Being lauded for moral focus and moral clarity by Binyamin Netanyahu is a bit like being taught table manners by Jack the Ripper.

Lindsey German

Being lauded for moral focus and moral clarity by Binyamin Netanyahu isn’t exactly the sort of praise most people would wish for. A bit like being taught table manners by Jack the Ripper.

But our new Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, didn’t seem fazed by it. After all, he had just blamed Hamas for what is now going on in Gaza. At a press conference in Israel alongside Netanyahu, he said:

‘Britain has also been very clear that Israel has ire proposals.&rsquo

the right to defend itself and its citizens but we are gravely concerned by the ongoing heavy level of civilian casualties. We want to see a ceasefire quickly agreed. We welcomed the earlier ceasefire proposal by Egypt. We are disappointed that Hamas has once again apparently rejected ceasefire proposals’

In other words, even Hammond and his hapless US counterpart John Kerry are fairly nervous at the brutal attack on Gaza and its consequences.

When aid agencies are saying that one child is dying every hour in Gaza, when schools are ‘legitimate targets’ of the IDF, and when already more than 700 people have been killed, it doesn’t look good to just say, ‘we’ve supplied these people with weapons, we back them politically and financially, and they can do what they want’.

Hence the call for a ceasefire. But it isn’t happening. And guess what, that’s the fault of Hamas. Actually, Hamas is for a ceasefire too but is saying, very reasonably, that this should be accompanied by an end to the blockade which leaves Gazans short of food, water, electricity…most of the essentials of life.

Hammond brings in the ceasefire proposal by Egypt. But that upstanding figure of moral rectitude, General al-Sisi, is a major opponent of Hamas, and overthrew the democratically elected former president Morsi in a coup a year ago. Now, despite his petty humiliations of Kerry and his imprisonment of thousands, including recently al Jazeera journalists, we are expected to see Sisi as some kind of international arbiter of justice. It would be laughable if the people of Gaza were not suffering so dreadfully.

Israel is encountering more opposition in Gaza than it expected, with more soldiers killed than in its last two operations in 2008-9 and 2012. It is facing a wave of revulsion and protest around the world. But it is being supported by a craven and cowardly bunch of politicians and their media friends.

The protest movement and its daily demonstrations is the main source of support for the people of Gaza. And it can be said with certainty that it has more moral focus and clarity than Philip Hammond and the rest of the cabinet put together.

An Algerian plane carrying 110 people has disappeared over Mali.

Mali is a war zone, so let us hope it has not met the same fate as MH17 over Ukraine.

We will see if it receives the same extensive human interest coverage that the Malaysian plane did. Because there is surely no moral difference towards how we should treat the deaths.

Surely it also makes sense when fighting is going on not to fly over war zones, and for politicians and airlines to consider the safety of staff and passengers above everything? Which makes Israel’s diplomatic pressure to resume flights to Tel Aviv a little dubious. If these rockets are a real threat, as they tell us, then surely flights should be stopped. Is Tel Aviv safe or isn’t it, because its supposed lack of safety is used to justify more than 700 killed in Gaza..

There is another way of course. Stop the arms trade, one of the biggest in the world, and stop the wars. Radical I know.

National Demonstration 26 July
Stop the Massacre in Gaza
Assemble 12 Noon Israeli Embassy
March to Parliament for Rally | More details…

Source: Stop the War Coalition

24 Jul 2014 by Lindsey German

Sign Up