On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. U.S. President Harry Truman recognized the new nation on the same day. However the creation of the State of Israel came at a great price for many of those living in Palestine, an area where the British Government had a colonial mandate until May 1948. The Palestinians who lost their homes and their land have also lost the opportunity to be treated with any real respect by the USA despite the fact that Franklin Roosevelt assured them in 1945 that the United States would not intervene without consulting both the Jews and the Arabs in that region. Yesterday in Central London a March took place to acknowledge Hakba Day which takes place every year on 15th May and is an important part of the Palestinian calendar that marks the impact on the people whose lives were reduced to being refugees as a result of the establishment of the State of Israel. In the light of the attacks on both Israel and Palestinian communities last week it seems vital that on both Tuesday and Wednesday, our Parliament responds to these two days within 24 hours of one another. We played a key part in that land throughout the period from the beginning of the 20th Century until 1948, marked most extensively by the publication of the Balfour Declaration in 1917 which many in the Jewish community treated as negatively as many in the Palestinian community and which set out parameters that have been overlooked by our Government over many decades.
It seems vital on Tuesday and Wednesday for our Parliament to acknowledge the failings and mistakes we have made over the last 71 and indeed 102 years and that we make a fresh set of responses to attempt to protect all people living in that land.