On Monday the British House of Commons endorsed a Labour MP's motion supporting diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian state. Though non-binding this follows hard on the heels of the new Swedish Government announcing it will recognize Palestine. Both parliaments have been up till now supporters of Israel's right to a peaceful existence.
'Richard Ottaway, a Conservative lawmaker and chairman of the Foreign
Affairs Committee, who said he “stood by Israel through thick and thin,
through the good years and the bad,” and “under normal circumstances, I
would oppose the motion tonight; but such is my anger over Israel’s behaviour in recent months that I will not oppose the motion. I have to
say to the government of Israel that if they are losing people like me,
they will be losing a lot of people”'
'Advocates of the measure rejected the idea that recognition would harm
the peace process: "There is no peace, and there is no process.."'
'The most recent American-mediated talks collapsed in April. Meanwhile,
Israel continues to build new settlements or expand existing ones, thus
shrinking the territory available for a Palestinian state and ignoring
an international community that considers such construction illegal. The
recent war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, which killed more than
2,000 Palestinians and 73 Israelis, has increased the sense that
violence will keep recurring while peace remains elusive'.
We have travelled a long way from how we felt when we sat in front of our TVs and cheered on Israeli troops as they were winning the Six Days War. Now, at the very same time as militant Islam gets more ghastly by the month, the Israeli government grows uglier in its determination to behave like some sort of throwback imperial power. Their military is not yet a mirror of the British Black and Tans in early C20th in Ireland, but it is trending in that direction as the intransigent Israeli settlers grabbing land from Arabs look more and more like Edward Carson's Ulster Unionist thugs in pursuing what they claim to be their right.
Nothing changes - might is still right.