As long as Britain and other states continue to superficially endorse a two-state solution, Israel will become entrenched as a full-blown apartheid state with international blessing.
By Ilan Pappé | Consortium News | Sept 27, 2021
There is a pattern to British policy that can be identified today as it could in 1948: staff on the ground watch and report the destruction of Palestinian life and the apartheid aspects of Israel while U.K. policy-makers remain loyal to the description of Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East
Britain today is a secondary actor in the international arena and its ability to influence the so-called peace process in Israel and Palestine is limited. It cannot be considered a significant contributor to efforts to find a solution to Israel’s continued colonization and occupation of Palestine.
Yet Britain bears massive historical responsibility for the situation of the Palestinian people and shares the overall Western blame for the present reality in the occupied territories.
In 1917, after the so-called Balfour Declaration, Britain enabled the settler colonial movement of Zionism to begin a project of state building in Palestine. During its subsequent rule as a ‘mandatory’ power, the U.K. provided assistance to the small community of Jewish settlers to build the infrastructure of their future state, while being aware that the indigenous people of Palestine, who were 90 percent of the population in 1917, rejected this prospect.
Support was given while many British officials on the ground were aware of the Zionist desire to take as much of Palestine as possible and have in it few Palestinians.
Then came the Nakba (catastrophe), the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948, when British officials and officers responsible for law and order watched passively as Israel expelled half of Palestine’s population, destroyed half of its villages, and demolished most of its urban space.