By Sonia Klein
April 27, 2010
Last night we held a coffee evening in Ilford North to discuss the Middle East. Walter Wolfgang kindly lead the frank and open discussion.
Walter is a survivor, previous member of the Labour National Executive and Vice Chair of CND. Many differing views were explored.
I've been asked to clarify my own position, so here is a brief summary...
I believe in a two state solution. I believe it is time for all Muslim Nations to recognise the State of Israel based on the UN mandated 1967 borders.
I deplore terrorism in all forms. Violence cannot solve anything and will create new wounds. There is no question that terrorism, suicide bombing and killing of civilians is wrong on both sides.
However, I believe we must talk to Hamas, as the democratically elected Government, as we did with the IRA. I would link aid payments to Palestine with a genuine and enforceable commitment by Hamas to stop all attacks on Israelis.
I would expect the Israeli government to stop all building in the settlements. Israel must stop disproportional use of force against civilians, violation of UN mandates and International human rights legislation. I believe economic sanctions should be applied if the Israeli or Palestinian government violates International Law.
I would urge Nations to establish Consulates in both regions and support economic growth in the State of Palestine.
Only when both Nations feel safe, people are free and the young can again dream about what they could be when they grow up will we have peace in the region.
Sonia Klein is the Labour candidate for Ilford North.
This blog is part of the JC.com's On The Campaign Trail blog for the Election 2010 where candidates in key Jewish areas have been invited to blog. Read more on our Election 2010 page