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 Wednesday, 29 January, 2003, 14:57 GMT
West's 'double standards' - Short
Clare Short
Ms Short was speaking at a Christian Aid conference
UK Cabinet minister Clare Short has accused the West of double standards for its failure to tackle the situation between Israelis and Palestinians.

What is happening in Israel and Palestine was "enraging the world" and international action is needed to ensure a two-state solution, the international development secretary said.

In my lifetime I have never known the world feel so fragile and people feel so troubled

Clare Short
Ms Short also indicated her belief that action to tackle any threat by Iraq must be dealt with through the UN.

She said the chance of creating a separate Palestine was under threat by expansion of Israeli settlements on the West Bank.

"In my lifetime I have never known the world feel so fragile and people feel so troubled and at the same time... and it's throughout the world," she said at the launch of a Christian Aid report entitled "Israel, poverty and the Palestinians".

"People are troubled and worried by the situation in Iraq and by the prospect of war.

"My own view is that we have to stand together behind the UN so that Saddam Hussein know he cannot throw off the UN this time."

Time for progress

She added: "We will stand together as a world community to prevent him from developing chemical and biological weapons to terrorise his people.

"But we have to make progress on Palestine and Israel as well. [What's happening there] is enraging the world, it's right across the world, it's right across the country is the sense of double standards.

"If we can invincibly and carefully unite behind the UN to deal with the crisis with Iraq and if we can move forward on Israel and Palestine the world could calm down.

"It wouldn't all be healed but this growing, bitter divide that is flowing across the world would calm and we would have the chance to go forward together and create a more just world order.

'Moral failure'

Ms Short said the world was faced with a great opportunity to ensure that justice and humanity were spread across the world.

"If we fail to move forward in this era it will be a political, human and moral failure.

"The material, the knowledge, the science the technology is available to us and we have to make progress in this situation and Iraq in a similar timescale or the bitterness that is spreading across the world will threaten all of us."


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29 Jan 03 | Politics
18 Nov 02 | Politics
09 Nov 02 | Politics
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