The Immunity of Israel

7 Aug 2014

 

Following the resignation of UK Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi, Prime Minister David Cameron is struggling to quell a growing revolt over his handling of the Gaza crisis.

Baroness Warsi’s resignation on Tuesday sent shockwaves through the Tory Party, bringing to the fore disputes over both the UK government’s stance regarding the ongoing Gaza crisis, and the party’s future election prospects.

 

A number of senior British political figures, including Tory Party MPs, have begun to publically join the calls of those demanding the government adopt a tougher stance towards Israel.

Chancellor George Osborne's expressed his bemusement with Warsi’s "disappointing and frankly unnecessary decision" as the British government is continuing to work with "others in the world to bring peace to Gaza."

Prime Minister David Cameron, who has commented whilst on holiday, said he had been "consistently clear" in calls for peace, adding that he agreed the crisis in the region was "intolerable".

However, at the time of writing Mr Cameron is yet to impose one single sanction on Israel.

Speaking to BBC News, Baroness Warsi said: "Over the last four weeks, I have done everything that I can, both at formal meetings and informal meetings, to try to convince my colleagues that our current policy on Gaza is morally indefensible, that it's not in our interests, it's not in British interests and that it will have consequences, both internationally and here at home. But, in the end, I felt the government's position wasn't moving and therefore I had to, on a point of principle, resign."

She later told Channel 4 News: "These issues are far too serious for us to have been mealy-mouthed and for us to be dragging our heels."

And, finally, in her resignation letter she stated the government’s policy was: "morally indefensible, is not in Britain's national interest and will have a long-term effect on our reputation internationally and domestically."

This is without doubt a damning verdict of British policy towards Gaza, or a lack thereof.

Moreover, Mr Cameron seems to have backed himself into a corner by supporting sanctions against Russia over its position towards the growing conflict in East Ukraine.

Indeed, the barometer of international opinion rotated from disapproval to disbelief after the tragedy of flight MH-17, where nearly 300 passengers and crew sadly lost their lives. The international community, Britain included, has been very quick to blame Russian separatists in the area for shooting down the commercial flight. 

This has led to sanctions on three major industry sectors in Russia in an attempt to diplomatically force President Putin into changing his position.

The EU thought that sanctioning Oil, Defence and Banking would change things. Indeed it has; Russia has just signed a five year deal with Iran to secure energy and oil, easing the pressure on Russia financially and quite frankly rendering the EU’s position against Russia a farce.

Why have we been so quick to impose sanctions on Russia, and yet not Israel? Even though the brutality of the latter’s actions is arguably considerably more severe?

I believe these are the questions that Mr Cameron has failed to answer, causing Baroness Warsi chose to resign. 

She can see the hypocrisy. Can you?

By Sean Mallis

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