Espanol / English

Middle East Near You

Britain elects its very first MP of Palestinian heritage

Image of British MP Layla Moran delivering a speech in London, UK on 22 September 2012 [Liberal Democrats/Flickr]
Image of British MP Layla Moran delivering a speech in London, UK on 22 September 2012 [Liberal Democrats/Flickr]

Britain elected its first MP of Palestinian heritage in yesterday’s general election. Layla Moran overturned a Conservative majority of almost 10,000 votes to win the Oxford West and Abingdon. Moran won the closely contested election by only 816, gaining 26,252 votes.

Moran was the only MP to overturn a seat in her county; the county’s other five seats remained as they were.

Before the election, Moran spoke about her Palestinian origin saying:

My Palestinian background has made me interested at a global level. Politics was always at the dinner table, it primed me to engage.

Moran is born to a British father and a Palestinian mother from Jerusalem, a fact which fills her with pride.

“De facto, I will be a representative of our community in parliament, and it will be a great honour which I take humbly,” she told The New Arab.

Read: British politics in ferment as exit poll shows May failing to win majority

In her interview with the Arab news agency, she said that her international upbringing has had a profound influence on her politics. She grew up in Belgium, Greece, Ethiopia, and Jordan as a result of her father’s career as an international diplomat, Moran speaks French, Arabic, Spanish and some Greek.

Moran mentioned that her worldview of tolerance and diversity found a natural home in the Liberal Democrats, and also an unbroken thread running throughout her family history.

#GE2017

Moran’s great-grandfather, Wasif Jawhariyyeh, wrote extensive memoirs about Palestinian life under Ottoman and British rule, before fleeing after the State of Israel was created.

Categories
Europe & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUK
  • Chaos Eject

    It’s a start. We still owe these guys their own country.

    • Chaos Eject

      And 50 years of interest.

      • Blokeabout

        For most an apology would suffice.

  • ricck lineheart

    And Jeremy Corbyn supports the Palestinians as well as millions of others .What is happening to Gaza and all other Palestinians living under the ILLEGAL regime of the State of Israel is nothing short of genocide .

    • Robert Smith

      By what criteria is the State of Israel ILLEGAL?

      • ricck lineheart

        Try this keep pushing your boundaries out and expanding your yard while armed . Bull doze your neighbors house into the ground and hire a few snipers to kill some children in your neighborhood . And thats just for starters . Lets suppose Canada pushed their borders southward every so many months ..WTF ?

        • Robert Smith

          How would that make Canada illegal?

          • Cathy Lorimer

            Under international law you cannot acquire territory/land thru wars, violence or use of military and Izrael has been doing this since 1947. Just like your neighbour cannot evict you and occupy your house by force..even if one of his influential friend does not object.

          • Pounce

            “Under international law you cannot acquire territory/land thru wars, violence or use of military”
            Whilst 2 wrongs don’t make a right, why aren;t people complaining about these land grabs:
            1) Turkey and half of Armenia
            2) Turkey and Northern Cyprus
            3) Pakistan and half of Kashmir
            4|) China and Tibet
            5) Russia and Eastern Ukraine and the Crimea
            6) Russia and 3 Japanese Islands
            7) Russian and Kallingrad

            Note before you reply. I have listed areas now deemed to belong to the countries that took them . In each and every case the area in question is much larger than the West bank ad the GH,

        • Judy Weleminsky

          The British Mandate included all the land from the Jordan to the Mediterranean and the League of Nations and then the UN mandated the Jews to ‘close settle the land’. So Jewish settlement in the whole of the area is legal. The boundaries of Israel from 1948 to 1967 were only ceasefire lines – the Arabs insisted on that and refused to negotiate. The Israeli expansion into the area illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967 was a result of the war pursued by Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon. It was a defensive war not ‘expanding your yard while armed’ implying that the neighbour was unarmed and not the attacker. Nasty things happen in war and when you lose a war, but the Israelis have many times offered the land to the Palestinians in return for peace (as they did successfully with Egypt and Jordan) and each time they said no and continued with aggression, intifadas, suicide bombs, car rammings, thousands of missiles. So they are the authors of their own misfortunes.

          • Moh Moss

            ISRAHELL IS AN ILLEGAL TERRORIST STATE <CHILDREN KILLER, GIVEN ILLEGALLY BY THE BRITS. PALESTINIANS ARE FREEDOM FIGHTERS , ISRAHELLI ARMY IS A COWARD ARMY THAT KILL UNARMED INNOCENT CIVILIANS INCLUDING <CHILDREN DISABLED<WOMEN, SHAME ON YOU GENOCIDE SUPPORTER.

          • Judy Weleminsky

            spewing out bile shows you have lost the reasoned argument

          • Moh Moss

            But it’s impossible to truly defend the indefensible. Genocide, ethnic cleansing, forced demolitions, water theft, land theft, crop destruction, skunk spray, murdering children and planting knives beside their dying bodies, blatant lies in the media, destruction of infrastructure, child abuse in prisons and apartheid. (to name a few that happen on a daily basis)

          • Judy Weleminsky

            You believe your own propaganda – very sad.

          • Moh Moss

            You see you have just a typical Zionists propaganda answer to the truth, the world knows your propaganda, the above facts are the truth that you can’t admit, You are a supporter of ISRAHELL’S terrorism against helpless Palestinians, Evil doers.

          • Pounce

            ISRAHELL IS AN ILLEGAL TERRORIST STATE

            And yet there is actually less Arab blood on Israeli hands (since 1900) than each and every neighbour which borders the state of Israel.
            Egypt killed hundreds of thousands in Yemen including using gas
            Jordan had Black September
            Lebanon, had its civil war (where it was actually occupied by….Syria 1976-2005)
            Syria killed upto 40,000 people in the city of Hama during 1982 alone.. The Lebanese gov states they lost just under 20,000 when Israel invaded in June 1982. The entire world screams about the Sabra and Shatila massacre. (which saw 800 people killed) Yet nobody ever complains about Hama. Now we have the civil war and hundreds of thousands have died and yet according to the left (and the idiots) Israel is the one with blood on its hands.
            Really”

          • Moh Moss

            ISRAHELL IS A TERRORIST ILLEGAL STATE GIVEN ILLEGALLY BY THE BRITS, ZIONISTS WERE INVOLVED IN THE SLAVE TRADE, THAT KILLED 180 MILLION AFRICANS, AND 150 MILLION OF NATIVE AMERICANS,ZIONISTS HAVE BEEN PUSHING FOR ILLEGAL WARS,ILLEGAL REGIME CHANGE, AROUND THE WORLD WHICH KILLED MILLIONS, THE TERRORIST GOVERNMENT OF ISRAHELL SUPPORTED BY THE YANK ZIONISTS ,BEEN KILLING PALESTINIANS SINCE THE 1930 , INCLUDING CHILDREN,DISABLED,ELDERLY, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BE PROUD OF ONLY A CRIMINAL RECORD ,AND THE WORLD KNOWS ABOUT YOU EVIL CRIMES.

          • Pounce

            Actually I think you will that Muslims and not the Jews kept the slave trade going.

          • Pounce

            Want to explain how Israel has been killing Palestinians since the 1930s when it only came into extistance in 1948.

          • Moh Moss

            Zionist been immigrating to ISRAHELL since 1920 do your search and brush up your history, Palestinians helped the zionists settle then they turned on them ungrateful illegal immigrants Ashkinazi fake JEWS, Real Jews peace loving are against the existence of the illegal terrorist state of Israhell.

          • Pounce

            As for only having a criminal record, actually I own all of the Police albums.

      • Mary Hughes Thompson

        By every criteria. Zionist Jews arriving in historic Palestine were forbidden to do anything that would impact negatively on the rights and lives of the existing indigenous Palestinian population. Israel immediately embarked on a campaign of murder and ethnic cleansing. Ergo Israel has never had legitimacy.

        • Robert Smith

          So, Mary Hughes Thompson, are you now claiming that Mossad was behind the 1929 Hebron massacre as well as the Charlie Hebdo killings?

          • Nadia

            How does this comment justify anything that Israel is doing?? Deflection much??

          • Judy Weleminsky

            What Israel is doing is defending herself against attack while offering peace. Every country has the right of self defence.

          • Nadia

            Occupation is not self defense!! The whole world would be occupying each other if this is what you call defense… and offering peace?? LOL, I wonder how much worse things would be if it were offering war… really that is a comical statement.

          • Judy Weleminsky

            Well non aggressive neighbours can live alongside each other, but aggressive neighbours require a response as we see in so many hot spots round the world

        • Judy Weleminsky

          Please can you explain what historic Palestine is?

          According to the history sources I have consulted the Romans named the area Syria Palaestina from 135-390 CE, it then became a Byzantine province with varying borders, then part of Syria, and various other descriptions according to which was the latest conqueror and only became Mandatory Palestine from 1920–1948 under British administration.

          There has never been a sovereign country called Palestine nor any Palestinian sovereign or caliphate or currency before the British. Zionist Jews bought land legally, drained malaria swamps, built on barren sand dunes (eg Tel Aviv) developed the land, industry and agriculture. Many Arabs came to the land from other countries because of the economic development brought by the Jews.

          The Jews only developed defence forces when they started to be attacked as per the 1929 Hebron massacre of Jews who had lived there ‘since time immemorial’. There was effectively a civil war between militant Arabs and militant Jews from 1936 onwards. The pressure of Arabs on the British to refuse to allow Jews escaping Nazism to come to Palestine (as per their requirement in the Mandate) led to the deaths of innumerable Jews.

          When Israel was born in 1948 she was under attack by local Arabs and then 5 neighbouring country armies attacked. It was war not ethnic cleansing which led to some of the Arabs fleeing. Those who remained have become Israeli citizens with full democratic rights. Israel has full legitimacy and every right to protect herself.

          • Mary Hughes Thompson

            Well, historic Palestine is certainly a lot older than historic Israel which goes back less than 70 years. And even then it wasn’t legitimate.

          • Judy Weleminsky

            So the country King David led one thousand years BCE – i.e. three thousand years ago is not older than historic Palestine? Get real.

          • Mary Hughes Thompson

            Israel will soon be 70 years old. There was never a place called Israel until 1948, and even then it was never legitimate.

          • Mary Hughes Thompson

            Nobody is saying there weren’t some Palestinian Jews living alongside Palestinian Muslims and Palestinian Christians. They were not Israelis. There was never a place called Israel. And the Ashkenazi European Jews who descended on historic Palestine over the past 70 years have no genetic connection to the Middle East.

          • Mary Hughes Thompson

            Judy, your King David, if he ever existed, led a tribe, not a country.

          • Judy Weleminsky

            What basis do you have for deciding that the country ruled over by King David from his capital in Jerusalem was not a country?

          • Nabil Kawwa

            I don’t know what fake history books you’re reading, but all you have to do is to read “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”, by Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian. Also, I can show you hundreds of maps of Palestine going back centuries. Can you show me a single map of Israel prior to 1948? You can’t because there isn’t one.

          • Judy Weleminsky

            What a strange request. Modern Israel only came into existence in 1948 so we would have to go back to maps from 2000 years ago to give you the maps you ask for. However the maps of ‘Palestine’ which predate the founding of the state of Israel are maps which name an area made up of a variety of people. Before 1948 most British newspapers were referring to the Jews when they talked about Palestinians! The modern day people who call themselves Palestinian only took on that description in the 1960’s encouraged by Yasser Arafat who was actually Egyptian and backed by Russians.

            Ilan Pappe is a very biased historian who gives the nastiest interpretation of every event and omits mention of the attacks by Arabs and Arabs states on Jews. Try Benny Morris who is more balanced.

    • Judy Weleminsky

      This sure is the strangest genocide:
      According to a 2008 article in The Guardian, using PCBS census figures, the Palestinian territories have one of the fastest growing populations in the world, with numbers surging 30% in the past decade (2008). There were 3.76 million Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, up from 2.89 million 10 years earlier.[8]
      According to the U.S. Census, population growth mid-1990-2008 in Gaza and West Bank was 106% from 1.9 million (1990) to 3.9 million persons.[9]

      • Moh Moss

        PALESTINE IS 10000 years old since the babylonian era, those fake history books you read are written by the masters of fakerry. Zionists, real peace loving Jews they originate from Yemen, and are Black, and darker brown skin,you don’t look one of them ,YOU ASHKINAZI from KHAZARIA, Poland,Russia…etc Judaism hijackers, peace loving Jews are against the existence of ISRAHELL.

        • Judy Weleminsky

          you are just offensive and ignorant

          • Moh Moss

            The truth for you is an offence , that is a typical Zionist , response, when they have no answer, Go support occupation and the killing of Palestinian children,organ harvesting, home demolitions,land steeling…..etc.

          • Moh Moss

            ISRAEL is a name of a man not a name of land, ISRAHELL is only 69 years old of Occupation genocide,apartheid….etc.

          • Judy Weleminsky

            ISRAHELL is a figment of your rather nasty imagination. Israel is an amazing country with diversity in its parliament, Supreme Court, health services, army etc. More and more Arab Israelis are identifying as Israeli and joining the armed forces to share in the security of their country. The Palestinians of Judea, Samaria and Gaza were freed from the illegal occupation of Jordan and Egypt in 1967 and now they suffer from their own corrupt self rule and the pressure of the Israeli army prioritising the safety of Israelis rather than their enemies

      • Mary Hughes Thompson

        Yeah, well, that’s what happens. A lot more Jews than there used to be too, despite all the holocausts and such.

        • Judy Weleminsky

          in 1939 there were 9.5 million Jews in Europe and by 1945 that was down to 3.8 million. That is the impact of the Nazi genocide. Now there is less than 1.5 million in Europe. Worldwide there were more than 16 million before the rise of Nazism, and while other populations have expanded massively the worldwide Jewish population has not yet recovered to pre war levels. Mary Thompson you are plain wrong

          • Moh Moss

            Why 150000 Zionists served Hitler, killed their own people?????

          • Judy Weleminsky

            You just believe any lies and distortions. Zionists were doing their best to save the trapped Jews of Europe. In some cases they had to make agreements with Nazis to save them, They did not ‘serve’ Hitler – that is an anti Zionist delusion.

  • Paul Cardan

    Is she going to do a good job? If yes then fine. I would support her no matter her origin. Stop this identity politics stuff. Don’t force us to accept more political liberalism.

    • Judy Weleminsky

      I agree Cardan . She is a British MP who I am sure will be focused on the concerns of her British constituents. She may also consider being nuanced in her involvement on Palestinian issues bearing in mind that the Palestinian side of her family were Christians who were supportive of the wider Palestinian struggle but many Palestinian Christians now are wary because of the violence and intimidation they suffer from militant Palestinians.

      • doloresd

        In the end it doesn’t matter. Jesus said “Do unto others as you would have done to you” In other words we all must love each other and get along.