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FCO responses to letters from constituents on Gaza

FCO responses to letters from constituents on Gaza

Categories: Latest News

Friday August 15 2014

Following Israel’s most recent barbaric campaign against Gaza and as the world reflects on the killing of 1,951 Palestinians, mostly civilians and over 400 of them children according to the UN, and 66 Israelis, all but three of whom were soldiers, we thought we would share with you some of the letters Muslim constituents have received from the Foreign Office via their local MP.

Many Muslims have written to their political representatives, as expressed by various MPs, and many more have been flabbergasted at the Government’s refusal to condemn, at the very least, Israeli aggression as ‘disproportionate’. Baroness Warsi, who resigned citing the Government’s pusillanimous stance as her reason for departure, herself decried the Government’s ‘morally indefensible’ position.

Two letters from FCO officials, Hugh Robertson MP, Minister of State, and Tobias Ellwood MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, further illustrate the Government’s determination to avoid classifying Israel’s heavy bombardment of Gaza and the huge civilian death toll as ‘disproportionate’ despite stating that it had communicated to Israeli officials that all use of force must be ‘proportionate’. What purpose does it serve to compel ‘proportionality’ when the Government categorically fails to identify ‘disproportionate’ force when it occurs?

The FCO explains the monetary assistance the Government has committed to providing to Gazans but says nothing of its intent or actions in supporting Palestinians in their quest to hold Israel accountable for suspected war crimes or indeed, of using economic leverage and suspension of arms sales to end the misery and suffering of Gazans living under the Israeli-imposed blockade. How the Government hopes to arrive at a ‘political solution…to avoid this suffering happening again’ is anyone’s guess when its silence on civilian deaths in Gaza and failure to use all the political and diplomatic tools at its disposal will be judged as partisan. As Baroness Warsi said at the weekend of the Conservative Party’s relationship with Israel:

“One of the advantages we have in the Conservative Party is that the relationships between the Israeli government and the leadership of the Conservative Party is incredibly close. People like George Osborne and Michael Gove are very, very close to the Israeli leadership. What is the point of having that relationship if you can’t use it to move them to a position which is in their interest and our interest?”

“If you have a naughty child, you don’t meet its demands, you tell it to stop being naughty.”

From the FCO correspondence presented here, it is obvious the Government has no interest in telling this particular enfant terrible to “stop being naughty”.


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