Steve McCabe has welcomed the normalisation agreements signed by Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain earlier this month. In a parliamentary debate last week, LFI’s chair also urged the government to restore funding to peace-building coexistence projects.
“I hope other countries in the region will follow [the UAE and Bahrain] and that Israel can live in peace with its neighbours and play its part in creating a stable and prosperous region,” McCabe said. He quoted Denis Ross, a veteran of the Clinton and Obama administrations’ efforts to pursue a two-state solution, who suggested the Abraham Accords should “be used to foster a resumption of diplomacy that can change the stalemated reality between Israelis and Palestinians”.
However, McCabe added that he was “disappointed that the UK has now cut all of its funding to peace-building coexistence projects” and urged Britain to back a proposed international fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. Legislation to finance the fund passed the US House of Representatives this summer. The UK’s three-year People for Peaceful Change – which invested nearly £3m in people-to-people work in Israel-Palestine – came to an end in June and has not been renewed. The shadow Middle East minister, Wayne David, joined McCabe in urging more support for coexistence work. “Only when Palestinians and Israelis have an ongoing dialogue, when they live and work together, and engage in reconciliation, can there be a firm basis for a permanent peace,” he suggested.
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