The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has replied to Yachad’s letter to the Foreign Secretary asking the UK to support UNSCR 2334, explaining in detail why they backed the UN Security Council resolution and how it fits with the UK’s policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
“The UK voted for UNSCR 2334 because of our support for the two-state solution and commitment to Israel as the Jewish homeland. The UK’s support for UNSCR 2334 is consistent with our long-standing position that Israeli settlement activity is illegal and undermines the viability of two states for two peoples. The resolution was an Egyptian draft and not co-sponsored by the UK. The UK engaged with Security Council members before the vote as we do with all Security Council texts. We focused on securing a balanced text that included calls to end incitement and terrorism.
The UK will continue to reject any efforts to de-legitimise or undermine Israel. As the Prime Minister stated in her speech to the Conservative Friends of Israel in December, the UK remains one of Israel’s strongest friends. As a true friend it is important that we stress that settlements are illegal and tarnish Israel’s international credibility. But we are clear that settlements are far from the only problem in this conflict. In particular, the people of Israel deserve to live free from the threat of terrorism, with which they have had to cope for too long.
The UK’s long-standing position on the Middle East Peace Process is clear: we support a negotiated settlement leading to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state; based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states, and a just, fair, agreed, and realistic settlement for refugees.”