Oldham MP backs Palestinian independence motion to call for ‘real and lasting change’

Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams is the latest on a long list of politicians to back a motion to recognise Palestine as an independent state.

The motion passed in the House of Commons with a majority in favour of an independent Palestine, voting 274 to 12.

Labour MP Grahame Morris brought the motion forward.

He said: “This house believes that the government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.”

Support for the motion marks a significant change on the political scene after peace agreements failed to come to fruition during the hostile conflict in Gaza this summer.

Ms Abrahams, a civic and community leader, delivered Oldham’s 8,303 signatures backing peace in Gaza to Downing Street in August.

Responding to MP Robert Jenrick’s remark that passing the motion was unlikely to have a significant impact on the peace process, Ms Abrahams argued that UK Anglican and Catholic churches believe that recognising Palestine as an independent state will make a difference.

“A former British consul-general to Jerusalem has said that we need to support moderate Israelis and Palestinians, and that recognising Palestine is the nudge that will help in that direction,” said Ms Abrahams.

Quoting Britain’s unique historical connection with Palestine through the establishment of the ‘British Mandate for Palestine’ which was formed in 1920, Mr Morris said Britain had a ‘moral responsibility’ to Israel and Palestine.

He urged members of the Commons to take the ‘small but historically important step’ in supporting an autonomous Palestine.

In 2012, the UN General Assembly voted to promote the Palestinians’ status to that of a ‘non-member observer state.’

However, 41 nations including the United Kingdom abstained on the the vote.

After the debate, Ms Abrahams said: “Recognising Palestine on an equal footing with Israel, as a state in its own right, is an essential part of this process if real and lasting change is going to be made.”

She also stated that lasting peace could only be established if the issues regarding blockades and settlements were addressed, adding that there needed to be ‘access to justice’ for everyone.

More than 130 countries to date have said they recognise Palestine as an independent state. 

Image courtesy of Mark Krantz, via YouTube, with thanks.

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