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UK aid for the Israeli occupying army is not the way to promote a two-state solution

Nov. 7, 2017, midnight

Prof./Amb. Manuel Hassassian

From a Palestinian perspective the revelations about the Secretary of State for International Development’s secret meetings in Israel, including her meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu are a matter of grave concern. How can a cabinet minister espouse a two-state solution, the formal policy of the government she serves and, at the same time, encourage the funnelling of UK aid to the occupying Israeli forces which are subjugating 5 million Palestinians?

To learn that a cabinet minister is lobbying for Israeli interests in this country, at the expense of Palestinian rights to self-determination and freedom, is deeply shocking. It also demonstrates the strength of those who work for Israel’s further empowerment within the current government, such as the Conservative Friends of Israel. It may be that the minister is also trying to strengthen her own political career with such formidable friends who may have been disheartened by the Foreign Secretary’s recent talk of the unfinished business of the Balfour declaration and his support for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

We urge the government of Prime Minister Theresa May not to add insult to injury after the celebratory ‘marking’ of the Balfour declaration and to make a public statement about this scandalous affair to assure the international community that Britain is still firmly committed to the two-state solution. There would be, in fact, no better time to recognize an independent sovereign state of Palestine to win back the trust and confidence of the Palestinians and the Arab world as a whole.

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