On 05 July 2017, from 4:03pm to 7:00pm the House of Commons Chamber discussed ‘Israel and Palestinian Talks’.
With Tobias Ellwood, the former Minister for the Middle East having moved to the Ministry of Defence, it was interesting to see him replaced by Alistair Burt (his predecessor) who addressed the meeting in the absence of the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
There was brisk debate in which some 45 MPs spoke, and at the end Mr Burt summed up by thanking them for ‘speaking with great force in a short period of time about things that they know a lot about’.
A number of the speeches were partisan, but there were thoughtful and optimistic contributions, particularly from Crispin Blunt (Chair of the Conservative Middle East Council).
In his summary Mr Burt said:
In reply to a question from Emily Thornberry, he said:
He also said
The Opposition Front-Bench team for their contributions, in particular the short and thoughtful summing up from Liz McInnes
Crispin Blunt (the most recent Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee) made a thoughtful contribution.
Richard Burden, who spoke with extensive experience in this area.
Mrs Ellman who drew her speech to a thoughtful conclusion with a remark from Shimon Peres.
Jim Shannon and Tracy Brabin both made thoughtful speeches.
For their optimistic speeches: Mary Robinson, John Howell, for Paul Masterton and Douglas Ross, picking out a bit of the relationship with Israel which makes a difference and suggests that there is a future, and referring to neighbours such as Jordan that have made a contribution to peace in the area.
For their tough words for the state of Israel: Joanna Cherry, Ms Ghani, Patrick Grad, Stephen Kinnock, Andy Slaughter, Naz Shah, Wes Streeting and Tommy Sheppard. All of them referred to difficult things for the state of Israel to deal with.
For their harsh words for the Palestinian side: Theresa Villiers, Joan Ryan, Chris Davies, Dr Offord.