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Poplar & Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick says Palestine needs our support

PUBLISHED: 10:02 22 October 2014 | UPDATED: 10:02 22 October 2014

Archant

On Monday, October 13, the Commons voted strongly in favour of recognising Palestine as a sovereign state.

The result however, 274 to 12, is not binding on the government.

I queued for five hours in an effort to raise my concerns and make a contribution but there were too many MPs trying to speak and a number of us were not called.

Here is a flavour of what I would have said:

“We know that 134 out of 193 UN member states collectively recognise the state of Palestine.

We know that the IMF and World Bank recognise the state of Palestine.

We know that the UK has been moving towards the principle of recognition but now is the time to actually recognise Palestine as a sovereign state.

My belief is that in recognising Palestine now, we give her the additional responsibility that comes with statehood.

Politicians like President Abbas who believe in non-violence and in a political route to self-determination often feel we in the West are doing nothing to help them – and on the contrary, our inaction is helping those who argue the only way to success is via armed resistance.

A vote for recognition would do a lot to restore their faith in a political route.

It is a long awaited right for Palestine to be offered her recognition as a state, and with that right come responsibilities – a point strongly made by other MPs.

Moreover, Israel needs to know she is losing support from key allies such as the UK. Ignoring UN resolutions, continuing to build and expand illegal settlements, using disproportionate force as we saw this summer, causes despair among their many supporters.

We all want to see Israel safe, but we also want to see Palestine safe.

The UK’s current position is hugely symbolic because of the historic role we have played in Palestine but our decision should and must have an impact.

We all want to see peace but it’s not happening, to say recognition would be a further obstacle is denying the reality. For those of us who support the motion, it is part of the way forward.”

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