UK Minister’s Resignation Over Gaza Signals Backing for Israel Drying Up – Activists


LONDON, August 5 (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst – Palestinian activists have told RIA Novosti that the resignation of a senior UK Government Minister, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, over British policy in Gaza is “very significant” as it signals that support for Israel is starting to dry up.

“The resignation of Baroness Warsi is very significant. That previously staunch, unflinching support for Israel within elite circles is beginning to dry up,” Mick Napier, Secretary of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign has told RIA Novosti.

“The Government has long been aware and has warned Israel that the intensity of public opinion against Israeli crimes could threaten state to state relations and the departing Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor made similar warnings,” Napier added.

“It is imperative that those that are mobilizing at grassroots level continue and intensify their efforts to force other members, even of this Government, to take a position similar to Baroness Warsi,” Napier added.

Foreign Officer Minister Baroness Warsi, a former Chairwoman of the Conservative Party, announced her resignation Tuesday morning citing the UK Government’s “morally indefensible” policy on Gaza.

In a resignation letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Warsi wrote, “My view has been that our policy in relation to the Middle East Peace Process generally but more recently our approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long term detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically.”

British MP George Galloway told RIA Novosti that he welcomed Warsi’s resignation and once again urged the recall of Parliament to debate the crisis in the Middle East.

“I applaud her principled decision to quit,” Galloway told RIA Novosti.

“I hope that it might lead to pressure on David Cameron to take a much harder line on Israel but I doubt it.

“I have called for the recall of parliament and this resignation just underlines how necessary that is,” Galloway added.

“Britain is the original author of this disaster and has a responsibility to attempt to solve it. It isn’t good enough for party leaders and political panjandrums to have tight-lipped quotes dragged out of them from beaches in Europe or the UK,” Galloway said.

“Parliament needs to get back to work and discuss how Britain can play a part in framing a lasting solution.”

Galloway’s view was echoed by a senior Israeli peace activist, Maya Wind, who from her home in Jerusalem told RIA Novosti, “I’ll be curious to see how the Israeli media cover Baroness Warsi’s resignation given she is a much more mainstream British politician, but I think they will cover it much in the same way as they have done with the protests and reframe it as another example of anti-Semitism.”

Wind said that most Israelis were not being presented with an objective picture of international reaction to the Israeli Defense Force military offensive in Gaza.

“In Israel, in the context of the global protests in Paris, London and other places across Europe the automatic response in the Israeli mainstream media is that these actions represent the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe,” Wind said. “It is never presented as an Israeli policy issue or Zionist issue, but instead they portray it as Israel being wrongfully accused of misdoings in Gaza because we are Jewish.”

Wind, who has previously been imprisoned in an Israeli jail for her opposition and activism to Israeli policy, told RIA Novosti that in practical terms nothing had been achieved from the recent conflict.

“Not only has there been this atrocity, but many in the Israeli peace movement predicted it would end up exactly as it has now,” Wind told RIA Novosti. “It is not reflected in the mainstream Israeli media, but nothing has been achieved from the Zionist Government’s perspective, nothing has really changed, apart from Gaza destroyed and almost 1900 people, mostly civilians, dead.”


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