Israel – Palestine: Equal Rights for lasting Peace

Click here to read the British Governmanet’s position on Jerusalem.

Julie Elliott MP, with seven other signatories of the Balfour Project statement ‘Israel-Palestine: Equal Rights for lasting Peace’, has conveyed its five requests to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary. Here is the text of their letter, calling for British Government recognition now of the state of Palestine alongside Israel on 1967 lines. The statement is below, signed by 70 Parliamentarians and Faith leaders.

We acknowledge Britain’s historic responsibilities for inequality and discrimination in Jerusalem and across the Holy Land. They stem from the last century, through the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate for Palestine, with consequences which are still felt today. Past British responsibility for present injustice demands British commitment to work urgently for a better future, respecting equal rights.

With British assistance, the Jewish people exercised their right to self-determination in the Holy Land more than 70 years ago. To this day, the Palestinian people are denied this right. This injustice must end.

The future of Jerusalem is crucial to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and between Israel and the Arab and Muslim worlds. The recent normalisation of relations between Israel and some Arab Gulf states is no substitute for a lasting peace founded on broad popular consent from Israelis and Palestinians. Sharing Jerusalem is essential to gain that consent.

Palestinians and Israelis will share the Holy Land forever, and must shape its future together. Only equality will bring safety and well-being, and essential dialogue. The two peoples, alone, have not  attained peaceful coexistence. So, for the good of both, and if we truly mean what we say, we in Britain must help reverse current negative developments which only entrench separation and inequality. Civil society, including faith leaders, in the U.K., the rest of Europe and the USA, has a vital role in making that change happen.

We call upon the British Government now to take the following five measures:

–        Reaffirm publicly East Jerusalem’s status under international law as occupied Palestinian territory and oppose current systematic efforts to undermine this status;

–        Press for true freedom of access for all believers – Jewish, Muslim and Christian – to their respective holy sites in Jerusalem: especially Jews to the Western Wall, Christians to the Holy Sepulchre, Muslims to al Aqsa Mosque, from wherever they live;

–        Work effectively to uphold the rule of law reflected in UN Security Council Resolutions, particularly Resolution 2334, which condemns illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

–        Insist that Israel end forthwith its discriminatory practices in Jerusalem, enabling all Jerusalemites to enjoy the same rights and services, regardless of creed or nationality; and

 –        Recognise the State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, with Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states.

We seek a future of equal rights and peaceful coexistence between the peoples of Israel and Palestine in two states along the pre-1967 Green Line. Crucially, the wellbeing and security of both peoples in those states will grow with equality.  We seek the Peace of Jerusalem. 

27 October 2020

Signed

Tahir Ali MP

Michael Ancram, Marquess of Lothian

Rt Hon Lord Anderson of Ipswich

Claudia Beamish, Member of the Scottish Parliament

Clive Betts MP

Rt Hon Baroness Tessa Blackstone

Crispin Blunt MP

Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP

Alan Brown MP

Very Reverend Dr Susan Brown, Convener, Faith Impact, Church of Scotland

Richard Burden

Wendy Chamberlain MP

Joanna Cherry QC MP

Rt Reverend Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, Church of England Lead Bishop for International Affairs

Daisy Cooper MP

Rt Hon Lord Cope of Berkeley

Neil Coyle MP

Rt Hon Ed Davey MP (Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party)

Wayne David MP, Shadow Minister for the Middle East

Most Reverend John Davies, Archbishop of Wales

Martyn Day MP

Allan Dorans MP

Julie Elliott MP (Co chair, Britain Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group)

Rt Reverend Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

John Finnie, Member of the Scottish Parliament

Patrick Grady MP

Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC

Rt Hon Lord Bruce Grocott

Rt Hon Lord Peter Hain

Lord Hannay of Chiswick

Neale Hanvey MP

Wera Hobhouse MP

Baroness Sheila Hollins

Lord Raymond Hylton

Rt Hon Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece

Lord Michael Jay

Rt Hon David Jones MP

Lord Frank Judd

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

Rt Reverend Declan Lang, Catholic Bishop of Clifton, Chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference Department of International Affairs

Carolyn Lawrence, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, Methodist Church in Britain

Rt Hon Tony Lloyd MP

Caroline Lucas MP

Kenny MacAskill MP

Seema Malhotra MP

Imam Ajmal Masroor

Very Reverend Dr Andrew McLellan, former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

Pauline McNeill, Member of the Scottish Parliament

Carol Monaghan MP

James Graham, Duke of Montrose

Layla Moran MP

John Nicolson MP

Lord Jonny Oates

Rt Reverend Dr Joanna Penberthy, Bishop of St Davids

Rt Reverend John Pritchard, former Bishop of Oxford

Yasmin Qureshi MP

Andrew Selous MP

Tommy Sheppard MP

Andy Slaughter MP

Rt Hon Sir Nicholas Soames

Rt Hon Jack Straw

Jamie Stone MP

Rev Richard Teal, President of the Methodist Conference, Methodist Church in Britain

Rt Hon Lord Wallace of Saltaire

Rt Hon Lord Norman Warner

Rt Hon Baroness Sayeeda Warsi (Co chair, Britain Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group)

Sandra White, Member of the Scottish Parliament

Dr Philippa Whitford MP

Munira Wilson MP

Lord Wood of Anfield

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