Palestine: United States’ Peace to Prosperity Economic Plan Debate

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Lord Dykes

Main Page: Lord Dykes (Crossbench - Life peer)

Palestine: United States’ Peace to Prosperity Economic Plan

Lord Dykes Excerpts
Thursday 18th July 2019

(4 years, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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My Lords, it is a very great privilege to follow the noble Lord, Lord Turnberg, who is a great expert on the subject and some years ago wrote an outstanding book on the need for peace and for two states between these two countries. I warmly thank the noble Lord, Lord Cope, for his initiative in launching this debate today. He has a brilliant record of deep knowledge of the problems in this area and has fought for justice for Palestine for many years; I thank him for that.

I have been a friend of Israel for many years. It is a fabulous country, which used to be much more cheerful than it is now—I am sad to say that. We know that the development of extreme right-wing politics under the Netanyahu Government has made people more uneasy about the future, even though their triumphalism makes it look as though they are being successful. That is a huge problem and it is going to get worse, unless Netanyahu’s Government in Jerusalem, with their lack of wisdom, change their mind fundamentally on these points. This has been a theme that has come through in every speech in this debate: it is essential that they do that.

Unfortunately, the erratic, inexperienced and ignorant President of the United States—the worst President that that country has ever had the misfortune to have—does not know anything at all about this subject and just takes one side; and not even the side of Israel as a country, but that of the Netanyahu Government. That is a foolish stance to take and leads us nowhere at all down this vital road.

I have always admired Israel as a wonderful country, but I am convinced that if justice is given to the Palestinians, next door to it another wonderful country will be created. With full peace and justice between them and all these decisions resolved, they will shake hands and work together as two of the most dynamic countries in the Middle East to promote not only their own reciprocal prosperity, strength and political security but that of others in the area as well. It is so foolish of the narrow-minded Netanyahu Government to ignore these realities.

So many Israelis are frustrated beyond belief at the attitude of this Government. It is a terrible election system anyway, because there are no constituencies—only the national list system, which inhibits the representation of a lot of people who would like to be better represented. Because of that, and due to the lack of a threshold, we see odd, eccentric, minority parties joining coalitions all the time, now with an increasingly right-wing texture. That is causing a doom-laden future to come through more and more.

The reality is that the Israeli Government have to accept that they must change. If they do, Israel and Palestine will come together. Palestine cannot be the only UN member state in the world to be denied its sovereignty.