National Jewish Assembly Vice Chairman Steven Winston has written and submitted a formal letter to Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs raising key issues in contemporary UK-Israel relations.
As a conduit for communicating the view of British Jewry to government and other decision-makers, the NJA understands the importance of bringing these issues to the attention of the Rt Hon James Cleverly MP. The policy recommendations arose from discussions held by the NJA’s Committee on Israel.
In the letter, Mr Winston congratulated Prime Minister Liz Truss for her decision to consider moving the Embassy of the UK to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Mr Winston praised the move as an “unparalleled step towards solidifying the strong and prosperous bonds between the UK and Israel.”
Mr Winston raised concerns over the FCDO’s use of the term “Occupied Palestinian Territories” to refer to Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). The letter highlighted the fraught use of this term and its inherent historical and political inaccuracies. The NJA recommended the use of “Disputed” in lieu of “Occupied.”
Mr Winston raised further concerns over the FCDO’s continued funding of the Palestinian Authority security forces, which have been exposed as having brutally cracked-down on, tortured, sexually abused, and murdered dissidents within Palestinian-controlled areas. The NJA called for a full review and closer scrutiny of the UK taxpayer’s funding of these forces.
The NJA hopes that the Rt Hon James Cleverly MP will take into serious consideration the aforementioned issues and resolve to make the requisite changes to improve on the strong and mutually-beneficial bilateral relationship between the UK and the State of Israel.
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