Jane Ellison (Battersea)
Jane Ellison Supports a two state solution for Israel/Palestine. She says she has raised the issue of the two state solutions regularly with ministers.
Here is a selection of quotes from correspondence with Jane Ellison:
‘The UK regularly raises Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law with the Israeli authorities ‘
‘The UK government is continuing to press the government of Israel to lift restrictions and facilitate the entry of aid into Gaza’
‘Governments position on settlements is clear, namely, that they are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace’.
‘The UK government does not support calls to boycott trade with Israel, but it is also clear it does not recognise the OPT’s, as being part of Israel’.
‘With regards to arms ... all applications are assessed on a case by case basis’
‘I do recognise all countries have a legitimate right to self-defence and the right to defend their citizens from attack’
‘The government has reiterated its commitment to recognise a Palestinian at a time most helpful to the peace process’
‘the UK government remains extremely concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza – and continues to press the Government of Israel to lift restrictions and facilitate the entry of aid into Gaza’
Mary Macleod (Brentford and Isleworth)
‘I am both a strong supporter of the State of Israel – and a friend of the Palestinian people’
‘Israel is the only democracy in the region and an important bilateral partner to the UK’.
‘I disagree with Palestinian unilateralism’
‘Both parties must accept that any future final status agreement will include equivalent land swaps’
‘Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade of the Gaza strip due to Hamas, an internationally recognised terror group’.
‘Hamas remains committed to the destruction of Israel at the willing expense of its own people. Despite this threat, Israel continues to facilitate the delivery of legitimate humanitarian aid to the people the Gaza with thousands of tonnes of food, fuel, and medical supplies delivered everyday’
‘Israel is a long standing strategic partner of the UK. Our armed forces and intelligence services have a close working relationship’.
‘Any boycott of Israeli goods would reduce our ability to act as a supportive partner in peace process and run counter to our call for dialogue with all parties’.
Neil Wilson (East Belfast)
1) Do you believe the time has come to recognise Palestine? No strong views either way on this. I do however believe in a two state solution based on 1967 borders.
2) Do you agree that we should stop trade with Israel's settlements on Palestinian land, and stop settlement goods being sold in Britain? Absolutely not. Awful idea. The route to reconciliation is, always, a market one. Anything that brings both sides together and employs Palestinians should be encouraged rather than boycotted. While this does not detract from the fact that the settlements are illegal, killing the market for Palestinian labour and reducing them to a life of aid dependency is a profoundly bad idea.
3) Do you agree that the UK’s resettlement of 143 Syrian refugees is not nearly enough? Difficult question without full details. How many would you like us to take?
4) Do you think human rights should be an important part of British Foreign Policy? Absolutely.
5) Do you think Britain has a coherent Middle East policy? It’s hard to have a coherent policy in a region which lacks any coherence, so no.
6) Do you believe that supporting women's rights in countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa should be a priority for the next government? In terms of foreign affairs, yes, in terms of general priorities there will be a lot of other things to get through, sadly.
7) Are you supportive of indigenous grassroots efforts and organisations (where they exist) to promote the rights of LGBT people in countries within the Middle East and North Africa region? Yes
8) Do you agree that the United Kingdom should always take a consistent approach to the application of international law and international human rights law no matter which country it is that violates these laws and abuses human rights? Absolutely. Especially in the case of Saudi Arabia and of the vile little regime currently running the Gaza strip.
Amy Gray (Hackney North and Stoke Newington)
I have had a number of emails on Palestine from people in Hackney North and Stoke Newington and it is encouraging to see that so many people are committed to the pursuit of peace and human rights - there have been far fewer queries about British policy towards Syria.
I support a negotiated two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. This would mean a secure Israel living peacefully alongside a sovereign and viable Palestinian state, based on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem the future capital of both states. I do not think it would be helpful for the UK to recognise a Palestinian State outside this process, as a negotiated settlement is the most effective way for Palestinian aspirations of statehood to be met.
The peace process will need to include a recognition of the need for compromise on both sides. The Israeli government needs to deal with the settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law. The Palestinian authorities need to ensure that all of their leaders recognise the right of the state of Israel to exist, and take steps to stop militants sheltering behind Palestinian civilians while they attack Israeli towns and cities.
Whilst the UK should continue to take the most needy refugees (and I'd welcome an increase on 143) I think it's important in Syria to focus on doing what we can to support people so that they can go home one day. That's why the British government has provided £800m in support, among the most of any international donor. This includes driving the 'No Lost Generation Initiative' which provides education and support for hundreds of thousands of children affected by the conflict. You can see a full breakdown of UKAID to Syria here.
Human rights should be a part of British foreign policy. I am proud that this government has done a great deal to protect women, especially through leading the fight against rape as a weapon of war. The UK hosted the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict last year which launched the first ever guidelines on prosecuting for these crimes, as well as millions of pounds in funding for survivors. The government has also tackled female genital mutilation and forced marriage, both of which were raised at the first Girl Summit last summer. There is still more to do, including through tackling sanitation issues to ensure that women are able to use the toilet safely, and in enabling women to access education to the same level as men. Uniting foreign and development policy in areas like this is something I'd like to see more of.
Mike Penning (Hemel Hempstead)
“We remain fully committed to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. This would mean a secure Israel living peacefully alongside a sovereign and viable Palestinian state based on the borders of 1967.”
“We will continue to push for progress towards peace and lead the Way in Palestinian state building. The UK will recognise a Palestinian state at a time most helpful to the peace process – a negotiated end to the occupation is the most effective way for Palestinian aspirations of statehood to be met.”
“We will continue to support Palestinian institutions and promote economic growth, so that any future state will be prosperous and an effective partner for peace.”
“It is vital that Palestinian civilians are protected but we are also clear that Israel has a right to defend itself from indiscriminate attacks. Hamas faces a fundamental decision about whether it is prepared to join efforts for peace, or whether it will continue to use violence and terror with all the terrible consequences for the people of Gaza.”
“Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal under international law and present an obstacle to peace and take us further away from the two-solution. We have strongly urged the Israeli government to reverse recent announcements on proposed settlements, which damage Israel’s standing in the international community.”
“The UK has provided £17.6m in humanitarian support to people in Gaza during the summer of 2014, and committed a further 20.7m at the Cairo conference in October 2014.”
“The Department for International Development works closely with a number of different aid organisations to get help and assistance to those on the ground. This is particularly important in areas which have suffered from natural disasters or conflict, such as Syria or Iraq. No figure for resettling refugees would or could be enough, which is why committed aid directly to the region to help refugees stay in the area.”
“On 23 April 2015, the prime minister attended a European council meeting to discuss how to stem the flow of migrant boats in the Mediterranean and tackle the criminal gangs and people traffickers responsible. The situation in the Mediterranean is a tragedy, which is why the European council met to discuss the situation and what more can be done to save lives. We are clear this does not just involve rescuing people, but also going after the gangs and the traffickers and working to stabilise the region.”
“We have offered the Royal Navy flagship HMS Bulwark along with three helicopters and two other border control boats which will join the search and rescue operations where appropriate. When migrants are rescued they will be returned to the nearest safe country, in most cases Italy. In addition we will use our aid budget to help bring relief to people suffering and work to stabilise countries in the region.”
“Protecting human rights is a hallmark of a democratic society, and it is central to the values of the Conservative Party. We are clear that torture and other forms of human rights abuses are wrong and that is why we are working with other countries and other organisations to prevent torture by funding projects to make criminal justice systems fairer.”
Christopher Wilford (Poplar and Limehouse)
"I remain fully committed to a negotiated two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. This would mean a secure Israel living peacefully alongside a sovereign and viable Palestinian state, based on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem the future capital of both states. We will continue to push for progress towards peace and lead the way in supporting Palestinian state building. The UK will recognise a Palestinian state at a time most helpful to the peace process – a negotiated end to the occupation is the most effective way for Palestinian aspirations of statehood to be met. We recognise the strength of feeling on this issue among many people in Britain and will continue to spare no effort to turn our ambition – the creation of a viable Palestinian State living in peace and security alongside Israel – into reality.
We already provide humanitarian support to the region. The UK has provided £17.6 million in humanitarian support to people in Gaza during the summer of 2014 and committed a further £20.7 million at the Cairo Conference in October 2014. This funding supports a range of essential services provided by United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the World Food Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross and local NGOs. We are also the third largest donor to UNRWA and contributed £6 million to their Gaza Flash Appeal, which was launched during the conflict in 2014 in order to provide emergency assistance for those who had been displaced. The British Consulate General in Jerusalem supports projects that will protect vulnerable communities and strengthen ties between the Palestinian and British people. For example through bilateral funding we were able to help the Al-Amal School for the Deaf in Hebron purchase 12 computers that are adaptable for the use of children with hearing problems. We could look at how this could be expanded to include Lebanon and Jordan, building on existing arrangements with these countries.
Human rights are a critical part of our foreign policy. I am deeply concerned by events in the Middle East and their domestic consequences, as well as the tragedies unfolding in Syria. The policy is in place but must continue to adapt to new realities."
Andrew Murrison (South West Wiltshire)
Questions asked can be found here.
"I back a two state solution on '67 borders and hope that this will be achieved soon so that the international commmunity can recognise Palestine and Israel. I deplore Israel's action and have said so in the House if you want to look it up but it must be able to defend its civilians against Hamas inspired terrorism.
Promotion of human rights is part of the Foreign Office's remit.
On Syrian refugees, I don't think lifting large numbers of people and settling them in the UK is necessarily the correct way to handle the situation but note that the UK is the second largest contributor of development aid to the country (after the US).
The answer to the last question is yes. Its considerably better than under the last government. The Iraq war was unforgiveable and i am frustrated by the delay in publishing the Chilcot report."
Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford)
1) I believe Palestine should be recognised as part of a permanent two-state solution alongside Israel, which will require urgent moves by all parties. Hamas must formally acknowledge Israel's right to exist and prevent rocket attacks while Israel must immediately stop building illegal settlements and must engage with the peace process seriously. If Palestine fulfilled these conditions, but Israel was not prepared to, I believe that the the UK should recognise Palestine.
2) We should enforce clear rules about declaring and marking the origin of such goods so that people make their own decision about whether to buy them. Entirely banning the sale of such goods can , in my view, only be done as part of a consistent policy of banning goods from anywhere where territory is illegally occupied - of which there are many examples across the world.
3) Yes, it is far too few.
4) Yes. As a member of the Conservative Party's human rights commission, I constantly push for this.
5) a) Humanitarian policy. Yes. The UK is at the forefront of assisting the most vulnerable. We are the second largest international contributor to supporting refugees from Syria, whether in Lebanon, Jordan or elsewhere. We are a major contributor to UNRA which supports Palestinian refugees across the region. b) Human rights policy. Mixed. We do not do enough to raise human rights issues in countries such as Saudi Arabia and other countries where the death penalty is widely used, for instance, and where the rights of women and non-citizens are often not upheld.
c) Political policy. We - along with the US and other countries - find ourselves torn between wanting to support stabile (but non- or partially-democratic) regimes which go some way to protecting minorities and supporting full democracy which can bring into power governments such as that of former President Morsi in Egypt which attacked minorities. My belief is that our policy on always supporting governments which tackle poverty and inequality, protect minorities, uphold basic human rights and are a force for stability, whether or not they are fully 'democratic' in the Western sense of the word.