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Alastair McPhail

British Consul General to Jerusalem

Part of UK in Israel

15th October 2014 Jerusalem, Israel

UK will continue to support statehood building effort and to recognize the State at the right time

On Monday night, the British Parliament voted in favour of a non-binding motion, calling the government to recognise the state of Palestine as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.  Palestinians I have spoken to in Jerusalem and Ramallah, Gaza and Hebron have delivered the same message to me.  So what is the British government’s policy?

UK Parliment
British Houses of Parliament

The UK is and will continue to be a strong supporter of the creation of a Palestinian State, based on the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as a shared capital.  But the British government wants to recognise a Palestinian state at the right time, when it can best bring about a durable peace and thus deliver the basic needs of its citizens.  The UK’s recognition of a Palestinian state would not bring about an end to the Occupation.  We believe this can only happen through serious negotiations, leading to a two-state solution.

Palestinians have often expressed frustration to me that the international community always tells them to wait for statehood, while seemingly doing little to end the Occupation.  But here are three ways the British government will work with you to make a Palestinian state a reality.

Firstly, we will continue to work with the Palestinian Authority to build the institutions essential for a Palestinian state.  The UK is a leading donor to the Palestinian Authority.  We have provided almost £350 million between 2011 and 2015 to build Palestinian institutions.  On Sunday, we announced £20m of UK funding to support reconstruction in Gaza.  Yesterday, our Minister of State for International Development Desmond Swayne met Prime Minister Hamdallah and discussed our latest work to support Palestinian security and justice institutions and to pay the salaries of teachers and doctors.

Secondly, we will continue to push back against anything that damages the prospects of a future Palestinian state.  This is why we have been outspoken against illegal Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that damage the viability of a Palestinian state.  This is why we are funding projects in Area C of the West Bank to help Palestinian families threatened with the demolition of their homes.  Our Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond said last month: “The UK’s position on Israeli settlements is clear: they are illegal under international law.”

Finally, we will push for an urgent resumption of substantive negotiations leading to the creation of a sovereign, independent, democratic Palestinian State, living in peace and security alongside Israel.  The summer’s suffering and devastation in Gaza underlined the urgent need for a political solution.  We cannot return to the status quo ante in Gaza.  We need a solution that will give Palestinians the hope of living in stability in their own state, free from Occupation: a Palestinian state in reality on the ground.

4 comments on “UK will continue to support statehood building effort and to recognize the State at the right time

  1. you sir are just another antisemitic briton. your country did so much harm to jews that you should shut up instead of telling jews what they have to do and what not. the history of british in the middle east is full of injustice and pure antisemitic policy directed against jews. your role in stopping jews fleeing from nazi- europe to israel, your support for arab jordanian legion and other arab attempts to kill jews and eliminate them in israel and now your appeasement with radical islam speak for themself. you think radical islam will spare you when you act and speak antisemitic? you are a fool. churchill, the last real UK PM said, that appeasers will be eaten by the crocodile finaly. muslim terrorists butcherd jewish rabbis in a synagoge and your first reaction is to honor terror by recognizing “palestine”. shame on you and UK. beside that: UK will still suffer under the political islam regardless how antisemitic you act.

    btw: did you nknow that the first shoots of the “proud” royal navy in WW 2 were not against nazi ships but against jewish refugees at the coast near israel? well, you better not try it again because this time jews understand to fight back.

  2. Dear Alastair ,
    sorry for forgotten one – to me – most important fact : these ” substantive peace negotiations are – of course – making sense if these 2 sides do also feel the badly needed wish for peace , freedom , justice and this “-State – Solution. Could really be to the benefits of all involved states.

    Best wishes, Ingo- Steven

  3. Dear Dr. Alastair ,
    what a long awaited but also “perfect-timed” report of you . So pls. allow me to start by “stealing” an very important sentence of FS Philip Hammond “… the UK ‘s position on Israeli settlements is clear : they ‘re illegal…”. But within this context is to me yr. statement ’bout the creation of a FREE & DEMOCRATIC ” OWN” Palestinian nation with East – Jerusalem as capital. It ‘s great to read that the current UK-GOV. is supporting “STRONG” yr. point of view , yr. suggestions in these cases. But – sorry – I believe that before serious negotiations will start – we 1st. have to start a rebuilding of Palestinian Authorities plus the necessary institutions. Must be hrad work to do after all these Israeli bombardements. So I do full agree to you : the ground pillar for a peaceful future are substantive negotiations between both sides.

    Best wishes , liebe Grüßle , Ingo-Steven Stuttgart

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About Alastair McPhail

Dr Alastair McPhail CMG OBE was appointed Her Majesty’s British Consul General to Jerusalem in January 2014. Dr McPhail has worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for 19 years.…

Dr Alastair McPhail CMG OBE was appointed Her Majesty’s British
Consul General to Jerusalem in January 2014. Dr McPhail has worked in
the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for 19 years. He was HM Ambassador
to South Sudan from independence on 9 July 2011 until his departure in
March 2013. Prior to becoming Ambassador to South Sudan he was HM Consul
General in Juba from March 2011 until South Sudan became independent
and the Consulate General was upgraded to a sovereign Embassy.
From 1996-2000 he worked on the northern Iraqi Kurdish peace process.
He worked on Sudan from 2000-2005, first as Head of the Egypt, Libya
and Sudan Section in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, then as Head
of the Sudan Unit – the UK’s international team charged with supporting
the Sudan peace process – and finally as the UK Special Representative
for Sudan. Dr McPhail attended every round of the negotiations on the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement from the first session at Machakos to the
final session at Naivasha. After that he took up overseas roles such as
Minister and Deputy Head of Mission in the British Embassy in Rome,
Italy and as the UK Special Envoy to Mali during a hostage crisis.