last friday morning (14th october), 6.30-8.00am, on bbc parliament tv
house of lords, 13/10/2016 includes …
“Question for short debate: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they plan to take to ensure the revival of the Middle East Peace Process with fresh negotiations between Israel and Palestine.“
|speeches by lord or baroness …
tonge (ind ld)
|front bench reply by …
… This illusion of return maintained by the Palestinian leadership has achieved the net result of perpetuating the misery for the Palestinian people, who have never given up the powerful emotion of hope.
… Why might the time be arriving when Palestinians might consider the painful reality? The first generation, which lived through the Nakba, has now passed. Subsequent Palestinians have endured years of suffering, having grown up in refugee camps with minimal education, training or work opportunities. As things stand, there is no viable future for them or their children. What is required is a collective decision of the Palestinians, but only by those Palestinians who have no nationality, since they are the only ones paying the price.
To change hearts and minds, the Government should call on the Palestinian Authority to stop promoting the murder of Jews, to stop the financial support of murderers and to stop indoctrinating children with hatred and suicide tactics.
… The Palestinians rejected the offer of statehood in 1947, 1967, 1978 and 2008. There were no settlements then. That was never the barrier; it was the Palestinian rejection of any Jewish presence.
… There have been 334 debates and Questions about Israel in this Chamber in 12 months and 13 about Libya.
… It is not the occupation that causes the conflict; it is the conflict that necessitates the occupation. …. In any case, why should there not be 400,000 Jews living in a tiny 1% or 2% of the territory of the future Palestine? Is Palestine to be yet another judenrein Muslim state, where no Jews, or Christians, are to be allowed to exist? …
… I think that we should impose sanctions on trade with Israel—yes, government-led BDS—and stop all aid and payments to the Palestinian Authority, including those paid to Gaza. We should stop those payments until Netanyahu and President Abbas sit down in a closed room with representatives of Hamas, who were the legitimately elected Government of the West Bank the last time that President Abbas allowed elections. They should stay there—all sides under strict sanctions—until an agreement is reached.
… The current McCarthyite-style persecution of all critics of the Government of Israel must cease. We cannot have a fair and honest debate about anything so long as any opponents of the Israeli Government are accused of anti-Semitism …
… with whom should my country negotiate? Should it be with Hamas terrorists, who have used my country’s withdrawal from Gaza to turn it into a launchpad for terrorist rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and who, even now, are openly constructing terrorist tunnels, using hundreds of thousands of tonnes of cement supposedly destined for reconstruction but instead designated by Hamas for destruction—the destruction of Israeli lives?
… The worst thing we could do today would be inadvertently to send the Palestinians a signal that violence pays and that more drive-by shootings, more stabbings and more rocket attacks will somehow force the Israelis to the negotiating table. Terrorism must not, cannot, triumph …
Recognition of the right of Israel to exist as such a homeland and in security must be the foundation of any peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. The noble Lord, Lord Dykes, asserted that Israel has all the security it needs. It does not, not at all, as others have noted …
I want to say a word about anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism. Too many of those who claim to be only anti-Zionist use it as a fig leaf for prejudice and bigotry towards Jews. It is frankly absurd to claim that it is impossible to criticise Israel or its Government’s actions without being accused of anti-Semitism. Tell that to the Members of the Knesset, who make PMQs in the other place look like a vicarage tea-party.
Lastly, I share the outrage of the noble Lord, Lord Sacks, at the decision by UNESCO to question any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. That this is unhelpful in the extreme goes without saying. For a UN body not to acknowledge the significance of the Temple Mount to Jews is beyond belief.
… What should the Palestinian Authority do? It should act decisively and take all steps within its capacity to cease incitement to violence and strengthen ongoing efforts to combat terrorism. Israel should cease the policy of settlement construction and expansion and designating land for exclusive Israeli use …
… I shall address one raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Tonge, who pressed us on boycotts and asked why we do not impose them on Israel. We have made our position consistently clear. While we will not hesitate to express disagreement with Israel whenever we feel it necessary, we are firmly opposed to boycotts. We believe that imposing sanctions on Israel or supporting anti-Israel boycotts would not support our efforts to progress the peace process and achieve a negotiated solution.
… the Government will indeed press for action on these matters, but I can add a personal perspective. I have on two occasions while meeting representatives of the Government of Israel personally made representations about the position of children in custody.
… we have seen Israel push forward plans for more than 1,500 settlement units and continue to demolish Palestinian structures. The UK Government have repeatedly stressed to Israel our deepest concern. The demolition orders issued against the Palestinian village of Susiya are particularly concerning. It would have a terrible human impact on the 350 inhabitants of Susiya. We have also seen extremely concerning reports of further so-called “legalisation” of Israeli settlement outposts deep into the West Bank. Such moves are not legal.
… We are appalled by the recent wave of terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli civilians …
There is an urgent need to address the terrible situation in Gaza, which undoubtedly fuels violence. An agreement must ensure that Hamas and other terrorist groups permanently end their rocket fire against Israel, that the Palestinian Authority resumes control of Gaza and restores effective governance, and that Israel lifts its restrictions to ease the suffering of ordinary Palestinians.
(full transcript at https://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2016-10-13b.2084.0)
(if you missed it, available from 5:30:21 to 7:01:00 at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07zfrp8/house-of-lords-14102016#pl…)