Philip Weiss writes: Yesterday [October 13] the British Parliament voted overwhelmingly (274-12) to recognize a Palestinian state, and if you listened to the debate, one theme above all else explains the crushing victory: The British public has been horrified by Gaza and its opinion of Israel has shifted. Even Conservative members of Parliament cited pressure from the public. As Labour’s Andy Slaughter said, Britain has witnessed a new “barbarism”:
I think that the British people have been on the same sort of the journey as the right hon. Member for Croydon South [Conservative Sir Richard Ottaway] described — it is certainly true of the Labour movement — from being very sympathetic to Israel as a country that was trying to achieve democracy and was embattled, to seeing it now as a bully and a regional superpower. That is not something I say with any pleasure, but since the triumph of military Zionism and the Likud-run Governments we have seen a new barbarism in that country.
Slaughter and a fellow Labour member, Kate Green, said that just as the British Parliament sent a message to Obama a year ago in voting to oppose the Conservative Prime Minister on attacking Syria, a vote Obama heeded in reversing course on a Syria attack, today the British Parliament aims to influence U.S. policy on Palestine.
The Parliamentary debate was conducted in moral terms throughout, a fact that the parliamentarians described as historic. And the discussion was astonishing in its contrast to the stifled debate on these issues in the US Congress. [Continue reading…]