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

Question by Baroness Tonge (Independent) on 18th January 2021 (HL12259)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by B’Tselem ‘A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: this is apartheid’, published on 12 January.

Answer from Lord Ahmad (Conservative) on 1st February 2021

The UK has not made an assessment of this report. It is the policy of this government that any judgment on whether serious crimes under international law have occurred is a matter for judicial decision after consideration of all the available evidence, rather than for governments or non-judicial bodies. As a friend of Israel, we have a regular dialogue, encouraging the Israeli government to do all it can to uphold the values of equality for all. The UK also engages with Israel on issues of concern related to its occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate-General in Jerusalem work closely with all sectors of Israeli and Palestinian society to encourage tolerance and progress towards peace. The UK position on the Middle East Peace Process is clear: we support a negotiated settlement leading to a two-state solution. A two state solution is the only way to preserve Israel’s Jewish and democratic identity. The UK has urged the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to work together to meet their obligations under the Oslo Accords, and to work towards a sustainable solution to the conflict. We also call on all parties to abide by International Humanitarian Law and to promote peace, stability and security.

Question by Baroness Tonge (Independent) on 5th October 2020 (HL8783)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the rejection by the Knesset of a bill aimed at introducing equality for all Israeli citizens, what assessment they have made of the functioning of democracy in Israel.

Answer from Lord Ahmad (Conservative) on 19th October 2020

Israel is a thriving democracy which maintains a fine balance between its Jewish identity and its democratic values. As a friend to Israel, we have regularly expressed our concern in cases where Israeli laws could undermine the equality of members of minority groups. We encourage the Israeli Government to do all it can to uphold the values of equality for all enshrined in its laws.

Q Asked by Baroness Tonge (Independent) 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 Special Rapporteurs which stated that those Rapporteurs held “deep concerns” about the nature of Nation State Law.

A Answered by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative) on 06 December 2018

We have not made an assessment of the letter. Israel’s vibrant civil society and long standing commitment to equality for all its citizens are some of its great strengths as a fellow democracy. But as a friend of Israel, we are concerned about any development which would undermine this commitment, including the Nation State Bill which removes Arabic as an official language.

This entry was posted in Current Positions. Bookmark the permalink.