Clare sent the letter below to the Financial Times. It was not published.

With all the hand wringing about long-term solutions to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, there is one important part of the answer that is hardly mentioned. The available solution is two States, the Palestinian state based in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem – all Occupied Territory in international law. Chairman Arafat and the Palestinian National Council accepted this knowing that their state would be based on 22% of historic Palestine many years ago. Hamas has also in the past indicated that they would accept this. Prime Minister Netanyahu, many of his Cabinet and many Israelis do not accept this.

Israel breaches International law, with great cruelty, in the Occupied Territories on a daily basis. The International Court of Justice has ruled that their behaviour breaches international law and  their Opinion has been ignored. Oppression has intensified since the ruling. There are continuous house demolitions, land confiscation, massive illegal settlements, Jewish-only roads, detention without trial, IDF support for settler violence and increasing killings on a daily basis. The Palestinians have no way to secure justice. History teaches us what people do in such circumstances.

The way to make progress is for the U.S, the EU, the UK and others to uphold international law and require Israel to do so. The EU gives massive support to Israel including a trade treaty that gives access to the single market. The Treaty has a preamble stating that both sides should uphold human rights and international norms. The U.S provides arms and money and vetoes all UN Security Council resolutions that require Israel to comply with international law. The UK follows suit. The consequences is that Israel has complete impunity and is intent on annexing the Occupied Territories and displacing the Palestinians.

If Western powers would uphold international law, the two States solution could be implemented. The global South would also cease to accuse the Western powers of hypocrisy and double standards.


Rt. Hon. Clare Short

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