Britain Warns Israel on Fading Hopes for Two-State Solution to Mideast Conflict

Hague Says Settlement Expansion Is Killing Peace Process

Fading Hopes: British Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned Israel it will face decreasing international support if it continues to expand the occupation of Palestinian land.
getty images
Fading Hopes: British Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned Israel it will face decreasing international support if it continues to expand the occupation of Palestinian land.

By Reuters

Published January 22, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Britain said on Tuesday prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are almost dead because of expanding Jewish settlement in occupied territory, and warned Israel it was losing international support.

Foreign Secretary William Hague spoke as Israelis voted in an election likely to yield a hardline rightist government keener to thicken settlement on land where Palestinians want to establish statehood than seek peace.

“I hope that whatever Israeli government emerges …. that it will recognise that we are approaching the last chance to bring about such a solution,” Hague told parliament.

“I condemn recent Israeli decisions to expand settlements. I speak regularly to Israeli leaders stressing our profound concern that Israel’s settlement policy is losing it the support of the international community and will make a two-state solution impossible,” he said.

Asked whether the European Union should tie trade with Israel to progress on peace talks, Hague said the bloc still had work to do, in conjunction with the United States, to establish “incentives and disincentives” regarding further negotiations.

“…There is a clock ticking with potentially disastrous consequences for the peace process,” he added.

Opinion polls predict Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will return to power at the head of a coalition dominated by religious and nationalist pro-settler parties which give short shrift to U.S.-backed peace negotiations.

They have been frozen since 2010 over Palestinian objections to continued settlement construction. Netanyahu has demanded the Palestinians return to talks without preconditions.

Hague said 2013 was a crucial year for the moribund peace process given Israeli elections for a new government and the start of U.S. President Barack Obama’s second term.

“If we do not make progress in the coming year, people will increasingly conclude that a two-state solution has become impossible,” said Hague. Both Israelis and Palestinians should return to talks without preconditions, he said.

Hague said he would make peace talks and efforts towards a two-state solution - the basis of a U.S.-backed peace process for almost 20 years - “top of the agenda” during a planned visit to Washington next week


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.