On 14 November 2023, JJP lobbied the new Foreign Secretary to demand a ceasefire in order to protect the Palestinians in Gaza from further major harm. JJP also asked him to urge the United States to change its policy towards the Israeli attack in order to force Israel to stop bombing Gaza.
Our letter is below.
13 November 2023
Rt Hon David Cameron
Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State for the Middle East
Dear Mr. Cameron and Lord Ahmad,
We are writing to you about the Hamas attack on Israeli civilians and the collective punishment which Israel has been inflicting on the Palestinians in Gaza for five weeks.
The Hamas attack was a war crime and a crime against humanity. However, that is also true of Israel’s attack on Gaza because it is flouting the principles of proportionality and discrimination which are central to protection of civilians in time of war. More than 11,000 Palestinians have now been killed, most of them civiians.
We urge His Majesty’s government to demand a ceasefire in order to protect the Palestinians in Gaza from further major harm.
We also ask you to urge the United States to change its policy towards the Israeli attack. The American administration has repeatedly advised the Israeli government to adhere to the laws of war, yet it has also promised to provide Israel with all the weaponry and ammunition it requests in order to continue prosecuting its attack.
Those two policies are incompatible. Israel’s declared intention in its bombing campaign is to inflict damage, not to be precise. It is collective punishment. Israel will not adhere to the laws of war while the United States continues to resupply everything it wants. We therefore ask you to urge United States Administration to stop resupplying Israel now and to insist on a ceasefire. That is the only way to stop the bombing of Gaza.
Sometimes it is necessary to state the obvious. UN Secretary General Guterres did so in his remarks to the Security Council on 24 October. He acknowledged that the Hamas attack did not occur in vacuum and that the Palestinians have been suffering oppression for 56 years. We are sure you also understand this.
It should now be clear that the Israeli occupation must be brought to an end, and the Palestinians be allowed to exercise their right to self-determination, otherwise there will be more bouts of violence in the future, as there have been in the past. We will be writing to you again shortly to seek a meeting to discuss the long-term issues.
Arthur Goodman, Diplomatic and Parliamentary Officer
c.c. Steven Male, Private Office