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Ex-Israeli ministers, MKs, academics to British MPs: Support Palestinian statehood

Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On criticizes Israeli Labor party for opposing the motion: ‘Labor is conducting itself like another foreign office for Netanyahu’s government.’

Hundreds of Israeli public figures, academics, former ministers and Israel Prize laureates (the state’s official civil decoration) signed a public letter calling British MPs to support Palestinians statehood in a symbolic motion set to face a vote in the UK’s parliament on Monday.

Among those who added their names to the letter are Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Daniel Kahneman, former Meretz ministers Ran Cohen and Yossi Sarid, four former MKs (including Naomi Chazan, the former head of the New Israel Fund), six winners of the Israeli Prize and the former attorney-general Michael Ben Yair.

The letter reads:

We, Israelis who worry and care for the well-being of the State of Israel, believe that the long-term existence and security of Israel depends on the long-term existence and security of a Palestinian state. For this reason we the undersigned urge members of the UK parliament to vote in favour of the motion to be debated on Monday 13th of October, 2014, calling on the British Government to recognize the state of Palestine alongside the State of Israel.

The motion caused a controversy within the British Labour party, with two dozen MPs demanding to add an amendment conditioning the recognition of Palestine on the conclusion of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (thus stripping the motion of its meaning). The chairman of the Israeli Labor party, MK Hilik Bar, also called on the British MPs to oppose the motion. Bar was criticized by members of the dovish Meretz party.

“One cannot say that Netanyahu won’t promote a diplomatic initiative, but then, when the world tries to lead a UN motion, help Netanyahu torpedo it. Labor is conducting itself like another foreign office for Netanyahu’s government,” said Meretz party leader Zehava Gal-On.

Labour MPs: Vote yes on Palestinian statehood

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    1. Omar Amin von Leers

      I support Palestinian statehood to replace zionist statehood. A Palestine based upon the 1967 borders is economically unviable and righteous attempts of Palestinians to reclaim their property will lead to zionist violence, thus fueling the cycle of violence

      Reply to Comment
      • Steve

        I agree that the Zionist state should be replaced by a equal state for all. The only problem is that no government or body on earth supports a one state solution. In view of this, taking steps to change facts on the ground within recognised parameters is the only way to change the status quo.

        Reply to Comment
      • CigarButNoNice

        Ah, looks like Konrad Kalejs / Victor Arajs got himself another Nazi’s name. What next? Gamal Abdul Nasser von Schickelgruber?

        Johann von Leers was a Nazi officer who fled to Egypt following the war. He converted to Islam and changed his name to Omar Amin. Among notable things, he was instrumental in the spinning of the “non-Jewish Palestinian nation from time immemorial” yarn that so many people today accept as verified historical fact. The cooperation of Soviet officials, Arab/Islamic propagandists and former Nazis on that point should tell you a thing or two about birds of a feather.

        Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        ANY Arab state is economically, culturally and socially unviable. Hardly there is a reason to replace a prosperous entity by one bound to fail.

        Reply to Comment
        • sam

          Israel survives because of the economic aid it gets from the U.S.along with the free bee military aid. The Israeli experiment has been a failure as it steels land from the Palestinians while believing God still has a realestste license.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Spaniard

      Sane people to British MPs: don’t support a terrorist entity that is paying salaries to terrorists with British money.

      Reply to Comment
      • Motti

        You’re right, Spani. Sane people would never support the terrorist state of Israel.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Brian

      274 – 12

      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.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Brian

      The British parliament voted Monday in favor of a non-binding motion to recognize the state of Palestine, in a majority vote of 274-12.

      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