Layla on Palestine

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran has been writing for Politics Home on Palestine. The first MP of Palestinian descent, she has special insight into the troubles experienced and what the solutions might be. You can find the full article here, but to get you started here is an excerpt.

Working with our EU partners, now more valuable than ever before, the UK Government must meet the expectations on its special responsibilities and influence in the Middle East. The US has left the field, UK Government Ministers cannot hide away. And we must remember our obligations under Balfour. In a very real way, we are partially responsible for this mess. We must not shy away in a corner.

I therefore call on the UK Government to apologise unequivocally for their abstention from the UNHRC vote for an independent investigation and do all they can to ensure this investigation takes place as a matter of urgency.

I call on the UK Government, including at the security council, to contribute toward a resumption of peace negotiations based on a two-state solution with Jerusalem as a shared capital.

I call on the UK Government to bear in mind the international consensus and guarantee our own diplomatic representation will not be moved to Jerusalem.

Above all else, however, progress cannot be made, until we have two sides that are equally recognised.

My plea is this; finally, before it is too late, the UK Government must officially recognise the State of Palestine. And give the Palestinian people back some of the hope that has so tragically dwindled.

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  • Andrew Daer 25th May '18 - 8:59am

    This human rights problem affects millions, but no longer gets much of our interest or compassion, faced with competition from tragedies in places like Syria and Yemen, despite (or more probably because of) having gone on for so many years. But we do need to be involved, as Layla points out, and even without the UK’s historical involvement, we ought to recognise that a dispute over land involving ethnic and religious differences is one which can’t be solved without mediation from outside. The recent loss of life on the Gaza border contained the most absurd and tragic of absurdities; both sides claiming that the large number of deaths and injuries put the other in a bad light.
    The US sees the Middle East as frightening place in which Israel is a brave outpost of US-style democracy, but other countries vilify it for what Israel itself sees as simply self-defence. Both sides of the dispute over the land that used to be Palestine are absolutely convinced they are right, so their adopted positions hold out no prospect for resolution, especially while there are political leaders in other countries with an interest in making them more entrenched.
    The British ought to be the obvious candidates for a mediating role, but Layla’s request, which is effectively to not follow the example set by Trump, stops short of that. I don’t see any reason to abandon optimism about the eventual outcome in Palestine, or about a future UK government playing a part. I hope the British people will start to call for that to happen. If we genuinely want to make Britain ‘great’ again we will do it not by trade deals that make shoes cheaper, but by deeds that make the world at large a better place.

  • Peter Hirst 25th May '18 - 6:24pm

    My simplistic view of this issue sees it as a human rights one and as many are whether the ends justifies the means. No ends justify the treatment that is the Palestinian’s plight. Two wrongs do not make a right and Israel must improve its treatment of these people.

  • John Marriott 25th May '18 - 7:19pm

    The Balfour Declaration is only one reason why we in the West need to try to bring reason to the sorry mess that the Middle East is in. What about Sykes-Picot or the first Iraq War? And that’s just the 20th Century!

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