This is a copy of a letter I sent to Nick Clegg, who is my MP and also the leader of the Liberal Democrat party.
Nick Clegg MP
House of Commons
Dear Mr Clegg,
I am writing to urge you to take action on this issue. I am sure you are aware of the terrible and ever worsening plight of the Palestinians under the ongoing Israeli occupation of their land, and in particular of those Palestinians in the Gaza region. The blockading of Gaza and the attacks upon it by Israeli forces have been widely condemned. Amnesty International has criticized Israeli attacks on Gaza for their “reckless disregard for human life”; Human Rights Watch have described the blockade as “collective punishment of Gaza’s civilian population in violation of international humanitarian law”; Jimmy Carter describes the blockade as “one of the greatest human rights crimes on Earth”; Desmond Tutu calls it an “abomination” and criticizes international “silence and complicity” over it.
Of course one can also criticize Palestinian attacks on Israelis, but these pale into insignificance in comparison with the actions of the Israeli government. One only has to compare the toll of deaths and injuries on either side and the daily suffering endured by the Palestinians versus the freedoms and protection afforded Israeli citizens to see this. We should also note the conclusions of the UN’s report by John Dugard that “While Palestinian terrorist acts are to be deplored, they must be understood as being a painful but inevitable consequence of colonialism, apartheid or occupation” and that “…every effort should be made to bring the occupation to a speedy end. Until this is done, peace cannot be expected, and violence will continue.”
Despite all this, whilst our government may speak a few words against some Israeli actions, in all its deeds it continues to support the Israeli government. In particular it continues to license the sales of arms and military hardware to the Israeli government to the tune of tens of millions of pounds every year. In this very real sense our government is facilitating these ongoing crimes against humanity.
I therefore urge you to apply all the pressure you can to the government to immediately halt all sales of military related goods to Israel. I also urge you to make this a central policy of your party. I will not vote for any party which will not take a stand against supplying military goods to oppressive regimes such as this.
Jonathan Le Vallois