Sir Vincent Fean, Chair of trustees of the Balfour Project writes:
The Balfour Project drafted the letter below, appearing in the Times today, signed by Parliamentarians from the four biggest British parties.
Last week a group of Catholic Bishops and the Anglican Bishop of Southwark issued a communique at the end of their latest visit to Palestine. The Bishops speak from the heart.. The Bishops form the Holy Land Coordination, tasked by the Pope to visit annually to support the dwindling Christian communities in the Holy Land.
The HLC leader is Bishop Declan Lang, a patron of the Balfour Project. Accompanying him was Christopher Chessun, Anglican Bishop of Southwark, who speaks in the House of Lords. He too is a patron of the Balfour Project.
Both the letter and the communique call for equal rights for all living between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River - and for the British Government now to recognise the state of Palestine side by side with Israel.
If you agree, please share the letter and the communique with your friends and contacts. Please consider sending them to your MP.
And please support the Balfour Project's work recalling Britain's responsibility to advance peace with justice in Israel/Palestine.
With best wishes,
Sir Vincent Fean
Chair of trustees, Balfour Project
Letter in the Times today, January 20th 2020.
THE TIME IS RIGHT TO RECOGNISE PALESTINE
Sir, Today Britain attends her last EU foreign affairs council. On the agenda is the Middle East peace process, which must address recognition of the state of Palestine, alongside Israel. The UK retains historical responsibilities regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, seen also in this week's unprecedented visit to both Israel and the Palestinian territories by the Prince of Wales. In 2011 the foreign secretary, William Hague, reserved the right to recognise the state of Palestine "at a time of our choosing, when it can best serve the cause of peace". That time is now.
Since 2014 no progress has been made on meaningful peace negotiations. Israel's actions are pushing a two-state solution beyond reach. Israel's prime minister and opposition leader have vowed to annex the occupied Jordan Valley. Illegal Israeli settlements, described by the Foreign Office as undermining peace efforts, are expanding. British recognition of Palestine is overdue. Such an act would help fulfil her promise of equal rights for peoples in two states. Britain has an important role on the international stage. Where she leads, others will follow.
Seema Malhotra, MP;
Crispin Blunt, MP;
Emily Thornberry, MP;
Dr Philippa Whitford, MP;
Alistair Carmichael, MP;
David Jones, MP;
Fabian Hamilton, MP;
Andy Slaughter, MP;
Joanna Cherry, QC, MP;
Layla Moran, MP;
Stephen Kinnock, MP;
Tommy Sheppard, MP;
Leila Sansour (Open Bethlehem);
Lord Cope of Berkeley;
Lord Peter Hain;
Sir Nicholas Soames;
Richard Burden (former chairman, Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group);
Sir Vincent Fean (chairman, Balfour Project);
Andrew Whitley (former director, UNRWA);
Chris Doyle (director, Council for Arab-British Understanding);
Hugh Lovatt (ECFR);
Sara Apps (Open Bethlehem)
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Balfour Project - www.balfourproject.org
Bishops insist on application of international law in Palestine - www.indcatholicnews.com/news/38727
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