Opposition party Labour leader pushes Prime Minister Boris Johnson
to recognize “the State of Palestine” at the upcoming G7 summit.
British Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson Wednesday to recognize a Palestinian state at the upcoming G7 summit that will be held in England this weekend, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
In parliament, Starmer pushed Johnson during the regularly scheduled “Question Period” to recognize a state called Palestine alongside a “safe and secure Israel.”
“For too many people in Palestine, the promise of an end to the occupation and a recognized sovereign Palestinian state feels more distant than ever,” Starmer told the House of Commons.
“Will the Prime Minister take the opportunity this weekend to press for renewed international agreement to finally recognize the State of Palestine, alongside a safe and secure Israel, to stop the expansion of illegal settlements and to get a meaningful peace process back up and running?” Starmer asked.
Johnson replied that the government’s position on the Middle East remains support for a two-state solution.
“It’s been a long-standing objective of this government, and I think it’s common ground across this House, that the solution for the Middle East peace process is a two-state solution, and we continue to press for that,” the Prime Minister said.
“I’ve made that position plain both in my conversations with the Palestinian authority and of course with Israel,” Johnson said.
The Chronicle noted that Starmer’s Labour and Johnson’s Conservative parties are fighting in a tightly contested by-election in a constituency that is home to a large Muslim population who are vocal supporters of the Palestinians.
Labour Party member Steve Walker dismissed Starmer’s call as “spineless” pandering to the by-election and not seriously wanting to recognize an independent Palestine.
“Starmer didn’t tell Johnson for the UK to take the lead for other G7 nations by unilaterally recognizing Palestine,” Walker noted on his website The Sqwakbox. “He told him to ask other nations to come to an international agreement on recognizing Palestine – akin to calling for international agreement banning nuclear weapons or carbon. In other words, something in the long grass that is desirable but unlikely ever to happen.”
Walker said his party’s leader “is worried about the roughly one in five voters … who are Muslims” in the Batley and Spen riding where the by-election is taking place.
One of the candidates is George Galloway, the rabidly anti-Israel and openly anti-Semitic former Labour member who was known for being friends with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Galloway is running for his own Workers Party that he established in 2019 and there are fears he might siphon off some of the Labour support.
Galloway is “said to still have some popularity among locals after his tenure as MP for nearby Bradford West, but [Starmer] can’t quite bring himself to tell Johnson that the UK should recognize Palestine and be done with it, setting an example for other nations to follow,” Walker said.
(World Israel News).