SI statement on the new coalition government in Israel

15 May 2020

The Socialist International (SI) has been at the forefront of many efforts to resolve conflicts across the world, with an underlying commitment to open and honest exchanges and the pursuit of peace under a shared ideology and as a political family. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Middle East, where with its member parties around the world, the SI continuously advocates for a two-state solution to achieve peace.

The SI has brought together representatives of both sides with a shared commitment to a just and durable resolution to the conflict to achieve peace, security, stability and prosperity for Israel and Palestine as independent sovereign states. Among them were statesmen such as Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, who as leaders of the Israeli Labour Party were committed to dialogue and engagement with their Palestinian counterparts within the common political family of the SI, and pursued peace with the Palestinians while serving as prime minister of Israel.

The commitment of its member parties in both Israel and Palestine to the peace process and the two state solution, to dialogue and consensus-building have made a significant impact on the cause of Middle East peace. The position of the SI on the Palestinian question is the result of serious, substantial and challenging discussions, undertaken in good faith by representatives of all SI member parties that have taken place at and during meetings of the SI, and cannot be unilaterally overruled by any single member party.

On multiple occasions, the SI expressed its firm rejection of the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and called on the international community to collectively meet its responsibility under international law to bring an end to the occupation of Palestinian territory and to all impediments to the exercise by the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination. Prime Minister Netanyahu plans to expand settlements and annex large tracts of the occupied Palestinian territories and Jordan Valley in an attempt to permanently end the prospect of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. This policy at the same time undermines the standing of the State of Israel and the outlook for a future of peace and stability for its citizens.

The decision of the Israeli Labour Party to join a government that intends to act in such a way runs counter to the principles of the SI, which require its members to support international action in favour of peace, tolerance, dialogue, understanding and cooperation among peoples. The SI deeply regrets that a party with a long and rich history in the global family of socialist, social democratic and labour parties has chosen to take a path that contradicts its fundamental values and positions, damaging the prospects of peace in the Middle East.