We the undersigned call on Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson in all his correspondence and meetings with his Palestinian Authority counterparts to ask them to recognise Israel as a Jewish state.
The Israeli government says this recognition is a condition of restarting peace negotiations because it is fundamental to drawing a line under one of the main obstacles to peace: the refusal of Palestinian leaders to recognise Israel’s nature as a Jewish state and hence the legitimacy of Zionism as the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. This refusal undermines the concept of two states for two peoples.
This goes right back to the establishment of the state of Israel in November 1947 through UN resolution 181, which called for the partition of the land into an Arab state and a Jewish state. Whilst Israel accepted this, Arab states and Palestinian leadership led by Hal Amin Al-Husseini rejected it leading to Israel’s war of independence.
PA President, Mahmoud Abbas reaffirmed this rejectionist position when in January 2014 he said:
“We won’t recognise the Jewishness of the State of Israel and won’t accept it.”
Recognising and accepting Israel as a Jewish state is consistent with negotiations based on the two state solution of an Israeli state next to a Palestinian state. It would be a clear and public abandonment of the goal of eradicating Israel either through terrorism or by the relocation to Israel of millions of people of Palestinian descent currently living in refugee camps across the Arab world, and a clear statement of mutual recognition of the legitimacy of the two national movements.