Reprinted from Wallwritings
Near the end of Arlo Guthrie's classic 1967 folk tale, Alice's Restaurant, Guthrie sings these words:
"Can you imagine, three people walking in singing a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out, they may think it's an organization. And can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day, walking in singing a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out, well friends, they may think it's a movement.
"And that's what it is, the Alice's Restaurant Anti-Massacree Movement. And all you got to do is sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar, with feeling."
Well friends, I am here to tell you that the Parliament of the United Kingdom, seated in all its regal splendor in the Palace of Westminster, heard the guitar come around. They have sung, in unison, a bar of Alice's Restaurant Anti-Massacree Movement.
Is this a bar that signals the repentance of the progenitors of the injustices caused by the Balfour Declaration?
"There are only a few documents in Middle Eastern history which have as much influence as the Balfour Declaration. The Balfour Declaration was sent as a 67-word statement contained within the short letter addressed to the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Arthur Balfour on November 2, 1917. The declaration acknowledged the establishment of a Jewish home in Palestine. The statement of the Declaration reads:
"His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."(Emphasis added)
Under the headline, "Israel Is Losing Its Friends in the World," Philip Stephens wrote in Financial Times. (reprinted here).
"Britain's parliament voted the other day to recognise the state of Palestine. The decision will not change anything on the ground in the West Bank or Gaza. Nor is it binding on David Cameron's coalition government.
"Yet this was an important moment, and not just because of Britain's deep historical connections with Palestine. The debate opened a window on what Israel's friends now think about the enduring impasse in the Middle East."
Stephens continues his analysis :
"Benjamin Netanyahu has not had a good year. Israel's prime minister was blamed by the US administration for wrecking its latest attempt to reassemble a peace process.
"In truth, there were obstinacies and obstacles on both sides, but publicly and privately, US officials identified Israel's land grabs in East Jerusalem and the West Bank as the principal cause of the breakdown."
Britain's highest ranking foreign policy official, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, "deplored" Israel's plans to build more than 2,000 additional homes for Israeli settlers in Palestinian East Jerusalem.