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Sir Gerald Kaufman Asks “What the International Reaction Would Be If Hamas Had Slaughtered Nearly 900 Israelis and Subjected Nearly 1.5 million Israelis to Degradation and Deprivation?”

Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab): In congratulating my right hon. Friend [David Miliband] on steering resolution 1860 through the United Nations Security Council, may I ask him what the international reaction would be if Hamas had slaughtered nearly 900 Israelis and subjected nearly 1.5 million Israelis to degradation and deprivation?  Is it not an incontrovertible fact that Olmert, Livni and Barak are mass-murderers and war criminals — [ Interruption. ]  Yes.  And they bring shame on the Jewish people whose star of David they use as a flag in Gaza, but whose ethos and morals go completely against what this Israeli Government are doing.

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Mr. Peter Kilfoyle (Liverpool, Walton) (Lab): I note the rather cosy consensus between the Foreign Secretary and the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks (Mr. Hague), but I can assure the Foreign Secretary that it is not shared by all of us.  On armaments for Israel, he said just a moment ago that he would very much like to see the prevention of arms going to terrorist organisations.  That is the case for everybody in this House, and on the basis of what we have just heard and what he himself just said, will he undertake to ensure that no arms at all go to Israel at the moment, given that it is guilty in many people’s eyes of state-sponsored terrorism with its activities in the Gaza strip?

Sir Patrick Cormack (South Staffordshire) (Con): In agreeing particularly with what the right hon. Gentleman has just said, may I ask that after he leaves the House and goes back to the Foreign Office he will summon the Israeli ambassador and say to him calmly but clearly that many of us who have been in this House for a very long time and who have been proud to call ourselves friends of Israel now feel ashamed because Israel is not behaving as a civilised state should behave?

Mr. Marsha Singh (Bradford, West) (Lab): Will my right hon. Friend accept that condemnation has brought no relief to the people of Gaza?  The killing goes on.  Is it not time for stronger action?  Is it not time that we expelled the ambassador of Israel and brought our ambassador back from Israel?  Is it not time that we called for international sanctions against Israel?


Gerald Bernard Kaufman is a British Labour Member of Parliament.  Sir Kaufman made the statement above during the 12 January 2009 House of Commons debate on Gaza in the United Kingdom.


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