April 10, 2010
So, it's been a few months since my one and only previous post on this website. Well, what can I say? I've been busy, including campaigning for election as Hendon's next MP. I could say that the blog ate my homework, but you don't want endless politician's excuses. In fact, I am now about to start a new blog on the Hendon Times website, in addition to this JC one and my main campaign website, so I shall shortly have three blogs. Perhaps I should run as three different candidates, promoting each of them with one of the blogs, and see which candidate gets elected? But I digress.
I am indebted to Melanie Phillips, meanwhile, for this Spectator piece about David Cameron and his views on Israel: http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/5891841/david-obameron-bravel... I highly recommend that anyone who cares about Israel reads this and then thinks very seriously before making the mistake of voting Conservative.
Meanwhile, a few rungs down the political ladder from the Leader of the Opposition's office, a voter in Hendon emailed me asking what I actually propose to DO to solve problems in Israel/Palestine. I have replied, and since it's nice to have concentrated my views in a nutshell so concisely, I thought I would share them with you lot, so here is the reply that I sent:
"So, what needs to be done to achieve a real, lasting peace in Israel/Palestine?
"I continue to believe in a two-state solution. The parties came so very close to reaching a peace deal under the Clinton Parameters, and I think it can be done. Just recently, the Americans came within an inch of getting the Israelis and the PA into proximity talks, and that chance will come again soon – and I believe such talks will happen in the near future. If those talks happen, I believe that the Arab League would enter into talks on the Arab Peace Initiative, without imposing preconditions on Israel – it was the imposition of preconditions that prevented Israel from entering into talks on this Initiative previously. I do think that we can then have normalisation of Israel’s relations with the Arab League and its members, just as Israel already enjoys normal (albeit cold) relations with Egypt and Jordan. Egyptian and Jordanian diplomats have visited Israel under Arab League auspices rather than under their own national auspices, which is a significant development.
"So, normalisation of relations with the Arab world, continued economic success in the West Bank (where conditions have been improving enormously and the economy is booming), with even Gaza (http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/mediawatch/30183/revealed-gazas-...) now doing better economically – creating the conditions in which, under American and international supervision, we can try again to negotiate a rational two-state solution, based on a right of return for Palestinians to the new Palestinian state and right of return of Jews to Israel, based on Israel and Palestine each being able to claim some part of the Jerusalem municipality as its capital, but with each side having control of its own holy places, and with the city remaining united in practical terms, even if different parties theoretically control different parts of it, and even if Israel (as the power currently in possession) retains the lion’s share.
"I am not naïve about the threat of Hamas and Hizbollah, or Iran’s strategic ambitions in the region – indeed, Iran must be contained if Israel is to be secure enough to enter into negotiations, and the world must prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. I do not under-estimate the terrorist threat from Palestinians, or the suffering of the Palestinian and Israeli people under this conflict – but it’s a rational problem, this conflict, so we must be able to find a rational solution – even if, in doing so, we do not magically solve every problem."