Question from Baroness Janke (Lib Dem) on 1st February 2023 (HL5318)
To ask His Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Israel regarding (1) the right of Palestinians living in Israel (a) to hold Israeli citizenship, and (b) to vote in Israeli elections, and (2) statements by the Minister for Internal Security in that country regarding the extension of Israeli sovereignty over the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Answer by Lord Ahmad (Conservative) on 16th February 2023
Palestinian citizens of Israel have full citizenship rights, including voting in elections. However, we are aware that Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem do not enjoy the same rights. We regularly raise issues related to the situation in East Jerusalem, for example evictions and demolitions of property as well as revocation of residency rights, with the Israeli authorities and the Jerusalem municipality. It has been the position of the UK government since 1967 that the Occupied Palestinian Territories (the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza) are not lawfully part of the State of Israel. The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Italy, the Foreign Secretary of the UK, and the Secretary of State of the US set out on 14 February in a statement their support for a “comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East, which must be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties.
Question by Baroness Janke (Lib Dem) on 21st February 2022 (HL6259)
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the government of Israel’s proposed plan to introduce a new Citizenship Law to ban Palestinian family unification.
Answer from Lord Ahmad (Conservative) on 7 March 2022
As a friend to Israel, we have expressed our concern in cases where Israeli laws could undermine the equality of members of minority groups. We encourage the Israeli Government to abide by its obligations under international law and do all it can to uphold the values of equality for all enshrined in its laws.
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.