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Campaigns, Your Elected Representatives

Faversham Decides: Where the candidates stand on Palestine

Faversham Decides - Untitled Page-2

The starting gun has been fired on the General Election campaign with the dissolution of Parliament, and the contest is officially under way.

The PSC has been asking people, as part of its Vote for Palestine campaign, to press their local candidates on the positions they would take on Palestine if elected – and voters have done so in their thousands.

We’ve been collecting the responses of our candidates in the constituencies of Faversham & Mid Kent, and in Canterbury (which includes Whitstable).

We gave all candidates plenty of time to respond, and in some cases had to do some detective work to even find contact details for them (which doesn’t bode well for their responsiveness as MPs if they do get elected – not mentioning any names).

For those who didn’t reply, we’ve marked them as ‘Did not respond’, and it’s for you to draw your own conclusions from their silence. If we do hear from them between now and election day, we will of course update this article.

So without further ado, here are the responses (or no-shows) from the candidates for Faversham. Whitstable responses will follow soon in a separate post.

One last thing: Do not forget to register to vote by 20 April! The registration system has changed since the last election, so do double-check whether you are registered – you may find you are not even though you thought you were.

 

Hairy Knorm Davidson, Monster Raving Loony

No contact details found

Michael Desmond, Labour candidateMichael Desmond, Labour candidate:

1.  I urge the UK Government to uphold the principles of equality, human rights and international law in all its relations and dealings with Israel.

Yes

2.  I do not support the construction of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Yes – in other words, I do not support construction of settlements on the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

In achieving these principles, what are your views on the following steps that a future UK Government could take:

3.  Do you agree that one of the first acts of the next UK Government should be the recognition of Palestine?

When a roadpath to a settlement has been agreed and a viable timescale implemented.

4.  Do you agree that the blockade on Gaza should be lifted immediately?

The blockade should be lifted as soon as possible. The issue of the blockade is not whether it should be lifted – it should be; but there is also a need for security in Israel, further conflict must be avoided at all costs. I met last year in London with the former Mayor of Sderot to discuss the issue  – it is quite clear (sadly) that there is little trust and minimal – even unofficial – contact with Hamas. I think a staged arrangement – similar to what transpired in Ireland with the Good Friday Agreement – is necessary, the blockade must be lifted as soon as possible – but with security arrangements intact.

5.  Do you agree that we should stop trade with Israel’s settlements on Palestinian land, and stop settlement goods being sold in Britain?

No

6.  Do you agree that the EU Israel Association Agreement should be suspended until Israel meets its human rights obligations?

No

7.  Do you agree that the government should stop supplying arms to Israel until it complies with international law?

No

Extra comments:

I have visited Israel on several occasions and in 2013 was able to visit Bethlehem and Jericho for the first time.

I firmly believe in a two-state solution and would like ultimately, to see an EU-style arrangement with economic benefits and co-operation eventually hopefully eroding the years of bitterness and enmity.

Israeli society has unfortunately polarised, there needs to be a new peace initiative immediately after the forthcoming election there. Whatever arrangements are finally agreed,  Israel must enjoy security without threat of attack, equally, Palestinians need full security in a safe, more prosperous environment.

It is very important that schemes like Givat Haviva Educational Foundation are supported and mutual trust is developed.

Peter Edwards-Daem, UKIP

DID NOT RESPOND

David Naghi, Liberal Democrat

DID NOT RESPOND

Tim Valentine, Green candidateTim Valentine, Green Party

This is where I stand on human rights in Palestine. The principles on which my answers are based is that human rights must be respected for all. Everybody should have a right to live in security. I oppose violence in all circumstances.

1. I urge the UK Government to uphold the principles of equality, human rights and international law in all its relations and dealings with Israel.

Yes

2. I consider the construction of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to be illegal and unjustifiable.

Yes

In achieving these principles, what are your views on the following steps that a future UK Government could take:

3. Do you agree that one of the first acts of the next UK Government should be the recognition of Palestine?

Yes. I very strongly support this.

4. Do you agree that the blockade on Gaza should be lifted immediately?

Yes but I would agree to some controls to attempt to stop parts for rockets which can be fired at Israel to enter Gaza. However the banned items would have to be very specific. Perhaps there might be a role for the UN.

5. Do you agree that we should stop trade with Israel’s settlements on Palestinian land, and stop settlement goods being sold in Britain?

Yes

6. Do you agree that the EU Israel Association Agreement should be suspended until Israel meets its human rights obligations?

Yes

7. Do you agree that the government should stop supplying arms to Israel until it complies with international law?

Yes, but I have no objection to the supply of parts/services to allow Israel to operate its ‘iron dome’ defense system against incoming rockets. Steps would have to be taken to ensure that parts cannot be diverted for offensive use

 

Helen Whately, Conservative

DID NOT RESPOND

 

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About Faversham and Whitstable Palestine Solidarity Campaign

We are one of over forty branches of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign across England and Wales, campaigning for Palestinian self determination, national, human and civil rights.

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