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Backbench Business — Palestine and Israel

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 9:11 pm on 13th October 2014.

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Photo of Mark Durkan Mark Durkan Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Treasury) 9:11 pm, 13th October 2014

Absolutely, and such involvement predated that period. People feared that it was just a gesture that might somehow lead to a dangerous outcome. In fact, the layers of understanding, initiative and input from the international community over several years helped to condition the context of the peace process and to give people a sense of reality about our problem and the absolute and unavoidable requirements of a solution. That was done in ways that made people comfortable with those requirements, because they did not have the burden of making concessions or compromises themselves, but could take them as things that were already givens in the process.

That is why the important step from the international community in doing more to recognise the state of Palestine is the creation of a sense that the process is a more equal. Will recognition create a solution? No. Will detailed negotiations have to happen? Absolutely. People will have the huge task of trying to work out a solution, to work with the solution and to work with each other within the solution, but one thing the international community can do is to say, “We are not going to endorse anybody’s excesses by retailing their excuses.” That is why we should not endorse the violence of Israel by subscribing to its veto on the very process in the very basic question before the House tonight.