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Finding hope in London…

17/11/2011

On November 15 I was invited to the annual lunch of the Labour Friends of Israel. This organisation supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and in 2011 changed their slogan to “Working towards a Two-State Solution”.

The keynote speaker was the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition, MP Ed Miliband.

In his speech he talked about his Jewish roots and expressed his gratitude to Israel for giving refuge to his grandmother and aunt over 60 years ago.

He said that 18 years after the Oslo Accords, he shared the “anger” of those who had lived for 10 years under a rocket barrage from Gaza and that he “understands the fears and frustrations” of those who have seen settlement construction continuing amid a lack of progress in talks. Israel and the Palestinians have to make decisions that advance peace, not set it back”

He noted that the Labour party supports the “two-state solution as the only way forward towards peace in the Middle East. He went on to say that “we believe in a safe and secure Israel as a state for the Jewish people living side by side with a Palestinian state – but only through negotiations.”

As an Israeli, I felt very privileged to be given the opportunity to hear such an inspiring and motivating speech and as a member of the “Peace Army” I left feeling that he had given me hope.

Hope because he believes that it is a return to the negotiating table is possible. Hope because hope can defeat fear and “it’s all in the political power”, and hope because that is the moment I realised the “peace Army” has a true and meaningful friend in Britain.