Friday, January 25, 2013

Yesha Jewish Communities in the House of Commons

Such a display of uncommon rot:-

Settlement Building (West Bank)Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office11:30 am 22 Jan 2013 

Gregg McClymont (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, Labour) What recent representations his Department has made to persuade the Israeli Government to cease settlement expansion in the west bank. 

William Hague (Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Richmond (Yorks), Conservative) I condemn recent Israeli decisions to expand settlements. I speak regularly to Israeli leaders, stressing our profound concern that Israel’s settlement policy is losing it the support of the international community and will make a two-state solution impossible. We will continue to press the next Israeli Government to cease settlement building. 

Gregg McClymont (Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, Labour) The Secretary of State will be aware that the political process is critical if the peace process is to begin again. I know that the UK Government decided to abstain from the vote on whether to grant Palestine non-member observer status at the UN, but does he believe that the success of the vote was a positive or negative step on the road to a peaceful solution to the conflict? 

William Hague (Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Richmond (Yorks), Conservative) Following that vote, there have of course been additional complications, including Israeli announcements on unfreezing settlement applications in the E1 area and the withholding of revenues for the Palestinian Authority, to which I referred a few minutes ago. That has meant Israel taking a step back, and that was one of the things we feared about going to the United Nations General Assembly in November. Nevertheless, it has happened. It is important for both sides to make progress. That will be our message to the next Israeli Government, and it continues to be our message to the Palestinians; both sides should be prepared to enter into negotiations without preconditions. 

Bob Blackman (Harrow East, Conservative) Clearly the election taking place today will have a significant effect on what happens to the next Israeli Government. What will my right hon. Friend do about the settlement activity to ensure that there is a just and peaceful solution to this long-standing problem? 

William Hague (Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Richmond (Yorks), Conservative) This raises our whole approach to the middle east peace process. As other right hon. and hon. Members have quoted in the past half hour, I attach enormous importance to this in the year 2013, particularly as there will be a new or re-elected Israeli Government, and with the US Administration beginning its second term. If we do not make progress in the coming year, people will increasingly conclude that a two-state solution has become impossible. 

Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton, Labour) Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that last week Israeli soldiers murdered four innocent Palestinians on the west bank, including a 17-year-old boy? Taking that into account, along with the fact that Netanyahu said this week that, if re-elected, he will not negotiate on the 1967 borders, what specific action will the Government take to get the Israelis to see that their future survival depends on a two-state solution?

William Hague (Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Richmond (Yorks), Conservative) We will of course continue to put that case very strongly. It is very much in the long-term strategic interests of Israel and peace in the whole region to embrace a two-state solution, because all the alternatives will be more problematic, particularly for the Israelis. I think that many people in Israel strongly hold that view—clearly, views in Israel are divided—and it is certainly our view and that of almost all other nations of the world. The role of the United States will be crucial, which is why that will be top of my agenda when I visit Washington next week. 

Duncan Hames (Chippenham, Liberal Democrat) I draw attention to my entry in the register. Last month I and hon. Members from both sides of the House saw for ourselves measures to segregate Israeli settlements around east Jerusalem and the E1 area, which is bigger still, from the rest of the west bank. What does the Foreign Secretary think would be the consequences for the prospects for peace talks were the Israeli Government to proceed with extending the security barrier around the E1 area? 

William Hague (Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Richmond (Yorks), Conservative) Such extensions, and any prospect of building in the E1 area, would of course be extremely damaging to the prospect for a successful peace process. That is why it is so urgent. Now that the planning process for the E1 area has been unfrozen, a clock is ticking, with potentially disastrous consequences for the peace process.

Ian Lucas (Wrexham, Labour) The Israeli Government’s response to Britain’s abstention at the UN was, in the words of the Foreign Secretary, “taking a step back”. Therefore, will he please discuss urgently with our European partners the co-ordinated response to the present situation on the ground and use the wish for Israeli to develop stronger trading relations with the European Union as a means of achieving progress in the middle east? 

William Hague (Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; Richmond (Yorks), Conservative) To be clear, the Israeli response is to the passing of the Palestinian resolution, not to the UK abstention; the hon. Gentleman may have misunderstood the motivation behind Israel’s policy, which clearly relates to the passing of the resolution. As to the implications for future relations with the EU, provided that there is a major initiative on the peace process, in particular from Washington, we will all have to work out the incentives and disincentives that we can create to support that. But of course that is work to be done over the coming weeks and months. 


And  HC Deb, 23 January 2013

Matthew Offord (Hendon, Conservative) To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of progress in the Middle East Peace Process; and if he will make a statement.

Alistair Burt (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Afghanistan/South Asia, counter terrorism/proliferation, North America, Middle East and North Africa), Foreign and Commonwealth Office; North East Bedfordshire, Conservative)

Recent developments highlight the urgent need for the United States of America, with the strong support of the UK and other partners, to lead a major push to revitalise the peace process. We are concerned by developments that threaten the viability of the two-state solution, particularly continued settlement announcements. The UK continues to urge both sides to refrain from any steps that would make the two-state solution, or a return to negotiations, more difficult. 2013 is a crucial year for the Middle East Peace Process if progress is to be made before the window for a two state solution closes. Accordingly we will continue to call on Palestinian Authority President Abbas and the Israeli Prime Minister to show the strong leadership needed to achieve a return to negotiations for a two-state solution, which will bring a just and permanent solution to this conflict.


And more, also on 23 January 2013

Lord Hylton (Crossbench)  To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of Israel concerning (1) the recent visit of its Prime Minister to the settlement of Rechelin in the West Bank, (2) the spraying on 4 January of "skunk liquid" by the Israeli Defence Force onto inhabited houses in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, (3) the attacks on 10 January on the Psalmist mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem, and (4) the raid on 6 January by Israeli settlers on the village of Qusra, near Nablus, and the subsequent intervention by the Israeli Defence Force.

Baroness Warsi (Conservative)

Our officials from our embassy in Tel Aviv have raised the issue of the legalisation of Rechelin with the Prime Minister of Israel's Office.

We have not raised the other specific issues, but I can assure the noble Lord that we have repeatedly raised our concerns with the Israeli authorities about incidents of settler violence, including the importance of bringing those responsible to justice. We have repeatedly raised concerns regarding Israeli handling of non-violent protest in Nabi Saleh, as in other areas of the West Bank, and will continue to do so


And more.


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