Thank you for contacting me about Israel and the United Kingdom's votes at the United Nations.
The UK is inextricably linked to the birth of the state of Israel, with whom the UK shares a deep and meaningful relationship. I welcome the UK Government’s commitment to promoting trade and business ties with Israel and its strong opposition to the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. I also have every confidence that the UK’s trading relationship with Israel will continue to go from strength to strength in the years to come.
Our close friendship with Israel does not prohibit our criticism of some Israeli policies, nor from our recognition of Israel as a thriving democracy and an example to the rest of the world for overcoming adversity. As an honest friend, the UK must act in accordance with our clear and long-standing position, that is, the commitment to a two-state solution, where two equal and sovereign states live side by side in peace and mutual respect. The UK regularly calls upon all sides to desist from engaging in activities that undermine this end; and this is reflected in the UK's voting record at the UN and diplomatic activity in general.
The UK has been a major contributor to the UN since its inception seventy-five years ago, occupying a prominent role within it, and defends wholeheartedly its role as a place where issues of international concern can be discussed productively and respectfully.
To be clear, none of the above should be construed as resulting from a bias against Israel. On the contrary, the UK regularly raises issues of concern in a wide range of countries, via the UN and bilaterally, including with our closest and most longstanding allies, of which Israel is one.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP