Current Positions

The British Government’s current position on Israel and Palestine: Archaeology

Question from baroness Tonge on 6th August 2020 (HL7405) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the case for providing protection for archaeological artefacts in Palestine to ensure that any such artefacts remain under Palestinian ownership. … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Education of Israeli & Palestinian children

Question from Steve McCabe on 24th June 2020 (64065) Palestinians: Curriculum 64065 To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to the 2019-20 Memorandum of Understanding between her Department and the Palestinian Authority, what assessment she has … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Trade with Israel

Question by Ben Lake on 17th June 2020 (60846) Israeli Settlements: Companies 60846 To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 2020 to Question 55878 on Israeli Settlements: Companies, what … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Unemployment in Gaza

Q Asked by Baroness Tonge: on: 14 January 2019 Department for International Development: Gaza: Young People: HL12814 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the World Bank’s findings in October 2018 that there is 70 per … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: State of health services in Gaza

Q Asked by Baroness Tonge: on: 28 January 2019 Department for International Development: Gaza: Hospitals. HL13186 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that hospitals in Gaza have been closed due to power shortages; and … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Gaza

Question from John Howell on 2nd July 2020 ( 68306) Department for International Development Gaza: Humanitarian Aid 68306 To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether UK funding to the UN’s Access Coordination Unit is used to ensure … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Status of Palestinians in East Jerusalem

Q Asked by Baroness Tonge: on: 28 January 2019 Department for International Development: Jerusalem: Palestinians. HL13185 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to protect the rights of those Palestinians in East Jerusalem whose refugee status has … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Freedom of worship in Israel, Jerusalem & the West Bank

Question by Sir John Hayes on 18th June 2020 (61423) To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to help ensure that Israel enables Christians from all nations to (a) visit and … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Israel’s Nation State Law

Q Asked by Baroness Tonge: on: 26 November 2018 Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Israel: Politics and Government. HL11814 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the letter sent to the government of Israel by four UN … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position:The treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails

Q Asked by Lord Hylton: on: 07 January 2019 Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Israel: Palestinians. HL12582 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they are making to the government of Israel about that government’s decision to lower prison standards for … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Abuse of Palestinian Children by Israel

Question: by Baroness Tonge on 9th April 2019(HL15172): To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 3 April (HL14802), what (1) steps they have taken, and (2) representations they have made, to … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Forced evictions of Palestinians

Question: by Baroness Tonge  To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that Israel’s Supreme Court is allowing the demolition of 60 buildings housing 500 Palestinian families in Silwan, East Jerusalem Answer: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Restrictions of movement in the West Bank

Question: by Baroness Tonge on: 10 June 2019 Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hebron, (HL16231) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the consequences for Palestinian children in Hebron of the removal of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Settler violence towards Palestinians

Question by Baroness Tonge on 23rd June 2020 (HL6099) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about reports that (1) crops have been burnt by Israeli settlers, and (2) that Israeli soldiers … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Israeli settlement building and demolitions

Question by Baroness Tonge on 28th July 2020 (HL7479) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about reports of the construction of (1) a new settlement near Asira a-Shamaliya on land owned … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: The occupation of Palestinian land by Israel

Question by Baroness Tonge on 23rd June 2020 (HL6097) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the views of people who live in the Palestinian Territories on the proposed annexation of parts of the West Bank … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Prioritising peace and cooperation in the Middle East in the midst of COVID-19

Question: by Alex Cunningham on 9th June 2020 (57197) To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of changes in the level of (a) attacks by settlers and (b) demolitions … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Recognition of Palestine as a State

Question:To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to recognise Palestine as a state. (HL3850) Tabled on: 05 May 2020 Answer: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 19th May 2020 We are clear that we want to see the creation … Read more here 

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British Government’s Current Position: Annexation

Oral Answer on Monday 6th July 2020 1. Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime:– Dominic Raab:  Mr Speaker, with permission, I would like to make a statement on the global human rights sanctions regulations. As we forge a dynamic new vision … Read more here 

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John McHugo on Why Britain has a Special Responsibility to the Palestinian People Today

A talk given online on 30th June 2020. John McHugo is a trustee of the Balfour Project and a board member of CAABU, The Council for Arab British Understanding. This paper is the edited text of a Balfour Project talk … Read more here 

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The Forgotten History of the Jewish, Anti-Zionist Left

An interview with Banjamin Balthaser, published on Jacobin The roots of modern Zionism are in colonialism. This was the foundation of the Jewish left’s opposition to Zionism in the 1930s and ’40s, on the grounds that it is a form … Read more here 

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‘History will judge us’ — Have progressive UK rabbis reached end of the road on Israel?

By Robert A. H. Cohen, published on Mondoweiss, 30 July 2020 Progressive rabbis in the UK have written to the Israeli embassy in London to express their concern over the Israeli government’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank. … Read more here 

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MPs say no to annexation plans

European MPs have come together to oppose the illegal plan of Israel’s Prime Minister to annex part of the Palestinian West Bank, under Israeli military occupation since 1967. Convened by Stephen Kinnock MP, Co Chair of the All Party Parliamentary … Read more here 

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Toppling Balfour, a talk by Sarah Helm

Sarah Helm, former Middle East correspondent for The Independent, asks how far the roots of today’s tragedy in Palestine and Israel lie in the arrogance and racism of British imperialism. Could Balfour’s experiment – at any point during the British … Read more here 

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European countries need to recognise the Palestinian state before it’s too late

By Sam Bahour, The Guardian, 12 July 2020 In January, when the Trump administration formally unveiled its long-awaited peace plan for the Israel-Palestine conflict – known as the “deal of the century” – not a Palestinian was in sight, nor … Read more here 

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Over 40 British rabbis write to the UK Israeli embassy opposing annexation

By Alleks Phillips, first published in The Jewish Chronicle, 9 July 2020 Over 40 British rabbis – including former Liberal senior rabbi Danny Rich and outgoing Reform senior rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner – have written to the Israeli embassy in London … Read more here 

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A case for equality in Israel and Palestine

One State? An alternative, authentic Jewish voice By Peter Beinart, Published in on Jewish Currents 7th July 2020. WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A JEW—not just a Jew in name, but a Jew in good standing—today? In Haredi circles, being a real … Read more here 

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Andrew Whitley on The UN, Britain and Palestine/Israel – 1947 to Present Day

A talk given online on 5th June 2020. Andrew Whitley is founder and executive director of Geo-Political Advisory Services (GPAS), a UK-based consultancy that works on the alleviation of armed conflict in the Middle East and Asia. He was previously … Read more here 

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PM Johnson’s appeal to Israel over annexation

By Andrew Whitley, Trustee and member of the Executive Committee of the Balfour Project Prime Minister Boris Johnson today published a last-minute appeal to Israel not to proceed with the Netanyahu government’s plans to annex parts of the occupied West … Read more here 

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Hidden History of the Balfour Declaration

Washington Report, November 2005, pages 44-50 Special Report by John Cornelius IN THIS article the author relates what he believes to be the true story of how the British government came to issue what has come to be known as … Read more here 

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Joint letter by 1,080 parliamentarians from 25 European countries to European governments and leaders against Israeli annexation of West Bank

23 June 2020 We, parliamentarians from across Europe committed to a rules-based global order,share serious concerns about President Trump’s plan for the Israeli-Palestinianconflict and the imminent prospect of Israeli annexation of West Bank territory. Weare deeply worried about the precedent … Read more here 

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By recognising Palestine, Britain can help right the wrongs of the Balfour declaration

By Avi Shlaim This is the full text of a truncated version of Avi Shlaim’s article in The Guardian. The Guardian had edited out the references to Winston Churchill and the Israeli Policy Working Group. The wave of anti-racist protest … Read more here 

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Peel Commission Report 1937

League of Nations 30 November 1937 C.495.M.336.1937.VI.Geneva, November 30th, 1937. LEAGUE OF NATIONS MANDATES P A L E S T I N E ——– REPORT of the PALESTINE ROYAL COMMISSION presented by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to … Read more here 

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Church leaders across the globe express deep concern over Israeli plan to annex parts of West Bank

By World Council of Churches, 17 June 2020 Church leaders from across the world are expressing their grave concern over the government of Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. Archbishop Justin Welby and Cardinal Vincent Nichols … Read more here 

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Letter to The Telegraph opposing Israeli annexation, 13 June 2020

Opposing the Israeli government’s land grab SIR – From July 1 Israel’s prime minister is set on annexing Palestinian West Bank territory to become part of “Greater Israel”. Annexing the Jordan Valley leaves an enclave around Jericho – a bantustan … Read more here 

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Nakba: The forgotten 19th century origins of the Palestinian catastrophe

By Joseph Massad in Middle East Eye The Nakba, Palestinians’ loss of their lands and homes, arguably began in the 1880s with the arrival of the first Zionist Jewish colonists, who evicted Palestinians from land the colonists had purchased from … Read more here 

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‘Boris Johnson must stand up against an annexation of the West Bank’ – Christian Aid

By William Bell, Head of Middle East, Christian Aid UK and Ireland Last June, an 82-year-old Palestinian refugee called Fayza in Lebanon’s Nahr el-Bared camp wept as she told me: “Palestine is in our bones – it is not something … Read more here 

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‘Uncertainty still about West Bank annexation’ – Guardian report

By Oliver Holmes in Jerusalem Benjamin Netanyahu has announced the time is ripe for his country to permanently seize Palestinian territory by annexing swathes of the West Bank. With a US “vision for peace” blueprint largely backing up his expansionist … Read more here 

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We Cannot Justify Israel’s West Bank Annexation – by 40 signatories in Haaretz

In an unprecedented letter to Israel’s UK ambassador, prominent British Jews warn that annexation ‘poses an existential threat to the traditions of Zionism in Britain, and to Israel as we know it’ The following letter was sent by leading members … Read more here 

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A British Palestinian Perspective: Welcome to the Palestine archipelago

by Ahmad Samih Khalidi Trump’s so called “deal of the century” is an assault on the Palestinian narrative even before it is an assault on their rights. Perhaps, the most extraordinary aspect of the Trump plan dubbed the “deal of … Read more here 

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Boris Johnson has to stand up to Netanyahu’s annexation plans – for the sake of the Palestinians and peace – by Donald Macintyre

Published in the Independent 30 May 2020 Whatever Boris Johnson’s troubles, he can always comfort himself that unlike the prime minister of a British ally 3,000 miles away, he’s not running the country while simultaneously being tried on corruption charges. But … Read more here 

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Israeli Policy Working Group Letter to the Right Hon Boris Johnson Prime Minister

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Now is the time for true negotiations, not annexation

By Alistair Burt Courtesy of Arab News Three notable interventions from UK sources this week gave an indication that the country’s long relationship with and support for the state of Israel is imminently facing its greatest ever test. Almost 130 … Read more here 

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Palestine/Israel, the FCO and No 10 – briefing by Sir Jeremy Greenstock

Retired Foreign Office Political Director Sir Jeremy Greenstock talked recently with the Balfour Project Peace Advocacy Fellows about British policy on Palestine/Israel, and answered questions about British Government recognition of Palestine, which he supports, and Israeli annexation plans – which … Read more here 

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Israeli Ex-Ambassador to South Africa raises the Apartheid question

By Alon Liel Published in the Palestine-Israel Journal The “Deal of the Century,” which was publicly released in January 2020, changes the reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict even if the plan itself is never implemented. The likelihood that a future Israeli … Read more here 

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Podcast: Vincent Fean on the ICC, Trade Agreements and Umbrella Organisations

Diana Safieh: A question from Sara Apps, is there an opportunity to unlock the blockage on the ICC application? What best can we do to help? Vincent Fean: Palestine joined the International Criminal Court in 2015 after the UN General … Read more here 

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Podcast: Vincent Fean on Israeli Annexation and International Law

Diana Safieh: What is the response so far from the international community to the prospect of Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory, and how is the British Parliament dealing with this prospect? Vincent Fean:   Recently the United Kingdom led a delegation … Read more here 

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Letter to Boris Johnson on Israeli annexation 1 May 2020

Click here to read the Guardian article.

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Vincent Fean on Annexation, International Law and Recognition

Diana Safieh: Welcome to the new Balfour Project podcast. My name is Diana and I work with the Balfour Project. We will be taking questions from our online lecture series and answering them here in podcast form so that you … Read more here 

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Prioritising peace and cooperation in the Middle East in the midst of COVID-19

Statement by Ambassador James Roscoe, acting UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council briefing on Middle East Peace Process Published 23 April 2020 Mr President, as others have said this morning, COVID-19 is a global crisis … Read more here 

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