On Friday 23 December the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 2334.
Whilst supporters of Israel have a wide range of views about the settlements issue, it’s clear that the resolution was problematic.
We are asking you to support a campaign by the Britain Israel Coalition and We Believe in Israel to write to the Prime Minister and your own MP challenging Britain’s vote.
You can do so here: https://www.israelbritain.org.uk/WB/
Go to the link and follow the instructions. You can amend the letter that it will send if you wish.
For more information about the resolution, why we are campaigning on it and how to complete the form, read on.
UNSC 2334 is deeply problematic and a threat to Israel because:
1. It reinforces the idea that settlements are the core issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and if they were just removed then the conflict could easily be resolved.
2. It is a one sided resolution that condemns only Israel. It condemns violence and incitement in only general terms and places no obligations on the Palestinians, nor does it criticise them.
3. It uses the June 4th 1967 lines as its reference point and condemns all Israeli housing over those lines as illegal. This includes parts of Jerusalem such as the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City that are hugely important to Israel. Although this is established policy in many countries it means the resolution does not in any way recognise progress made between Israel and the Palestinians in negotiations that has moved far from this baseline. For instance the Arab Peace Initiative suggests Israel could keep the major settlement blocks near the 1967 line in return for land swaps. Thus the resolution doesn’t build on previous talks or do anything constructive to get negotiations restarted.
The section of UNSCR 2334 calling “upon all States, bearing in mind paragraph 1 of this resolution, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967” also seems to give a green light to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement to push for measures specifically targeting the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and given how the rest of the resolution is phrased, even to target Israelis living in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and visiting Judaism’s holiest accessible site, the Western Wall.
The British Government played a major role in the passage of the resolution, which seems to contradict the Prime Minister’s reported criticism of John Kerry’s speech on the same subject last week – her spokesperson said: “We do not believe that the way to negotiate peace is by focusing on only one issue, in this cases the construction of settlements, when clearly the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is so deeply complex.”
We are therefore urging you to send an email to ask the PM to clarify a number of important points:
1. Does the UK’s support for the resolution imply any change to its opposition to all anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions, including measures specifically targeting Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem?
2. Does the UK continue to recognise that East Jerusalem is a special case and cannot be treated in negotiations the same way as other parts of the West Bank?
3. Does the UK recognise the possibility of resolving much of the settlements issue through land swaps as set out in the Clinton Parameters and the Arab Peace Initiative?
4. What equivalent steps will the UK will be taking to put pressure on the Palestinian Authority to come to the negotiating table and to resolve the obstacles to peace on its own side such as incitement to terrorism, the refusal to recognise Israel as being a Jewish state, and the demand for a Palestinian “right of return” which would undermine the principle the UK supports of two states for two peoples?
Please click below and follow the instructions to send an email to the Prime Minister and your constituency MP:
Please note that you need to fill in your postcode on the second page of the process to make the system work – you can’t manually insert your MP’s email address.