Thank you for contacting me about Israel and the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC).
I will not be attending the event to which you refer, but will bear in mind the points you have raised about the activity of the PSC.
Let me say for now that I am proud of the UK’s historic role in the birth of the state of Israel, and the decades of cooperation that has defined the relationship between our two democracies since. I welcome that, to this day, Israel remains a close ally of the UK, and that we continue to work together on issues of shared interest.
The Foreign Secretary hosted her Israeli counterpart in London on 29 November to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding with a view to transforming our relationship into an even closer partnership over the next decade spanning defence, cyber, trade, climate, health and much more. I welcome this move and the trajectory on which it sets our two nations.
I support the Government’s commitment to promoting bilateral trade and business ties with Israel and its strong opposition to the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. The UK-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement entered into force in January 2021, and I have every confidence that our trading relationship will continue to go from strength to strength in the years to come. The Government will consult on a new, enhanced UK-Israel trade deal in 2022.
Israel's security remains a concern. The UK supports Israel’s right to defend itself and will work alongside anyone in the Middle East who seeks to establish better stability and security for their people. The destabilising effect of Iranian activity in the region, including its sponsoring of terrorist groups, is also of concern.
Our friendship with Israel does not prohibit our criticism of some Israeli policies, nor our recognition of Israel as a thriving democracy and an example to the rest of the world for overcoming adversity. On the contrary, it is because of our close relationship that difficult issues can be discussed where they arise.
I completely agree about the importance of reiterating to our Jewish community that the UK is their home as much as anyone’s. There is no place for antisemitism in our society, and I hope you are encouraged by the Government’s efforts to make this abundantly clear. We should all be fighting against antisemitism wherever it occurs.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP,