Only way to end Gaza blockade is to end arms sales to Israel…

Harriet Harman deserves much credit for making use of her questions today to call for the end of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip after once again it demonstrated its complete disregard for international law with its raid on the flotilla carrying aid shipments. Israel’s treatment of those aboard is totally unacceptable as are the fatalities and they are a warning of what happens when countries start to think they are beyond reproach and the jurisdiction of international law does not extend to cover their actions. Tragedies happen with increasing frequency and increasing cost in terms of lives and rippling destabilisation of regions.

What is notable following the flotilla raid is a growing unanimity across the left/right spectrum that the current situation cannot continue. Increasingly, the ‘self-defence’ line isn’t washing as the excesses continue. Why, if there was nothing to hide, were reporters cameras confiscated? The mentality underpinning the actions of the Israeli government is paranoia taken to the extreme and that to be blunt is what makes the unwillingness to determinedly confront Israel dangerous; it is only a matter of time before this underpinning mentality leads to Israel taking an action which costs many, many innocent lives and once and for all leads to Israel’s isolation within the international community. Witness this report of a Likud Knesset members comments to an Arab MK:

“She sat here over a year ago and pledged allegiance to the state of Israel and its laws,” Regev claimed. “I have no intention of stifling free speech, but in the case of MK Zoabi – it is not freedom of speech. The Gaza flotilla was a terrorist flotilla and MK Zoabi needs to be punished. We don’t need Trojan horses in the Knesset.”

 So, what is to be done? It’s quite clear that harsh words and inquiries are not actually enough because, bluntly, they are easily ignored. The only alternative is for the international community, starting with Britain, to take some serious action. It is time for the complete end of sales of arms to Israel until such point as it shows some willingness to do things like lift the Gaza blockade this is the only way it will be ended because the only language the Israeli government will understand is one of words backed by deeds.

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About darrellgoodliffe

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