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Weasel words from Douglas Alexander on recognising Palestine

xbrh_RecognisepalestinepicThe good news is that shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander, says at LabourList that “Labour’s consistent support for the principle of recognising Palestinian statehood, as part of continuing steps to achieve a comprehensive negotiated two state solution, is why we will be voting to support the principle of Palestinian statehood when the House of Commons debates the issue on Monday.” The bad news is that he won’t actually implement that principle until he’s good and ready:

The motion before the House on Monday does not commit Labour to immediate recognition of Palestine, or mandate the UK government to immediately bilaterally recognise the State of Palestine, but it does reaffirm Labour’s support for the principle of recognising Palestinian ‎statehood. ‎The timing and the mechanism by which Palestinian recognition takes place will continue to be matter decided by an incoming Labour Government.

This is a deeply disappointing blow from Labour’s official spokesman, though he recognises that UK recognition of Palestine’s statehood would help combat Palestinian despair at their ever-worsening condition and encourage them to “to take the path of politics, reject the path of violence, and rekindle hopes that there is a credible route to a viable Palestinian state and a secure Israel achieved by negotiations“. By taking this position he both undermines the potential benefit of the UK parliament backing recognition and undermines the very legitimacy of the parliament in relation to a matter that has traditionally be one of royal prerogative.

A slap in the face for the Palestinians. And for British democracy.

We should not let it prevent us redoubling our efforts to get the House of Commons to back Palestinian statehood on Monday. And we should go on to press Labour’s front bench to follow the example of Stefan Löfven, leader of Sweden’s social democrats, who announced within two weeks of its formation that his new government was to become the first in Europe to formally recognise the state of Palestine.

One Comment

  1. Robert says:

    He’s the Progress spokesperson and has the ear of the labour leader, no not Miliband Blair.

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