Lib Dems call for British arms embargo on Israel - Guardian
Once again, the most extreme left politicians in the UK have sided with the enemies of the Jews. Having read this Guardian article, I thought it would be constructive to take a look at the three leading political parties in the UK and the positions they are taking vis a vis Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. The Guardian article is a backgrounder covering the political dog fighting between the Liberal Democrats and majority Labour parties. Left out of the Guardian article is any opinion from the opposition Conservatives.
I have assembled annotated statements and links to the most recent statements made by each of the three leading parties in the UK, although I am hesitant to refer to the Liberal Democrats as leading - in seats, ideas or morals. The current breakdown of the UK House of Commons is:
Democratic Unionist (9)
Independent Conservative (1)
Independent Labour (1)
Liberal Democrat (63)
Plaid Cymru (3)
Scottish National (7)
Sinn Fein (5)
Social Democratic & Labour Party (3)
Ulster Unionist (1)
Speaker and Deputies (4)
Based upon the statements below, it appears to be necessary in the UK to throw a bone to the antiJews. Even the favorable, er..make that favourable statements from the Conservative party include flashes of 'both sides' faux fairness. It is also telling that the Conservatives statement does not come from the party leader Mr. Cameron but from an MP, who based upon his bio online does not have any foreign affairs assignments or responsibilities. Maybe, Mr. Cameron wants deniability? Maybe it is the political reality in the UK given the level of anti-semitism and growing radical arabian population? This is troubling to me. I suppose friends are always welcome, even ones who are embarrassed of being friends.
PM Brown's statements seem to be right in line with US Secretary of State Condi Rice echoing the obvious, that Israel has a security interest in stopping rocket fire. This is in contrast to the Liberal-Democrat pressure tactics of ending arms sales to Israel and blocking Israeli trade with the EU, actions which are nothing short of taking the side of Hamas. I find it interesting how the most liberal party with any standing in the UK is in favor of the right to free fire rockets into democratic and liberal Israel.
For readers from the UK, please feel free to correct, amend, reprove, etc. the details of this post.
Labour Party - Majority
PM Gordon Brown (Labour)
Gaza is a humanitarian crisis - PM
Speaking to journalists in 10 Downing Street, Mr Brown said he was hopeful that the basis for a ceasefire, providing assurances to Israel over security and securing an open border under international supervision for Palestinians in Gaza, could be found.
Gaza needs “immediate ceasefire” - PM
“We need an immediate ceasefire, and that includes a stopping of the rockets into Israel. Secondly, we need some resolution of the problem over arms trafficking into Gaza and, thirdly, we need the borders and the crossings open and that will need some international solution.”
PM “deeply concerned” by Gaza violence
In a Downing Street statement, the PM said that only “peaceful means” could secure a lasting solution to the dispute between Israel and Palestine. He called upon Gazan militants to end their rocket attacks and asked Israel to “meet its humanitarian obligations”.
Conservative Party Opposition
Opposition Leader MP David Cameron
MP Stephen Crabb
The conflict in Gaza has caused yet more distress and suffering
Stephen Crabb MP, Wednesday, January 7 2009
There is nothing about the current military conflict in Gaza which is not tragic and disturbing. The immediate consequences for the people of Gaza of the fighting between Hamas and Israel are yet more distress and suffering, compounding the humanitarian disaster in which they have been living for years.
But this is not a conflict made in Israel. We may criticise Israel for settlements on the West Bank; for the ugly and imposing security barrier which it has constructed; for the roadblocks and checkpoints which cause so much disruption to the economy and daily lives of Palestinians on the West Bank. But the blame for the current misery of Gaza lies squarely with its own leaders.
Just as NATO would not allow Afghanistan, under the Taliban, to provide a platform for international terrorists like Al Quadea, so Israel cannot be expected to allow Hamas to construct a terrorist statelet in Gaza and use it as a base for continous attacks on its people. No government which takes seriously its responsibility to protect its citizens would do otherwise.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Clegg: We must stop arming Israel
Of course, Israel has every right to defend itself. It is difficult to imagine what it must be like to live with the constant threat of rocket attacks from a movement which espouses terrorist violence and denies Israel's right to exist. But Israel's approach is self-defeating: the overwhelming use of force, the unacceptable loss of civilian lives, is radicalising moderate opinion among Palestinians and throughout the Arab world. Anger in the West Bank will make it virtually impossible for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, to continue to talk to Israeli ministers.
Brown must stop sitting on his hands. He must condemn unambiguously Israel's tactics, just as he has rightly condemned Hamas's rocket attacks. Then he must lead the EU into using its economic and diplomatic leverage in the region to broker peace. The EU is by far Israel's biggest export market, and by far the biggest donor to the Palestinians. It must immediately suspend the proposed new cooperation agreement with Israel until things change in Gaza, and apply tough conditions on any long-term assistance to the Palestinian community.
Brown must also halt Britain's arms exports to Israel, and persuade our EU counterparts to do the same. The government's own figures show Britain is selling more and more weapons to Israel, despite the questions about the country's use of force. In 2007, our government approved £6m of arms exports. In 2008, it licensed sales 12 times as fast: £20m in the first three months alone.