The Conservatives support a two state solution. Their position is that Palestine should not be recognised yet; but should be at a time ‘most useful to the peace process’. The Conservatives state that settlements are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace.The Conservatives do not support calls to boycott trade with Israel. The coalition government is ’concerned’ about the situation in Gaza and has pledged £20m towards the Gaza reconstruction mechanism.
The coalition government has committed £800m the Syrian crisis. However only 143 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees have been resettled in the UK.
The Conservative party manifesto 2015
On counter-terrorism and extremism
"The first duty of government is to keep you safe. We will always do whatever is necessary to protect the British people. We have protected and increased the budgets for the security and intelligence agencies and counter-terrorism policing. But the scale of the threat to our country from a number of terrorist groups remains serious, and the rise of ISIL in Syria and Iraq has created new havens for terrorists from which attacks against Britain can be planned, financed and directed."
“We have strengthened counter-terrorism laws, including making it easier to stop British nationals travelling abroad to fight, and control the return of those who do. We will keep up to date the ability of the police and security services to access communications data – the ‘who, where, when and how’ of a communication, but not its content. Our new communications data legislation will strengthen our ability to disrupt terrorist plots, criminal networks and organised child grooming gangs, even as technology develops. We will maintain the ability of the authorities to intercept the content of suspects’ communications, while continuing to strengthen oversight of the use of these powers.“
“We have already reformed the Prevent strategy so that it focuses on non-violent as well as violent extremism. We will now go even further. We will outlaw groups that foment hate with the introduction of new Banning Orders for extremist organisations. These could be applied to dangerous organisations that fall short of the existing thresholds for proscription under terrorism legislation. To restrict the harmful activities of extremist individuals, we will create new Extremism Disruption Orders. These new powers might, for instance, prevent those who are seeking to radicalise young British people online from using the internet or communicating via social media. We will develop a strategy to tackle the infiltration of extremists into our schools and public services. We will strengthen Ofcom’s role so that tough measures can be taken against channels that broadcast extremist content. We will enable employers to check whether an individual is an extremist and bar them from working with children. And we will take further measures to ensure colleges and universities do not give a platform to extremist speakers.” (Pages 61-63)
“We will tackle global terrorism and the poisonous ideology of Islamist extremism while taking a patient, long-term approach to preventing conflict and state failure. We will work with our partners to address threats to UK security, including the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, pandemic diseases, the illegal drugs trade, piracy and organised crime.” (Page 76)
On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
“Support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, robustly defending the right of Israel to protect its security, while continuing to condemn illegal settlement building, which undermines the prospects for peace.” (Page 76)
On global security
“Work for peace, stability and an inclusive settlement in Syria and Iraq; and pursue a comprehensive political and military strategy to defeat ISIL”
“Protect global security by helping to lead international efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon; and work to ensure that North Korea ends its development of nuclear weapons.”
“Our long-term security and prosperity depend on a stable international system that upholds our values Over the last five years, we have stood up for what we believe in: intervening to stop a massacre in Libya, leading the world in tackling sexual violence in conflict, and helping women and children who have fled violence in Syria We will continue this leadership We will stand up for the freedom of people of all religions – and non-religious people – to practise their beliefs in peace and safety, for example by supporting persecuted Christians in the Middle East.” (Page 76)
On international development aid
“Uphold our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on international development.” (Page 75)
On defence and international partnerships
“Uphold our Special Relationship with the USA.” (Page 76)
“We will maintain our global presence, strengthening our defence partnerships in the Gulf and Asia. Later this year, we will hold a National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review to plan for the future.”
“We plan to invest at least £160 billion in new military equipment over the next decade.” (Page 77)
David Cameron – Prime Minister:
“We have spent about £800 million helping refugees in Syria, which makes us the second largest bilateral donor to the programme. We have taken 140 people under the vulnerable persons relocation scheme, and it is right that we have done that, but we have to be frank with ourselves and with the public. In a refugee crisis of this scale, which runs into millions of people, the idea that even a small part of the solution is for our country to take in hundreds or thousands is completely wrong.”
“We only recognise the state of Palestine when there is a genuine two-state solution – and [when] Israel's future is truly secure”
On the 2014 war in gaza: “What I’ve seen is the attacks that take place on Israel and the indiscriminate nature of them. As PM, putting yourself in the shoes of the Israeli people, who want peace but have to put up with these indiscriminate attacks - that reinforces to me the importance of standing by Israel and Israel’s right to defend itself.
“I feel very strongly that this equivalence that sometimes people try to draw when these attacks take place is so completely wrong and unfair. Because Israel is trying defend against indiscriminate attacks, while trying to stop the attackers – and there’s such a difference between that and the nature of the indiscriminate attacks that Israel receives. I feel that very clearly. I’ve seen it very clearly as Prime Minister and I think it’s important to speak out about it.
“Obviously we regret the loss of life wherever it takes place, but I do think there’s an important difference – as Prime Minister Netanyahu put it: Israel uses its weapons to defend its people and Hamas uses its people to defend its weapons."
Tobias Ellwood - The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs:
“We want to see the establishment of a sovereign and independent Palestinian state, living in peace and security alongside Israel. We have been clear that the UK will recognise a Palestinian state bilaterally at a time when we judge it best to help bring about peace... recognition is not simply a tick-box exercise but a strategic tool, which will have consequences when implemented, and which is therefore best used at a time when it will advance the process and leverage positive change.”
“We want the Palestinians to end the political stalemate with Hamas, as he implies, but we also want Israel to allow the free movement of people, particularly the politicians, into Gaza, and to increase trade between Gaza and the west bank.”
Phillip Hammond - Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs:
‘Ihave said in this House before and I will say again that settlements are just buildings. Buildings can be built and buildings can be removed, and we must not allow illegal building to stand in the way of a sustainable solution if it can otherwise be found.”
“we will press the US to revive the initiative and all the parties to resume serious negotiations as soon as possible after the Israeli elections, and I urge them to be ready then to step up and show the bold political leadership that will be necessary to achieve peace.”
“for an enduring solution Hamas must disarm and be prepared to accept Israel’s right to live in peace”
James Brokenshire - Minister of State (Home Office):
“The Government is deeply concerned about the crisis in Syria, the suffering and hardship it is causing for millions of displaced Syrians in the region, and the strain it is placing on their host countries. That is why we launched the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme, offering protection in the UK to some of the most vulnerable refugees, who cannot be supported effectively in the region. The scheme is based on need rather than fulfilling a quota, but we have said that we expect it to help several hundred people over three years, and we remain on track to deliver that commitment. We therefore have no current plans to change the way the scheme operates. However, we continue to monitor the situation inSyria and the surrounding region and work closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to identify the most vulnerable people displaced by the conflict to ensure that the scheme remains responsive to need.
However given the scale of the crisis, we believe the most effective way to ensure the UK’s help has the greatest impact for displaced people and their host countries is through substantial humanitarian aid and actively seeking an end to the conflict so that refugees can return to their homes and livelihoods safely. We have committed £800 million in response to the crisis, making us the second largest bilateral donor in the world, and UK funding is helping to support hundreds of thousands of displaced people in the region, providing food, healthcare and essential supplies. Compared with aid, resettlement can only ever help a minority of those in need.
The VPR scheme does not form part of the UN quota but runs in parallel with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees' (UNHCR) ownSyria Humanitarian Admission Programme. The Government has been clear that this is a crisis of international proportions and needs a fitting response from the international community.
EU member states have responded to the Syrian crisis in different ways and it is for each state to decide how they help those displaced by the crisis. The UNHCR is best placed to comment on the policies of other countries regarding Syrian refugees.”