Thank you for contacting me about the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign Virtual Lobby Day.
Firstly, I would like to say that I will not be attending this event on the 2nd December.
I share the UK Government’s commitment to a two-state solution, where two equal and sovereign states, Palestine and Israel, live side by side in peace and mutual respect.
I am proud of the UK’s role in the birth of the state of Israel, with whom the UK shares a deep and meaningful relationship. Our friendship with Israel does not prohibit our criticism of some Israeli policies, nor our recognition of Israel as a thriving democracy and an example to the rest of the world for overcoming adversity.
As you know, Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed an agreement in August to normalise relations between the two countries, which was an historic step. I welcome that as part of this agreement, Israel agreed to suspend its plans for annexation of the West Bank. The UK has consistently opposed plans for annexation, which would have been counterproductive to securing peace in the region.
That being said, I remain concerned about Israel's settlement activity in the OPTs. The UK's position on Israeli settlements is clear. They are illegal under international law, present an obstacle to peace and threaten the physical viability of a two state solution. I join my colleagues in government in continuing to urge Israel to halt settlement expansion immediately.
Finally, it is important to reiterate that there is no place for anti-semitism in our society. I hope you are encouraged by the Government’s efforts to make this abundantly clear. We should all be fighting against antisemitism wherever it occurs.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Kind regards, Alister