FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The British Parliament Vote to Recognize Palestine

Members of the British House of Commons voted last night to recognise Palestine as a state.  This non-binding resolution, tabled by Labour MP Grahame Morris, will not change this current government’s stance on the issue but has laid the groundwork for a change when this government is voted out of office.  Unfortunately an amendment was tabled alongside the original motion due to internal (and external) Labour Party friction and fear which urged the recognition of Palestine within a “negotiated two-state solution“.  This returned to the model of giving Israel an overwhelming position on whether Palestine is a state or not. Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP, opposed the amendment stating;

I oppose an amendment that seeks to make British recognition of Palestine dependent on the conclusion of successful peace negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.

Neither Israel nor Palestine’s right to exist should be subject to veto or any kind of conditions and we must actively challenge any refusal by either side to deny the other’s right to exist.

Members of all sides of the house stood up and gave their views. Many remarked on the thousands of e-mails and letters they had received from their constituents urging them to vote to recognise Palestine.  Some of what the members said was either inaccurate or misleading but was at least based on a clear and passionate support of the Palestinian people.  For example there was much support for the strategy of Mahmoud Abbas and his presidency.  Despite the fact that many Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip see his role as a collaborator with the occupation, members of the house rose to argue that this vote would support the moderates in Palestine such as Abbas and his government.  They failed to acknowledge that this way of moderation had achieved nothing in the West Bank apart from a huge expansion of illegal settlements, thousands of arrests and hundreds of deaths. Not that Hamas has achieved much for the people it represents, yet each time Palestinians violently resist at least the international community wakes up during these periods and calls for a just solution.  When negotiations take place between the unequals, everyone seems to look the other way and pray that the Israeli leadership will show some magnanimity. Keep praying.

There was even the occasional Israel-firster, who stood and spoke to make the debate livelier. Robert Halfon, a Conservative MP, made the extraordinary decades-old and much widely ridiculed claim that there is already a Palestinian state, Jordan. Halfon went on to say that if a Palestinian state was recognised;

There would be three Palestinian states, one that already exists in Jordan and two statelets, run by Hamas and by Fatah.”

A member of his own party intervened with;

Surely the member is not suggesting that because hundreds of thousands of Palestinans fled and were forced across the border into Jordan that they should accept this as their state?

Halfton failed to respond to this remark. Indeed according to him Palestinians who stayed in the West Bank were happy under the rule of King Abdullah of Jordan up until the 1967 war;

Abdullah even called himself the King of Jordan and Palestine as his country controlled the West Bank.

Well that’s fine then, as long as the dictator was happy to accept his own legitimacy?! This is the same old rubbish that has been spouted for decades by both those in Israel and their supporters in an attempt to delegitimise the Palestinians as a people, as a people who belong to and have existed on the land of Palestine as a people for centuries.

For some this vote was all about being anti-Israel because literally none of the members who voted for the motion had anything better to do than stand with, for this briefest of moments and with conditions, the Palestinian people who have suffered for over half a century at the whim of successive Israeli governments. Whether this motion does anything to advance the cause of the Palestinian people in their search for justice or actually enforces the status quo is moot.  The vote passed and the recognition within the British body politic that the British people will no longer put up with British support and silence in the face of Israeli crimes against the Palestinians also passed.

Israelis should not despair but be optimistic about the continuing plummet of international citizenry and government support for their government’s policies against the Palestinians.  One day this growing pressure from outside may force those within Israel to re-evaluate what they are told by their government and military and lead to a demand for a real and just peace with the Palestinians.  When this day comes, the sky is the limit for both Palestinians and Israelis.

Jonathan Woodrow Martin, can be reached at jwoodrowm@gmail.com and runs a blog, The View From The Little Man

More articles by:

Jonathan Woodrow Martin is a graduate of HCRI institute at The University of Manchester and can be reached at jwoodrowm@gmail.com.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
August 22, 2019
George Ochenski
Breaking the Web of Life
Kenneth Surin
Boris Johnson’s Brexit Helter Skelter
Enrique C. Ochoa – Gilda L. Ochoa
It’s About Time for Ethnic Studies in Our K-12 Schools
Steve Early
A GI Rebellion: When Soldiers Said No to War
Clark T. Scott
Sanders And Bezos’s Shared, Debilitating, Basic Premise
Dan Corjescu
The Metaphysics of Revolution
Mark Weisbrot
Who is to Blame for Argentina’s Economic Crisis?
Howard Lisnoff
To Protect and Serve
Cesar Chelala
A Palestinian/Israeli Experiment for Peace in the Middle East
Binoy Kampmark
No Deal Chaos: the Brexit Cliff Face and Operation Yellowhammer
Josue De Luna Navarro
For True Climate Justice, Abolish ICE and CBP
Dean Baker
The NYT’s Upside Down Economics on Germany and the Euro Zone
August 21, 2019
Craig Collins
Endangered Species Act: A Failure Worth Fighting For?
Colin Todhunter
Offering Choice But Delivering Tyranny: the Corporate Capture of Agriculture
Michael Welton
That Couldn’t Be True: Restorying and Reconciliation
John Feffer
‘Slowbalization’: Is the Slowing Global Economy a Boon or Bane?
Johnny Hazard
In Protest Against Police Raping Spree, Women Burn Their Station in Mexico City.
Tom Engelhardt
2084: Orwell Revisited in the Age of Trump
Binoy Kampmark
Condescension and Climate Change: Australia and the Failure of the Pacific Islands Forum
Kenn Orphan – Phil Rockstroh
The Dead Letter Office of Capitalist Imperium: a Poverty of Mundus Imaginalis 
George Wuerthner
The Forest Service Puts Ranchers Ahead of Grizzlies (and the Public Interest)
Stephen Martin
Geopolitics of Arse and Elbow, with Apologies to Schopenhauer.
Gary Lindorff
The Smiling Turtle
August 20, 2019
James Bovard
America’s Forgotten Bullshit Bombing of Serbia
Peter Bolton
Biden’s Complicity in Obama’s Toxic Legacy
James Phillips
Calm and Conflict: a Dispatch From Nicaragua
Karl Grossman
Einstein’s Atomic Regrets
Colter Louwerse
Kushner’s Threat to Palestine: An Interview with Norman Finkelstein
Nyla Ali Khan
Jammu and Kashmir: the Legitimacy of Article 370
Dean Baker
The Mythology of the Stock Market
Daniel Warner
Is Hong Kong Important? For Whom?
Frederick B. Mills
Monroeism is the Other Side of Jim Crow, the Side Facing South
Binoy Kampmark
God, Guns and Video Games
John Kendall Hawkins
Toni Morrison: Beloved or Belovéd?
Martin Billheimer
A Clerk’s Guide to the Unspectacular, 1914
Elliot Sperber
On the 10-Year Treasury Bonds 
August 19, 2019
John Davis
The Isle of White: a Tale of the Have-Lots Versus the Have-Nots
John O'Kane
Supreme Nihilism: the El Paso Shooter’s Manifesto
Robert Fisk
If Chinese Tanks Take Hong Kong, Who’ll be Surprised?
Ipek S. Burnett
White Terror: Toni Morrison on the Construct of Racism
Arshad Khan
India’s Mangled Economy
Howard Lisnoff
The Proud Boys Take Over the Streets of Portland, Oregon
Steven Krichbaum
Put an End to the Endless War Inflicted Upon Our National Forests
Cal Winslow
A Brief History of Harlan County, USA
Jim Goodman
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is Just Part of a Loathsome Administration
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail