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British Baroness and Member of Parliament Opposes UK Recognition of "Palestine"

Baroness Ruth Deech, whose father was a Jewish historian and journalist who fled the Nazis and who lost many family members during the Holocaust, gave this speech at the House of Lords, opposing the U.K.’s recognition of “Palestine”:

In the 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, despite the millions spent on Holocaust education and remembrance, the museums and memorials and the school visits to concentration camps, there is a gap in memory and education that needs to be bridged. The desire and opportunity to murder 6 million people of a different religion whose presence on his territory the murderer resents must not arise again. The message Jews took from the Holocaust was that their nationalism was necessary. It has been a success. Israel is not Saudi Arabia; it is not North Korea, Iran or Pakistan. It is a flourishing and democratic outpost in the desert with an astonishing record. It is a safe haven, an imperative for existence that can be applied to no other country in the world.

Yasser Arafat declared an independent state of Palestine in 1988 and recognition followed from 100 states. The subsequent failure to change anything on the ground demonstrates the truth of the international law on recognition: namely, that statehood has to be founded in fact, not in numbers of recognitions …

The practical result of a premature state of Palestine would simply be to free up the import of arms into the new state. The aim underlying this move is the takeover of Israel …

It would be for a closer jumping-off point for the demolition of the State of Israel in pursuance of the alleged right of return. As other noble Lords have said, Fatah and Hamas want a one-state solution. Why should Israel recognise Palestine if there is no reciprocity but only a step towards elimination in return?

In the climate of extremism that is sweeping Europe, why should a country want to take a step that risks feeding it more? The only purpose is manipulative—to allow Palestinians to pursue claims against Israel at the UN and other international bodies …

Israel’s antagonists often accuse her of apartheid. In the worst times of genuine apartheid in South Africa, Mandela was planning his future independent country’s constitution, educating its leaders, preaching peace, not vengeance, and acting as a statesman. In the early days of Zionism, before statehood, the Jewish residents of what was to be Israel prepared their governance structure, set up the organs of a state, created universities, made the desert bloom, prepared a legal system and a free press, trade unions, hospitals and charities. None of this is present in the Palestinian leadership; nothing is readied. It is not a state under international law, but I have no time to describe that.

The worst element, of course, is that the residents will not be citizens but will be regarded as refugees whose aim is to return to a different state—Israel—rather than establishing citizenship in their own state, and the new state would be wholly dependent on international funds … Let there be a two-state solution by all means if the Palestinians will create a homeland, accept the refugees, lay down their arms and be a country of peace.

Tags: Video , Palestinian Authority , Europe

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