Yesterday evening, MPs voted to recognise the state of Palestine alongside Israel. The vote, carried by 274 to 12, was not binding. But the move was deeply symbolic, and support came from across the political spectrum. Most telling, perhaps, was the contribution of Tory MP Richard Ottaway, who had been a strong supporter of Israel during conflicts such as the Six Day War.
Definitely not fair and balanced
He told that “Looking back over the past 20 years, I realise now Israel has slowly been drifting away from world public opinion. The annexation of the 950 acres of the West Bank just a few months ago has outraged me more than anything else in my political life. It has made me look a fool and that is something I deeply resent”.
“In normal circumstances” he would have opposed the motion, but “such is my anger with the behaviour of Israel in recent months that I will not be opposing this motion. I have to say to the government of Israel: if it is losing people like me, it is going to be losing a lot of people”. Not everyone heeded his words.
Yes, heeding only the words of Herself Personally Now was Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips, who was incandescent with rage at the idea of recognising a Palestinian state. By its vote, Parliament would “be a human shield for Palestinian rejectionism and terror”. And, as for that annexation of land, there was “No such thing in law” as Palestinian land – so there!
The 500 children killed in Gaza? That was someone else’s fault. Any illegal occupation was down to the Jordanians (confused? You will be, it doesn’t get any more rational). She endorsed the idea that Israel only had 18% of the land to which it was entitled. And don’t go back to those dead civilians in Gaza, because the IDF takes more care than any other army not to kill them. Allegedly.
Remember, “Israel is only a fraction of Palestine ... Jews legally entitled to settle throughout”. King Abdullah and his Government in Amman may find that interesting. But she has one supporter: Douglas Murray. Yes, Doug Murray the K, who said “conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board”. In other words, he’s an intolerant bigot. Good choice, Mel.
But none of this had any effect on the vote. So then came “Palestine vote has lined up Parliament with lies, blood libels and racist terror, put rocket fuel under Jew hatred”. I mean, “Israel has stolen nothing. Ever. Legally morally, historically entitled instead”. And the Murdoch Times has given her a column – the pundit who was too strident even for the Daily Mail.
Sadly for Mel, Richard Ottaway was not listening. He, and the vast majority of MPs who voted yesterday – and several of those supporting the motion were Jewish – have had enough. Israel is running out of friends, Mel. Deal with it.
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