Friday, 23 January 2015

Question From PSC supporter


Thank you for your questions about what action I will take to support Palestinian human rights. 

My answers are as follows:

1. I urge the UK Government to uphold the principles of equality, human rights and international law in all its relations and dealings with Israel.

Answer; Yes Israel should obey international law just as every other country. 

Our policy "IP610 The Green Party supports calls for mutual recognition of the rights of independent statehood and for recognised, agreed and secure borders for
Palestinians and Israelis in Palestine; a rapid end to the violence and de-escalation of the arms build-up in the region; implementation of UN resolutions 194, 242 and 338 which followed the wars of 1948, 1967 and 1973; international assistance so that the new Palestinian state can develop self-reliance in land, water, food production, basic services and industries; long-term exploration of the possibility of establishing a confederation with neighbouring states, with free and equal access for each state's citizens."

2. I consider the construction of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to be illegal and unjustifiable.
Yes our policy  IP630 The Green Party calls on Israel to evacuate the illegal settlements within the occupied territories of Palestine. 
http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/ip.html


3. Do you agree that one of the first acts of the next UK Government should be the recognition of Palestine?

Yes as above; "The Green Party supports calls for mutual recognition of the rights of independent statehood and for recognised, agreed and secure borders for Palestinians and Israelis"

4. Do you agree that the blockade on Gaza should be lifted immediately?
Yes the Green Party wants an immediate end to the blockade. 

5. Do you agree that we should stop trade with Israel's settlements on Palestinian land, and stop settlement goods being sold in Britain?

Yes "The Green Party does not have a specific policy on banning of goods produced in settlements, but we support the right of individuals to boycott goods produced by particular corporations and countries based on their human rights record." 

6. Do you agree that the EU Israel Association Agreement should be suspended until Israel meets its human rights obligations? 
Yes

This quote is a few years ago but covers this; "The Green Party leader drew attention to the EU-Israel association agreement. Under this agreement, the EU could suspend preferential trading links between the EU and Israel on the grounds of the Israeli government's failure to adhere to its human rights clauses. 

Caroline Lucas said, "By choosing to upgrade EU relations with Israel ... (against the advice of the majority in the European Parliament), EU leaders have squandered a key opportunity to put real pressure on the Israeli authorities to lift the blockade."  


7. Do you agree that the government should stop supplying arms to Israel until it complies with international law? 

Yes we call for an arms embargo. 

http://greenparty.org.uk/news/2014/08/04/green-mp-caroline-lucaswe-need-an-urgent-arms-embargo-on-israel-now/ 



Greens have long stood against a number of policies of the Israeli state and continue to call for a just and peaceful settlement in the Middle East, recognising the rights of the Palestinian people as well as those of Israelis in a way that is both fair and humane. An equitable choice needs to be made and accepted by both Israelis and Palestinians: the right to security for Israeli citizens should be considered alongside the rights of Palestinians, including refugees.

Greens want the human rights of Palestinians to be assured as are those of Israelis.

I do hope that you will consider voting Green in the General Election

Yours sincerely

Adrian Windisch 

Green Candidate for Wokingham 

Some examples of Greens on this issue:

Dr Shahrar Ali Deputy leader of the Green Party calls for cessation of violence 

http://shahrarali.net/green-party-calls-for-cessation-of-violence-israel-palestine/

Our South East Green MEP Keith Taylor meets PSC http://www.keithtaylormep.org.uk/2013/11/06/keith-meets-with-uk-palestine-solidarity-campaign/ 

Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for the South East of England,  met with Hugh Lanning, the chair of the UK’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign, to discuss the new EU guidelines on Israeli settlement funding which will come into force in January. The guidelines, launched in July, will serve to prohibit grants, prizes or funding from the EU to the settlements of the Golan Heights, West Bank, or East Jerusalem, captured during the Arab-Israeli 1967 war.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign have been campaigning to ensure full implementation of the guidelines, following concerns that the Commission is facing intense pressure from Israel to water down their proposals. For example, it is believed that the EU is being pressured towards a compromise, such that Israel would not have to declare its compliance with the guidelines, but rather, the EU would be responsible for identifying breaches of the guidelines.

Ultimately, the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories are in breach of international law, and as such, the guidelines represent concrete actions to ensure the that  EU funding is in conformity with international law.

Keith was very pleased to meet with Mr Lanning, to share their hopes that positive steps can still be made, and that the guidelines will be implemented in full. .

Earlier in October, Keith co-signed a letter to Catherine Ashton, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, urging her to implement the guidelines properly, rather than giving into Israeli pressure. Keith also took the opportunity to discuss the current petition drawn up by Brighton and Hove PSC in his constituency, who are campaigning against a shop in Brighton which sells settlement products.


- See more at: http://www.keithtaylormep.org.uk/2013/11/06/keith-meets-with-uk-palestine-solidarity-campaign/#sthash.h2d8DHrH.dpuf

2 comments:

Adrian Windisch said...

I got an email in response to this. Copied below.

Dear AdrianWindisch,

Responding to PSC model questions to candidates

We understand that the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) is promoting a letter-writing campaign where constituents are asking parliamentary candidates a series of questions.

We have drafted a suggested response to these questions which we hope you will find useful. You can download our suggested response here: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4f205ffabc02c1048c024eebe/files/Model_answers_to_PSC_questions_to_candidates.docx

About the PSC

We also wanted to tell you about the PSC and what it stands for.

We hope you believe in a two state solution to the Middle East conflict, with Israel recognised and safe within its borders, living peacefully alongside a democratic and viable Palestinian state.

Unfortunately the Palestine Solidarity Campaign appears to oppose a two state solution.

The PSC only and exclusively supports the national rights of the Palestinians, despite the UN having tried to create two states in 1948.

While the PSC keeps its official position on final status solutions ambiguous, the views of its leadership, literature and their logo point to the PSC effectively supporting the end of the State of Israel.

The PSC makes no distinction between the land Israel was established on in 1948 and the land it took control of in the defensive 1967 war. It describes it all as “occupied territories.”

The two-state solution is based on the rights of Jews and Palestinians for self-determination. The PSC campaigns for all Palestinians to have the “right of return” to Israel which would challenge Jewish self-determination in Israel itself.

The PSC condemns Israel for “aggression against neighbouring states” and does not acknowledge any aggression towards Israel from its regional neighbours – including Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran.

The national PSC is known for its harsh criticism of Israel, but statements issued by local affiliates can be far more extreme and have also displayed antisemitism. We can send you examples if this would be helpful.

The PSC is aware itself of the expressions of racism, intolerance and Holocaust denial within the movement but seems unable to put a stop to it, even though it maintains it opposes anti-Jewish prejudice.


About We Believe in Israel

If you found our briefing (https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4f205ffabc02c1048c024eebe/files/Model_answers_to_PSC_questions_to_candidates.docx) useful, we hope you will join our network here http://eepurl.com/mIh3D.

We Believe in Israel is a UK grassroots network of people united in believing in the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security. We aim to support and facilitate activists who seek through local engagement and campaigning to create a more complete understanding of Israel and its situation in the UK, and to engage others in our communities, be they friends, neighbours, colleagues, local elected office holders or the media so that Israel’s case gets a fair hearing.

Adrian Windisch said...


We Believe in Israel was launched to build on the success of the We Believe in Israel conference in London in 2011, which was supported by 26 community organisations and attended by 1100 delegates. We will be holding our next conference on 22 March 2015 and anyone who joins our mailing list http://eepurl.com/mIh3D will receive an invitation to register.

We are a broad-based and inclusive coalition open to anyone, Jewish and non-Jewish, and from across the political spectrum, who subscribes to our core values and objectives. We seek to unite supporters of Israel in the UK around shared and fundamental common beliefs.

You can join our mailing list by signing up here: http://eepurl.com/mIh3D. or by replying to this email. You can also follow us on Twitter at @webelieveisrael, "like" our Facebook page and check out the resources on our website: www.webelieveinisrael.org.uk

There are also Friends of Israel groups which we work with in all the main political parties, which I can supply you with details of.


Best wishes,


Luke Akehurst
Director, We Believe in Israel