UK House of Lords committee chair asks if Israel should be punished for annexation

Finally, she queried whether Israel should be punished economically if it proceeds with annexation.

By World Israel News Staff

Baronness Joyce Anelay, chairwoman of the International Relations and Defence Committee in Britain’s House of Lords, questioned whether Israel should continue to be given preferential access to UK markets if it goes ahead with its plan to annex parts of Judea and Samaria, Haaretz reports on Wednesday.

In a letter to Minister of State James Cleverly, Anelay appears to argue that since a 2017 International Relations Committee report says a two-state solution is the only way to “an enduring peace,” and since annexation would presumably block that avenue, Israel should be held accountable.

According to Haaretz, Anelay wrote that the conflict is “on the verge of moving into a phase where the two-state solution becomes an impossibility and is considered no longer viable by either side.”

She writes that the UK should buck the U.S. administration. “In the absence of US leadership, it is time for the Europeans to play a more active role.”

Anelay said further that the UK should condemn Israel at the UN Security Council and dismisses Palestinian responsibility for the failure of peace efforts thus far.

“The balance of power in the delivery of peace lies with Israel. If Israel continues to reduce the possibilities of a two-state solution, the U.K. should be ready to support UNSC resolutions condemning those actions in no uncertain terms,” she writes.

She also says that the UK should show its commitment to the two-state solution by recognizing a Palestinian state, Haaretz reports.

Finally, she asks if Israel should be punished economically if it proceeds with annexation.

“What would be the consequences for its preferential access to the UK market, as set out in the U.K.-Israel trade and partnership agreement? How would the U.K. distinguish between legal and illegal products in order to provide preferential access only for legal Israeli exports to the U.K.?”

Israel was the first country to seal a post-Brexit trade agreement with the UK. It’s set to take effect on January 1, 2021.

Anelay sent her letter as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. One of the topics of discussion was that of annexation and the advancement of Trump’s Mideast peace plan.

Netanyahu has campaigned on the promise to annex territories within Judea and Samaria. Pompeo and others in the Trump administration have voiced their tacit support for such a move.