Ex-UK minister Lady Warsi urges MPs to recognize Palestine
‘Somehow we have to breathe new life into these negotiations and one of the ways we can do that is by recognizing the state of Palestine,’ Lady Warsi says
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a former British minister who resigned over London’s refusal to take a tougher line on Israel in the most recent Gaza war, is urging MPs to recognize the state of Palestine in a potentially historic vote on Monday
“There is a lack of political will and our moral compass is missing,” Warsi told the Observer newspaper in an interview published on Saturday.
“There are no negotiations; there is no show in town. Somehow we have to breathe new life into these negotiations and one of the ways we can do that is by recognizing the state of Palestine,” she said.
On Monday, the House of Commons will debate a motion to recognize Palestinian statehood. It comes only a week after Sweden’s new prime minister said his government would recognize Palestine.
Monday’s motion is purely symbolic, according to The Guardian newspaper.
In the interview, Warsi slammed the British government, which she resigned from in August, accusing it of abdicating responsibility for driving the peace process and said that London’s diplomatic channels with Israel counted “for nothing.”
She also said there was widespread disquiet over the UK government’s approach to the decades-old issue and that far more needed to be done to pressure Israel toward a two-state solution.
Warsi quit over Cameron’s refusal to take a tougher line on Israel during the most recent Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that killed some 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 73 Israelis, mostly from the military.
She said: “It’s not just former ministers, there are ministers in government of this view. The Foreign Office itself to the highest level feels our policy on this is wrong. Numerous officials from the Foreign Office have been in touch after my resignation, saying we absolutely agree with your position and the government is absolutely wrong.
“You’ve a small group of politicians who are keeping a close grip on this and who are not allowing public opinion, ministerial views, parliamentary views and the views of the people who work in this system,” she alleged.