British Parliament passes nonbinding motion recognizing Palestine


British Parliament passes nonbinding motion recognizing Palestine

(JTA) — The British Parliament overwhelmingly voted for a nonbinding motion to recognize the state of Palestine.

The measure passed by a vote of 274-12 following a six-hour debate Monday, Haaretz reported.

Prime Minister David Cameron and much of his Conservative Party abstained from voting on the motion, which was sponsored by opposition Labor lawmaker Grahame Morris.

Jewish lawmaker Ed Miliband, who heads Labor, ordered all party lawmakers to vote in favor of the recognition.

The vote has no practical significance, as the British government is not obliged to change its policy on recognizing Palestine only after a peace deal is reached between Israel and the Palestinians.

Cameron’s official spokesman told reporters before the vote, “I’ve been pretty clear about the government’s position and it won’t be changing.”

Seven European Union members have recognized a Palestinian state. They are Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Romania.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly accorded Palestine non-member observer state status, de facto recognizing it as a state. Some 138 countries voted in favor of the resolution.