“Standing with the people of Israel is not the same as standing with this violent, hard-right Israeli government”
Nadia Whittome MP, one of our parliamentary supporters, spoke in a debate today to advocate stopping UK arms sales to Israel. In her speech, she referred to the work of Standing Together and its National Field Organiser Uri Weltmann’s comments at our meeting last night.
“The Israeli Government’s assault on Gaza has endured for over two months, and there is no end in sight. The atrocities committed by Hamas on 7 October were truly horrifying, and I know that I speak for every Member of this House when I say that such appalling acts cannot be justified, but they do not give the Israeli military licence to indiscriminately kill Palestinian civilians in retaliation. The IDF admits that civilians constitute two thirds of its victims, but the real proportion is likely to be much higher, given that around 70% of those killed are women and children.
Gaza has become a graveyard of children and parents, infants and elderly people, doctors, journalists and poets—thousands upon thousands of innocent people who simply wanted to get on with their lives in peace.
“[Twitter video clip starts at this point:] This humanitarian catastrophe is not the result of some natural disaster. It’s the intended consequence of the actions of the Israeli authorities – actions that our government still can’t bring itself to condemn. Not only that, Israeli ministers are openly calling for a ‘second Nakba’, while our government continues to license arms sales to the Israeli government.
“Last nigh, I was honoured to host in Parliament representatives of Standing Together, a movement of Israeli Jews and Palestinians, united for peace, justice, and human rights. One of its organisers, Uri Weltmann, wanted to send this message to our Prime Minister: that standing with the Israeli people is not the same as standing with this violent, hard-right Israeli government.
“Bombing hospitals and starving children will not bring peace to the people of Israel and Palestine. We must immediately suspend the sale of arms to the IDF, and end the UK’s complicity with the Israeli government’s war crimes. I called for this in 2021 when Gaza was once again under attack, and it’s even more urgent now.
“We must demand an immediate ceasefire, the unconditional release of hostages, and the lifintg of the siege. [Twitter video clip ends at this point.]
“We must push for a proper peace process, working towards a just, lasting solution that protects the safety, rights and self-determination of the people of both nations.”