Maurice Golden, Conservative Member of Scottish Parliament for West Scotland, praised Israel’s democracy and spoke up for Israel’s right to “be free from attack” in a debate in the Scottish Parliament last week.
The Scottish Parliament held a debate last week to mark the 70th anniversary of the ‘Nakba’ or ‘Day of Catastrophe’, the Palestinian word used to refer to the creation of the state of Israel.
Mr Golden emphasised that the motion of the debate “tells only half the story” by only referring to ‘generations of pain for the Palestinian people’ and omitting reference to Israel’s right to exist and defend itself.
He said: “We should also recognise the generations of fear for the Israelis, who have also found themselves under attack. The United Kingdom rightly favours a two-state solution. If we are seriously to champion the cause of the Palestinian people to live in their own state in peace and security, we must also champion the right of Israel to exist and be free from attack. Both causes are equally valid”.
Hailing Israel’s democracy, Mr Golden added: “Israel was born amidst war, but it has come through adversity as an established democracy in the Middle East. Of course, Israel is not perfect, nor should we defend every action of the Israeli government. Israel does, however, show the world that a free and democratic society, governed by the rule of law, is possible in the Middle East”.
He underlined: “It is important that we remember the suffering and loss on both sides, but we cannot be bound by the darkness of the past, if we want a brighter future for both Israel and Palestine”.
Click here to read the speech in full.