Please feel free to use these questions as the basis of discussion/for hustings with your candidates. Please feel free to shorten them, but we’ve included some facts and figures so you can back up what you are saying if you are asked:
- Given that Israel has shown scant regard for more than 77 UN resolutions condemning its actions, what steps will you take to ensure that Israel is held to account, by the British Government, for its continued defiance of international law and for its continuing abuses against the people of Palestine?
- Given that Israel has consistently ignored expressions of international concern over its settlement programme and that there are now well over half a million Israeli settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, what action will you take to urge, upon the British Government, the necessity for effective measures against Israel?
- On 13th October 2014, MPs voted overwhelmingly for recognition of Palestine as a separate state, with 274 voting in favour and only 12 against.
- How would you have voted?
- What action will you take to ensure that the British Government accepts Parliament’s expressed will and recognises a Palestinian State?
- The Israeli offensive against Gaza in July and August 2014 has left 100,000 people homeless yet neither Israel nor Egypt has allowed more than a trickle of the required building materials to cross into Gaza. Further, the continuing blockade is having a major effect on the availability of medical supplies. Shortages of components are also having a very serious impact on water quality and, in combination with Israel’s active targeting of the power plants, are resulting in extreme power shortages. Do you support ending the blockade? And what steps will you take to help bring that about?
- Given the consistent condemnation, by the international community, of Israel’s settlement programme, what steps will you take to impress, upon the British Government, the necessity of imposing an immediate ban on the import of settlement goods into Britain?
- Given that the European Union has been willing to introduce sanctions against Russia and Sri Lanka for their transgressions of international law and that Israel has failed to comply with the human rights clause of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, what steps will you take to impress, upon the British Government, the importance of negotiating with its European partners for a suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.
- Given that the UK has, since 2010, licensed the export of £42m worth of military equipment to Israel and that the Israeli offensive against Gaza of July and August 2014 resulted in the deaths of 1.483 civilians, what steps will you take to impress, upon the British Government, the importance of recognising that it can have no means of ensuring that any military equipment going to Israel will not be used for internal repression or external aggression. Will you urge the British Government, in consequence, to no longer license British companies to sell arms to Israel?
- The Israeli Government has progressively moved to place major restrictions on the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem - through the construction of the wall, through the expansion of settlements, through the demolition of homes and neighbourhoods and through the use of ID cards which limit the right of Palestinian residents to continue to live in Jerusalem. What steps will you take, in response to these violations, to impress, upon the British Government, the importance of suspending the EU-Israel Association Agreement and of imposing a ban on settlement goods.
$5.4bn was pledged in support of UNWRA’s emergency programme in Gaza following the Israeli offensive of summer 2014 yet only a small proportion has materialised. Although the British Government has committed $57.9m for Gaza since the offensive, of which it has disbursed $34.4m so far, there is much more that it could do, given the severity of the situation. Will you urge the British Government to allocate additional resources in support of UNWRA’s $720m appeal and to also disburse, as a matter of urgency, the balance of the funds which it has already pledged.