BRITISH prime ministers make a fetish of announcing, when welcoming Israeli leaders, that they back a two-state solution and see Tel Aviv’s illegal West Bank settlements as an obstacle to peace.
Having ticked those boxes, they get on with the real business of boosting military and trade ties, confident that the Palestinian people will be mollified by this magnificent gesture.
When our political leaders declare backing for an independent Palestine, they leave open where this state might be.
Israel has spread far beyond the borders envisaged for it by the United Nations 70 years ago, but, while the Palestine Liberation Organisation agreed in the quest for peace to accept just 22 per cent of Palestine — the West Bank and Gaza — for its independent state, zionist leaders want more than the other 78 per cent.
They continue to build new, and develop existing, illegal West Bank settlements and reject any progress towards a just settlement.
Benjamin Netanyahu repeated their latest obstructive ploy again yesterday, demanding that the Palestinians “finally accept a Jewish state” before negotiations can start.
To be clear, this is not about Palestinian recognition of Israel’s right to exist — the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) gave this undertaking four decades ago — but about conceding that Israel’s 20 per cent Palestinian Arab minority do not belong in the land of their birth.
It is a deeply racist concept that ties in with Israel’s panoply of anti-Arab discriminatory laws and Netanyahu’s racist rhetoric in telling Jewish voters to go to the polls because “the Arabs are voting in droves.”
Netanyahu is not alone. His coalition government contains ministers yet more virulent in their racism and thirst for colonial expansionism.
Yet the British PM drones on about a non-existent peace process because she cannot bring herself to admit that Israel is less interested in meaningful negotiations than in the apartheid state’s inexorable absorption of Palestinian land.
Just as apartheid South Africa was driven to accept democracy by a combination of popular struggle and the international sanctions movement, so too the joint efforts of the Palestinian people and the global boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign can prevail over Israel’s ethnic cleansing programme.
May woes not over yet
BY naming her chief whip and Tory leadership parliamentary campaign manager Gavin Williamson to succeed Michael Fallon as defence secretary, Theresa May lays her weakness out for all to witness.
So desperate is May not to disturb the delicate balance between the EU leave and remain wings of her Cabinet that she cannot see beyond her eyes and ears in the House of Commons.
Given the chief whip’s responsibility for advising the PM on candidates’ suitability for ministerial office, it is difficult to take issue with a Tory MP’s categorisation of Williamson’s launch into the Cabinet as self-promotion.
An assortment of brass hats — some still in uniform and others now ensconced on the Tory benches — make much of Williamson’s non-military background in their assessments of May’s decision.
That applied equally to Fallon, but why should it be assumed that a defence secretary’s background ought to be in the military?
No-one takes it as read that a health secretary should be a midwife, doctor or nurse any more than a CV detailing experience driving a train, bus or lorry is required of a transport secretary — more’s the pity.
Fallon’s resignation for what remain essentially undisclosed reasons and Williamson’s catalogue of his colleagues’ various failings suggest that May’s self-inflicted suffering might not be at an end yet.