Palestinians ‘given up’ on leaders and chosen ‘fast track to paradise’, says Middle East Minister

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Palestinians ‘given up’ on leaders and chosen ‘fast track to paradise’, says Middle East Minister

Tobias Ellwood claims young Palestinians have little confidence in the leadership of president Mahmoud Abbas

Stephen is the Jewish News' Foreign Editor

Palestinians often clash with Israeli forces in the West Bank
Palestinians often clash with Israeli forces in the West Bank

Britain’s Middle East Minister has said young Palestinians have given up on their leadership of Mahmoud Abbas and have instead chosen “a fast track to paradise” by killing Israelis.

The comments from Tobias Ellwood MP came in a House of Commons debate on Thursday, when MPs resolved to urge the Israeli authorities not to continue expanding settlements.

Ellwood criticised the lack of confidence-building measures on the Palestinian side, saying: “We need the Palestinians to do more to prevent the incitement of violence. President Abbas condemns certain aspects of it, but we are still seeing schools and squares being named after terrorists.”

He added: “The younger generation has given up on its own leadership, choosing instead to try to take a fast track to paradise by grabbing a knife and killing an Israeli soldier, and that is a terrible state of affairs to be in.”

The minister also criticised the latest Israeli law legalising dozens of outposts of Jewish settlers in the West Bank that Israeli judges have long deemed illegal.

Ellwood said “a new and dangerous threshold was crossed with that Bill” but added that he was pleased that Israel’s Attorney-General has said he will not support it if it goes to appeal. “That is good, because he sees it as constitutionally unviable. I hope that message is heard loud and clear.”

Expressing her “deep disappointment” about the Conservative government’s unwillingness to recognise a State of Palestine, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry urged a rethink, saying: “Now is the time.”

She also suggested Ellwood consider highlighting settlement produce, asking: “What thought have the Government put into how settlement goods could be separated from other Israeli goods, as many people do not wish to buy settlement goods? Are the Government doing any further work on that? How can we persuade British companies not to invest in settlement areas?”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: