Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Not That Clever

On September 24, James Cleverly, the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, rose in Parliament to respond to MK from Aberavon, Stephen Kinnock), who had secured a debate on "settlement and annexation of the Occupied Palestinian territories" during which he uttered not a few inanities. It last an hour and a quarter.

Cleverly stated the issue is "a sensitive but incredibly important", even "complex". Perhaps being complex, Cleverly was challenged to provide factual replies.

He stated the Britain desires "a ​stable, secure and peaceful two-state solution, with a thriving Israel next door to a thriving Palestine based on 1967 borders, with agreed land swaps, Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states and fair, agreed and realistic settlements for refugees...a two-state solution is the only viable long-term solution for the area...we genuinely believe it is in Israel’s best interests to also have a viable Palestinian state so that it can maintain its desired future as a Jewish democratic state...annexation...would be a violation of international law."

Asked if he woud agree that boycotting Israel if nannexation goes forward "would demonstrate a genuine commitment to the rights of the Palestinian people and international law?", he expressed opposition:

The UK Government have a long-standing position to oppose the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement towards the state of Israel, but more than that, it is better that we prevent annexation from taking place. 

Nevertheless, he indicated that

We give guidance to businesses and ultimately it is a decision for individual companies whether to operate in settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, but the British Government absolutely do not encourage or support such activities...It was in order to allow consumers to have that choice that in December 2009 the UK Government ​introduced voluntary guidance to enable products from Israeli settlements near the OPTs to be specifically labelled as such.

He then addessed the matter of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria:

The UK’s position on settlements is also clear. Again, they are illegal under international law and present an obstacle to a sustainable two-state solution. We want to ​see a contiguous west bank, including East Jerusalem, as part of a viable sovereign Palestinian state, based on the 1967 borders. In 2016, the UK supported UN Security Council resolution 2334, which states that Israeli settlement activity “constitutes a flagrant violation” of international law and “has no legal validity”. This is the long-standing position of the UK Government

On the insulting language and incitement in Palestinian Authority textbooks, he reminded that "we have pressed the EU to publish its interim report on Palestinian textbooks. We want it to be addressed at pace and transparently"

MP Kinnock called it "a rich and multifaceted debate" but noted "the UAE deal has not stopped annexation. The settlements continue". He posited that "the illegal settlements are not Israel. They are illegally occupied territory that should belong to the Palestinians, as my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry South (Zarah Sultana) correctly pointed out." and that there is a "need to act against those British companies that are involved in the illegal settlements...It is time for the British Government to step up to the plate. It is time for tangible action...".

Mr. Cleverly should know that England's efforts to thwart Zionism, from the 1921 White Paper to that of 1939 to its post-war diplomatic failures, were not only wrong morally but indefensible legally. All our communities in the land west of the Jordan River are ertainly legal and legitimate. The League of Nations Mandate, which Gt. Britian promoted and voted in favor legislates:

The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.

That is quite clear.

"Palestine" as an independent state never existed and has no claims, not even under Geneva 1949. Jordan's rule over the territory until 1967 was an illegal occupation. The 1967 war won by Israell was one of self-defense against Arab aggression and no rights can accrue as a result of that illegal action.

Mr. Cleverly, review the historical, political and legal material for the next debate in the House. This article would be helpful. There are others.



Anonymous said...

It is a fairly straightforward proposition: if you support the return of Judea, Samaria and the Old City of Jerusalem to a future Palestinian State (that at the moment shows zero interest in having any Jewish citizens), then you support the result of 1948-49 Jordanian ethnic cleansing of Jewish communities there. The follow-up question is, are there any other ethnic cleansing of which you approve or is it, yet again, a special case where Jews are involved? Why is this point escape so many “peace processors”.

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