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 – and dismembers Palestine itself, making it impossible for any future Palestinian government to administer. Such is Benjamin Netanyahu’s clear intent. We must recognise this as a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Boris Johnson rightly said: “A Palestinian state is the only way to secure Israel’s demographic future as a Jewish and democratic nation … You have to have a two-state solution or else you have a kind of apartheid.”

Mr Netanyahu seeks to perpetuate the military occupation, thereby destroying any chance of peace with justice, denying Palestinians their right to self-determination and destabilising Jordan along the way. Passions will be inflamed.

The British Government’s recognition of the state of Palestine alongside Israel on pre-June 1967 lines is both right and necessary to preserve the two-state solution and to serve the cause of peace.

Mr Johnson should give a lead now to the many in Israel, the region and Europe who oppose annexation by warning of severe consequences stemming from it. These should include measures against illegal settlements and sanctions following the precedent of Russia’s illegal takeover of Crimea. Mr Netanyahu then cannot say he was not warned.

Crispin Blunt MP (Con) Alistair Carmichael MP (Lib Dem) Baroness Warsi (Con) Lord Dubs (Lab) Lord Hain (Lab) Baroness Blackstone (Lab) The Marquess of Lothian (Con) Sir Nicholas Soames Andy Slaughter MP (Lab) Dr Philippa Whitford MP (SNP) Lord Green of Deddington (Crossbench) David Jones MP (Con) Layla Moran MP (Lib Dem) Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws (Lab) Andrew Selous MP (Con) Tommy Sheppard MP (SNP) Julie Elliott MP (Lab) Richard Burden Sir Vincent Fean Chris Doyle Hugh Lovatt

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