I’d like to congratulate LFPME on the work they do to promote the cause of peace and justice in the Middle East, both within the Labour Party and the Labour movement more broadly.
The Labour Party has a long standing commitment to a two state solution in the region. Last year we said the Government should be willing to support the recognition of Palestinian statehood by the United Nations as part of steps to achieve a comprehensive two state solution.
Yet we remain a long way away from achieving a solution in the region. The lack of progress, and the continuing absence of a credible peace process, is helping no-one. It is therefore vital that ways are found to breathe new life into that process, to ensure it makes tangible progress within set deadlines.
We must do more to end violence on the ground on all sides, continue to press the Israeli government to bring the expansion of illegal settlements to an end, and ensure Israel understands that the widespread administrative detention of Palestinian children is wrong and must only be used in the most exceptional security cases rather than as an alternative to due process. We also need to do more to ensure Palestinians can access educational opportunities, health care and freely benefit from social and economic opportunities.
There will be no path to justice for the Palestinians, security for Israel and stability for the international community without respect for human rights and international law. If we turn our backs on this, we abandon those in the region who are committed to dialogue; we strengthen extremists on all sides and we undermine our own security.
As the leader of the Labour Party I pledge to do everything in opposition and power to ensure we actively pursue a path that supports the realisation of Palestinian statehood in the context of a negotiated two-state solution – the settlement for the Middle East that Israeli and Palestinian people have long deserved.
Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP