#DontSettleForThis campaigners have secured meetings with the International Development Select Committee Chair, Stephen Twigg MP, and Israeli Deputy Ambassador to the UK, Sharon Bar-li, to discuss the demolitions of Palestinian villages in the West Bank.
The students behind the campaign have recently been on a trip to the region, organised by Yachad, which included a visit to the Bedouin village of Umm al-Kheir in the West Bank. The village, in which only one house has legal status under Israeli military law, is currently under a demolition order.
The group has launched the campaign earlier this week and asked for urgent meetings with UK and Israeli political representatives to discuss the Israeli government’s policy of issuing demolition orders on Palestinian villages in the West Bank. The students have written to British Government officials and senior figures in the British Jewish community, including:
- The Foreign Office minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt
- The chairs of the International Development and Foreign Affairs Select Committees, Stephen Twigg MP and Tom Tugendhat MP (respectively)
- The Israeli Ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev
- The President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush
- The Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, Jonathan Goldstein
Now, the Chair of the International Development Select Committee, Stephen Twigg MP, and the Israeli Deputy Ambassador, Sharon Bar-li, have accepted the students’ meeting request and invited the group to discuss the matter with them in Parliament and the Israeli Embassy.
The Chair of the International Development Select Committee, Stephen Twigg MP, said:
“I look forward to meeting the students who are showing their genuine commitment to a viable two-state solution by opposing demolitions of Palestinian homes on the West Bank. These demolitions act as a major barrier to achieving peace and stability.
I share the students’ commitment to an agreement whereby an independent state of Palestine can live alongside a safe and secure state of Israel.”
Gabriel Lester, Nottingham University student and member of the #DontSettleforThis campaign, said:
“It’s incredibly valuable to have received such positive responses from British politicians and the Israeli Embassy.
“I’m hoping that we can carry on sparking nuanced conversations across the Jewish community, and look forward to hearing equally valuable responses from organisations who strive to represent the communities’ views.”
 Full letter and further details can be found here: http://yachad.org.uk/dontsettleforthis/#.WqF5aejFKUk