Britain: Liberal Democrats Vote For Visa-Free Travel For Palestinians
The liberal Democratic Party has called on the British government to pass a flurry of policies, including the allowance of visa-free permits—which the Israelis benefit from—to the Palestinians. The party, moreover, demanded the recognition of Palestine as an independent state within the “1967 borders”. Interestingly, it demanded the government to halt trade with Israeli settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories as well.
Palestine’s Ambassador to London, Husam Zomlot, has uploaded a picture with the leader of the party, thanking its members for their solidarity with the Palestinians. Furthermore, he called on other parties to follow suit and demanded real action from the British government to enforce international law in the occupied territories.
“It is the first step towards holding Israel accountable for its actions in occupied territory. Unless Israel begins to pay a price for its transgressions of international law, there is little hope for peace,” Zomlot said.
In a press release, the Palestinian Mission to the UK, an official representative body of the Palestinians in the UK, has welcomed the vote as well, describing it as a “positive development” in the positions of the Liberal Democrats on the cause of Palestine and towards advancing Palestinians’’ rights.
It’s noteworthy that Britain was among the very first countries to recognize Israel. The Belfour declaration (1917), the first official recognition of the so-called rights of the Israelis in occupied Palestine, is still used by the Israelis to perpetuate their occupation of Palestine. Though London attempted, through the declaration of the White Paper, to reverse its policy which ravaged the Palestinian population, nothing has happened on the ground.
Its, nonetheless, necessary to appreciate the Liberal Democrats’ vote which at least entails that parliamentarians are willing to bring the issue of the Palestinians’ rights to the forefront of global politics.
Equally interesting, the Progressive lawmakers in the US congress have succeeded to pressure the Biden administration to reverse a policy that sought to provide Israel with an extra $1 billion worth of military aid.
The Institute for Middle Understanding, a non-profit organization, has described the successful move as “a notable victory” for the Palestinians. In addition to the nearly $4 billion the US government already sends to the Israeli military every year, the extra $1billion worth of military would have provided the Zionist state with the necessary military capabilities needed to thwart the so-called sabotage attempts of the Palestinians.