Father of the House Sir Gerald Kaufman said the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories is “more immobile than it has been in decades”.

He said: “One of the reasons for that is because Israel now has the most extremist government in its entire existence. On election day in Israel a few weeks ago, the prime minister, Netanyahu, referred in a racist statement to the ‘hordes of Palestinians’ who were going by bus to vote.

“He threw himself back from any notion of a two-state solution. Yet this Government supports Israel proactively.

“The Foreign Secretary in his speech talked about what he called the work of this Government for non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Yet last month at the nuclear non-proliferation review conference, this Government was involved in a situation in which an attempt to have a conference next year to review the situation of non-proliferation in the Middle East was blocked by three countries – it was blocked by the United States, it was blocked by Canada, and it was blocked by the British Foreign Office.

“We are in a situation in which this country makes a huge commotion about wanting to stop Iran gaining nuclear weapons. I am against Iran gaining nuclear weapons and I am against the Iran government, which is one of the most odious governments in the world.

“Yet there is no evidence … to show that Iran is preparing to obtain nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, it is right to try and prevent it.

“But Israel has nuclear weapons. Israel has got hundreds of nuclear warheads and hundreds of missiles with which to fire them.

“And no action is being taken … and yet this Government supports this nuclear power refusing to participate in talks.”