Miliband vowed to recognize 'Palestine' if elected

PA envoy claims Ed Miliband pledged to recognize 'State of Palestine' if elected PM; 'Unfortunately, David Cameron was elected.'

Ari Soffer ,

Ed Miliband announces resignation
Ed Miliband announces resignation

Former UK Labour Party leader Ed Miliband promised that Britain would officially recognize a "State of Palestine" if he was elected, according to the Palestinian Authority ambassador to London.

Professor Manuel Hassassian, the PA's Diplomatic Representative to the UK, told Palestinian Authority TV that Miliband - who spearheaded a symbolic vote in the British parliament recognizing a "Palestinian state" - "gave me his word" that he would turn that symbolic vote into government policy were he elected as prime minister last May.

In the December 30 interview, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Hassassian also encouraged an economic boycott of the State of Israel, opining that the only way to really exert pressure on Israelis was to target "their pockets."

"There is public pressure in Europe to exert pressure on Israel. The only way to achieve this is not by making Israel face dictates, but rather by boycotting it and so on, in order to cause damage to Israel," Hassassian said.

"The Israelis do not care about the political boycott... They consider it a problem only when it comes to their pockets. In other words, if you harm their economy you will start to see a response," he added.

While branding the Labour and Conservative parties as "two sides of the same coin," the PA envoy noted that the vote led by Miliband indicated how the left-wing Labour Party was far more sympathetic to the PA's position. 

He claimed that Miliband - who resigned after badly losing last year's general elections to the Conservative Party - had promised to turn that party position into official UK government policy.

"He gave me his word of honor and pledged 'As a party we recognize you, and I will do the same as Prime Minister.' Unfortunately, however, David Cameron was re-elected," he lamented.

But Hassassian said he was still hopeful, praising current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as "a dear friend of mine," who had attended many pro-Palestinian demonstrations and speaking engagements with him.

"He talks about Palestine more than I do," he said of Corbyn, who is a patron of the radical anti-Israel Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

If Corbyn became prime minister and recognized a "State of Palestine," Hassassian expressed his confidence that other European countries would quickly follow suit.

"France and Germany will recognize it within a week," he predicted.