Tue 28 May 2024 4:21 pm - Jerusalem Time

Former British diplomat: It is time for the United Kingdom to recognize the State of Palestine

In an article published by the British newspaper The Independent, Vincent Finn, the former UK Consul General in Jerusalem, wrote that Palestinian self-determination is the key to a just peace in the Middle East.

He said that Britain deprived the Palestinians of this right through its misconduct during the period of the British Mandate over Palestine, before it fled in 1948.

After 75 years of Israeli occupation of Gaza, East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, it is right that we recognize the State of Palestine on those lands.

Finn pointed out that Spain, Ireland, and Norway are the latest countries to do so, as they announced last week that, starting tomorrow, they will join the long list of countries that officially recognize the Palestinian state.

He added: They set the example that Britain should have set for the so-called “two-state solution,” which we must encourage others to follow.

The writer believes that the matter requires some clarification about what we should envision as a Palestinian state, as it should be on the pre-June 1967 borders, with full territorial sovereignty, freedom of movement of people and goods, and control over administrative matters (birth registration, etc.). .

Vincent Fein criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition agreement because it "explicitly states that only Jews are entitled to self-determination on that land," considering it a specific claim on a racial basis.

He added that as long as Netanyahu remains in office, there will be no negotiations, and the prospects after that are uncertain at best.

The writer urged Britain, since it is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, to work closely with France - which is now the main player in European foreign policy - the United States, the European Union, Israel's Arab neighbors and the Commonwealth partners who are now considering recognizing it, especially Australia and New Zealand.

He said recognition could bring with it two rare commodities: hope and respect. We hope that there will be a genuine and sustained international effort, with Britain finally doing its full part, to address shared inequality, discrimination and insecurity by exclusively peaceful means on the basis of international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

He expressed the hope that Israelis would be able to live in security, that all their Arab neighbors would recognize them, and that Palestinians would be able to achieve their right to self-determination.

As for respect, Britain has shown little respect for Palestinian rights for a century or more. Recognizing Palestine alongside Israel would begin to demonstrate parity in respect between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. Although this is not the complete solution, it is the right start.

Source: Independent


Share your opinion

Former British diplomat: It is time for the United Kingdom to recognize the State of Palestine