The other day the British House of Commons voted to recognize a Palestinian state. Although the resolution, introduced by Labour MP Grahame Morris, called for the recognition of “the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel”; it was, for all intents and purposes, nothing more than an exercise in anti-Israel demagoguery.
David Hearst, editor of Middle East Eye, wrote the following in the U.K. edition of The Huffington Post:
For Israel, an umbilical cord carrying the lifeblood of the state extends between it and Washington. Just imagine the speeches in the British Parliament that voted to recognize Palestinian statehood on Monday being uttered on Capitol Hill. They would have been unrepeatable in the US Congress
Philip Weiss, founder of the anti-Israel website Mondoweiss, echoed similar sentiments:
Below I have made excerpts of the debate, emphasizing the powerful ideas the parliamentarians sounded that you would never hear in Washington. One lawmaker says that the occupation is “much worse” than apartheid in South Africa. Another says that the Balfour Declaration of 1917 now seems like a “sick joke,” because it never guaranteed freedom to Palestinians. Many members offer frank descriptions of Israeli detention of children and unending settlement expansion. Several describe Israeli actions in Gaza as war crimes. One mentions the use of terrorism by Mandela and Begin long before Palestinians used the tactic. Labour and Conservative members alike speak about the role of the Israel lobby in the United States.
I would submit that the pro-Palestinian lobby is every bit as powerful in the UK as the pro-Israel lobby is in this country. Out of 650 MPs, only 12 dared to vote against the resolution.
As for the “powerful ideas” expressed in the debate, they are exactly the sort of ideas one can hear on any given college campus in this country and are every bit as juvenile. If promising the Jews a homeland nearly 100 years ago was a “sick joke” then what of the Arab rejection of the UN Partition Plan in 1947 or the Palestinian rejection offers of statehood in 2000, 2001, 2008 and 2014? If Israel is guilty of committing war crimes in Gaza then what of Hamas’ recent admission that it used their own people as human shields?
What can one say about a parliament that considers Israel sufficiently barbaric as to invoke the term Nakba (the Palestinian term for the creation of Israel meaning tragedy), but doesn’t consider ISIS sufficiently barbaric as to authorize airstrikes in Syria? David Ward, the Liberal Democrat MP who made reference to Nakba and called the Balfour Declaration “a sick joke”, last July tweeted that he would have probably launched a rocket into Israel were he living in Gaza. Well, perhaps we should grant Ward his wish so that Hamas can one day use him as a human shield.
The vote in the British House of Commons wasn’t about establishing a Palestinian state. Rather it is a vote intended to delegitimize and eventually destroy the State of Israel.