Tags: Gaza | House of Commons | Palestinians | UK

Recognizing 'Palestine' Does Nothing to Stop Anti-Semitism

Tuesday, 21 October 2014 09:02 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Although it isn’t binding, the British parliament voted in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state. British MPs voted 274 to 12 for a non-binding motion to “recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two state solution.”

The remainder of the parliament’s 650 MPs abstained.

Whatever one thinks of this vote, it is a sign of shifting public opinion in the United Kingdom and beyond. The debate in the House of Commons came after the Swedish government announced it would recognize a Palestinian state — the first European Union member in Western Europe to do so.

Many contend that the war in Gaza influenced British public opinion against Israel.

While others maintain the vote was merely the evolution of attitudes promoted by home grown Muslims. Britain’s ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, said even though the vote isn’t binding on the British government, it is “significant.”

Alas, it is. The resolution was welcomed by Palestinians and criticized by Israel.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry argues that the “premature international recognition sends a troubling message to the Palestinian leadership that they can evade the tough choices that both sides have to make and actually undermines the chances to reach a real peace.”

It is logical to ask why the Palestinians should negotiate at all when the end game has been established. For years a two state solution has been bandied about, but arriving at an understanding about the boundaries and security remain in limbo. Suppose there is a sovereign Palestinian state with rockets that can paralyze Ben Gurion airport and reach every Israeli population center.

Is that a state Israel can countenance?

British parliamentarians may believe they are contributing to a negotiated peace, but in fact by suggesting a Palestinian state be imposed on Israel, they are bringing Israel to the brink of war. This British vote is emblematic of a willful European tilt to the Palestinian position. There will undoubtedly be other symbolic gestures of this kind across the continent.

Public opinion has been mobilized by Muslims, anti-Semites who no longer feel restrained by standards of public decency, left wing activists and those influenced by news accounts in the Israeli war against Hamas.

European newspaper editorials invariably contend that anti-Israel sentiment is not related to anti-Semitism. Anti-Zionism masquerades as the pursuit of social justice, not bigotry. But for so many in Europe today starting with the MPs, the question that remains is whose justice?

If Zionism is perceived as the original sin, only dismantling the Jewish state can redress it.

But for Jews with a memory, the main guarantor of Jewish security since the end of World War II has been the sovereign state of Israel. This state wasn’t born on the ashes of the Holocaust — but it is the last fortress against its reenactment.

Votes in European parliaments may make politicians feel good, but the actual effect is pernicious since a message is sent to the Palestinians that they don’t have to reach ends through negotiation and concessions; the European parliaments will do that for them.

Herbert London is president emeritus of Hudson Institute and author of the books "The Transformational Decade" (University Press of America) and "Decline and Revival in Higher Education" (Transaction Books). Read more reports from Herbert London — Click Here Now.


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British parliamentarians may believe they are contributing to a negotiated peace, but in fact by suggesting a Palestinian state be imposed on Israel, they are bringing Israel to the brink of war.
Gaza, House of Commons, Palestinians, UK
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 09:02 AM
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