24 June 2020
The Socialist International reiterates that the planned unilateral annexation by Israel of large areas of the occupied West Bank in Palestine would be a clear violation of international law and a devastating blow to any future prospect of peace and statehood for the Palestinian people. In the face of this grave threat to future peace, the SI once more calls on its member parties, governments and the wider international community to reiterate their support for Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution.
As the SI outlined when the annexation plan was first presented by US President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, this is a proposal that ignores the reality on the ground and gives no consideration to the Palestinians. It offers no resolution to the conflict and would exacerbate the situation, in an attempt to permanently end the prospect of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. In a statement last month, the SI underlined that this policy simultaneously undermines the standing of the State of Israel and the outlook for a future of peace and stability for its citizens, a fact that has been raised with concern by many true friends of Israel both domestically and internationally.
For an end to conflict and lasting peace, it is fundamental that any solution is agreed upon by both sides. This means that for any resolution to be permanent it must be negotiated and approved by both parties, and recognised by the international community, which supports peace in line with international law and the many decisions and resolutions of the United Nations and its Security Council. Regrettably, the current Israeli government has shown no willingness to negotiate peace, and is instead relying on unilateral actions backed by a US administration that seems determined to sabotage future prospects for peace and undermine adherence to international law.
The SI is fortunate to count among its member parties some of the most prominent voices for peace and a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine, and as long as these forces continue their struggle and make their voices heard, there remains hope for a peaceful resolution. But the realisation of the annexation plan would bring a grave risk that those in favour of peace will become more and more marginalised as the hope of statehood for Palestinians through negotiations is extinguished. For this reason it is a crucial time for those who oppose this illegal annexation plan to unite and take action.
The moment has come for the international community as a whole to make their voices heard in favour of the rights of the Palestinian people, rights which have been denied for far too long. The SI has for a number of years called for the immediate unconditional recognition of the State of Palestine on the borders of June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, in response to decades of failing to achieve peace through the bilateral peace process. Many governments, including a significant number led by SI member parties, have already given official recognition to the State of Palestine, but this latest threat to Palestinian statehood demands renewed efforts to ensure legal recognition. To this end, the SI now reasserts its call for all governments that have not yet done so to immediately recognise Palestine, and urges its member parties to intensify their efforts to ensure this happens in their respective countries.
The demands of the Palestinian people for an end to occupation and the system of segregation, an end to discrimination and the right to full equality, and the exercising of self-determination through the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders remain unchanged. These legitimate demands will not be diminished by unilateral moves taken by Israel in violation of international law, and the SI reiterates its solidarity with the Palestinian non-violent opposition and all those struggling for the rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people.