On Monday, members of CFI’s Parliamentary Officers’ group discussed the strength of the UK-Israel relationship and discussed areas of ongoing concern with Middle East Minister James Cleverly, including anti-Israel bias at the United Nations.
In a letter to the Middle East Minister following the meeting, the Parliamentarians welcomed the UK Government’s “enduring commitment” to vote against permanent Agenda Item 7 at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) which singles out Israel for criticism, and the UK’s pledge to look out for other hostile resolutions including the ‘Accountability’ resolution tabled under Item 2.
The CFI Officers urged the UK to “vote against these biased resolutions, including any resolutions outside of Agenda Item 7”.
Concerns were raised over the International Criminal Court ruling at a pre-trial hearing that it has territorial jurisdiction to open a probe into allegations of war crimes in West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, with the Parliamentarians calling for the UK to voice opposition to this ruling publicly.
The group urged a more robust UK approach on Iran, stressing the importance of the UK proscribing the IRGC as a terror organisation and avoiding premature sanctions relief.
On the issue of Palestinian incitement, Parliamentarians underlined concerns over material inciting violence against Israel and Jews in the official Palestinian Authority curriculum and pressed the UK to rethink its approach “if the overdue EU review into the PA curriculum is not fit for purpose”. They welcomed the Minister’s consideration of support for the International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace.
In attendance at the meeting were CFI Parliamentary Chairmen Rt. Hon. Stephen Crabb MP and Rt. Hon. The Lord Pickles, CFI Honorary President Lord Polak CBE, CFI Vice Chairs Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP and John Howell OBE MP, as well as Siobhan Baillie MP, Bob Blackman MP, Andrew Bowie MP, Rt. Hon. Karen Bradley MP, Robert Largan MP, Matthew Offord MP, Nicola Richards MP, Mary Robinson MP, Lord Shinkwin and Christian Wakeford MP.