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Christian Aid and Quakers in Britain call on the UK government to ban the import of products from illegal Israeli settlements

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The call was made at a Parliamentary briefing on 19 June hosted by Stephen Gilbert, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay. Quaker and Christian Aid speakers informed MPs how the illegal Israeli settlements are undermining the prospect of peace for both Israelis and Palestinians. UK trade with the settlements is helping to perpetuate this situation.

The UK government has routinely condemned the settlements, yet they continue to grow and prosper. The time has come for those words of condemnation to be backed up with action designed to challenge the status quo. Neither Quakers in Britain, nor Christian Aid are calling for a ban or boycott of Israeli goods. However a targeted import ban on products from the Illegal settlements is a nonviolent action which could help to create a new diplomatic dynamic.

Parliamentarians paid tribute to the work of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), whose activities in the UK and Ireland are managed by Quaker Peace & Social Witness. The importance of linking UK discussion about settlement products with conversations at the European Union level was also emphasised. This was proposed in light of recent announcements by the Irish government that it would support an EU ban on settlement products and that if the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories continues to deteriorate it may propose this at an EU Foreign Affairs council meeting in the autumn.

Find out more:

What you can do:

  • Use the briefing and press release as a basis for dialogue with your MP. Ask them to consider supporting calls for an import ban and to raise this issue with the Foreign Secretary.
  • You may also wish to refer to QPSW’s latest briefing on settlement trade and the decision to boycott settlement goods made by Meeting for Sufferings in April 2011.
  • Sign up for future information updates and action alerts on this issue using the form below.

Please let QPSW know about any actions you take and how your MP responds.

Need support?

If your Meeting is involved in inter church or interfaith dialogue about settlement trade and you would like support with this contact Marigold Bentley on 020 7663 1060.