The UK Government issued a statement last week underlining that “settlements are far from the only problem in [the Israeli-Palestinian] conflict”, and stated “we do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically-elected government of an ally”, in a response to a speech made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday.
Secretary of State Kerry’s speech on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process had attacked Israel’s settlement policy as the primary obstacle to peace, and branded Israel’s governing coalition as “the most right wing in history”.
A spokesperson for the UK Prime Minister said: “We do not believe that the way to negotiate peace is by focusing on only one issue, in this case the construction of settlements, when clearly the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is so deeply complex”.
The statement continued: “And we do not believe that it is appropriate to attack the composition of the democratically-elected government of an ally. The Government believes that negotiations will only succeed when they are conducted between the two parties, supported by the international community”.
The No. 10 spokesperson said: “The British Government continues to believe that the only way to a lasting peace in the Middle East is through a two-state solution.
“We continue to believe that the construction of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is illegal, which is why we supported UN Security Council Resolution 2334 last week. But we are also clear that the settlements are far from the only problem in this conflict. In particular, the people of Israel deserve to live free from the threat of terrorism, with which they have had to cope for too long”.
In December 2016, United Nations Security Council passed controversial Resolution 2334 by 14 votes to zero.
In response, CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles MP and CFI’s Honorary President Lord Polak CBE said:
“CFI is disappointed by the UK’s decision to support the controversial UN Security Council Resolution, which legitimises the Palestinian Authority’s attempts to internationalise the issue and avoid the necessary direct peace talks.
“In addition, the Resolution will embolden the hardline BDS movement and the ramifications for Jerusalem and Judaism’s holiest site – the Western Wall – are seriously troubling.
“CFI will be writing to the Prime Minister and seeking an urgent meeting with the Foreign Secretary to discuss the way forward”.