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The dangers of UK abstention on Palestine bid


In advance of the Foreign Secretary’s statement on the UN bid CMEC President, the Rt Hon Nicholas Soames MP, and Chairman, Baroness Morris of Bolton, issue a statement advocating UK support for the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN Security Council:

We believe that Britain should vote in favour of Palestinian statehood at the UN Security Council on November 11th. As a good friend of Israel and Palestine, the UK has always supported a viable sovereign and secure Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel and this vote asks no more than that we should vote accordingly.

This is the time for the UK to stand on the right side of history – especially because of our historical involvement through the British Mandate in Palestine and the Balfour Declaration. Public opinion is strongly on the side of the Palestinians, as shown by opinion polls showing 71% support for the Palestinian bid to be an independent state.

The consequences of an abstention would be severe. The UK cannot support the right to self-determination in every country in the Middle East and then deny the same right to the Palestinians. The World Bank, IMF, UN and EU have all assessed the performance of the Palestinian Authority and reported that it is ready for statehood. President Obama promised in his speech to the UN last year that Palestine would be “a new member of the United Nations” by September 2011. That promise was endorsed by the UK. We should honour that promise.

If the UK supports recognition, this could open the way to negotiations between Israel and Palestine talking to one another for the first time on a basis of equality as neighbours.

If the UK votes against, this would run the risk of playing into the hands of extremists on both sides and spiralling into violence.

Read the Guardian article here:


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  1. Elijah Traven says:

    I think the Conservative Middle East Council is absolutely correct to support Palestine in its bid for statehood. The government should cast their vote in favour of Palestine becoming an independent state. It would help to solve the decades old dispute and change the face of the Middle East and the world. The UK has its own interests in the region. Quite apart from wishing to help the warring states come to a properly formulated agreement we have to recognise that in terms of population and trading prospects the region contains hundreds of millions of people. The UK have a duty towards its own citizens. We are 62 million people and we depend on our trade with the world to maintain our way of life. The government has to think of its domestic political and economic demands and this means opening up trade in the Middle East and increasing it in volume. Israel has a minor size population. It is a like a rabbit demanding equal attention with a tiger. Its interests are not ours and we need to recognise this fact. Never mind threats from them we have to be clear minded and positvely build up our Middle Eastern trade and overall relationship with all the countries in the region. Israel is exploiting its unique position and relationship with America to enrich itself. We need to be practical and put Israel in its proper economic position. Rise above the conflict as it is not really our concern at all. Israel is the blockage point and has absolutely no intention of coming to terms with Palestine in a fair and equal agreement. Palestine should be recognised as an independent state as this is the only way to solve the conflict. It is getting in our way and we should get rid of any illusions about Israel. A country which is interfering with our strategic interests. Let us recognise what is happening in the Middle East and begin to distance ourselves from Israel. We have to be harsh with such a country. It is in their ultimate interests to be firmly dealt with as otherwise the only long term solution is the break up of the Israeli state and the dispersal of all its Jewish citizens to all points of the world. Let us open our eyes at last and recognise the truth. It is staring us in the face. Vote for Palestinian statehood.

  2. Eliza Gray says:

    Hey guys, Could be the U.S. a lot better off staying with Syria’s Assad?

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