The vote in the House of Commons today in support of the recognition of the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel, highlights the urgency of reaching a stable, enduring, comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinian people. Without significant progress towards reaching an agreement, international actions of this nature are likely to become more frequent, whilst the parties themselves grow further away from peace.
Whilst the yes vote does not obligate British foreign policy, which currently supports a negotiated two-state solution, the elevation of the conflict to the top of the parliamentary agenda creates an historic opportunity for the British government to redouble its efforts to help the two parties reach a comprehensive agreement. The vote recognises both Israel and Palestine, and includes the amendment ‘as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution’ and in doing so re-affirms Britain’s commitment to Israel and its support for a mutually agreed two-state solution.
As British supporters of Israel we should support any renewed efforts that may now emerge on the part of our own government to expedite a resolution to the conflict, both guaranteeing Israel’s survival as the democratic homeland of the Jewish People and ensuring self-determination for the Palestinian people in an independent state recognised by the international community.