JJP lobbies MPs in support of immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Paper on the SNP motion for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza

On 19 February 2024. JJP sent all MPs a paper urging them to support the Scottish National Party’s motion calling on the government to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Parliament does not have the authority to require the government to make that demand because relations with other countries and international bodies are the Prime Minister’s prerogative. However, a majority, in favour of the motion, especially a strong majority, would create pressure on the government to call for a ceasefire.

Our paper is below:

This paper supports the Scottish National Party’s motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

We speak as Jews. The destruction of Gaza is not in our name. It is a violation of our values of justice, compassion, truth and peace.

On October 7th Hamas committed a war crime and crime against humanity, slaughtering more than 1,100 people, mostly civilians.

Israel has responded with ferocious, continuous collective punishment of the population of Gaza. That is not within a state’s legitimate duty to protect its citizens. Its attack flouts the principles of proportionality and discrimination central to the protection of civilians in time of war and is therefore also a war crime and a crime against humanity.

Holocaust scholars are warning of a genocide in Gaza. The recent International Court of Justice ruling has given the same warning and has ordered Israel to desist from all practices that could be genocidal. On 16 January 2024, eight United Nations Special Rappoprteurs on Human Rights said in their report Our alarm for the unfolding genocide…”

Nearly 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, three times the number killed in all six previous Israeli offensives. 1.9 million people have been displaced. The deliberate destruction of hospitals, shelter, sanitation, clean water and food supplies is causing a public health catastrophe.

In speech after speech, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu proclaims his intention to continue the attack into Rafah, where 1.5 million of the displaced Palestinians are sheltering in impossibly crowded conditions. If he makes good on that threat, the carnage will be even worse than before.

He also proclaims, time and again, that Israel will not stop until achieving “complete victory”, which he defines as eliminating Hamas and guaranteeing Israeli security. Former Heads of the Israeli army, now senior members of the Knesset in the Israeli War Cabinet, know that is impossible because Hamas is an independence movement. As long as Israel’s occupation and denial of Palestinian rights continues, the leaders and fighters killed today will be replaced by others tomorrow.

António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, spoke truth to the Security Council on 24 October. He said “the deadly assault by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum… the Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation…”

That is the issue underlying the Hamas attack and the violence of the last 56 years. Israel is now addicted to occupation and settlement. Without substantial economic and diplomatic pressure from the international community, it will never change. It cannot be allowed to continue.

A ceasefire is essential to prevent further carnage. It is also the essential first step for our government to work with the international community to demand that Israel ends the occupation and allows the Palestinians to exercise their rights to self-determination.

JJP therefore implores MPs to support the motion for an immediate ceasefire. The United Kingdom should not be seen to equivocate any longer.

Arthur Goodman

Diplomatic and Parliamentary Officer

19 February 2024

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