As Philip Hamnond moves into the Foreign Office, my message to him is simple. Britain has for decades, supported the occupier over the occupied and conducted business as usual with Israel. It is time Britain reversed this shameful policy.
Dear Secretary Hammond
Congratulations on your appointment as Foreign Secretary. This carries with it tremendous responsibilities and a few legacies. I want to highlight one of these, the Palestine question.
I know this is long before your time but one of your predecessors, Lord Balfour, issued the letter that became known as the ‘Balfour Declaration’ in 1917. He simply promised the land of the Palestinians to Zionists to create a homeland for Jews without consulting with Jews, Palestinians or the British public. I know it sounds strange now that anyone would do such a thing but he did. Note the date, 1917, decades before the Holacaust. So, you will note there was no connection between the plight of Jews and this promise. Your predecessor simply supported a colonialist project.
The Balfour letter is produced below.
When Britain occupied Palestine, it did not protect the indigenous Palestinians when Zionists entered the implementation stage. The British army left in 1948 leaving a powerful set of Jewish Zionist terrorist gangs that mercilessly drove 750,000 Palestinians our of their homeland, replacing them with Jews from other parts of the World with no connection to the land.
I want to keep this short so I will come to the point. Sixty seven years on from the creation of Israel, the state the Zionists created thrives but continues to illegally occupy Palestine and refuses to allow the refugees and their descendent to return. It is in breach of UN resolutions and International Humanitarian Law. It has not declared its borders nor has it engaged in serious, genuine talks to bring peace yo historic Palestine.
Your predecessors from both major Political parties gave unwavering support for Israel and generally talked of ‘humanitarian issues’ when they referred to the plight of the Palestinians. Both parties presided over an immoral siege on Gaza and have put the security Israelis higher in importance than that of the Palestinians as if they are a lesser people.
The recent violence and the unforgivable war by Israel on Gaza illustrates the reality that without a just solution people will continue to lose their lives, disproportionately Palestinians.
I realise it is difficult to change matters drastically when you sit behind your new desk but you arrived there through a reshuffle. It is an opportunity to reshuffle the UK policy and align it with International Law. I don’t think that this would be an extremist measure, rather one that is long overdue.
Your Office will have already received meeting requests from lots of pro Israel groups so they can test your resolve on Israel. They will ask you to support it unreservedly in its ‘self defence’ operation and to sanction Iran.
Please find time to hear the other side. Ours is the side of Justice and International Law. No, I don’t just mean meeting Arabs and Palestinians, I mean almost every group other than the pro Israel groups.
Please start your tenure by demanding the ending of the siege on Gaza and an end to settlement construction. Please insist that any future talks are based on the implementation of International Law.
I wish you all the best in your new role and hope that you will take this opportunity to help bring a close to Britain’s historic role in Palestine by freeing the Palestinian people. After all 2014 is the UN International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.