Proud to vote for the recognition of the state of Palestine

On Monday (October 13) I voted in Parliament for a motion which called for the recognition of the state of Palestine.

As someone who worked on the humanitarian and human rights consequences of the ongoing conflict before entering parliament with both Oxfam and World Vision, this is an issue I care deeply about.

I fully support two states living side by side in peace, and recognised by all of their neighbours, and it is clear that the events of recent months only underline the dangers for both Palestinians and Israelis of a resumption of violence and bloodshed.

The events in Gaza in particular have been a tragedy and humanitarian catastrophe and I have spoken out on a number of occasions on this in Parliament.

I remain of the firm view that this longstanding conflict will only be resolved through negotiations and ambitious peace-making efforts on all sides and at all levels.

However after decades of diplomatic failure there are those on all sides that today question whether a two-state solution is any longer possible.

That is why I believe that the international community must take concrete steps to strengthen and support moderate opinion in Palestinian politics and society, to encourage all parties to reject the path of violence and instead take the path of politics, and rekindle hopes that there is a credible route to a secure (and viable) Palestinian state and a secure Israel.

Palestinian recognition is not a means of bypassing the need for talks, but a bridge for restarting them.



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