On Palestine

I fully support two states living side by side in peace, and recognised by all of their neighbours.

After decades of diplomatic failure, there are those on all sides that today question whether a two-state solution is any longer possible.

Labour is clear that only a negotiated peace deal will bring the justice and security both sides deserve. That is why the international community must now take concrete steps to strengthen moderate Palestinian opinion; recognition at the UN would be such a step.

Palestinian statehood is not a gift to be given but a right to be recognised and that is why, in both 2011 and in 2012 Labour urged the UK Government to support the Palestinian’s bid for recognition at the UN. Not as a means of bypassing the need for talks, but as a bridge for restarting them. Today, the immediate priority for the international community must be to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches the thousands of Palestinians who are in desperate need and to help the rebuilding of basic infrastructure in Gaza.

All sides must avoid taking action that would make peace harder to achieve, that means an end to blockade and occupation, and the end of rocket and terror attacks. Labour recognises that the settlements and their continued expansion remain key obstacles to resolving the conflict, as Ed Miliband has said, they are both illegal and immoral. We are clear, however, that the threat of boycotts of Israel is the wrong response. Labour has taken and will maintain domestic action to introduce labelling transparency, and will seek a Europe-wide approach to settlement products.


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