Munira Wilson (Twickenham)

Munira Wilson (Twickenham)

Twitter: @munirawilson. More information can be found here.

1) Do you agree that the UK should recognise Palestine? What would be your reasons for and against recognition?

2) Should the UK call for an end to all illegal Israeli settlement construction on Palestinian land, and stop trade with Israeli settlements? Do you consider settlements as an obstacle to peace, and what can the UK Government do about them?

3) Will Brexit change Britain's foreign policy priorities in the Middle East? If so, how? What role can the UK play in the Middle East?

4) Do you think the UK could/should be doing more to uphold the rule of international law in the Middle East?

I am going to answer all of your questions in my own order if you don't mind since the Palestine-Israel question is immensely sensitive and requires complex and careful thought.

First you should know that Liberal Democrats are committed to seeing a negotiated peace settlement with a two-state solution.

  • This requires recognising the state of Palestine, whilst also recognising Israel’s right to exist and right to security. Lib Dem MP, Layla Moran, introduced a bill earlier this year calling on the government to recognise the state of Palestine.
  • We should also bear in mind that Israel is a proper functioning democracy with Israeli and Palestinian politicians in parliament strongly opposed to the current government’s course of action. Unfortunately, they are not winning the argument at the ballot box.
  • Netanyahu is a Trump-like populist, but much worse, ignoring the rule of law and the calls of many countries and the EU and the UN. As Lib Dems, as part of Liberal International, we will continue to challenge the Israeli Government’s illegal actions.
  • Liberal Democrats condemn disproportionate force used by all sides. This has included rocket attacks and the targeting of Israeli civilians by Hamas, but also the continuation of Israel’s illegal policy of settlement expansion.
  • The Liberal Democrats believe any peace settlement should include an agreement based on 1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps
  • Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) are illegal under international law, and I condemn US Secretary of State’s recent statement that they are not. These illegal settlements present an obstacle to peace that take us further away from a two-state solution.
  • Liberal Democrats believe that boycotts on this topic should not be state-mandated, but that it should be down to individual consumers to choose whether or not they purchase goods made in illegal settlements – I welcome the recent European Court of Justice ruling that all products made in illegal settlements should be labelled clearly as such.
  • Liberal Democrats have consistently raised the issue of human rights and breaches of International Law in Israel and the Occupied Territories and will continue to do so.
  • When in Coalition Government, Liberal Democrats regularly urged the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law as an occupying power in the West Bank and to lift restrictions on Gaza
  • Liberal Democrats unequivocally condemn any violation of human rights or acts of violence against civilians.
  • Human rights and the rule of law are at the very heart of the Liberal Democrat party. These are our core values. I and my party will continue to ask the government to use the UK’s influence and foreign policy to promote and protect these values across the whole of the Middle East.

I hope this rather long response gives you the confidence to know that both I and my party are committed to a peaceful and equitable solution across the entire region of the Middle East. To be able to influence we believe we must have a chair at the top table. Being a member of a European alliance of countries as well as a member of NATO provides us with the collective 'clout' we need. Outside of the EU we will be but a small voice from across the English Channel.