Prime Minister Boris Johnson has written an op-ed calling upon Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to not apply Sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria and saying that the UK will not recognise any changes to the 1967 lines, except those agreed between both parties.

Published Wednesday on the front page of Israel’s Yediot Aharonot Hebrew-language daily, Boris wrote, “I am a passionate defender of Israel. Few causes are closer to my heart than ensuring its people are protected from the menace of terrorism and anti-Semitic incitement,” Johnson wrote, saying the UK’s commitment to Israel’s security “will be unshakable while I am Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.”

Johnson then said the proposals to annex the settlements had left him saddened because he believed the only way forward was a bilateral peace process where both sides agreed on the outcome.

“As a lifelong friend, admirer and supporter of Israel, I am fearful that these proposals will fail in their objective of securing Israel’s borders and will be contrary to Israel’s own long-term interests,” Johnson said.

“Annexation would put in jeopardy the progress that Israel has made in improving relationships with the Arab and Muslim world. I have never been more convinced that Israel’s interests overlap with those of our closest partners in the Arab world, including potential security cooperation against shared threats.”

Calling the move a “violation of international law,” Johnson said he felt annexation would set back Israel’s improving relations in the Arab world and “Israel’s enemies would seize upon it, and use it against those in the Middle East who want to see progress.”

See also: Israel’s legal case for Judea and Samaria

“I profoundly hope that annexation does not go ahead. If it does, the UK will not recognize any changes to the 1967 lines, except those agreed between both parties,” Johnson warned, saying “the only way forward” is a resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians that would “require compromise on all sides.”

“I welcome the commitment that President Trump has made to find a way forward. We will work tirelessly with the U.S. – and other partners in the Arab world and Europe – to try to make peace a reality,” he said, referring to the Trump peace plan.

Writing in an op-ed in June, CUFI Founder, Pastor John Hagee said, “From a Biblical, historical and legal perspective, Israel owns, and does not occupy, the Holy Land. And one cannot be an occupier on land it owns. Nevertheless, an all or nothing approach – as the Palestinian leadership insists upon – often results in getting nothing at all.

“It is therefore unsurprising that since its founding, Israel has repeatedly offered to make painful compromises in pursuit of peace with its neighbors to no avail. With all of this in mind, CUFI and its more than eight million members, supported and continues to support the Trump Peace Proposal in its entirety. This includes Israel’s exercising its sovereignty over portions of Judea and Samaria and once again offering the Palestinians an opportunity to have a prosperous and independent existence.”

“For any side in the Arab-Israeli conflict, perfect is the enemy of good. Pragmatism must reign, and the Trump plan is the most realistic effort ever offered by an American administration to end hostilities in the region.

“It is now up to the Palestinians to make a decision. They are unquestionably the masters of their own destiny. Haaretz editor-in-chief Aluf Benn was right when he wrote that to delay a unilateral Israeli move, “All [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] needs to do is call, text or email the White House to request a meeting with President Donald Trump at which he announces his willingness to resume peace talks with Israel on the basis of the ‘deal of the century.’”

“Israel cannot be expected to acquiesce to the demands of a Palestinian leader who refuses to talk about peace but has no problem talking about the supposed evils of the Jewish state. Likewise, Israel’s Middle Eastern neighbors should focus less on making threats and more on offering solutions.”

“Annexation presents the best chance for peace”

Writing to Boris Johnson last month, Colonel Richard Kemp, Lord Simon Reading and film-maker Hugh Kitson wrote to Prime Minister urged the UK to recognise Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank as Johnson wrote to MPs saying that the UK was opposed to such plans. It came after 126 MPs and Peers expressed “outrage” at Israel’s plans to annex and called on the UK to “sanction” the Jewish state for what the MPs wrongly define as an “illegal action”.

Col Kemp wrote that he has drawn on his experience of working for the Joint Intelligence Committee to conclude that “the US Administration’s current peace proposals, including sovereignty implementation, in fact represent the best chance for a lasting peace between the two sides as well as a future two-state solution”.

He added: “I believe that this plan also has the potential to bring much-needed prosperity for the Palestinian people as well as greater stability to the region”.

The letter also attacked the campaign by the 126 parliamentarians for suggesting that “the UK’s response to Israel’s implementation of sovereignty should be to punish the State of Israel with sanctions and other action”.

They write: “On the contrary, I urge you to publicly support Israel’s implementation should it occur, as well as the other components of the US peace proposal.

“Increasing rather than damaging Britain’s trade relationship with Israel is in this country’s economic interest.

“Equally important, as you are well aware, the security of British citizens at home and overseas relies heavily on the continued strong intelligence, defence and technology relationship with Israel.”

They also pointed out in a separate letter that the 1920 San Remo Conference, which recognised the right of the Jewish people to “reconstitute their historic homeland’’, gave their argument legal force.

See also: Israel’s legal case for Judea and Samaria

 

We call upon the UK Government to officially recognise Jerusalem is Israel's capital and move its embassy to Jerusalem.

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