Category Archives: News

The Status Quo governing Jerusalem’s holy sites preserves peace: UK statement at the Security Council

5 January 2023 Statement by British Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on situation in the Middle East Firstly, the UK recognises that Jerusalem’s holy sites including Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount hold particular significance for many around … Continue reading

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Football’s coming home…

…for the Palestinians! How the World Cup put Palestine in the international spotlight. Palestine: The Unexpected Star of the 2022 World Cup Joy, faith and Palestine: How Morocco’s team united the Arab world Israel scores own goal with World Cup … Continue reading

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How can Britain Help Right the Historic Wrong that it Committed Against the Palestinian People?

Mark Seddon of Deep Dive Palestine is live with Andrew Whitley, founder & executive director of Geo-Political Advisory Services (GPAS) & Chair of the Balfour Project. Andrew has had an expansive career first as a journalist for the BBC & … Continue reading

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‘Grave concern’ for increasing instability in West Bank and Jerusalem, says UK

Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on the Situation in the Middle East, Nov 28, 2022 ‘The UK is gravely concerned by increasing instability in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Since 14 November, four Israelis … Continue reading

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UN committee votes to ask International Court to decide on Israel ‘annexation’ of OPT

The United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee (on Decolonisation) has voted 98-17 on a resolution to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on whether Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory is illegal on the grounds that its … Continue reading

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Israel Embassy move would ‘breach 1961 Vienna Convention’

Letter to UK Foreign Secretary from 27 international law experts says ‘there is nothing to review’ by Professor Iain GM Scobbie, Chair of Public International Law, and Director of the Manchester International Law Centre, University of Manchester

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Embassy move dropped

Britain’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has dropped the idea of “reviewing” the location of the UK Embassy in Israel, as suggested by his predecessor Liz Truss. Her proposal was to consider moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a … Continue reading

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Commission of Inquiry finds Israeli occupation unlawful under international law

Andrew Whitley, Chair of the Balfour Project, writes: A brand-new report from a UN Commission of Inquiry into grave breaches of human rights and international humanitarian law in Palestine and Israel will present a moral (and legal) dilemma for the … Continue reading

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Liz Truss under pressure to drop ‘reckless’ UK Israel embassy move

14 October 2022, Financial Times The Financial Times, with its long record of incisive Middle East reporting and careful editorial judgment, has added its voice to those urging the British Prime Minister to reconsider her stated inclination to review the … Continue reading

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The Balfour Project Origin Story

While Roger and Monica Spooner were in Jordan for a holiday in 2008, as guests of Jordanian friends, they visited an exhibition of the McMahon-Hussein correspondence, in Aqaba. The text was displayed in Arabic, and the Spooners asked their host … Continue reading

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Truss and Jerusalem

By William Law Published in the Arab Digest, a subscription newsletter which can be joined here. Arab Digest  provides high quality information, a discerning news filter and expert analysis suitable for business leaders, diplomatic strategy, academia and journalism. Summary: the … Continue reading

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Prime Minister’s Promise to ‘Review’ Moving the UK Embassy to Jerusalem

Prime Minister Liz Truss has told the Israeli Prime Minister that she will ‘review’ the location of HM Embassy to Israel. Below is a well-argued letter to our Foreign Secretary explaining why this would be wrong. The letter is written … Continue reading

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Statement by Daniel Levy, President, US/Middle East Project, to the UN Security Council, Thursday 25 August 2022

I would like to thank the Council and the Chinese presidency in particular for allowing me to share some thoughts with you today. The events of earlier this month covered in detail by Special Envoy Wennesland are as concerning as … Continue reading

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Tory leadership contenders demonstrate alarming bias toward Israel

By Susie Becher in The Times of Israel, published on 29 August 2022 Click here to read this article.

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The situation on the ground demonstrates the urgent need to make progress towards a Two-State Solution

Statement by UK Ambassador James Kariuki at the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East Let me start by welcoming the two-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords this month. The Abraham Accords are a historic milestone that … Continue reading

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Israeli Raids on Palestinian Civil Society Organizations: The Costs of International Inaction

When: Thursday, August 25, 2022 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT Where: Zoom Webinar Join legal and policy experts to hear how Israel’s measures to terminate the work of six prominent civil society organizations engaged in documenting violations of international … Continue reading

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Statement on planning application for new settlement in the West Bank

On 12 September a planning committee in the West Bank will consider an application from the Israeli Defence Ministry for a large new settlement project in the E1 area of the West Bank, to the east of Jerusalem. In response … Continue reading

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Israel Raids Outlawed Palestinian Rights Groups’ Offices in West Bank

Defense Minister Benny Gantz declared six Palestinian human rights groups terrorist organizations in 2021, however, several European countries claim Israel had failed to prove these allegations. By Hagar Shezaf, Jack Khoury and The Associated Press on Aug 18, 2022 in … Continue reading

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Episcopal Church in Ramallah raided by Israeli military

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Workshop on teaching the history of Israel-Palestine in schools

On Saturday, 25 June, the Balfour Project hosted an online workshop to encourage more schools to teach this subject. Ninety attended, of whom 25 were practising teachers, 18 of them currently teaching the subject. Over a hundred have viewed the … Continue reading

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WATCH ONLINE: Raja Shehadeh: To Absent Fathers

In 1985, Raja Shehadeh’s father Aziz was murdered in a pre-meditated knife attack. The circumstances of the crime are the subject of his Strangers in the House. Today, through his new memoir, Shehadeh sheds a different light on the father-son relationship … Continue reading

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‘Strangers in My House’: Letters an Expelled Palestinian Sent David Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

Sami Saada was expelled from his apartment in Haifa and in an attempt to reclaim the property sent letters to Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. The letters went unanswered, but found their way into a new book. By Sheren … Continue reading

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Urging all parties to ensure the ceasefire in Gaza is durable and prevents further violence: UK statement to UN Security Council

Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the Security Council briefing on the situation in Gaza The United Kingdom joins fellow Council Members in welcoming the ceasefire in Gaza announced last night (August 8, 2022). We express our thanks to Egypt, … Continue reading

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UNRWA struggles to meet $100m funding shortfall amid UK budget cuts

Severe cuts to Britain’s aid budget leave the agency that provides relief to Palestinian refugees struggling to carry out basic services From the i July 31, 2022 Palestinian refugees are facing three-minute doctor consultations and classes of up to 50 children … Continue reading

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Palestinians and Israelis deserve equal measures of peace, security and prosperity

Statement by British Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council open debate on the situation in the Middle East, July 26, 2022 Thank you, President. And, I thank also Deputy Special Coordinator Hastings for her briefing. I’d also like … Continue reading

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‘Apartheid’ is not sufficient: an interview with UN Human Rights Commissioner Miloon Kothari

UN Human Rights Commissioner Miloon Kothari explains why Apartheid is not enough to explain the root causes of the Palestinian crisis. By David Kattenburg, first published on Mondoweiss on 25 July 2022. Joe Biden’s trip to Israel, occupied Palestine and … Continue reading

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Informing and influencing the Westminster Parliament

The Balfour Project and CAABU (Council for Arab British Understanding) co-sponsored an event in the House of Commons on 13 July, hosted by David Jones MP (Conservative). Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, spelt out what the UN Agency does to … Continue reading

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The relentless theft of Occupied Territory

How the Bennett-Lapid Government ruled over the West Bank The presence of left-wing parties in the coalition did little to hinder the ‘change government’ from continuing construction in the West Bank and destroying Palestinian residences By Hagar Shezaf, published in … Continue reading

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UK charities call for immediate end to closure of Gaza after 15 years of collective punishment and imposed fragmentation

Caabu is among 16 organisations to have signed onto this statement, calling for an immediate end to the closure of Gaza after 15 years of collective punishment and imposed fragmentation. 20th July 2022 Since June 2007, consecutive Israeli governments have … Continue reading

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The follies of Biden’s Middle East trip

The president’s July visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia picked up where his predecessor’s regional policies left off. By Daniel Levy, published on Responsible Statecraft on 12 July 2022. President Biden’s trip to the Middle East is in danger of … Continue reading

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Children in Gaza need hope

“Gaza is hell on earth for children.” Those are the words of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres. This report from Save the Children explains why.In Gaza, as elsewhere in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the abnormal has … Continue reading

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Human Rights Watch: torture of Palestinians by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza

Here is a disquieting report by Human Rights Watch and Lawyers for Justice. It examines breaches of Palestinian human rights by Palestinians – those in authority in the West Bank and Gaza. Like all Human Rights Watch reports, it is … Continue reading

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Is Anti-Zionism a Form of Anti- Semitism?

Anti-Zionism as a Jewish Phenomenon Azmi Bishara General Director and Member of the Board of Directors of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies. Dr. Bishara is a researcher and writer with numerous books and publications on political thought, … Continue reading

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Report of the UN’s Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Situation of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel

Announcing Britain’s candidacy for a three-year term on the UN’s Human Rights Council in 2020, the then Minister of State for Human Rights, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, rightly said that respect for human rights sits at the heart of the … Continue reading

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Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is a fundamental barrier to peace

By Bambos Charalambous, Shadow Minister for the Middle East When it comes to the question of achieving peace in the Middle East, Labour is clear: in government, we would immediately recognise the state of Palestine. We want to see a … Continue reading

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From Balfour to Biden: universal values and international law versus national interests

By Sir Vincent Fean, Balfour Project Vice-Chair I was invited on 5 June to contribute virtually to a conference in Palestine to mark the 55th anniversary of the Six- Day War of 1967, leading to the occupation by Israel of … Continue reading

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Cycle of violence moves us further away from a peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians

UK Government at UN Security Council Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the UN Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East (delivered on May 26, 2022) Sadly, the world’s attention has been drawn repeatedly to the fragile … Continue reading

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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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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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