I am proud of the UK’s role in the birth of the state of Israel, with whom the UK shares a deep and meaningful relationship. I welcome the UK Government’s deep commitment to promoting trade and business ties with Israel and its strong opposition to the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. I also have every confidence that the UK’s trading relationship with Israel will continue to go from strength to strength in the years to come.
Our close friendship with Israel does not prohibit our criticism of some Israeli policies, or our acting in honest accordance with our clear and long-standing position in favour of a two-state solution, where two equal and sovereign states live side by side in peace and mutual respect. The UK regularly calls upon all sides to desist from engaging in activities that undermine this end.
That said, I agree that, while the UN is a vital place for the productive and respectful discussion of issues of international concern, it often fails to scrutinise other countries, or even the Palestinian Authority, in the same way it scrutinises Israel. Recently, I spoke in Parliament to highlight the atrocities committed by China against Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and the escalating persecution of Christians in Northern Nigeria. I would like to see the international community take a much stronger stance against these abuses, and other serious human rights abuses around the world, rather than focussing on Israel.