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Palestinians are not sorry to see the back of Liz Truss

October 24, 2022 at 11:29 am

British Prime Minister Liz Truss and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on September 21, 2022 in New York City [Toby Melville/WPA Pool/Getty Images]

After only 45 days as Britain’s Prime Minister — 45 days “marked by turmoil” — Liz Truss bowed to pressure and resigned last week. Her badly thought-out economic plans failed to excite anyone, least of all the financial markets, and created a lot of anger across the nation.

At Prime Minister’s Questions last Wednesday she insisted that she is a “fighter, not a quitter.” She quit the following day, and now holds the title of the shortest-serving prime minister in British history.

“I recognise that I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party,” she said when she announced her resignation. The fact is that she had no electoral mandate from the British people, only members of the ruling party. Thus, aside from anything else, the debacle exposed the shortcomings of parliamentary democracy.

It would be the norm to feel sorry for anyone placed in difficult situations, especially when they are unable to cope, for whatever reason. In Truss’s case, though, the Palestinians are more than happy to see the back of her. Although we shouldn’t have been surprised, it still angered us when a video emerged online of her telling the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) lobby group earlier this month, “I am so pleased to be here for the first time at the CFI event as your Prime Minister. As you know I am a huge Zionist.”

According to Britannica, Zionism is a “Jewish nationalist movement that has had as its goal the creation and support of a Jewish national state in Palestine.” Zionists thus support the creation of a Jewish state in my country at the expense of myself and other indigenous people of Palestine. The fact that the Zionist state was created through terrorism and ethnic cleansing made Truss’s words even more unacceptable. In one sentence she basically condoned the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, massacres and the destruction of homes, towns and villages across my land.

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This obviously meant nothing to Liz Truss. “I am a huge supporter of Israel,” she told CFI, “and I know that we can take the UK-Israel relationship from strength to strength.” In yet another short sentence she thus expressed her support for a state condemned for its apartheid nature and its daily contempt for international law and order. Apartheid alone is akin to a crime against humanity. I wonder if Truss and others like her ever look beyond the votes and donations that support for the occupation state may attract and actually understand what such support actually means in reality.

Like Zionists the world over — including her predecessors as prime minister and, no doubt her successors, and even the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer — she talks and behaves as if the Palestinians don’t exist; that the classic myth of Zionism — Palestine was “a land without a people for a people without a land” — is true. It was, of course, a malicious lie.

“The United Kingdom wants to build with our friends and allies around the world, and there is no closer friend and ally than the State of Israel,” claimed Truss when she was foreign secretary. I know many people who question what mysterious stranglehold the occupation state has on British politicians; why, they ask, do so many feel the need to emphasise over and over again their support for a rogue, apartheid state? No wonder that the people of occupied Palestinian are not sorry to see her go. Why would they think otherwise given her backing for the state which has occupied their homeland and imposes an apartheid system on them?

True to her word, the then Foreign Secretary Liz Truss failed to support any of the UNHRC’s resolution condemning Israeli violations against the Palestinians earlier this year. “Instead, the UK abstained on the resolution on human rights and accountability, and voted against the resolutions on Israeli settlements and on the right of Palestinians to self-determination,” Medical Aid for Palestinians reported.

Truss even suggested that she would follow fellow right-winger Donald Trump and move the British Embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem. “There is just one capital of the UK, and that is London,” she said. “There is just one capital of Israel, Jerusalem.”

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British officials and even some of her parliamentary colleagues warned her against such a move. She ignored them, and sent a delegation to Jerusalem to look for possible sites for the embassy in the holiest of Palestinian cities.

Instead of supporting the rogue occupation state, the prime ministers of the United Kingdom should apologise to the people of occupied Palestine and work to undo the tremendous wrong that their country has done. Instead of undermining the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, they should be working to ensure that they are enabled.

This issue goes beyond 10, Downing Street; Zionism infects British politics across the board. We just have to look at the campaign which vilified Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — even by officials and colleagues within the party — to ensure that he did not win the 2019 General Election and become prime minister. Corbyn is an exception to the rule in his support for justice and freedom for the people of Palestine, which is why the pro-Israel political Establishment simply couldn’t allow him to run the country.

Nobody will mourn Liz Truss as she leaves office this week. The sad thing is that her replacement is likely to pledge his or her support to the occupation state of Israel within days of moving into Number 10. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose… The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.