Wednesday, October 15, 2014

  • Wednesday, October 15, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon

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London, October 15 - Following a vote in the House of Commons Monday to grant symbolic recognition to a Palestinian state, Parliament passed a similar non-binding motion to grant the same recognition to the Pétain government of Nazi-occupied France.

The vote, which passed by the same 274-12 margin as the Palestine recognition measure, does not officially change government policy on theVichy state. Its symbolic nature functions primarily as a diplomatic and political statement, and does not require the Conservative government headed by David Cameron to issue such recognition. It was intended to prod warring factions to sit at the negotiating table, in the same way that recognizing Palestine is supposed to demonstrate that intransigence in negotiations is rewarded.

By favoring recognition for the Pétain government based in Vichy, Parliament thus intends to get the Free French and other anti-Nazi resistance organizations to soften their positions. The latter have been fighting to oust the Wehrmacht from areas of France they occupied in 1940, but Parliament and other international bodies would rather see them compromise, perhaps by getting the resistance movements to allow the Nazis to torture, imprison, and execute at least some citizens.

Compromise with Nazi Germany has worked well before, notes MP Ed Miliband of Labor. "Once Prime Minister Chamberlain came back from the Continent with piece of paper that guaranteed Peace in Our Time by letting Hitler have the Sudetenland, we got a full year before actual war broke out," he says. "If we can get the French to agree to roll over now, we might get as much as eight months of quiet on the western front."

Debate preceding the vote features speaker after speaker denouncing the behavior of the resistance groups, calling their actions "terrorism" and their treatment of German fighters as "barbaric." "We cannot in good conscience allow the French resistance to continue treating the Nazis with such consistent inhumanity and not face consequences," said Labor MP Joseph Goebbels of Berlin. "They must be taught a lesson."

French officials downplayed the significance of the vote, dismissing it as posturing. "The British have been making meaningless proclamations for some time now," said Free French leader Charles de Gaulle. "Remember the Balfour Declaration?"

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