Opposition Leader: Britain Vote to Recognize Palestine 'Failure' for Netanyahu

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Young Jewish men argue with Pro-Palestinian supporters beside a giant banner calling for a recognised Palestinian State, in Parliament Square, central London on October 13, 2014.Credit: AFP

Opposition leader and Labor Party Chairman Isaac Herzog on Tuesday called the U.K. parliament's decision to recognize the Palestinian state a "resounding failure" in the path set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

"This is another resounding failure for the school of Netanyahu and Lieberman. A cold wind is blowing toward Israel from every corner of the world, yet the prime minister and foreign minister refuse to face the facts, and are bringing a harsh diplomatic storm upon us.”

"If I were in the prime minister’s place, I would embrace the initiative of [Egyptian President Fattah Abdel] Sissi with both hands," Herzog said, referring to Cairo's urging of Israel to accept the Arab peace plan. "However, Netanyahu prefers to clash with the world, starting with [U.S. President Barack] Obama and other friends, in order to divert public attention from his serious failures dealing with costs of living and housing in Israel.”

The British parliament voted Monday in favor of the non-binding motion in a majority vote of 274-12.

The vote, which followed a debate that lasted nearly five hours, has no practical significance since it does not oblige the British government to change its current policy of recognizing Palestine only after a peace deal is reached between Israel and the Palestinians. The vote passed thanks to the Labour Party's mobilization, as well as the Conservative Party's virtual absence from the vote.

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