It’s time to call a spade a spade. To any neutral observer, war crimes are being committed by Israel in Gaza.
Thousands of innocent men, women and children are dead.
Thousands more are injured.
A concrete city has been reduced to mounds of debris burying Palestinians, both living and dead.
Bombs are raining down on hospitals and new-born babies have died as they can’t be given that most basic of things, oxygen.
Israel has a right to defend itself, but the collective punishment of the Palestinian people is beyond that.
Hamas’ abhorrent attack has rightly been condemned by all.
There is an urgent need for a ceasefire and humanitarian corridors in Gaza.
Innocent men, women and children must be protected.
Those who wish to leave must be able to do so and those who wish to stay must receive aid. pic.twitter.com/CVySffzBv0
— The SNP (@theSNP) October 18, 2023
The Geneva Convention is explicitly clear and we have a responsibility to call it out. These are war crimes.
Humanitarian Pauses, or whatever the latest term is for doing nothing, pose more questions than they answer.
With communication shaky at best, the people of Gaza are expected to know when a 4 hour pause in the mayhem begins then make the dangerous trip across Gaza with no fuel.
At the very best, they might be able to gain access to some food or water knowing that they’ll soon be facing bombs again. At least they’ll not die hungry, maybe.
And if you do manage to flee your home area. When will you return? And to what?
Given the number of illegal settlements already in place is it any wonder that Palestinians might be a bit sceptical that they’ll have land to return to?
That is why the SNP will force a vote on a ceasefire this week in Westminster. Our first opportunity to do so.
👇 @AlynSmith: "We need to think about what the future looks like, every single conflict in human history has ended with an agreement that was negotiated by talks.
If we are serious about peace, which we all want to see, there needs to be a ceasefire." pic.twitter.com/T0vSborGJZ
— The SNP (@theSNP) November 2, 2023
A ceasefire will allow a sustained period to get food, fuel, emergency services in and allow people out. Importantly, hostages too.
While the Tories and Labour won’t support a ceasefire, the SNP do not stand alone.
From the UN Secretary General to the former Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, leading voices have thrown their weight behind one.
Lest we forget of course, the French President too. And Sir Keir knows many in his ranks want it too.
A UK Labour Party frontbencher has quit in protest over Keir Starmer’s position on a Gaza cease-fire. https://t.co/qZ12Qgleqy
— POLITICOEurope (@POLITICOEurope) November 8, 2023
The masters of war tell us that a ceasefire isn’t possible.
But it isn’t possible when countries, like the UK, a permanent member of the UN Security Council no less, cannot muster the courage to call for it.
Let there be no doubt, this conflict is different in scale and sheer loss to all other periods of violence since Hamas took control of Gaza.
But let us not forget that in those other outbreaks a ceasefire was eventually agreed.
If we give up on that quest for peace, then just what else are we prepared to give up on?
It is for these reasons that we want a parliamentary vote.
.@MhairiBlack: “How much worse does the situation have to get before the Prime Minister will join us in calls for a humanitarian ceasefire?”
A humanitarian ceasefire remains essential. The UK government must recognise this and join our calls to help protect and save lives. pic.twitter.com/ImN0YqYXtw
— The SNP (@theSNP) October 25, 2023
My heart sank when it was put to me by a journalist that we were simply playing politics with Labour divisions on a ceasefire.
If we don’t force Westminster to vote on the single biggest international human catastrophe then what’s the point of the place?
Are the SNP seriously expected to sit and do nothing? Give me a break.
We need a ceasefire, and we need it now.
The SNP value international law, civilian lives and peace.
And we’ll vote based on our values. pic.twitter.com/Ksjc9eXeEw
— Stephen Flynn MP (@StephenFlynnSNP) November 9, 2023
Just as with the Iraq war, we won’t keep schtum while Labour and the Tories allow carnage to unfold. Not a chance.
A few years ago, I visited the Franklin D Roosevelt memorial in Washington D.C.
A quote of his on the memorial read:
“The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man, or one party, or one nation…it must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world.”
The UK is missing in taking action in that cooperative effort, and we intend to make them recognise it.