During tonight’s UK parliamentary debate on Palestinian statehood, Sir Richard Ottaway MP abandoned his long-standing commitment to the State of Israel, and claimed that due to a few months of frustration in amongst years of support for the country, he wouldn’t be voting against the recognition of a Palestinian state.
We know tonight’s vote is non-binding, and has no impact on British foreign policy, and perhaps that’s why people like Sir Richard feel that they are able to vent frustrations.
But we know the man doesn’t believe in the motion, proposing the establishment of a Palestinian state before the Palestinians even have secure border, a unified government, an administration or judicial function… or, well… anything else needed to be a state.
So why did he abandon Israel tonight? Why has he proved himself to be a fairweather friend?
My guess is that presumably, Sir Richard has been “got to” by the poison pens of anti-Israel activists.
Whatever his true rationale, Sir Richard presented his case to the Commons chamber tonight as a punishment against Israel’s recent actions: whether he is talking about the recent war against Hamas, or the announcement of new settlements (which are, by the way along the Green Line and would be inside Israel under currently discussed peace negotiations), he has showed himself to be a petty and vindictive parliamentarian in his later years.
Still, you might say, it isn’t as bad as Andrew Bridgen (Conservative, North West Leicestershire) claiming that America is unduly influenced by the “Jewish Lobby” (as opposed to the Israel lobby, which isn’t a racist term) in the Commons chamber tonight. But it is interesting who is showing their true colours tonight.