On Wednesday 25th January 2017 a group of around 170 people took part in a lobby of Parliament organised jointly by Christian Friends of Israel UK and the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. These British citizens took the opportunity offered by the day to encourage their MPs to ‘Pledge for Peace’ in Israel.
The `Pledge for Peace` Lobby Group
The ‘Pledge for Peace’ theme focused on three pledges. First to support direct negotiations between the Israelis and their Arab neighbours, rather than international conferences like the one held in Paris on 15th January 2017. Second to encourage dialogue and not boycotts, because boycotts are counter-productive and cause further alienation. And third to encourage co-existence projects involving Jews and Arabs, because peace will only come when these two groups of people are prepared to live together peaceably.
The lobby day featured a 2-hour briefing session in the morning, which included speeches by Israel’s ambassador to the UK and a Palestinian human rights activist for Israel. Then there was a short walk to the Houses of Parliament in the afternoon, when the lobbyists were addressed by a series of MPs and attended individual meetings with their own constituency MPs.
It is a privilege to be able to lobby Parliament in this way, because the UK seems to have an important role to play with regard to Israel within the current international scene.