Surge in support in UK Parliament for an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
This week has seen a significant increase in vocal support from British parliamentarians for an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace.
On June 22nd, twenty-six Members of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords– representing five different political parties in both government and opposition– issued a letter to the British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. In the letter, they urged The UK to give “urgent, meaningful support to peacebuilding projects that can bring together Israelis and Palestinians, most especially the youngest citizens.”
Continuing: “There has been a failure by the international community to properly invest in long-term, stable peacebuilding initiatives aimed at building meaningful relationships between Jews and Arabs within Israel, and Israelis and Palestinians, founded on trust and shared values. Championed by the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) and inspired by Anglo- American support for peacebuilding in Northern Ireland, the International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace is an idea whose time has surely come. The UK showed leadership in being the first country on earth to endorse the concept in 2018, and it now enjoys the sort of cross-party support that is all too rare on this often divisive issue. Critically, the United States Government has made $250m available for these sort of priorities via the bipartisan Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act (MEPPA). Its advisory board recently provided unanimous support for exploring internationalisation of this project, with an opportunity now for the UK to lead alongside its closest ally in the creation of an International Fund.”
Read the full letter here.
On the very same day, the UK’s Shadow Minister for Middle East and North Africa, Bambos Charalambous wrote to the Minister of State for Asia and the Middle East, Amanda Milling, who is in the region this week where she met with ALLMEP members the Peres Center and Search for Common Ground. In his letter, Shadow Minister Charalambous promised his “strong support, as well as that of a great many MPs from right across the House” for the British Government to “work with the US to create a genuine International Fund.”
This follows ALLMEP’s John Lyndon giving an interview to France 24 earlier in the week where he spoke of the “legacy defining” opportunity that President Biden had to use his forthcoming visit to the region to cement such a strategy. With an International Fund that can “build from the bottom-up the sort of consent and support and momentum that we know a peace process depends upon.”