Liz Kendall, candidate for head of the UK’s Labour Party, said it was wrong to bring a House of Commons motion to recognize a Palestinian state and that she opposes boycotts of Israel.

Recognizing “Palestine” as a state was a mistake, according to Liz Kendall, candidate for leadership of the UK’s Labour Party.

Kendall said that acceptance of a Palestinian state ought to be the result of the successful conclusion of the peace process and not of a vote by the House of Commons. She also noted that the vote opened the Labour Party up to accusations of anti-Semitism.

At an event hosted by the Jewish Chronicle, Kendall said, “The way we achieve peace is through a two-state solution and negotiation, not through passing resolutions in the House of Commons or the United Nations.”

In 2014, the Labour Party brought forward a successful motion in the House of Commons to recognize a Palestinian state. Kendall abstained from the voting. The motion does not affect government policy.

“I don’t believe we would have done that had we been in government, and I believe a responsible opposition that seeks to become the government should behave in the same way – particularly over such an important issue as this,” she added.

Kendall noted that the House of Commons vote strengthened the perception that the Labour Party was hostile to the UK’s Jewish community. She said that she abstained from voting “because I didn’t think it was the right thing to do.”

Regarding the BDS movement and other efforts to isolate Israel, Kendall said that she would oppose them “with every fiber of my being.”

A 2014 UK parliamentary inquiry found that anti-Israel activity is often used as a fig leaf for anti-Semitism. In June, British artists called for a boycott of an Israeli film festival in London.

By: Sara Abramowicz, United with Israel