Death of Normal

On last Monday night, the British House of Commons voted in a non-binding resolution to recognize a State of Palestine. Newspapers around Europe, North America and in Israel took notice and duly reported the event.

Yawn? Should this 272-12 vote matter?

Yes. It is important for Britain, Israel and the Palestinians. It is important for Americans. And it is significant.

Its importance is two-fold. First, in the heightened atmosphere of BDS campaigns against Israel and Jews on university campuses, the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, this vote is another sign in a series that show a concerted effort to delegitimize the State of Israel. To have pro-Palestinian Labor Backbencher Grahame Morris speak first was no accident. His remarks to the UK’s opportunity to atone for historic mistakes was every much the slap in the face intended it to be. But, far worse is the realization that with this vote, non-binding as it were, is still a rejection of the time and talented negotiations that brought forth the Balfour Declaration and a repudiation of that very document. But that is history that most people don’t know and care not to learn.

The second importance is this. If the British House of Commons, the beacon of parliamentary democracy in a world of imitation, holds a vote and among those present overwhelming approves recognizing a state that has no boundaries, no army, and questionable government, what is there to defer other democratic nations from doing so. Moreover, if British politicians are in such a hurry to do this, the counter-question must be raised, why? It took a full two years after Israeli recognition and declaration of statehood in 1948 before Britain did, and this was after Israel’s borders and government were well established. There may be relevance in the saying it was politically correct rather than politically astute. Still, the vote was held. And that is what makes this vote significant.

Similar votes may take place in Berlin and Paris and Madrid. What is to say that after the U.S. midterm elections, some member of the American Congress would not offer a resolution on recognizing a State of Palestine? While, this is in the realm of the hypothetical, it was not too far ago that this vote in the U.K parliament was considered the same.

From products offered to consumers and graffiti and marches on campuses to the hallowed halls of the premier Western national parliament, it is hard not to argue that the world is against Jews and the State of Israel.

About the Author
Dr. Aaron Walter teaches International Relations. He writes on American foreign policy towards Israel. In addition to topics directly related to U.S.-Israeli politics, he has written on the presidency and security studies as linked to U.S., Europe, and Israeli studies