Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy has urged the Government to “use its diplomatic influence” to prevent the Israeli annexation of large chunks of the West Bank, as Israel’s new unity government plans to do in July.
New in post Nandy wrote to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Wednesday as the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) tweeted scathingly about the annexation plans of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his new coalition partner Benny Gantz.
JLM said it was “dismayed and bitterly disappointed” that Israel’s Labor party, led by Amir Peretz, had joined the coalition despite the annexation plans, as Nandy said the proposed course of action was “deeply concerning”.
Donald Trump’s peace plan, unveiled alongside Netanyahu in the White House in January, was dismissed as a “smokescreen for annexation” by leading US Democrats, while European states voiced their disapproval, but Netanyahu and Gantz plan to annex large parts of the West Bank starting from 1 July.
Nandy told Raab that annexation would be “in direct contravention of international law” and “risks significantly undermining efforts to negotiate a two-state solution”.
She said London should “use its diplomatic influence to seek to prevent the proposed annexation,” adding: “We must ensure that actions which will set back the prospect of peace and undermine international law do not go unaddressed.”
Today I’ve written to the Foreign Secretary to seek his assurance that the British Government will use its diplomatic influence to prevent any annexation of the West Bank, and continue to work constructively with all parties in pursuit of a peaceful resolution. pic.twitter.com/cPT0fO7ikx
— Lisa Nandy (@lisanandy) April 22, 2020
JLM, which “strongly opposes” annexation, said “political progressives in Israel and around the world would have rightly expected to see Peretz follow the course set by our other sister party Meretz and stand firmly in opposition to Netanyahu”.
It added that “agreed make-up of the Israeli government now gives a green light to the annexation of the West Bank,” saying this would result in violence and make a lasting peace harder to accomplish.
Our reaction to the announcement of the new government in Israel pic.twitter.com/uWDMt68ys8
— Jewish Labour Movement (@JewishLabour) April 21, 2020