The British Labor Party issued its electoral statement last week, in which it said it would recognize the Palestinian state if it wins the June general elections. “The British government, if it is headed by the British Labor Party, will immediately recognize the Palestinian state,” the statement said.
The statement raised a stir in British circles. The statement also called for an end to Israeli occupation and siege and called for a halt to settlement construction. “It is time to achieve a permanent peace agreement to resolve the Palestinian issue on the basis of a two-state solution,” the statement said, stressing that the first thing the party will do upon its arrival is recognition of the Palestinian state as a step towards peace in the Middle East.
Experts and observers said that Labor Party had to make some changes to its statement because the leaked version highlighted the “humanitarian crisis” in the occupied Palestinian territories. The statement also stressed that building settlements in the West Bank is illegal and in some ways or another is threatening the peace process.
Jeremy Corbin, the current head of the British Labor Party, is one of the most prominent advocates of the Palestinian cause and opposed to Israel’s policies and continuing human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Corbin stressed on more than one occasion his continued support for boycotting Israel, especially with regard to weapons and settlement goods. Corbin will be 68 years old when he enters the first election for him on June 8.
Ten European parliaments, notably the parliaments of Britain, Sweden, Spain, France and Portugal, have recognized Palestine, calling on their governments to formally recognize it. And at the end of 2012, 138 countries voted for Palestine’s membership in UN as an observer state.