Foreign Ministry blasts British vote on Palestinian statehood, PLO lauds motion

Leading Jewish American group denounces UK lawmakers' passage of non-binding motion, saying it reduces "the United Kingdom’s standing as an honest broker in international affairs."

October 14, 2014 02:54
2 minute read.
palestinian london

A pro-Palestinian supporter wears a Palestinian and Union flag outside the Houses of Parliament in London. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Foreign Ministry lambasted British lawmakers for overwhelmingly approving a non-binding resolution on Monday night to recognize Palestinian statehood.

A communique published late Monday by the Israeli Embassy in London criticized the vote carried out by MPs in Britain's lower house of parliament, stressing that, "The route to Palestinian statehood runs through the negotiating room."

The mission slammed what it said was a unilateral measure that could undermine the potential for Israelis and Palestinians to attain peace through bilateral talks, which if resulted successfully could lead to the establishment of a recognized, independent Palestinian state.   

"Premature international recognition sends a troubling message to the Palestinian leadership that they can evade the tough choices that both sides have to make, and actually undermines the chances to reach a real peace," read the statement. "Recognition of a Palestinian state should be the result of a successful conclusion of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority."

Meanwhile, a leading association of Jewish Americans expressed disappointment in Britain's Parliament late Monday for overwhelmingly the motion on the recognition of a Palestinian alongside Israel.

“This vote was an empty public stunt that will have no impact other than to reduce the United Kingdom’s standing as an honest broker in international affairs," American Council for World Jewry Chairman Jack Rosen said in a statement following the vote that passed 274-12 in favor of the motion.

He added that the establishment of independent Palestinian state would result from diplomatic measures taken between Israel and the Palestinians, not by unilateral moved taken by foreign bodies.

"Those of us who truly wish to see a lasting resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict understand that a Palestinian state will come from honest, bilateral negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians—not from a unilateral and weightless resolution passed in the British Parliament," he stated.

Earlier, the PLO welcomed the lawmakers' vote, and called for the British government to officially amend its state policy and classify "Palestine" as a state.

“Our right to self-determination has never been up to negotiations. The recognition of Palestine is not contingent upon on the outcome of negotiations with Israel and certainly not something we will trade for; this claim is not only unfair, but immoral,” said senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi.

Ashrawi lauded the vote, saying it "sends the right message to the British government and the rest of Europe."

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