israel and Gaza was cooling, Israeli officials announced tenders for settlement growth near Bethlehem. “Where we lead, Europe will follow – and there is urgency,” Fean wrote in his op-ed of the 1,000 acres of land Israel plans to build on nestled between the West Bank and Jerusalem. Israeli construction there compromises not only territorial continuity for a future Palestinian state, but access to Jerusalem in general.

“The combination of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank and the closure of Gaza means that time is not on our side if the two neighbourly states we seek are to be realized,” wrote Fean.

The move also sidelines Israel’s demand that any agreement can only be reached through negotiations and not by unilateral declarations of statehood, or the international communities’. The United States has consistently echoed that approach since the Palestinian Authority went to the United Nations in 2012 and upgraded its status to non-member observer.

The U.S. is cool on these initiatives. “We certainly support Palestinian statehood, but it can only come through a negotiated outcome, a resolution of final status issues and mutual recognitions by both parties,” said State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki last week when Sweden made headlines by stating that it intended to be the first European Union country to recognize the state of Palestine. The UK’s Prime Minister supports the U.S. stance. Indeed there is considerable daylight between David Cameron’s Conservative party and Labour, which is pushing the Palestinian state inside of the Parliament.

Cameron has asserted himself as a staunch, no-holds-barred Israel-backer. He’s kept quiet on the statehood debate in his home country thus far, but earlier this year in his first visit to Jerusalem as head of state he made clear his policy was lockstep with Israel. “Let me say to you very clearly,” he said to Knesset last March, “with me, you have a British Prime Minister whose belief in Israel is unbreakable.” Then, Cameron announced he made special arrangements for Israeli officials such as Tzipi Livni who were unable to travel to the UK out of fear of prosecution for crimes committed against Palestinians under Britain’s international jurisdiction laws. “When I became Prime Minister I legislated to change it. My country is open to you. And you are welcome to visit anytime,” he continued.

Conservative Friends of Israel, Western Europe’s AIPAC is organizing against the vote, and their ties to the current UK government run deep. The head of the Conservative party attended their conference last week and at the end of the year David Cameron will keynote one of their events.

 

Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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99 Responses

  1. HarryLaw on October 12, 2014, 12:14 pm

    In my opinion and quite extraordinarily George Galloway intends to abstain in Monday’s vote on recognizing Palestinian statehood. “I continue to support the only realistic solution, one democratic and secular state, called Israel-Palestine or Palestine-Israel.”
    “The proposed two-state solution is to all intents and purposes dead and is only used in order to provide Israel further breathing space to consolidate the illegal settlements and expand its land grab further.”
    “For these reasons, I am afraid I cannot support this motion and will abstain on Monday.”
    George Galloway, MP for Bradford West,
    I think George Galloway is wrong here, can he name one state or other institution at the UN who supports “a one state solution?” Can he name one political party in the world including in Palestine which supports a one state solution? I certainly cannot. As an idealistic solution it is attractive, but as a practical and legal first step it is very problematical. All those resolutions at the UN called for self determination of the Palestinian people or for Israel to end the occupation of Palestinian land, they did not call for a one state solution, far from it, they envisage two states living side by side, Israel and Palestine, with equal rights for minorities in both states. This outcome [far off as it seems to be] is the preferred choice of the majority in the world including the Palestinians. I think George Galloway’s abstention is completely wrong and self indulgent. He must remember he was never a revolutionary and I think quite rightly believes in reform or one step at a time. In other words the Palestinians need statehood first, then they can approach the ICC and ICJ and apply to join all the other 60 odd? UN Agencies, their membership of UNESCO and other recent agencies and conventions point the way forward, the recognition of that fact is what prompted the Swedish government to recognize the state of Palestine, just as I hope the UK parliament does on Monday. All this is not to say a one state solution is out of the question, only that the Israelis fear a one state scenario more than a two state one and it is because of that possibility, expulsion would top of Israels future agenda. In my opinion if the Palestinians could get a result at the ICC, [on population transfers] forcing the Israelis to stop settlement activity. Then without expansion the settlement would die a natural death. Galloway should think again, it may be a long time before the Palestinians achieve a victory on this scale.

    • Kay24 on October 12, 2014, 12:33 pm

      You are right, George Galloway is wrong here. He should even symbolically make a stand for the Palestinians, and give them the support for legitimacy, and a message to the world that they must be recognized. He must forget the nitty gritty here, and look to the message.
      We know that the puppet masters, will try every trick in the book to prevent (thwarting being the word) this from succeeding:
      “Officials in Israeli and British Labor parties trying to thwart vote on recognition of Palestine
      Letter written by MK Hilik Bar and disseminated by Labor’s Friends of Israel implores British MPs to oppose or abstain on Monday’s vote, saying that ‘unilateral moves play into the hands of Israel’s hard right.” Haaretz

      There will be plenty of arm twisting, threats, and bribes, unfortunately, the British MPs will say how high, just like our spineless congress does. I am however impressed by the few who can stand up and criticize the occupier, and you can find none of that caliber among our politicians.

    • Kathleen on October 13, 2014, 11:14 am

      Galloway rightfully pointing out the facts on the ground. That Israel has and continues to confiscate (steal) more internationally recognized Palestinian territory. That this persistent theft by Israel has demonstrated that they have no intention of supporting a two state solution. And of course they have absolutely no intention of allowing one state.

    • Misterioso on October 13, 2014, 1:53 pm

      In my view, one state is inevitable in the long run as it would be the most viable and advantageous for all concerned. However, for it to come about in a peaceful manner, i.e., mutual consent, it must be preceded by two states based on the 4 June 1967 borders per UNSC Resolution 242 with a joint capital in East Jerusalem. Needless to say, as stipulated in the Arab League’s 2002 Beirut Summit Peace Initiative, there must be a “just solution” for Palestinian refugees as well.

    • Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 5:25 pm

      Apparently Galloway did not vote because the resolution said it also recognizes the state of Israel, which he obviously does not.

      Never mind, it has all ended well for the Palestinians.

  2. HarryLaw on October 12, 2014, 12:17 pm

    In my opinion and quite extraordinarily George Galloway intends to abstain in Monday’s vote on recognizing Palestinian statehood. “I continue to support the only realistic solution, one democratic and secular state, called Israel-Palestine or Palestine-Israel.”
    “The proposed two-state solution is to all intents and purposes dead and is only used in order to provide Israel further breathing space to consolidate the illegal settlements and expand its land grab further.”
    “For these reasons, I am afraid I cannot support this motion and will abstain on Monday.”
    George Galloway, MP for Bradford West,
    I think George Galloway is wrong here, can he name one state or other institution at the UN who supports “a one state solution?” Can he name one political party in the world including in Palestine which supports a one state solution? I certainly cannot. As an idealistic solution it is attractive, but as a practical and legal first step it is very problematical. All those resolutions at the UN called for self determination of the Palestinian people or for Israel to end the occupation of Palestinian land, they did not call for a one state solution, far from it, they envisage two states living side by side, Israel and Palestine, with equal rights for minorities in both states. This outcome [far off as it seems to be] is the preferred choice of the majority in the world including the Palestinians. I think George Galloway’s abstention is completely wrong and self indulgent. He must remember he was never a revolutionary and I think quite rightly believes in reform or one step at a time. In other words the Palestinians need statehood first, then they can approach the ICC and ICJ and apply to join all the other 60 odd? UN Agencies, their membership of UNESCO and other recent agencies and conventions point the way forward, the recognition of that fact is what prompted the Swedish government to recognize the state of Palestine, just as I hope the UK parliament does on Monday. All this is not to say a one state solution is out of the question, only that the Israelis fear a one state scenario more than a two state one and it is because of that possibility, expulsion would top Israels future agenda. In my opinion if the Palestinians could get a result at the ICC, [on population transfers] forcing the Israelis to stop settlement activity. Then without expansion the settlement would die a natural death. Galloway should think again, it may be a long time before the Palestinians achieve a victory on this scale.

    • amigo on October 12, 2014, 2:21 pm

      “I think George Galloway is wrong here, can he name one state or other institution at the UN who supports “a one state solution?”Harry Law.

      That would be Israel as it does not support a 2ss .

      I do agree though , he should vote yes.Netanyahu will react in his usual way and steal more land and approve more illegal housing , thereby isolating Israel even further.

    • Abierno on October 13, 2014, 5:02 pm

      For Israel, the issue is not one state for all or two states. Both are an anathema. This country is founded on free land, free resources, cheap labor. Not surprisingly, when peace efforts are made Israel is most concerned about resources, particularly water and energy, and most defensive and immovable regarding borders or land. Obviously, any peace effort is going to have to deal with the thorny issues of the uncompensated land dispossessions as well as the uncompensated plundering of natural resources. I have yet to see any information in years of peace discussions that deal with any of these, despite these issues being areas wherein Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are most apart. Israeli assumption is that “might makes the right” as they continue to dispossess Palestinians in the West Bank and in Gaza . ( Realize that they have already contracted with international energy companies regarding Gaza’s share of the natural gas in the Mediterranean basin. )

      Netanyahu has populated the occupied areas with Israel’s most fanatic, violent citizens – reinforced their violent tendencies, armed them as citizen soldiers, educated their children to see Arabs, Palestinian and Israeli, as enemies and allowed them to aggress against the occupied – be they man, woman or child – with impunity. In the case of an international body decreeing the ’67 borders, the few reasonable would move if compensated but from the rest, the world would most probably see a massacre beyond that which most recently took place in Gaza. The only solution is an international protectorate for Palestine and Gaza,
      with boots on the ground to provide protection for the occupied, an option which is also an anathema for Netanyahu.

  3. Bumblebye on October 12, 2014, 12:23 pm

    17 reasons why Britain should recognise Palestine:
    http://www.leftfutures.org/2014/10/is-your-mp-voting-to-recognise-palestine-here-are-17-reasons-why-they-should/
    And tho I can’t do a link from it, there are two pieces on Sayeeda Warsi in today’s Observer, one of which deals with tomorrows debate – in which she claims the foreign office personnel are all for recognition!

    • bryan on October 13, 2014, 3:53 am

      17 perfectly good reasons for recognition – but this list totally omits the major reason of Britain’s responsibility for this sorry mess. Almost a century ago Britain cynically, unilaterally and prematurely set this ball rolling by issuing the Balfour Declaration, foolishly believing that it would strengthen the resolve of Russia and America to fight Germany, and contradicting our prior commitments to Arab allies. This was then compounded by the utterly cynical Mandate in which we convinced ourselves that Zionism could somehow enhance British imperial control of the Middle East, dressed up in absurd language about preparing Palestine for independence, whilst in reality we entrenched the Jewish Agency in the administration of the land and denied all Palestinian demands for national self-determination and representation. In 1947 we then announced we had had enough of our soldiers being murdered by Zionist terrorists, and dumped the problem on the infant UN, an organisation incapable of resisting the bribes and threats applied by wealthy plutocrats determined to achieve an unjust partition of the land. In 1956 we colluded in a war of naked aggression that aimed at conquest of Arab land and regime-change in the leading Arab state.

      Recognition of Palestine would be a very small step to make recompense for the follies of British intervention in the Middle East.

      • Misterioso on October 13, 2014, 1:54 pm

        Well and truly stated.

  4. Horizontal on October 12, 2014, 1:04 pm

    As HarryLaw posted above, there are those who look upon endorsing a two state solution as working against Palestinian best interests. I began to feel that way myself the more I thought about Britain’s upcoming vote, but after considering how far we want to be compared to where we are now, a loud and very public vote for Palestinian Statehood makes sense for many reasons (getting AIPAC’s knickers in a twist being only one of them).

    We’re talking about moving a moral compass here, and those opposing this measure are on the wrong side of history. Any action that highlights this shortcoming is to the good, in my opinion, as well as anything which shakes up this wretched status quo that only works to the benefit of the occupier.

    Leaders like Cameron and Obama are wrong on this issue; it’s about time they feel a bit of heat because of it.

  5. Amar on October 12, 2014, 3:33 pm

    The repercussions of a positive vote has potential to be very damaging to Israel. It can set the ball rolling for other Euro states to do the same (Sweden did so last week). Israels greatest fear imo is that more Americans may begin to question their countries position re Israel and other aspects of the conflict, ie, settlements, intl law and wonder why the hell their country continues to back what is essentially a rogue state while the rest of the world do not. If vote is in favor, Israels friends in msm will ensure this story is ignored or relegated to the back pages.

  6. Bornajoo on October 12, 2014, 3:58 pm

    I’m in London. I’ll be completely gutted, frustrated, angry and inconsolable if the vote is no. This is a hugely important and critical moment, the symbolic importance cannot be overstated. We started this whole mess and we need to take this first step to start rectifying one of the greatest wrongs in world history. If it comes down to one negative vote then Galloway will have a lot to answer for.

  7. MHughes976 on October 12, 2014, 4:26 pm

    The House of Commons does not conduct British diplomacy – but this vote would mean that a future Labour Government. which would be led by Ed Miliband, who would be our first Jewish-background (though atheist) PM since Disraeli, would recognise Palestine, which would cause questions to be raised even in the United States. It would be quite hard to portray the Miliband family as ‘anti-Semitic’.

    • bryan on October 13, 2014, 4:04 am

      Prime Minister Cameron claims a Jewish ancestry. As he told the Knesset in March of this year: “my Jewish ancestry is relatively limited but I do feel just some sense of connection. From the lexicon of my great, great grandfather Emile Levita, a Jewish man who came from Germany to Britain 150 years ago to the story of my forefather Elijah Levita who wrote what is thought to have been the first ever Yiddish novel.”

      See http://www.timesofisrael.com/full-text-of-british-pm-david-camerons-knesset-speech/

      • Misterioso on October 13, 2014, 1:58 pm

        To be brief, Cameron’s statement is ludicrous. Pure pandering to Britain’s Zionists.

  8. ckg on October 12, 2014, 4:50 pm

    There is no clear diplomatic path to either a one or two state solution. Israel and the US hold mostly face cards, while Palestine and the Left can’t agree on whether to bid spades or hearts. The best card we have is the ICC, and I think a yes vote will make it more likely that it can be played.

  9. just on October 12, 2014, 5:02 pm

    Simple question:

    What/who on earth can possibly be ‘hurt’ if a Palestinian state and Palestinians are RECOGNIZED?

    There’s so much wrong with not doing so!

  10. Bumblebye on October 12, 2014, 5:18 pm

    To watch online tomorrow:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/live/bbcparliament

    Hope it works across the pond.

    • Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 8:12 am

      Unfortunately, it does not. Only for UK viewers. :((

  11. HarryLaw on October 12, 2014, 5:30 pm

    Former Foreign Office Minister Lady Warsi who resigned recently said in a withering critique of British foreign policy “the government had abdicated responsibility for driving the peace process and its diplomatic channels with Israel counted “for nothing”.
    “There is a lack of political will and our moral compass is missing,” the former Foreign Office minister told the Observer. “There are no negotiations, there is no show in town. Somehow we have to breathe new life into these negotiations, and one of the ways we can do that is by recognising the state of Palestine.” http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/oct/11/warsi-cameron-recognise-palestine-state?guni=Keyword:news-grid%20main-1%20Main%20trailblock:Editable%20trailblock%20-%20news:Position3 Don’t know about breathing new life into further negotiations [flogging a dead horse would be more profitable]. But recognition of Palestine would be most helpful.

  12. James Canning on October 12, 2014, 7:27 pm

    Recognition of Palestine by Britain would be a good thing.

  13. bryan on October 13, 2014, 4:13 am

    “Cameron has asserted himself as a staunch, no-holds-barred Israel-backer.” Indeed he has, but while insisting he had no right to lecture the Israelis he did deliver a fine statement admonishing them on their rejection of peace:

    But people come to this Parliament from all over the world and talk about maps and population numbers and processes and deadlines. They tell you how to run your peace process. I will not do that. You know I want peace and a 2 state solution. You don’t need lectures from me about how to get there.‬

    ‪What I want to say is something different. What I want to say is this: Imagine what this land would be like if a 2 state solution was actually achieved.‬

    ‪Think of all the aspects of life that would change.‬

    ‪Israel’s relationships with the world. Its security its long-term prosperity and the quality of life for all its people.‬

    ‪On Israel’s relationships, imagine, as John Kerry put it: “mutual recognition of the nation state of the Palestinian people and the nation state of the Jewish people”‬

    ‪Let’s be clear what that means.‬

    ‪An end to the outrageous lectures on human rights that Israel receives at the United Nations from the likes of Iran and North Korea.‬

    ‪An end to the ridiculous situation where last year the United Nations General Assembly passed 3 times as many resolutions on Israel as on Syria, Iran and North Korea put together.‬

    ‪No more excuses for the 32 countries in the United Nations who refuse to recognise Israel.‬

    ‪And for the Arab League, how many of those States today yearn for a different relationship with Israel – which the peace agreement would enable them to deliver?‬

    ‪Think of the capitals in the Arab world where Israelis could travel, do business, and build a ‪future.‬‬

    ‪Imagine Israel – like any other democratic nation – finally treated fairly and normally by all.‬

    ‪On security, imagine a peace deal that would leave Israel more secure, not less secure.‬

    ‪Not a temporary deal, broken by Hamas firing rockets at you or Iranian proxies smuggling weapons through the Jordan Valley.‬

    ‪But a proper lasting peace that allows a strong moderate Palestinian government to end the fears of a failed state on Israel’s border.‬

    ‪A deal that means an end of all claims – and the end of all conflict.‬

    ‪Israelis and Palestinians no longer each other’s enemy, but actually working together to maintain security against those who would seek to harm us all.‬

    ‪On prosperity, the possibilities of peace are extraordinary.‬

    ‪This is a region where demographics are demanding 40 million jobs in the next decade, to keep pace with the rising expectations of young people.‬

    ‪A region where the thirst for higher education today will need to be met with the jobs of tomorrow.‬

    ‪So imagine the engine of Israel’s economy fully unleashed to work in the region – and to meet the needs that are common to all.‬

    ‪How to make the best use of land and technology to feed a rising population?‬

    ‪How to harness water resources that are so precious to all?‬

    ‪Imagine Israel’s technology working hand in glove with those making strides with renewables – securing the future needs of their peoples for a time when their economies are no longer so reliant on carbon.‬

    ‪Imagine the agreements ready to be signed off with every major trading bloc in the world.‬

    ‪Committees deliberating not on what products to stop from Israel – but on what products they can bring in.‬

    ‪Imagine too how this new future would feel.‬

    ‪Because this isn’t just about security and prosperity – as important as those are.‬

    ‪This is about justice for 2 peoples.‬

    ‪Dignity for the Jewish people and yes, dignity for the Palestinian people too.‬

    ‪Generations of Jewish and Palestinian children for once growing up in hope not fear.‬

    ‪Israel is a nation where around every corner there is a memorial and a reminder of those who fought to create a modern Israel from the human tragedies of the past.‬

    ‪But those sacrifices were not just to build a State that was physically secure.‬

    ‪They were to build a state that would fulfil its rightful moral position in a region where security, dignity and mutual respect would be the new watchwords.‬

    ‪For Israelis, a life free from the everyday fear of terror.‬

    ‪For the Palestinians, finally, the chance to live autonomously in a state of their own.‬

    ‪Imagine if you could look your children and grandchildren in the eye and know that your hope could become their reality.‬

    ‪These are the dividends of peace that I long for in Israel.‬”

    See http://www.timesofisrael.com/full-text-of-british-pm-david-camerons-knesset-speech/

    • Shmuel on October 13, 2014, 4:51 am

      Seems like the usual rubbish to me:

      1. Condition: recognition as nation state of the Jewish People.
      2. Israel singled out for “unfair” and “abnormal” treatment.
      3. Anti-Israel bias (particularly at the UN – for which the lack of peace serves as an “excuse”).
      4. Determining who will lead the Palestinians (“strong moderate Palestinian government”) – out of fear of a “failed state” on Israel’s borders.
      5. Condition: end of conflict.
      6. Start-up nation – Peres-style “new Middle East”.
      7. Vague chatter about “justice and dignity” (“yes, for the Palestinians too” – fancy that).
      8. Israeli victimhood – heroic sacrifices and “tragedies of the past” (Holocaust).
      9. Israel’s “rightful moral position”.
      10. Israelis need to be safe (“fear of terror”, security) – Palestinians need a state (but have no security needs or “fear of terror” to worry about).

      The same speech could have (and has) been made by Peres, Barak and even Netanyahu. It’s filled with excuses and enough “no-partner” escape clauses to ensure that Israel will never have to take a single significant step in the direction of “justice and dignity”.

      • bryan on October 13, 2014, 2:34 pm

        Of course Cameron is a sycophantic ar**h*le but it did seem to me that beneath the absurd rhetoric, massaging Israeli egos, there was an underlying and undeniable argument that embracing a two-state solution would be invaluable – of course if Israel continues to pursue its settlement project then only the one state solution will be viable.

      • Shmuel on October 13, 2014, 3:11 pm

        Of course Cameron is a sycophantic ar**h*le but it did seem to me that beneath the absurd rhetoric, massaging Israeli egos, there was an underlying and undeniable argument that embracing a two-state solution would be invaluable

        Embracing a two-state solution is meaningless in and of itself (as we have seen in tonight’s debate in the House of Commons). In including all of Netanyahu’s caveats, Cameron in effect excludes the possibility of ever achieving a viable two-state agreement.

    • amigo on October 13, 2014, 11:58 am

      “You don’t need lectures from me about how to get there.‬ ” bryan.

      Then you go ahead and do it anyway.You should be lecturing your leaders.They do not want a Two Sate solution.

      Read the Likud Charter.

      http://mondoweiss.net/2011/11/netanyahu%E2%80%99s-party-platform-flatly-rejects-establishment-of-palestinian-state

  14. Justpassingby on October 13, 2014, 6:13 am

    I wouldnt bet on recognition, the result will be great I assume :/

  15. Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 8:27 am

    So David Cameron is going to abstain from voting for recognition of Palestine. What a coward.
    They are all so eager to not irritate Israel. It will be obvious just who in the British Parliament is controlled by Israel, just like the US Congress.

    “British Prime Minister David Cameron will abstain from Monday’s vote in the U.K. parliament on the recognition of Palestine, his spokesman said.

    Even if lawmakers do vote in favor of the motion stating that the government should recognize it as a state, British foreign policy towards Palestine will not change, the spokesman told reporters on Monday.

    “I’ve been pretty clear about the government’s position and it won’t be changing,” Cameron’s spokesman said ahead of a debate due to take place later in the day.”

    Haaretz

  16. Marnie on October 13, 2014, 9:08 am

    Off topic but from RT today –
    Israel and Palestine Draft Joint Ebola Plan –

    “To draft a joint action plan to prevent Ebola, Israeli and Palestinian officials held a meeting over weekend, while Tel Aviv is introducing hospital drills and setting tighter border controls to curb the threat of the deadly virus.

    In a series of efforts to prevent the Ebola virus from spreading into Israel, COGAT, the Defense Ministry unit responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, announced that Israeli and Palestinian officials met to discuss an action plan.

    “During the meeting, updates were exchanged between the parties, and transfer of information was agreed upon by way of additional meetings to take place in order to further track the issue,” said COGAT.

    The discussion focused on a number of issues including special training in advanced epidemiology for Palestinian and Jordanian doctors, a source familiar with the matter told AFP.

    “There are contacts with the Israeli side regarding this within the context of WHO’s instructions on fighting this virus, which is a global task,” Assad Ramlawi of the Palestinian health ministry told AFP. “There are common crossings and we have contacts on this, nothing more or less.”

    I can’t help but wonder how many geniuses there were out of the 2200 Palestinians killed this past summer. Who knows if one of the men, women or little girls and boys could have had a cure for HIV, cancers, diabetes and untold diseases plaguing us. What a terrible tragedy.

    How convenient for the israelis to be presentd with a more credible excuse for their border belligerence. I’m sorry I can’t put a positive spin on this one. Will have to leave that up to the “regulars” (Yonah, Hopknee, JonEss, etc.)

  17. fayez chergui on October 13, 2014, 9:51 am

    To good to be true

  18. NickJOCW on October 13, 2014, 10:03 am

    I have never really understood this negotiating business. Israel should retire within its 1967 borders. This is certainly what the Palestinian BDS movement seeks to achieve. The only thing I can see for negotiation is an humane time scale for the removal of Israeli’s illegal settlers. Once that is achieved there is no reason why, over time, the two states should not enter into any number of agreements to their mutual interest and benefit. Anyway the debate starts in less than three hours so we’ll keep keep our fingers crossed.

  19. Kathleen on October 13, 2014, 11:18 am

    Who wants to place some bets that this news will not make it on the so called “liberal” outlet of MSNBC? Silence. Hell that so called liberal outlet has not even whispered about the aftermath in Gaza.

  20. amigo on October 13, 2014, 11:43 am

    I am watching the Parliamentary debate on BBC which seems to be mostly about the Ebola situation at the moment.I would not be surprised if this will be a way to put the Palestine debate on the back burner until it runs out of gas–pun intended.

    Does anyone know if there was a specific time /period set aside for a debate .The house sits from 3,30 pm to 10 pm. Wouldn,t be surprised either if it is set for 9 pm when most of the members are gone home or are sipping Pimm,s in the bar compliments of the British version of AIPAC ,(BIPAC).Presently there are less than 50 members sitting.There are some 650 members in the house.

  21. just on October 13, 2014, 12:45 pm

    Debate about to begin……

  22. justicewillprevail on October 13, 2014, 1:18 pm

    Here’s a nice graphic of the countries which have recognised Palestine so far. The European section will probably join the rest of the world in due course leaving the most predictable zionist appeasers alone.

    http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/here-are-all-the-countries-that-recognise-palestinian-statehood–xkVle9I-8e

  23. Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 1:53 pm

    Sir Gerald Kaufman’s speech was excellent. It is so nice to hear debate like this, unlike in our US Congress. No one ever hears moderation when it comes to the Palestine. AIPAC writes the scripts and the lemmings just say the same thing, in different ways. It was a good thing to hear MP’s refer to the Balfour Declaration and that it is still not upheld nearly 100 years later.

    Real debate.

  24. Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 2:14 pm

    The MP speaking right now seems to be controlled by you know who, angry and dismissing facts, he is getting a negative reaction by others. I must say most MPs were very positive towards a Palestinian recognition, and made excellent points.

    • Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 2:16 pm

      Wow he still make hasbara points, about those rockets etc. What peace process is he talking about, there are none, and never will be.

    • amigo on October 13, 2014, 2:29 pm

      “The MP speaking right now” is the Right dis-honourable Offord.I would suggest from the body language of those around him , that he has gone a long way to convincing those sitting on the fence to vote for the resolution.

      We should thank him.

      • Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 2:55 pm

        Heh. I did notice that other MP’s around him were not agreeing to what he was saying, and some even shook their heads whenever they disagreed. Some were frowning as if unable to understand what the heck he was talking about. Nice.

  25. Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 2:19 pm

    Something you never will hear in our Congress. One MP telling another that his speech sounds like it is straight out of the Israeli government handout. Amazing.

    • just on October 13, 2014, 2:23 pm

      It is amazing in its entirety.

      (There should be NO question about recognizing Palestine.)

      • Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 2:29 pm

        Indeed there shouldn’t. What should be questioned is why Israel keeps sabotaging these efforts, why it has not adhered to the Balfour Declaration, and why it has kept this brutal occupation going on for decades. Time to stop questioning why Israel, who wields the power and holds the weapons, keeps pretending it is afraid of unarmed, helpless civilians.

  26. just on October 13, 2014, 3:04 pm

    Whose the woman in mauve?

    (I loved this gent’s answer to her and the rest of what he has to say!)

    • Bumblebye on October 13, 2014, 4:52 pm

      Was she small, a bit dumpy, short hair, looked like she’d been sucking lemons? If so, Louise Ellman.

  27. Justpassingby on October 13, 2014, 3:07 pm

    No way this goes through, bloody wimps!

  28. Bumblebye on October 13, 2014, 3:14 pm

    Isn’t it abso-bloody-lutely marvellous to hear considerable “mutter mutter discontent” when one of the (amazingly small) hasbara crowd lets rip their whiffy nonsense?

  29. just on October 13, 2014, 3:33 pm

    Who is this Zio loser quoting from Hasbara 101???

    (pardon my misspell above.)

  30. just on October 13, 2014, 3:54 pm

    Question.

    Why does every single person speak about Israel’s ‘right to self-defense’ and zip is said about Palestine’s right to the same in the face of hellish Israeli aggression of all forms?

    Instead there’s endless condemnation for Hamas/rockets which was the only ‘defense’ there was/is.

    • Justpassingby on October 13, 2014, 4:10 pm

      Indeed, I hate when they go “I love Israel so much, bla bla” whats wrong with these people? Meanwhile palestinians are worse than the nazis.

    • Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 5:07 pm

      I think they are being diplomatic, and not wanting the other side to feel ignored.

      They seemed to speak up for the Palestinians most of the time, and made some really good points. I was impressed when someone said their foreign policy will not be dictated by Israel, but by themselves. Nice. I also liked it when the last person said that the US must pay heed.

      If anyone in our congress made an effort to watch this amazing debate, I hope they felt ashamed, if they are capable of such feelings. The US is WRONG on this.

      • oldgeezer on October 13, 2014, 11:54 pm

        I don’t doubt you are right Kay. I may well do the same if I were to publicly speak on the topic. That said it’s truly said that we need to offer such latitudes to try to soothe feelings of an aggressive, oppressive, state such as Israel while has been carrying on a criminal agenda for a half century.

        We need leaders who will say enough is enough. The criminal enterprise that calls itself Israel needs to live within international law or suffer the consequences. No… war isn’t needed. They can be brought to their knees very quickly with sanctions.

  31. gracie fr on October 13, 2014, 4:11 pm

    Israel may not be as economically sound as it pretends to be. Does Parliament and the “City” see the writing on the wall..???

    This fiscal crisis that the government is seeing is because the defense budget grows exponentially and it grows every year, and every additional round of violence and additional attack against Gaza gives the army another excuse to demand more money. And the only way that the government stays in power is by scaring the people, by calling on additional threats, mentioning how further threats could threaten the public, and there is no choice for people but to accept a reduction in their standard of living in order to finance the growing costs of security. People are not really willing to take that sacrifice, and there is a large number of Israelis who are leaving the country, especially educated Israelis, skilled workers, who are leaving and finding jobs elsewhere. The government knows that they cannot cut welfare and cannot cut public services with no end. At some point, the society begins to crack and collapse. And that’s why they’re going with this privatization plan at full speed, just in hoping that they can make some quick cash by selling these companies. But they can only do it once. You can’t sell a company again and again.

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=12494

  32. W.Jones on October 13, 2014, 4:51 pm

    The good thing about the vote is that it will make supporting Palestine in the UK to be at least mainstream. it will remove stigma there on talking for it. That will have an echo in the US at least, because we are part of the broader Anglo world, for better or worse.

  33. Bumblebye on October 13, 2014, 5:12 pm

    YAAAYYYY!
    274

    Nay
    12

    • annie on October 13, 2014, 5:17 pm

      that was so fun to watch! yeah!

      • W.Jones on October 13, 2014, 5:42 pm

        YAY is right.

    • Shmuel on October 13, 2014, 5:30 pm

      Thank you, Mr. Netanyahu. They couldn’t have done it without you.

      • just on October 13, 2014, 5:33 pm

        True enough, Shmuel.

  34. Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 5:13 pm

    HURRAH! The UK Parliament has recognized the State of Palestine. Overwhelmingly. The 12 who did not, well, we know who “controlled” them.

    The US must feel ashamed that we are on the wrong side of this conflict.

    • just on October 13, 2014, 5:22 pm

      “The US must feel ashamed that we are on the wrong side of this conflict. ”

      The US should, but the US won’t. The US has always been on the wrong side….in fact, we are the wrong side.

      • Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 5:29 pm

        All true Just. We are always on the wrong side, and especially when it comes to Israel.

        The British should be proud of their Ministers, they did the right thing, debated well, and made good points.

        I am ashamed of our congress, and how they behave when it comes to Israel. Not one of them will stand up and speak like that and make the case for the Palestinian people. Not one.
        I was amazed when one said that Israel will not dictate their foreign policy, words we will NEVER hear being uttered in Congress.

  35. Eva Smagacz on October 13, 2014, 5:14 pm

    Vote just in 274 For the motion to recognise Palestine 12 (yes, twelve!) against.

    So happy!!!

    • just on October 13, 2014, 5:15 pm

      YAY!

      Now for the rest of the ‘uncivilized world’ to do the same!

    • American on October 13, 2014, 7:14 pm

      HOORAY!…..YAHOO!…..BRAVO!

      Can we assume the UK public disgust with Israel influenced these politicians at least in part.

  36. amigo on October 13, 2014, 5:15 pm

    TWO HUNDRED SEVENTY FIVE TO —12.

    The good guys have it.

    It,s not the official gov policy as these are mostly backbenchers (oppostion) but it is a very very strong message.

    Pay attention Israel , you are on notice.

  37. Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 5:17 pm

    I am so thrilled about this. This may be “symbolic” as pooh poohed by hasbarats, but this is really enormous, because not only will the Palestinians now have some legality in their fight, this vote of confidence, by the US leaders, will show the tide is turning.
    Somewhere in zio land, people are gnashing their teeth, and now we can see the UK get trashed because they did not toe the line. Heh.

    • Eva Smagacz on October 13, 2014, 5:29 pm

      This sort of overwhelming vote, while “non-binding” puts enormous pressure on Government to follow the prevailing mood of people.

      This really is historic. Many parliamentarians shunned the vote – the discrepancy between the world view of donors and voters is unbreachable – but it makes the disparity between Ays and Nays that much more startling.

    • W.Jones on October 13, 2014, 5:43 pm

      Palestinian activists in the Uk can now always call their government officials and point to the Parliament vote, because it was so overwhelming, even if it is nonbinding.

  38. HarryLaw on October 13, 2014, 5:38 pm

    One of the arguments for the no side put by of all people Sir Malcolm Rifkind was that one of the reasons Palestine should not be recognized was because it had two governments, how can a senior Conservative with so much Government experience not know that the Palestinians formed a unity Government last June. Nobody pulled him up about it.

  39. amigo on October 13, 2014, 5:38 pm

    I wonder how many of the yes votes were Conservatives / Liberals.

    They will now work on their fellow conservatives , / Liberals buttressed by this astounding outcome.You will see this issue right out front on the next elections , 2015.

    All parties trying to “Out ” Palestine each other.

    Remind you of Republicans and Democrats.Except the reason is exactly the opposite.Oh the irony.

    • justicewillprevail on October 13, 2014, 6:51 pm

      One of the quotes I found most interesting was from a former Israel supporter,

      “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.”

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/palestine-vote-mps-take-historic-decision-to-recognise-palestinian-state-9792485.html

      This is what is happening – even people like him realises that he cannot continue to defend the indefensible any more. Furthermore, they know the mood of the majority of British people, like many in Europe, is sick of the pandering to the violence of the Occupation, and feels a great deal of sympathy for the displaced and ruined Palestinians. And, like anti-apartheid, when that becomes established in the popular mind, it makes it very hard for politicians to ignore and keep spouting the same ridiculous guff about poor little israel.

  40. just on October 13, 2014, 5:47 pm

    Wonder how the US MSM will spin this…or if they’ll even mention it.

    • Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 6:11 pm

      Don’t wonder anymore….here is the New York Times article on this, co-authored by Judi Rudoren no less. No mention on Tv, but there are a few articles up already on websites.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/14/world/europe/british-parliament-palestinian-state.html?_r=0

      • just on October 13, 2014, 6:22 pm

        Thanks Kay!

        Love this:

        “Mr. Hirschson said “there’s no legal weight behind” the British resolution and that it “contravenes the policy of all three” British political parties, including Labour, but acknowledged that it “sours” relations with a longtime and staunch ally.”

        It is Sukkot– and Parliament just handed Israel a giant etrog.

      • Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 6:52 pm

        Just, there is some kind of shift in this entire situation, and I think the last massacre in Gaza by Israel, made people aware of this consistent brutality, and we did see hundreds of thousands of people protest Israel’s violence. If Israel does not like this, they only have themselves to blame, although we should expect they will blame ALL Palestinians for this too. Notice, they are never wrong?

        This was interesting:

        “But during the summer, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, Ed Miliband, attacked government policy, saying that Mr. Cameron was “wrong not to have opposed Israel’s incursion into Gaza” and rebuked him for his “silence on the killing of innocent Palestinian civilians caused by Israel’s military action.”

        And while pro-Palestinian sentiment is clearest within the Labour Party, a frustration with Israeli policy has surfaced in all three of Britain’s main political parties.”

  41. Bob_Salad on October 13, 2014, 6:23 pm

    Justice 1 Zionism 0

  42. nettee on October 13, 2014, 6:40 pm

    “It is Sukkot-and Parliament just handed Israel a giant etrog”

    Man,I thought that was really funny!

    ok,I’ll get my coat..

    thanks @just for the larf

  43. piotr on October 13, 2014, 6:57 pm

    Can a British participant comment on the fact that more than 350 MPs abstained?

    And why the vote was symbolic? Is it because the resolution was structured to be symbolic?

    In any case, it shows that Israel has support in Europe that is thiner than paper, but over there, the inertia is most powerful force of them all. Hard to predict when we will see any impact.

    • Bumblebye on October 13, 2014, 8:26 pm

      As to why symbolic? Because of an amendment added prior to the debate that said a yes vote wouldn’t be implemented until the outcome of the peace process. To which they damn well should have stuck a time limit!

    • Kay24 on October 13, 2014, 10:35 pm

      I did read somewhere that this vote will not change the British policies on Israel. I guess this is what they mean by symbolic. However, I think it is a strong message for Israel, and as usual they will be deaf to it, and ignore it all. If this snowballs into a larger issue in the EU, Israel will regret acting deaf.

  44. Bumblebye on October 13, 2014, 8:16 pm

    For one, Cameron instructed all senior ministers not to participate. Which would mean that as a matter of parliamentary convention that shadow (opposition) ministers would also not participate. This was a backbencher’s debate – initiated by mp’s who don’t hold government posts, and some might have had commitments elsewhere on the day – there was no compulsion to attend. Says a lot that so few voted against, since we’ve read there was some heavy pro-zio lobbying! That said, I recall one of the tiny few mentioning the hundreds of letters/emails he’d received in favor. So he is one who didn’t vote as his constituents wished!

  45. oldgeezer on October 14, 2014, 12:23 am

    This great news, I tried to watch it but ended up seeing lots of other issues discussed. I did see the final tally.

    The UK is no longer a huge power really but it does carry great weight in the court of public opinion.

    It’s hopefully one of a long line of EU countries. It’s time the barbaric nature of the GoI gets reined in.

  46. Bornajoo on October 14, 2014, 3:17 am

    It was so refreshing to hear so many of our MP’s speak with such passion. I never thought I’d see the day. Even though many of the speeches included the usual crap about israel’s right to defend itself against flying drain pipes etc you could feel the angel and pent-up frustration finally coming out in an overwhelming voice against a pathetic minority that were finally made to look like the idiots they are for offering unconditional support to a sick nation abusing, oppressing and committing slow motion genocide on another dispossessed nation

    Yes it’s symbolic but it sends a loud and clear signal that enough is enough. Apart from adding a huge weigh to the Palestinian cause this will hopefully snowball with other European countries following and giving further weight to the BDS movement and finally isolate the USA as the only supporter of a pariah state making their position finally untenable. it’s going to be a long road even from here

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