Letter to the Times 30 March 2019
A year on from the avoidable deaths of 60 people at the Gaza fence, rockets and reprisals are recurring. This dismal pattern of behaviour must be broken. Two million people are imprisoned in Gaza, an integral part of Palestine. The UN says that Gaza will not be “a liveable place” by next year. It is unbearable now.
There is a better way than waiting for President Trump’s “deal”, a way that does not subordinate the right to self-determination of one people to the security and territorial ambitions of another. We back the Balfour Project’s call for an independent Palestinian state. Israelis need to co-exist securely with their Palestinian neighbours, not deny legitimate free movement.
Britain must take a lead. We urge the government to recognise the state of Palestine alongside Israel and uphold the rule of law, embodied most recently in UN Security Council Resolution 2334. Breaches of international law require serious consequences, whoever commits them. We support all on both sides of the pre-1967 “Green Line” seeking equal rights, security and peace.
The Marquess of Lothian, QC; Alistair Carmichael, MP; Ian Murray MP; Tommy Sheppard, MP; Dr Philippa Whitford, MP; Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws; Lord Bruce of Bennachie; Lord Purvis of Tweed; the Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan; Sandra White, MSP; Claudia Beamish, MSP; Pauline McNeill MSP; Ross Greer, MSP; the Rev Iain Cunningham; Sir William Patey, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan; Professor Graham Watt, University of Glasgow;