Israel an issue on new e-petitions website

By Jennifer Lipman, August 5, 2011

The government's new "e-petitions" website has already attracted attention from a number of pro and anti-Israel campaigners.

Launched this week, the site allows voters to register a petition on any subject. If they manage to attract more than 100,000 signatures, the point could be debated by MPs in the House of Commons.

Amidst the petitions about the death penalty, driving offences and free public transport for students are several devoted to the Middle East.

One, submitted by the Rev John Jones, asked the FCO to "reverse Britain's anti-Israel/pro-Palestinian policies".

The creator said: "It is our desire that our government reverses its present course of policies which are designed to put pressure upon the Israeli government and people to give up Israeli land in exchange for peace. The very action of forcing Israel to give up land is in itself contrary to international law."

Another campaigner said that the Palestinians should recognise Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

The author added: "It is time to move the peace process forward, and to place pressure on the Palestinians to recognise Israel's inalienable right to self-determination - a right recognised for all other peoples."

Another petition, which has not yet attracted any support, calls for Israel to be forced to "lift the seige of Gaza."

However the user spelled siege incorrectly, which would not sit well with another petitioner who demanded that points involving such misdemeanours automatically be disqualified.

Last updated: 1:53pm, August 5 2011