MPs call for economic sanctions on ‘apartheid’ Israel


Backbench MPs have called for a series of economic sanctions to be imposed on Israel in response to its policies towards the Palestinians.

During a debate in Parliament they said a major shift in British foreign policy was also needed to bring about a two-state solution to end the conflict.

The Westminster Hall session was led by Labour MP Grahame Morris, who secured October's historic Commons vote which called on the government to recognise Palestinian statehood.

Mr Morris said economic sanctions were needed alongside an arms embargo on Israel to force Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to change its approach.

More than 30 MPs spoke during the three-hour session, with the majority attacking Israel and a number repeatedly likening the country to apartheid South Africa.

Sir Alan Duncan, who launched a blistering attack on the Israeli government’s settler policy in October, said responses to his comments had shown him “the Jewish voice in the UK has changed significantly in favour of a Palestinian state”.

Respect MP George Galloway said the situation in Jerusalem was turning to crisis and would overshadow the “erupting sore” of Gaza.

Former Middle East Minister Alistair Burt called on Mr Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to meet and “physically stand together and say ‘no more’” in order to stop the spiral of violence. He said it was a time for “bravery and courage” from the men.

He said Israel needed to realise the “reality” of the fall-out from the conflict in Gaza in the summer and acknowledge the changing view of world opinion.

His fellow Conservative MPs Robert Halfon and Matthew Offord were among those who defended Israel.

Monday’s session took place after more than 124,000 people signed a petition calling for further debate on Palestine.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive