Category Archives: Current Positions

Jerusalem: a Jewish city, a Christian city, a Muslim city

Holy Land Coordination 2022 Final Communiqué ‘If I forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand wither’Psalm 137:5 Recalling the Balfour Project statement: “Israel/Palestine: Equal Rights for lasting Peace” at our 2020 conference “Jerusalem: from past divisions to a shared future?”, … Continue reading

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Supporter comments on our conference – Abandoning Palestine: the end of the British Mandate and our continuing responsibility

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Britain’s duty to advance equal rights in Palestine/Israel

BALFOUR PROJECT STATEMENT 18 MAY 2022 Whatever our assessment of Britain’s past role as an imperial power, since the Second World War the United Kingdom has played an important role in establishing a new rules-based order in international affairs, and … Continue reading

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Save Masafer Yatta Letter Writing Campaign

Dear [MP Name], I write to express my deep concern over the impending eviction and demolition of Masafer Yatta, a Palestinian community in the West Bank. On March 15th, Israel’s Supreme Court held a hearing to determine the future of … Continue reading

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This is the biggest myth about Israel and the Nakba

Opinion: from the Israeli daily Haaretz It is one of the most enduring myths surrounding the 1948 war: The epic battle between a fearsome Arab Goliath and a new-born Israel to liberate Palestine. And it’s a fable that continues to … Continue reading

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UK calls on all parties to take urgent steps to reduce tensions and avoid further escalation in Jerusalem

Statement by British Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East The UK shares the concerns expressed around this [Security Council] table about the fragile situation in Jerusalem. It is crucial that … Continue reading

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UK trade deal with Israel sends a clear message: apartheid is rewarded

By Sara Husseini and Mazen Masri, from Middle East Eye Without conditionality on human rights or a mechanism for accountability, how can an enhanced trading relationship be understood by Israel as anything other than support for its violations and war … Continue reading

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Court overturns French ban on Palestine solidarity groups

Published by Ali Abunimah on Electronic Intifada, 2 May 2022. Emmanuel Macron’s war against campaigners for Palestinian rights suffered another big setback on Friday. The Conseil d’Etat, which acts as France’s supreme court ruling on government actions, suspended the president’s … Continue reading

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Is Israel’s rule in the occupied territories apartheid? Yes, finds report by the UN Human Rights Rapporteur

This is the full text of the report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, Michael Lynk, to the UN Human Rights Council on March 21, 2022. In it, he comes to the … Continue reading

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UK call to prevent escalating tensions in Israel and occupied Palestinian territory as religious holidays approach

Statement by British Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council Delivered, March 22, 2022 Let me start by once again reinforcing the need to prevent a return to the violence we witnessed in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories … Continue reading

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World Council of Churches Jerusalem Easter Initiative

Recalling our Balfour Project conference on Jerusalem in October 2020… (You can read the Balfour Project Jerusalem statement here.) The World Council of Churches (WCC) has launched this Easter initiative: “The WCC Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Easter seeks … Continue reading

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Amnesty International Report: Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians

On 1 February Amnesty International published an important report on Israel/Palestine. Here is the link to the text of the report, and here the link to Amnesty’s response to questions.  Here is a Haaretz commentary on Israeli Government handling of … Continue reading

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Apartheid: Israel’s inconvenient truth

By Chris McGreal (This article originally appeared in the February, 2022, edition of The Link, published by Americans for Middle East Understanding. In 2006, Jimmy Carter published his bestselling book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, to wide acclaim and a vicious campaign … Continue reading

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Israel’s ‘Hysterical’ Response to Amnesty’s ‘Apartheid’ Report

By Anshell Pfeffer in Haaretz on 1Feb 2022. This is the third such report in a year to label Israel an apartheid state, but Jerusalem has only succeeded in generating greater interest in Amnesty’s accusations. We may have to wait … Continue reading

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The Guardian view on Amnesty’s Israel report: dominating the discourse

Editorial published in The Guardian on 6 February 2022. The continuing subjugation of Palestinians erodes the country’s stature internationally and damages its democracy Ehud Barak, Israel’s then defence minister and the country’s most decorated soldier, warned in 2010 that “as … Continue reading

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Palestinians Continue to Suffer in Lebanese Refugee Camps

By Elaine Pasquini, reprinted from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January 2022. In 1948, some 110,000 Palestinians fled to Lebanon after being violently forced from their homes by Jewish militants seeking to create the State of Israel. With … Continue reading

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Israel will never concede peace: It’s time for Britain to recognise Palestine

By Avi Shlaim. This article is reprinted from Middle East Eye, January, 2022. Boris Johnson once described the Balfour Declaration as ‘tragically incoherent’. With Israel now explicitly saying it will never negotiate peace, the UK must rethink its Palestine policy … Continue reading

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Mass Palestinian grave at popular Israeli beach, Veterans confess

Israeli fighters at the 1948 battle in Tantura, a coastal village, finally come clean about the mass killing of Arabs that took place after the Palestinians’ surrender.  By Adam Raz (this article appeared in the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz on … Continue reading

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Investigate Israeli veterans’ testimonies; commemorate mass Palestinian grave

This is a reprint of an editorial in the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz from January 24, 2022. The renewed discussion of the capture of Tantura during the War of Independence is aimed at correcting a historic injustice for which the … Continue reading

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Unilateral actions risk undermining engagement between Israeli Government and Palestinian leadership

Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the Security Council briefing on the Middle East Peace Process – Published 19 January 2022 Thank you Madam President. Before I start I’d like to stress, as my Foreign Secretary has said, the United … Continue reading

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UN Refugee Agency Pleads for Funds for Palestinians in Crisis-hit Lebanon

The UNWRA appeal is asking for an additional $87.5 million for cash assistance, hospital expenses and other needs for Palestinian refugees amid Lebanon’s economic collapse. Click here to read the full article in Haaretz. Click here to register for our … Continue reading

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Israel’s ‘most moral army in the world’ can’t keep running from its past

Haaretz Editorial published on Dec. 12, 2021 Soldiers of the Israeli army committed war crimes during the War of Independence. Chief among them were massacres in Palestinian villages that were captured in the decisive battles in the lowland plain between … Continue reading

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When Desmond Tutu stood up for the rights of Palestinians, he could not be ignored

After their obituary on Archbishop Tutu which did not mention his fight for justice for Palestinians, and moderating out posts highlighting this, the Guardian  then published When Desmond Tutu stood up for the rights of Palestinians, he could not be … Continue reading

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Desmond Tutu to Haaretz: This Is My Plea to the People of Israel

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu wrote an exclusive article for Haaretz in 2014, in which he called for a global boycott of Israel and urged Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for a sustainable solution to the crisis in … Continue reading

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Classified Docs Reveal Massacres of Palestinians in ’48 – and What Israeli Leaders Knew

By Adam Raz in Haaretz on 9 December 2021. Testimonies continue to pile up, documents are revealed, and gradually a broader picture emerges of the acts of murder committed by Israeli troops during the War of Independence. Minutes recorded during … Continue reading

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Hamas terror listing is yet another UK betrayal of the Palestinians

By Avi Shlaim, published in Middle East Eye on 30 November 2021. As long as its political opponents are labelled ‘terrorists’, Israel is absolved from the need to negotiate and gets a free pass from its allies to continue using … Continue reading

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Jerusalem: Lloyd George’s and his generals’ Christmas victory in 1917

By Colin Smith, December 10, 2021 (This article appears in the current issue of Prospect). On 11th December 1917, celebratory peals in London and the Vatican announced Britain’s first significant land victory in the First World War. But though the … Continue reading

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The label of ‘terrorist’: a bid to discredit and silence opponents

By John Dugard The apartheid regime of South Africa initially sought to discredit its political opponents by labelling them “communists”. When the international community realized that the term was abused the regime resorted to labelling its opponents “terrorists”. This proved … Continue reading

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Why the UK’s blacklisting of Hamas hurts its own peace policy

A motion to label the entire Hamas movement as ‘terrorists’ is an attempt to score political points at the cost of a peacemaking strategy for Israel-Palestine. By Hugh Lovatt on +972, November 25, 2021 Following a brief debate, the British House of … Continue reading

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UK ban on Hamas will have ‘terrible chilling effect’, warns former minister

Crispin Blunt said he did not think the measure would ‘draw away violence’. By Martina Bet. Published in the Evening Standard, 25 November 2021. A ban on the Palestinian group Hamas will have a “terrible chilling effect” in the Israeli … Continue reading

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Israel moves to silence the stalwarts of Palestinian civil society

By Zena Agha, writing for The New York Times On Oct. 19, the Israeli Ministry of Defence singled out six of the most prominent Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations, using secret, and thus far insufficient, evidence to accuse them of being … Continue reading

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The banning of human rights defenders: Israel and South Africa compared

By John Dugard, writing for Mondoweiss, Nov 16, 2021. Even the apartheid regime in South Africa never outlawed human rights defenders in the manner that Israel just did when it declared six Palestinian organizations to be “terrorist organizations. Israel has … Continue reading

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What does Israel fear from this ‘terrorist’?

By Raja Shehadeh, writing for the New York Review of Books December 2, 2021 issue. The Israeli government smears human rights organizations—like Al Haq, the one I founded—rather than attempting to end the violations they bring to light. In 1978 … Continue reading

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Israel’s designation as “terrorist” of six Palestinian civil society organisations: letter of protest to the Foreign Secretary

European Parliamentarians, including British MPs and Peers, have written to the Foreign Secretary calling for Government action to dissuade Israel from three “red line” actions:– designating six Palestinian civil society organisations as “terrorist”– evicting Palestinian families from their homes in … Continue reading

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The Balfour Declaration: Britain’s fatal mistake in Palestine by Eugene Rogan

Published on The Middle East Eye on 1 November 2021. This article is a condensed version of a talk that was given by Professor Eugene Rogan to the Balfour Project charity. The charity holds regular free webinars focused on Britain’s historic and continuing … Continue reading

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Gantz Declares Six Palestinian NGOs Terrorist Organizations

A joint statement by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called the decision ‘an alarming escalation,’ as the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ‘unequivocally condemned’ the move. Published in Haaretz on 22 Oct 2021 by Jonathan Lis. Israeli Defense Minister … Continue reading

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A message from B’Tselem

Last Friday, Israel’s new government crossed a line that no Israeli government has dared cross before, designating six Palestinian civil society organizations “terrorist organizations.” The shameful declaration says nothing about these organizations – but speaks volumes about the violence, brutality … Continue reading

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Israel ‘terrorist’ slur on Palestinian human rights groups

Statement by the Balfour Project On 22 October Israel’s Defence Minister designated six Palestinian human rights NGOs as ‘terrorist’. The aim appears to be to stem the flow of information about breaches of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. … Continue reading

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‘Unpleasant’ War Crimes: The Secret Docs Israel Insists on Censoring

The list of historical documents reveals suspicions that Haganah soldiers committed murder, torture, theft and looting during the War of Independence By Ofer Aderet, published in Haaretz on 18 October 2021 On the morning of April 9, 1948, some 130 … Continue reading

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New report warns unequal status quo in Israel and Palestine will lead to more violence

A new report from international development and humanitarian organisation Christian Aid has highlighted the deep inequalities which divide Palestinians and Israelis across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory and threaten a further escalation of violence and loss of life if … Continue reading

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Palestinian Woman Remanded on Bail

Human rights case that a UK church took up The young Palestinian woman, Layan Nasir, whom Israeli security forces arrested at her Ramallah area home in a dawn raid last July, has been remanded on bail by an Israeli military … Continue reading

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The roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

‘Fair Observer’ talks to Avi Shlaim, professor emeritus of international relations at St. Antony’s College, Oxford By Abul-Hasanat Siddique & Avi Shlaim September 16, 2021 The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has waxed and waned for several decades. The roots of it stem far beyond the … Continue reading

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All parties to Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be open to further dialogue – GOV.UK

Statement by UK Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the Security Council Briefing on the Middle East. Delivered at the UN on September 29, 2021 Madam President, the United Kingdom welcomes recent engagement between the Israeli Government and the Palestinian leadership, including … Continue reading

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New perspectives on Israel-Palestine for new audiences

Article on the Balfour Project Fellows published in Arab Banker Magazine, Autumn 2021 Two years ago, a British charity, the Balfour Project, began sponsoring groups of students to explore and report on key areas of the asymmetrical conflict between the … Continue reading

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Preventing further escalation of violence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Statement by UK Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the Security Council briefing on the Middle East Delivered on 30 August 2021. Let me start by once again reinforcing the need to prevent a further escalation in violence in Israel and the … Continue reading

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Connecting Parliaments in Europe for Israeli/Palestinian equality

By Julie Elliott MP Europe is neighbour, friend and trading partner to both Israel and Palestine. Economically, the EU/Israel Association Agreement matters greatly to Israel, affording free access to its biggest market. The same terms apply to the UK/Israel Trade … Continue reading

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Responses to the HRW report on Apartheid and Persecution of Palestinians

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Ban Ki-moon: US should back a new approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

This is not a dispute between equals that can be resolved through bilateral negotiations The writer is a former secretary-general of the UN and deputy chair of The Elders It is time to acknowledge that the longstanding approach taken to … Continue reading

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Call by 55 former European leaders: Protect the Independence of the ICC

Written 31 May 2021′ We welcome the support that European leaders have expressed for the ICC and its unique mandate of advancing justice following war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Consistent support for the ICC and promotion of its … Continue reading

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A message to the PM

MPs send No.10 the Balfour Project call for the strict application of international law, including via the ICC, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

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