10 April 2019 – today’s press releases

Moran: Recognition of Palestine cannot wait a moment longer

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has today called on the UK Government to recognises Palestine following the Israeli election.

Ms Moran, the first MP of Palestinian decent, previously introduced the Palestinian Statehood (Recognition) Bill which would require the UK Government to recognise the State of Palestine within 3 months of the Bill being passed. It had support from Lib Dem, Labour, SNP, Plaid and Green MPs.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said:

The dead heat between Gantz and Netanyahu means uncertainty for Palestinians continues. We now wait with baited breath for the last votes to be counted and the outcome of coalition talks.

However, should Netanyahu emerge as the leader, I hope the international community will speak out against the far right positions that he expressed during the election such as the annexation of Palestinian occupied territory. Such flagrant flouting of international law cannot and should not be tolerated.

Never has it been more important to reignite the dwindling flame of a two-state solution. The time has come for the UK to join the 70-plus states that have recognized the state of Palestine.

With a new Israeli Government may yet come new opportunities for talks, but critically these must be between equals. That is why recognition of Palestine cannot wait a moment longer.

Carmichael: UK has a responsibility to protect democracy in Hong Kong

Alistair Carmichael MP, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, has today warned that the Conservative Government’s inaction on the guilty verdict handed to the ‘Umbrella Nine’ in Hong Kong is an insult to all those in the region.

Alistair Carmichael used an Urgent Question in the House of Commons today to urge the Conservative Government to appeal against the guilty verdict handed to nine activists involved in the peaceful 2014 umbrella pro-democracy protests.

The nine activists could be sentenced for up to seven years. They were found guilty on rarely used colonial-era public nuisance charges.

Speaking after the Urgent Question, Alistair Carmichael MP said:

Many in Hong Kong rightly look to the UK for protection and support for their continued autonomy and progression towards democracy. This guilty verdict and the Conservative Government’s inaction is the latest insult to those people.

Under the ‘one country, two systems’ framework, the UK has a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that Beijing does not undermine freedom of expression and human rights in Hong Kong.

It is appalling that the Conservative Government have increasingly turned a blind-eye to this duty. Their silence is inexcusable. Liberal Democrats demand better.

Beijing must stop it’s increasing disregard for the Basic Law in the region and the UK must do all it can to uphold our end of the bargain by standing up to any violations of Hong Kong’s democracy and freedom of expression.

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  • I agree; the only thing that looks likely to engage Israel in meaningful negotiation around the Palestine issue is sufficient pressure. It will need to be forced screaming and shouting to acknowledge the rights of the palestinians and their land. It is up to the international community to provide that pressure.

  • I cannot see the Israel/Palestine ‘problem’ ever being settled.

    With each passing year Israeli illegal settlements have increased in size and number to the point where Netanyahu can declare their annexation into mainstream Israel.

    The only power that can insist on any kind of balance in the area is the USA and, under Trump they have done the exact opposite. What is worse is that, no matter who the next president is, the US pro Israel lobby will prevent any action to undo Trump’s work.

    Israeli governments will, by piecemeal legislation far more than military action, ensure it becomes, and remains, only a Jewish homeland.

  • Denis Mollison 11th Apr '19 - 2:58pm

    I agree that we need to recognise the Palestinian state. But I also think the 2-state solution is dead, the idea only serves as a figleaf for Israel. The only longterm hope is for a single state of Israel/Palestine embracing the West Bank and Gaza. It would have roughly equal Jewish/Arab populations, and would need, at least initially, some kind of power-sharing agreement similar to the Good Friday Agreement of Northern Ireland. I know we’re along way from that, but it’s a more believable and just solution than the ever-receding 2-state dream.

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