LibLink: Layla Moran: It’s time for the UK to recognise the state of Palestine

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, the first MP of Palestinian descent, has written for Politics Home about why the UK should recognise the state of Palestine:

As things stand now the peace process is nowhere to be found. It is a fallacy to think that there is still an ongoing peace process and the international community are ignorant if they think anything else. The political agenda has been hijacked by extremists on both sides and I am very clear that as a part of that, Hamas must go: their presence is setting the dialogue back considerably.

With this breakdown of the peace process, and the US now missing from the international effort, it is more important than ever that the UK steps up and uses its influence and voice. The UK can help restore a sense of hope for Palestinians, we can help bring the parties back to the negotiating table, and we can help level the playing field. But we can only do that if we recognise the state of Palestine. Saying that we believe in a two-state solution without recognising one of those states ourselves would be laughably hypocritical if it weren’t so damaging.

Not recognising Palestine undermines the UK’s position of working towards a two-state solution which ends the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is time to right this wrong. That is what my Bill would do: it would pave the way for that overdue recognition. I am Palestinian, there is a Palestinian state, and it is time for the UK to recognise that.

You can read the whole article here.

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  • I do not agree that the US is missing from the dispute. It is a major part of the problem. I agree that we should give recognition. We should also put as much resources into creating peace as we do in creating war and division.

  • Joseph Bourke 26th Mar '19 - 10:28am

    Layla makes a cogent argument when she says “It is a fallacy to think that there is still an ongoing peace process” and that “the political agenda has been hijacked by extremists on both sides.”
    This is effectively where we were with Northern Ireland for 30 years.
    The Palestinian Authority needs to be able to govern effectively in the West Bank without having houses demolished and Israeli soldiers enforcing illegal settlements.
    Layla is equally right to say “Hamas must go: their presence is setting the dialogue back considerably.” A way needs to be found for forward looking moderate Israeli’s and Palestinians to construct a democratic settlement that provides security for both communities. Recognition of an Independent Palestinian state is an important step towards achieving that settlement.

  • I agree with Layla. In the end only sitting round the negotiating table with no preconditions and with mutual respect will get a peace that can be implemented and will last. Bombing, killing and maiming will only create extremism and both sides are guilty of that.

  • Stephen Howse 26th Mar '19 - 12:39pm

    Layla is right in saying the agenda has been hijacked by extremists. Unfortunately, unlike in Northern Ireland there is no obvious third party waiting to step in to act as an ‘honest broker’ in talks. Perhaps this is a role the UK can play – this is a mess partly of our own making anyway so we have a duty to help to fix it.

  • Richard O'Neill 26th Mar '19 - 12:47pm

    “Hamas must go”. Easier said than done. Agree however, the peace process has stalled. Amongst other things the Arab Spring and it’s wake have just made the whole region less stable.

    Both sides can’t let go of a winner-takes-all mentality, and still dream of total victory.

    All this has a bizarre spillover into British politics where MPs all have to be “Friends of Israel” or “Friends of Palestine”. They can’t be both, it seems. In Labour this proxy war is the major cause of this poisonous anti-Semitism culture in some quarters, which they just cant shake.

  • Martin Land 26th Mar '19 - 1:25pm

    For those of us who were NLYL activists in the 1970s nothing gives me greater pleasure than to listen to Layla’s intelligent and well-argued proposal for recognition of the State of Palestine. The long-suffering Palestinian people deserve no less. Equally Israeli citizens deserve to live in peace and security and this would be an important step along that path.

  • Helen Dudden 26th Mar '19 - 8:50pm

    I feel you have tried to over simplify the situation with Israel.

  • Steve Comer 27th Mar '19 - 1:03pm

    Very brave of Layla to do this. She’ll now be targeted by all the same people that attacked Jenny Tongue and David Ward so vigourously!

  • Alex Macfie 27th Mar '19 - 1:49pm

    Steve Comer: Layla is a moderate on this issue, who has made clear she has no truck with the extremism or language used by Jenny Tonge (please, spell her name correctly) or David Ward. Therefore, they probably regard her as a “sell-out”, in the same way as Jeremy Corbyn denounced the SDLP as sell-outs for participating in the Northern Ireland peace process.,

  • Malcolm Todd 27th Mar '19 - 2:45pm

    Clive Trussell
    “Hidden forces”? What is that supposed to mean? It sounds very much like the sort of thing anti-semites (even outside the Labour party!)* say when they want to signal “international Jewish conspiracy” in a deniable way. I’m sure that can’t be what you mean, so could you clarify?

    *For th’ avoidance of doubt, the bit in brackets was irony.

  • John McHugo 27th Mar '19 - 7:09pm

    Layla is right. The Palestinians have the right of self-determination in international law and the right to choose to exercise that right in the form of a sovereign state on the entirety of the Palestinian land Israel occupied in 1967. For its part, Palestine has long since recognised Israel within its legitimate borders.

    British recognition (especially if coupled with recognition by some of our European partners – if I still dare use that term) should be linked with acceptance of our obligation under UNSCR 2334 to distinguish between Israel and the occupied territories “in all our relevant dealings”.

    British recognition of Palestine is important. We have recognised Israel since 1949. Until Israeli politicians are forced to confront the reality – and the justice – of the State of Palestine we shall have no peace. The converse also applies, which is why groups such as Hamas as well as the extremists on the Israeli side need to be sidelined. And the only way to do that is by rigorously insisting that all parties adhere to international law.

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