• Israel and the United Nations

    I appreciate the points that have been raised by the Israel-Britain Alliance and others about the disproportionate focus on Israel by some UN bodies, including the Human Rights Council and UNESCO. While I understand these concerns, I believe it is important to remain a part of these organisations so that we can advocate for reform from within, particularly given the importance of their work. I therefore regret the recent decisions taken by the Israeli and US governments to withdraw from UNESCO. The UK and Israel have a relationship in many areas, from trade and investment, to technology, innovation and security. However, as a friend, I believe we also have a responsibility to promote human rights and adherence to international law. I continue to believe that a two-state solution, recognising the importance of security and stability and guaranteeing a viable and secure future for both Israel and Palestine, must remain the goal of the international community. This will require all sides to avoid taking action that makes peace harder to achieve, and that means both an end to the blockade, occupation and settlements, and an end to attacks. This is why the UK supported UN Security Council resolution 2334 last year, emphasising both of these points. I will continue to urge the Government to press for an immediate return to meaningful negotiations and to fully back all initiatives focused on a diplomatic resolution. I know from the many letters and e-mails I receive that there are strong views on this matter, and I can assure you that I will bear in mind the points you raise.