Balfour Project: writing to your MP about Britain and Palestine/Israel

Here is a template for your letter to your constituency MP. Please amend as you see fit, adding your address, to show the MP that you are a constituent. You can copy and paste the draft into a letter or an email to your MP. It’s better to write to your MP, asking him/her to forward your letter to the Foreign Secretary. An MP’s letter merits a Ministerial reply, which is what we want. If you write to Mr Raab and are not his constituent, he will never see your letter, which will go straight to an FCDO official for a stock reply.  

You can find out who your MP is here, and obtain their contact information. 

With best wishes,
Vincent
Sir Vincent Fean
Chair of trustees, Balfour Project

Please consider making a donation to support our work. 

Dear [INSERT YOUR NAME],

I write to you as your constituent: my name is [INSERT YOUR NAME] and my address is   [INSERT HOME ADDRESS].

I ask you please to do two things:

  • respond to this letter with your own thoughts
  • forward my letter to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Secretary, seeking his response.

Our Government should demonstrate consistency in upholding equal rights and international law. This entails holding to account anyone who breaks that law. Our Government needs actively to defend the rule of law.

The British Government had direct responsibility for Mandate Palestine from 1917-1948, and failed in its “sacred trust” under the Mandate to bring Palestine to independence. Today, Israel is an established, sovereign state. The Palestinians merit the same. Our country’s leaders have a unique responsibility to work for equal rights for both Palestinians and Israelis – two peoples whose futures are intertwined. Both peoples have the same right to self-determination, including the right to statehood.

Ten years ago, Foreign Secretary William Hague said “We reserve the right to recognise a Palestinian state bilaterally at a moment of our choosing, and when it can best help bring about peace”.

That time is now.

Today, to pre empt the peace-making efforts of President Biden, the Israeli authorities are proceeding with de facto annexation in the West Bank through systematic settlement expansion.

The aim is clear – to prevent the two-state outcome which is our Government’s policy. British recognition of both states is urgently needed. Britain rightly recognised the state of Israel in 1950.

More than 70 years on, now is the time for Britain to recognise the Palestinian state in that two-state outcome.

We have seen the FCDO response that British recognition now of the state of Palestine will not end the Israeli occupation. True: only Israel will end the occupation. But Israel cannot exercise a veto over what our Government freely determines to do. Recognising the state of Palestine now sustains the two state outcome to which our Government, the EU and President Biden are committed. Opposing illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank is also required. Words of condemnation have proved  insufficient to change Israeli Government policy. Genuine, tangible political and economic consequences are needed. Our Government has the means – and needs to find the will.

Sincerely,


[YOUR NAME HERE]

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