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British Parliament recognizes Palestinian state in non-binding resolution

The British lower house of Parliament passed a non-binding resolution recognizing the State of Palestine late Monday night. The measure passed 274 to 12, with most Tories abstaining.

A spokesperson for British Prime Minister David Cameron clarified ahead of the vote on Monday that the resolution would not change the country’s diplomatic stance. Cameron stated his intention to abstain ahead of the vote.

Ahead of the vote, Israel’s Labor party attempted to sway votes in the UK Labour party against the resolution, bringing allegations that the Israeli opposition was serving as Netanyahu’s unofficial foreign office.

Read more on the vote here.

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    1. Kolumn8

      Awesome. Next up on the busy agenda of the House of Commons – recognizing unicorns as real animals, followed by a vociferous debate on whether elves exist. My personal view is that unicorns should be recognized as real animals, but who am I to give advice to such a prestigious body weighing in on such weighty questions for the British people?

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        You can do better.

        Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        Actually, next up on their agenda is compiling a list of Jewish settlers and violent Israeli right-wingers and bringing real sanctions upon them. I hope you’re not on that list, K8.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn8

          Oh my, sanctions on individuals so that Israelis get a list of approved candidates to vote for when the violence breaks out? How did the demonization of Begin, Shamir, Liberman, Eitan and Sharon work out? The persistent demonization of settlers and violent right-wingers is clearly destroying their political futures… Sounds like a service, not a threat.

          It would be a badge of honor to be included, but alas I am neither a settler nor am I even really very right wing by Israeli standards and I am about as violent as the average unicorn.

          Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            Just the threat of being included on that list would make many a settler rethink their settlement, especially the ones who went there for “quality of life” reasons, and who would shudder at the possibility of being denied travel to Europe.

            True that you are not right-wing by Israeli standards, but extremely so by European ones.

            Reply to Comment
          • Noe

            Europe is precisely the place where Jews will be blacklisted – first before any other people on the planet. That’s not so surprising. What’s surprising is the glee with which some accept this.

            Reply to Comment
      • Hilary Rost

        It would not surprise me if Israelis believed in unicorns as they obviously live on an unreal world. But this comment trivializes the Israeli Palestinian issue

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn8

          No dear Hilary, it trivializes the British Parliament to recognize things that don’t exist. Another thing that trivializes the issue is people butting in who have no idea what they are talking about, but I can’t stop that, so I might as well just make fun of them.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Brian

      Conservatives who participated in the debate were split. One of the Conservatives who announced that he would be voting in favor of recognizing Palestine despite his party’s position, was Nicholas Soame, the grandson of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hero, Winston Churchill.

      Richard Ottaway, a Conservative lawmaker and chairman of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, said that he had “stood by Israel through thick and thin, through the good years and the bad,” but now realized “in truth, looking back over the past 20 years, that Israel has been slowly drifting away from world public opinion.”

      “Under normal circumstances,” he said, “I would oppose the motion tonight; but such is my anger over Israel’s behavior in recent months that I will not oppose the motion. I have to say to the government of Israel that if they are losing people like me, they will be losing a lot of people.”

      Reply to Comment
    3. Richard

      Empty gesture from a gang of self-important old coots. Brits blab incessantly about their foreign policy as if they’re still working off of a map of the British Empire circa 1930. They’ve allowed themselves to fall behind DENMARK in fighting for the cause of freedom and human rights, so who cares what they think. ISIL is now better at recruiting British Muslims into their medieval slave state than the Brits are at recruiting Muslims into the British Army. British discourse on Is/Pal is approaching the kind of delusional nonsense that comes out of Arab universities and media outlets.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Noe

      Um, there are 650 MPs and only 286 of them voted on a non-binding measure…

      I know! Why don’t I become a politician and hold a meaningless vote on having Saudi Arabia give every poor person in the world a thousand dollars. That should get me some votes and I don’t have to take any responsibility for the motion itself.

      Well, maybe on some leftist websites they’ll hail this “victory.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Richard Lightbown

        Sneer at it if you like. One thing that was consistently said by speakers was they had received large amounts of correspondence from constituents urging them to support the resolution. From this it would seem that a large proportion of the British public are now recognizing that Israel is not a valiant David fighting an Arab Goliath but the neighbourhood bully kicking shit out of Palestinians. This despite all the hasbara. Also of note was that at least two of the MPs voting for the resolution openly stated they were Friends of Israel but they were appalled at the recent excessive use of violence. and finally 275 to 12 is a remarkable consensus in the House of Commons. It does not mean that there will be any sanctions on Israel for its non-compliance with international law, the UN Charter or UNSC resolutions and not for the foreseeable future either. But this does mark a significant change of attitude which is likely to be underlined by upcoming votes in other European parliaments. Israel would be well advised not to be too complacent (or too arrogant) about this. If you have any sense (!) you will heed the warning.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn8

          We sneer because it is a joke. If you told Sharon that the Palestinians are trying to get their ‘state’ recognized internationally without any agreement he would immediately ask for some wine so that he could have a toast with his friends. Despite pretenses to the contrary this turn of events is the best case long-term scenario as far as the rational right in Israel is concerned. The Palestinians get recognized as a state with no borders and we keep whatever we can in the WB based on the power differential. This is the scenario the Palestinians and their European friends rejected for years. That they now plead for it is fucking amazing. Am I supposed to really be upset? Haha. My favorite part of this is that we are being threatened with more recognition of a Palestinian state. How scary!

          Reply to Comment
    5. Noe

      Well, sure, Britain has allowed in half of the Arab world and Africa. Are you surprised that politicians are getting requests to attack Israel? You’ve imported the same loonies who live in the Middle East to your country and you expect a different result?

      Reply to Comment
    6. Richard Lightbown

      Am I surprised that Star of David flags are carried high at EDL rallies? Yet if someone were to write the equivalent racist bile against Jews you would scream anti-Semite. Just what do want me to conclude from such naked, undisguised racist bigotry? That there is freedom of speech in Israel? OK. That Israel is a healthy democracy, a light unto the nations? I don’t think you have made that point very well.

      Reply to Comment
      • Noe

        To deny that antisemitism flourishes widely in the Middle East and Muslim Africa is to simply lie. To deny that in Arab and Muslim countries there is open hostility toward Israel, replete with demonstrations, violence and politicians and media sources goading the population is also to lie.

        That is what you’ve imported into Europe. It is neither racist nor hateful to speak the facts. Antisemitism is roaring in many western European countries and it is an open secret that much of it comes from Muslims.

        It is not they who are the victims here, it is the Jewish populations of these countries. And guess what? When they’re done with us, they’ll go after you:


        This is the fifth such ring discovered in the last couple of years.

        And how about takeover of schools?


        Not enough? Enjoy yourselves when this guy’s students come home from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and wherever else they’re gaining experience.


        Oh, and they’re allowed to vote and they already control neighborhoods in many European countries where the police fear to tread.


        Racism indeed.

        Reply to Comment
        • Richard Lightbown

          @ Nroe

          Yes racism. Portraying extremist cranks and criminal gangs as the mainstream Muslim community in Britain. Ever heard of the LDG in France? Would you portray that as typically Jewish in the same style that you attack Muslims here?

          ‘And guess what? When they’re done with us, they’ll go after you’. It is already happening. George Galloway was viciously attacked on the street by an extremist Jew in an IDF T-shirt who has links to the EDL. Is that a typical member of the Jewish community in Britain? Of course it is not, but it is the sort of extremist crime that you try to portray as representing the Muslim community in Britain. You’re full of racist bile which is more widely represented in Israel than Muslim extremism is in Great Britain.

          Reply to Comment
          • Noe

            “Yes racism. Portraying extremist cranks and criminal gangs as the mainstream Muslim community in Britain.”

            Are you sure about that? Let’s examine the facts, shall we?


            “Some answers are provided by the most comprehensive survey to date of Muslim opinion in Britain. The results from NOP Research, broadcast by Channel 4-TV on August 7, are startling.

            Forty-five percent say 9/11 was a conspiracy by the American and Israeli governments. This figure is more than twice as high as those who say it was not a conspiracy. Tragically, almost one in four British Muslims believe that last year’s 7/7 attacks on London were justified because of British support for the U.S.-led war on terror.

            When asked, “Is Britain my country or their country?” only one in four say it is. Thirty percent of British Muslims would prefer to live under Sharia (Islamic religious) law than under British law. According to the report, “Half of those who express a preference for living under Sharia law say that, given the choice, they would move to a country governed by those laws.”

            Twenty-eight percent hope for the U.K. one day to become a fundamentalist Islamic state. This comports with last year’s Daily Telegraph newspaper survey that found one-third of British Muslims believe that Western society is decadent and immoral and that Muslims should seek to end it.

            The news is no less alarming on the question of freedom of speech. Seventy-eight percent support punishment for the people who earlier this year published cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed. Sixty-eight percent support the arrest and prosecution of those British people who “insult Islam.” When asked if free speech should be protected, even if it offends religious groups, 62 percent of British Muslims say No, it should not.”

            “‘And guess what? When they’re done with us, they’ll go after you’. It is already happening. George Galloway was viciously attacked on the street by an extremist Jew in an IDF T-shirt who has links to the EDL. Is that a typical member of the Jewish community in Britain?”

            He’s a Catholic. Sorry to burst your bubble.


            “…but it is the sort of extremist crime that you try to portray as representing the Muslim community in Britain.”

            You have my links above, which constitute far more evidence than a single beating. You also have new links in this comment that demonstrate that we are discussing more than a fringe within the Muslim community. Since when is 25% a fringe? Since when is 30% (who prefer to live under Sharia than British law) a fringe? That’s enough to get a government elected in some parliamentary democracies that require coalition governments.

            “You’re full of racist bile which is more widely represented in Israel than Muslim extremism is in Great Britain.”

            I think I’m providing you with clear evidence about my original comment. To remind you, it is that Europe has imported significantly large populations from the Middle East and African Muslim countries in recent decades. These are countries without traditions of democracy, with traditions of attacking Israel and Jews for many decades now, traditions of demagogue and authoritarian leaders who deflect attention from their people’s misery and their own poor and corrupt governance by deflecting attention on to Israel, and in many of these countries, religious traditions and national laws based upon those traditions that contradict the laws and moral values of liberal democratic countries.

            You may continue to call me names, but if the best you can muster is name-calling and some Catholic man beating up a man who deserves a beating, then you will agree with me that your case is lost. Right?

            Reply to Comment
    7. Noe

      Moderator, please note my last comment in response to Lightbrown had many links. Thank you.

      Reply to Comment