Labour Friends of Israel critical of “unhelpful” announcement on settlement building

December 4, 2012 1:25 pm

Responding to Israel’s settlement announcement and reports that the British government is considering diplomatic action against Israel, Labour Friends of Israel Chair John Woodcock MP has released the following statement:

“It is vital that the British government does all it can to work with both the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to support an immediate resumption of negotiations, and to press upon both sides the need to resist any unilateral moves that could make this more difficult.

“That is why Israel’s announcement to build settlements, especially in E1, as a reaction to the Palestinian UN bid is so unhelpful. I also believe that the British government’s reported threat to withdraw our ambassador from Israel is unhelpful when we need more engagement not less.

“As a proud supporter of Israel and a vocal advocate of a two state solution for two peoples, I fear that Israel’s recent announcement will make it harder for the parties to return to negotiations. I will always speak up for Israel’s right to defend itself against attack, no matter how unfairly skewed international public opinion becomes. And I know that it is when Israel is making bold efforts for peace that its voice is most loudly heard.

“What is needed now is a concerted international effort to get Israelis and Palestinians around the negotiating table.”

The statement follows a similar comment from Conservative Friends of Israel, who also labelled the settlement announcement “unhelpful”.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_marchant Rob Marchant

    Quite right. More than unhelpful, it’s stupid and massively counter-productive.

  • Daniel Speight

    In one way it could be helpful. If it convinces Obama that enough is enough with Netanyahu tweaking America’s nose, then possibly he will use the enormous economic pressure he could bring to bear on Israel to force it to negotiate a two state solution with a little more sincerity.

  • Daniel Speight

    In one way it could be helpful. If it convinces Obama that enough is enough with Netanyahu tweaking America’s nose, then possibly he will use the enormous economic pressure he could bring to bear on Israel to force it to negotiate a two state solution with a little more sincerity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/colin.adkins.52 Colin Adkins

    I believe you are genuine in your objectives of a two state solution but I do believe there is a significant strand of Israeli opinion which merely see negotiations as an opportunity of establishing new and additional facts on the ground. I am biased as I am pro-Palestinian but Israel currently believes it can act with impunity and needs some compulsion to enter into meaningful negotiations.

  • Pingback: David Ward, Israel, the Holocaust and the Jews – by Sarah AB « Engage – the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism

Latest

  • Featured Talk of a breakaway “Workers’ Party” is dangerous and wrong

    Talk of a breakaway “Workers’ Party” is dangerous and wrong

    On Friday, for the second time in recent weeks, Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey said something really important and dangerous that ought to have caused a reaction across the entire labour movement and Labour Party. But virtually no one reacted. According to the Guardian Len “repeated his warning that his members may force a split from Labour and urge support for a new workers’ party if Miliband fails to set out a radical vision to inspire people before the next […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Jim Murphy has set out an ambitious (and Labour) vision for development

    Jim Murphy has set out an ambitious (and Labour) vision for development

    Since its earliest days Labour has been an internationalist party and proud of it, too. From Keir Hardy and Harold Wilson to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, those who shaped Labour’s vision in the 20th and early 21st Century regarded the fight against poverty overseas as a natural extension of the fight against poverty at home. If Labour wins in 2015, we look forward to our proud tradition continuing. But with the clear focus of the current leadership on the […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Party democracy is important, so let’s fight for it

    Party democracy is important, so let’s fight for it

    Contrary to popular belief (and by popular belief, I mean the belief that prevails amongst the Shadow Cabinet and its apparatchiks) the Labour Party does not exist as a fan club for the Parliamentary faction. The Labour Party is an instrument through which ordinary people can shape their own lives and change the future of this country in a direction that is beneficial to our people. The recent decision by the Labour leadership to vote with the Coalition and implement […]

    Read more →
  • Comment What can Labour offer young people?

    What can Labour offer young people?

    Tony Blair proclaimed in 1997 that his three main priorities in government were ‘education, education, education.’ This has not translated to an increase in votes from young people.  Voter turnout between 1997 and 2005 amongst those aged 18-24 fell from an estimated 54.1% of this age range in 1997, down to 38.2% in 2005.  By contrast, voter turnout amongst those who are aged over 65 has never fallen below 70% since 1964.  As voters aged over 65 are more likely […]

    Read more →
  • News Iraq Inquiry report now expected in 2015

    Iraq Inquiry report now expected in 2015

    Sir John Chilcot’s report into the Iraq War is now not expected to be published until spring 2015, leaving worries for Labour as to how it will affect the election campaign. The Independent reports that “discussions between the inquiry and the Cabinet Office remain deadlocked, and a year-long stand-off is now unlikely to be resolved before the current parliamentary session ends. Even if a deal were reached over the summer recess, legal protocols and procedures would push the Iraq report’s […]

    Read more →