Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Backbench Business — Palestine and Israel

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 8:58 pm on 13th October 2014.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Robert Jenrick Robert Jenrick Conservative, Newark 8:58 pm, 13th October 2014

I am putting the argument that I want a well thought out strategy to end the conflict. I do not believe that this is the time for gestures. I hope hon. Members forgive the naivety of the second newest Member of the House—I welcome the newest one to her place—but I believe that this is a serious country and that we should pursue a serious foreign policy, based not on gestures, however well intentioned, but on our best efforts to address the unending quest for security and peace in the middle east. That applies in Iraq, where our decision not to address ISIS in Syria is not as serious a position as we could or perhaps should be taking. I believe that that also applies in respect of this motion.

I appreciate the powerful urge to leave this Chamber contented and able to face our electorates having done something. I am not alone in having received hundreds of e-mails and letters urging me to support this motion. I appreciate the urge to respond to the horrors of the summer in Gaza and the continued, impossibly frustrating impasse. However, if we believe in peace, we have to do what most advances it, and I do not believe that passing this motion is that. The British Government should use what influence they have once again to urge Prime Minister Netanyahu to sit down and negotiate, with no preconceptions, a realistic peace based on a two-state solution, and to urge President Abbas to accept the offer. My priority is to get the Palestinians a viable state rather than make a modest gesture here or have a momentary victory in the United Nations that will raise expectations but do little in the long term to further the interests of peace.