William Hague's decision to abstain in the UN general assembly vote on recognition of Palestine as a "non-member observer state" unless the Palestinian Authority accepts Israel's demand for "unconditional negotiations" is shameful.
It exposes the British government as an accomplice to Israel's ongoing colonisation of the West Bank and its determination to capture as much Palestinian land as possible.
Bilateral negotiations mediated by the absurdly pro-Israel US have brought no benefits to the Palestinian people.
Tel Aviv has used its military might, backed up by the world's only superpower, to ride roughshod over Palestinian rights, illegally annexe and colonise east Jerusalem and much of the West Bank and to construct a massive apartheid wall on Palestinian land to make life impossible for the indigenous people.
Israel demands concessions from the Palestinian side before every bout of supposed negotiations but refuses to halt its colonisation programme.
Its ethnic cleansing in the West Bank is mirrored by similar actions inside Israel itself, where the one-fifth Arab minority is treated as the enemy within to be relocated at whim or threatened with loss of citizenship for rejecting zionism's oxymoronic "Jewish democratic state."
The European Union simply repeats US pro-Israel formulations, especially during the recent Pillar of Cloud military assault on Gaza.
Faced with the slaughter of dozens of Palestinian non-combatants, including children, the EU and our government repeated the US line of "self-defence" for the occupying power.
Such hypocrisy has to stop and the unanswerable case for Palestinian statehood accepted.
Palestinians know that they cannot wait patiently for Israel and the US to get round to respecting international law. They have to depend on the world community.
Britain ought to be part of that community not an apologist for the aggressor.
Government claims about highest-ever levels of employment perplex many people who see clearly the effect of cuts on jobs, but now the truth is out.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revelation that over three million people are underemployed cuts the ground from underneath coalition propaganda.
The huge rise in part-time employment - up 50 per cent in the past four years - blows the gaff on the true situation.
This is not a matter of working people choosing reduced hours to juggle childcare or other family responsibilities.
It is a deliberate ploy by employers to reduce their payroll without having to go through redundancy procedures.
Moreover, it transfers the responsibility for families' minimum standard of living from employers to the state by means of various top-up in-work benefits.
Underemployment not only puts a strain on family finances but on mental stability in the face of constant worries about a precarious employment situation to which government ministers are insensitive.
The ONS figures ought to serve as a clarion call to politicians to ditch the failed austerity agenda prescribed by bankers and international finance agencies and recognise that government has a responsibility during a recession, whether double-dip or triple-dip, to invest for growth and jobs.
Deficit-cutting obsessions are self-defeating if they result in increased unemployment or underemployment, lower tax receipts and higher welfare benefit claims.
Government must encourage consumer demand by putting money in the hands of the people through infrastructure renewal, employment-creation schemes and an end to the Downing Street-directed jobs slaughter and its freeze on welfare benefits and public-sector pay.
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