Lord (Tariq) Ahmad is a Conservative Peer in House of Lords and former Vice Chairman (Cities) of the Conservative Party and also a Director of Sucden Financial, a commodities trading firm in the City of London.
Together with colleagues from the British Parliament I have just returned from a most informative and revealing trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories organised under the auspices of the Conservative Middle East Forum (CMEC). The delegation was led by CMEC’s Chairman, Baroness Morris of Bolton and facilitated by the CMEC Director, Leo Docherty.
During the course of this visit the delegation had the opportunity to witness, share and learn from the experiences of the communities of Israel and Palestine. More significantly, we gained a most meaningful and constructive insight into the current conflict through meeting representatives from across the political and religious spectrum. Key meetings included those with the Head of the settler movement in Hebron, the witness testimonies of retired young Israeli officers, Palestinian businessman and officials, as well as Israeli Government representatives, prominent amongst which was our most constructive meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister, Dan Meridor.
Both individually and collectively, the delegation was encouraged by the positive examples of hope, aspiration and constructive progress. I was taken by the dynamism of Tel Aviv in Israel and Ramallah in the West Bank. Two contrasting, yet progressive cities of the region. We also saw the ambition of the Palestinian communities encapsulated through DFID funded farming projects in the West Bank and the new emerging city of Rawabi.