Why we sent a letter to the UK Government
Like many of you, we have been watching with alarm as Israel’s new government commits itself to plans to annex all or part of the West Bank as early as 1st July.
We are listening carefully to what our grantees in Israel are telling us about the proposal. Our grantees fear that annexation would make the unequal and discriminatory legal system in the West Bank formal and permanent, irrevocably harming Israel’s democratic character. Our grantees also tell us that annexation of only a portion of the West Bank would further diminish the already fragile chances of a negotiated agreement between Israel and her Palestinian neighbours.
That is why earlier this week we sent a letter on behalf of NIF UK to the Minister for the Middle East, James Cleverly MP, urging the UK government to continue to support a negotiated agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and to continue the UK’s opposition to annexation.
The potential consequences of annexation are grave which is why we took the unusual step of contacting the UK government. We believe that it is important for Israel’s closest allies – governments and communities – around the world to send a strong message against annexation and other threats to Israel’s democracy.
NIF UK remains dedicated to supporting the work of Israeli civil society groups and bringing their voice and message to the UK. At this critical time, it is important that these Israelis know that there are positive voices joining them in supporting the values of democracy and equality.
Over the coming weeks we will keep you updated on the work of NIF and our partners in Israel as they stand up for democracy, alongside their work helping those with the greatest needs recover from the impact of coronavirus. Please look out for an invitation over the next few days for a high-level webinar on annexation on evening of 11 June.
Wishing you and your family well,
Clive Sheldon and Adam Ognall, the New Israel Fund