May 02

Recognise Palestine State says Lords

David Lord Howell of Guildford has urged the UK to recognise a State of Palestine

David Lord Howell of Guildford has urged the UK to recognise a State of Palestine

An influential House of Lords Committee has suggested the UK Government recognise a new State of Palestine.

The Lords International Relations Committee today published its report, ‘The Middle East: Time for New Realism’.  It calls for a major re-shaping of UK policy in the Middle East.  It also ‘questions some of the assumptions and attitudes which have underlain both UK and Western policies toward the region for more than a century’.


The Rt Hon. the Lord Howell of Guildford is chairman of the Committee.  David Arthur Russell Howell was educated at Eton and Kings College Cambridge, where he took a First in Economics.  The high-flyer was elected MP for Guildford.  He was a cabinet minister under Margaret Thatcher.  Later he was a Minister of State in the Foreign Office.  His daughter, Frances, is married to the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Conservative MP George Osborne.

The Committee bought into the US Syrian chemical attack narrative.  Consequently, it endorses ‘the military action of the US in Syria as justified and appropriate given Russia’s determination to block action at the UN Security Council, and the violation of the Syrian regime’s obligations under the Chemicals Weapons Convention.’

Nevertheless, Lord Howell has not slavishly followed the US lead.  On the campaign trail, Donald Trump vowed to tear up President Obama’s deal with Iran.  But the Report says, ‘The UK should work with Iran despite US policy to ensure the stability of the Iran nuclear deal.’  That would be a way of peace in a region needing stability.

Palestine State comments

But it is the comments on a political strike against Israel which have garnered most publicity.  Coincidentally, the Report was published on Israel’s Independence Day, 2nd May.

Paragraph 270 of the report says: ‘The balance of power in the delivery of peace lies with Israel. If Israel continues to reduce the possibilities of a two-state solution, the UK should be ready to support UNSC (UN Security Council) resolutions condemning those actions (of settlements in Judea and Samaria) in no uncertain terms. The Government should give serious consideration to now recognising Palestine as a state, as the best way to show its determined attachment to the two-state solution.’

Where the borders of the State of Palestine would be the eighty-one-year-old peer does not specify.  Nor does he say who should run it.  The Hamas terrorists of Gaza and the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas are squabbling.  The latter operates in the so-called ‘West Bank (Judea and Samaria).  Abbas is trying to seize control of Gaza right at this moment, according to press reports.  Hamas have responded, says the Times of Israel, by accusing Abbas of ‘crimes against humanity’

Palestine UN non-member observer status

A State of Palestine represented by the Palestinian Authority has been recognised by 136 out of 193 United Nations member states.  Of course every Muslim state recognises it.  Most of Eastern Europe, Asia, the Far East, Africa and South America also side with the PA.  So do Russia, Iceland and Sweden.

In September 2011, Britain said it would recognise Palestine as a state, but only with non-member observer status, rather than full membership, at the United Nations.  Such status was agreed.

On 29 November 2012, the UN General Assembly passed a motion changing Palestine’s “entity” status to “non-member observer state.”  The vote was 138 to 9, with 41 abstentions.

Those voting against were Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States.  The United Kingdom was among the abstentions.

The recommendation in Lord Howell’s Report would move the UK to the side of opposing Israel.  But Scripture shows that is not a good place to be.

Some Scripture on Israel

Jeremiah 31:35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: 36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

Zechariah 12:2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. … 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

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  1. Rox

    Really ! You can forget the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and Palau.
    What did Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, and the Isles of Wight and Man think ?

    Palestine is there. Most of it is actually occupied Jordan, which tends to be forgotten. Israel continuing to reduce the possibility of a two-state solution is a very real point (it’s like Russia flooding eastern Ukraine with Russian immigrants to boost its quite reasonable claims there — not cricket).

    The Lords committee is right, but what to do next ? Unfortunately, most foreigners don’t play cricket, notably not our American friends. Trump has probably never even heard of it. He probably thinks that a test match is an experimental new device for lighting cigars.

  2. skai

    The Lords committee are they in their senses ???

    1. Mark Jones

      what do you mean? Most of the world wants the two-state solution, blind as they are, and may impose it on Israel if she doesn’t co-operate. Will this be the Ezekiel 38 war?

      1. Rox

        I agree with Mark.

        But will this be the Ezekiel 38 war ? No, probably not.
        Mark would enjoy dipping into Nostradamus,.

  3. tomfoolery

    The alternative to the 2 state solution is a 1 state solution which ends Israel as a ‘Jewish state’ . So can someone explain to me why a 2 solution is opposing Israel?

    1. Stephen

      Well, where should the boundaries be?

      1. tomfoolery

        The boundaries would be the pre June 1967 borders, the borders that the Zionists declared in May 1948. Can you take the time to explain why a 2 state solution would be ‘opposing Israel’? I’d be obliged if you could as i don’t understand why the 2 state solution would be ‘opposing Israel’

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