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Mr. Tom Clarke (Coatbridge and Chryston): In light of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's courageous comments, does he share my disappointment at the review that was published this morning by the Glasgow Media Group and reported in The Guardian? In spite of what he is telling the House, it indicated, on the basis of lengthy
Mr. Campbell: I fancy that if the right hon. Gentleman addressed that question to the Israeli ambassador here in London, he might get a rather different response. We should not be concerned about the bias, perceived bias or lack of bias of these channels but about our own judgments and saying what we think is right and what ought to be done.
What is obviously right is the twin-pronged approach whereby Israel is entitled to live in peace within secure borders and free from attack or the threat of attack, and the Palestinians are entitled to justice, land and a viable homeland. Those are not new concepts. They are to be found in Security Council resolution 242, passed in 1967 after the war of that year. They are concepts that survived through the Madrid conference, the Oslo agreement and Camp David. They are the same underlying principles that now form the foundation of the Saudi Arabian proposal. Let us be clearas the right hon. Member for Devizes (Mr. Ancram) made clear by implication, if not expresslythat these proposals do not themselves form a solution. But they offer a legitimate basis for discussion, and they come, on this occasion, with the unique endorsement of the Arab countries' meeting just 10 days ago.
However, to ensure the peace within secure borders and freedom from attack or threat of attack, I believe that the justice, the land and the viable homeland must come first. The difficulty of achieving that is shown by the fact that the settlement programme proceeds unhindered, even as we talk about these matters. How can there be confidence that a viable homeland can be created when that settlement programme is still in progress? How viable would a homeland for the Palestinians be if so much land were still put permanently aside for settlers?
The Foreign Secretary, in an interesting historical analysis of these events, reminded us of the historic agreement reached between Egypt and Israelbetween Sadat, who some believe gave his life for the agreement, and Begin. We should remember that, to return the Sinai to the sovereignty of Egypt, Mr. Begin was willing to take the most severe steps to disrupt the settlements and to exclude the settlers from that land. The point is that one can do that if one has the political will to do it, and one will have the political will to do it if the reward for doing it is sufficiently attractive. If, for Israel, the reward was security within its own borders and freedom from attack or threat of attack, surely in those circumstances we would be entitled to say, "Show the necessary political will."
Mr. Maples: Is not that almost exactly what Israel did at Camp David and then at Taba? According to the Foreign Secretary, the Palestinians say that Israel offered them 95 per cent. of what they want. I am sure that we, as lawyers, would advise our clients to settle for 95 per cent. Yet the Palestinians persisted in starting the intifada during those negotiations. Why should Israel think that any subsequent offer would be accepted by President Arafat?
Mr. Campbell: There is considerable dispute about what happened at both of those places; the hon. Gentleman may be right, but that was some time ago. If we are to move forward, relying on what happened then
Dr. Julian Lewis (New Forest, East): I thank the right hon. and learned Gentleman for giving way even though I had not intervened. His was a feeble response to my hon. Friend's point, which was clear. If, within recent history, the Arabs were offered very much what they could reasonably have expected, in line with the formula that everybody agrees with, and they rejected that, what reason is there to think that they would accept something now? If the right hon. and learned Gentleman thinks that there is no moral equivalence between the two sides, he might find some agreement on one point: there is no moral equivalence between a side that initiates an exchange and a side that responds to it. Does he really believe that the Israelis would be in the occupied Arab territories now if the suicide bombings had not begun first?
Mr. Campbell: If the hon. Gentleman is concerned about history, he ought to have recourse to the history of the settlements and the extent to which they have been promoted. As for the remainder of his comments, jury trial has not yet been abolished and I rest my case on the response of the jury of the whole House.
Mr. Kaufman: The hon. Member for New Forest, East (Dr. Lewis) referred to the side that initiated events. Is it not a fact that the second intifada was triggered by the wanton, deliberately provocative visit by Sharon to Temple Mounthe knowing what he was going to do?
Mr. Campbell: I am most grateful to the right hon. Gentleman. That is clear beyond questionclear even, I hope, to the hon. Member for New Forest, East, who might also bear in mind the provocation of Har Homa and the extent to which that was a source of great aggravation.
My next point is essentially domestic. I do not know whether all hon. Members have seen the leaflets that I have seen, but circulating throughout the United Kingdom, particularly in some UK universities, are hateful and hate-filled leaflets that demonstrate the most blatant and unpleasant anti-Semitism. They are an affront to decency, they disfigure democratic society and they disgrace our democracy. They are the product of twisted and evil minds. Whatever criticism any of us may make of the Israeli Government, we should all be united in the view that there is no justification for such conduct or for the circulation of material of that kind.
Sir Patrick Cormack (South Staffordshire): I agree wholeheartedly with the right hon. and learned Gentleman, but does he accept that such leaflets do not come only from one side? As one who is without doubt a friend of Israel but who has recently expressed sentiments not entirely different from his own, I have received some pretty nasty epistles.
Mr. Campbell: For us, they go with the rations and with the territory. We are in public life, and we have to accept that, if we make speeches about such issues, we will receive unpleasant letters. I am far more concerned about the fact that such offensive leaflets are circulating on the campuses of universities here in the United Kingdom.
Looking at these issues as I try to do, it is clear to me that there have been several opportunities for hopealbeit hope that has proved to be unjustifiedand a number of false starts. Great courage has been shown along the way, for example, by Mr. Begin and Anwar Sadat, whom I mentioned, and by King Hussein. Yitzhak Rabin paid with his life: he was assassinated not by a suicide bomber, but by a fellow Israeli who was determined to prevent the progress towards peace that Yitzhak Rabin represented. Ehud Barak, who was mentioned in connection with the last meeting at Camp David, paid for his efforts with his political career.
The Foreign Secretary referred to the role of the European Union. A great deal of damage has been done to Gaza airport, Gaza seaport, the Palestinian central bureau of statistics, a forestry project in Gaza, schools and clinics in the west bank, a sewerage and pumping station in the west bank, and an irrigation scheme near Jericho in the west bank. What they have in common is that all were funded at least in part by the European Union. They will have to be restoredpaid for againbut I would regard that as a worthwhile price to pay if it were part of a settlement package of the sort outlined by the Foreign Secretary.
The EU has donated about 3 billion euros to the Palestinian Authority since 1994. No one in the Israeli Government could be surprised if the EU began to consider what its response should be if that Government continue upon their present course. The EU is Israel's greatest trading partner. We know that 27 per cent. of Israel's exports come to the EU, and that 43 per cent. of its imports come from the EU. We have a trade agreement that has been entered into by the EU and Israel. Article 2 states that respect for
David Winnick (Walsall, North): The right hon. and learned Gentleman mentioned some distinguished Israelis who oppose the policies that are being pursued. Will he also mention those in Israelin the minority though they may bewho totally oppose what Israel is doing, believe that such policies bring discredit on the country and have the bravery to demonstrate in every way possible against the occupation and the crimes that have been committed in the past fortnight?