Thank you to the many members and supporters who lobbied their MPs ahead of the December 2017 debate in the UK Parliament Westminster Hall.
ICAHD UK provided extensive briefing documents to help MPs and constituents formulate the key arguments against settlements and house demolitions.
The full debate can be read online.
Stephen Kinnock MP, a seasoned advocate for Palestinian rights, led the debate, framing it around basic values of justice and human rights. In the debate he stated that: “It becomes increasingly difficult to see how a two-state solution could work with that level of occupation taking place.”
MPs Nick Thomas-Symonds, Philippa Whitford, Lisa Nandy, Jonathan Edwards, Jim Cunningham, Matt Rodda, Paula Sherriff, Paul Blomfield, Ian C. Lucas, Rupa Huq (Ealing Central and Acton) (Lab), Lilian Greenwood, Tony Lloyd, Imran Hussain, Afzal Khan, Ruth Cadbury, Bob Stewart, Naz Shah, Kevin Hollinrake, Grahame Morris, Richard Burden, Holly Lynch and Andy Slaughter all deserve our thanks and praise for supporting Palestinian rights. Also Tommy Sheppard – speaking for the SNP frontbench – set out an excellent case. Fabian Hamilton (a supporter of Labour Friends of Israel) was unexpectedly good for the opposition frontbench, perhaps following his visit with Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East.
Very few MPs challenged the main arguments set out by Stephen Kinnock MP and other MPs who actively support Palestinian rights.
Only Louise Ellman, Ian Austin, Matthew Offord, John Howell, Jim Shannon and John Lamont made contributions that appeared more supportive of Israeli state actors.
The minister, Alistair Burt, was disappointing, appearing to understand the challenges but having little but more of the same to offer. It’s no good talking about improved zoning and planning or more funds for legal aid and co-existence projects. The Occupation must end and there must be equal rights for all people groups.
Stephen Kinnock summed it up well: “What I really hope is that the Government will close the gap between rhetoric and reality and follow up on the Minister’s statements. I am sure we can rely on the Minister’s belief in them, but we now need to turn that belief into concrete action and finally start to make progress on the desperate and challenging situation in the illegally occupied territories of the west bank.”
If your MP was one of those supporting Palestinian human rights please write to thank them.