The British House of Commons is to vote on whether to to recognise the Palestinian territories as a country, in what is being talked about as a major coup for anti-Israel activists. The vote will be accompanied by a six hour debate on the floor of the chamber, meaning that it will be debated for longer than ISIS has so far.
The debate and vote has been introduced by left-wing Labour MP Grahame Morris, backed by Liberal Democrat Sarah Teather and Conservative MP Crispin Blunt. The three are going against the official government line not to support statehood as it is likely to cause more tensions.
Morris is the Labour MP who claimed the Israeli flag was a Nazi symbol. TrendingCentral reported the MP for Easington was unhappy to see the flag in his home village. He tweeted a picture of it accompanied by the comment “Nazis in my village, do you see that flag they fly”. He later deleted the tweet but did not apolgise for his comments.
In a press statement he explained why he had requested the debate: “I believe the government’s abstention on the vote for Palestinian statehood in the UN general assembly in 2012 was an utterly shameful act that placed Britain on the wrong side of history.
“Margaret Thatcher was an important ally of South African apartheid long after the tides of world opinion were flowing against her and it seems David Cameron has followed her lead in placing himself on the wrong side of oppression and injustice.”
He went on to claim that he enjoyed the support of the leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband. “I know I’m not alone when I say that I was proud of Ed Miliband’s principled support of Palestinian statehood” Morris said.
He also pointed out the Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander had previously said: “Palestinian statehood is not a gift to be given but a right to be recognised.” This suggests that any future Labour government would take a much more sympathetic line with the Palestinian authorities.
This is not the first time Mr Morris has attempted to shift the British government into a pro-Palestinian position. Last month the Morning Star reported he was one of 60,000 people to have signed a petition demanding the Royal Navy hospital ship RFA Argus be deployed to Gaza.
At the time he said: “We are witnessing a massacre… Without regard for international law or human life, a powerful occupying nation is unleashing its full military might against the civilian population.” He continued: “(The ship) is uniquely designed for this type of necessity and the British government must unilaterally and rapidly deploy RFA Argus to Gaza.”
News that Palestinian statehood is to get more parliamentary time than the worsening situation in Syria and Iraq is likely to enrage an increasingly concerned British public.