On October the 7th, Hamas attacked Israel, killing over 1400 people and taking civilian hostages. The scale of the impact of this operation has shocked Israel. The Israeli government has promised to make Israel safe but its first actions were to cut off power and water from the Gaza Strip. They warned Palestinians residents in North Gaza to move south and then launched a bombardment on Gaza; from reports it would seem that the targets of this bombardment were not exclusively military.
The actions of Hamas were an atrocity.
In the UK, the leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer interviewed on television reinforce labour’s position that Israel had a right to defend itself and while qualifying such acts of defence have having to conform to international law, however he stated that he felt that the blockade, which had been extended to people and medical supplies, was a legitimate act of defence.
Rishi Sunak, the UK’s prime minister, visited Israel and declared that Britain wanted Israel to win.
The Israeli bombardment has tragic consequences.
“At least 8,306 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the Israeli military bombardment began on October 7, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, about 40% of them are children”
Defence of Children International
There have been three marches in London demanding a cease fire, bit-by-bit politicians are coming to the conclusion that this is necessary. I attended the march held on 28 thOctober; there were people there chanting things with which I don’t agree, but the scale of death is appalling, and I felt I had to do something.
The United Nations Security council has failed to act, its general assembly has called for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities.”
Across the world there are incidents of lethal anti-semitic acts which are equally wrong.
An anti-occupation Israeli correspondent writes on Medium,
So it bears repeating: release the hostages, declare a ceasefire, help the survivors, start working towards a real, long term solution.
There are others talking peace and sense, but not enough, however committing the UK to supporting Israel’s need to win (as opposed to acting in defence of its citizens) is war-mongering.
I grieve for the dead, and their families and hope for the hostages.
I call on my Party, and my government to act as peace makers and not cheer leaders and enablers of this humanitarian catastrophe.
Originally published at https://davelevy.info on November 2, 2023.